WIFW spells business, designers ask for more (Review)

By Shilpa Raina, IANS
Thursday, October 28, 2010

NEW DELHI - Decent, great, fantastic…That is how most designers described business generated at the just concluded Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) here, though a few said new buyers were lacking.

International buyers from US-based fashion store Anthropology, Kuwait-based fashion houses Moda In, DarUsha and Designer’s Lounge and Japanese store Beams and Indian buyers from retail stores Kimaya, Aza, Evoluzione and Ensemble were seen buying from their favourite clients as well as a few new faces.

There were lucky designers who were on their toes from day one at the business-to-business event which concluded Wednesday.

“The response to my line has been ‘fabulous’ and I have generated the best ever business. I don’t know about any other designers but I am very happy,” said Reynu Taandon.

Though designers refused to divulge details about their order books, Samant Chauhan admitted he too generated the best-ever business and his collection based on “Ahimsa Silk” was liked by buyers.

My business was pretty decent, it has always been like that because my line is reasonably priced. You would be surprised to know that I had generated excellent business during recession. I refuse to be hit by recession, Anupama Dayal told IANS.

She presented a colourful line based on the theme half women-half bird and titled it “Kinari”.

If you compare it with the last to last season, I would say this is not enough. I want more business but alas, there are not enough buyers to make us feel ‘wow’. There are hardly any new buyers, said Dayal.

Designer Gaurav Jagtiani from the designer duo Gaurav-Ritika said they are happy with the business from old buyers, but had not added new ones to the list.

For debutant designer Gaurav Jai Gupta, the whole purpose of WIFW is diluted because he was unable to find any takers for his hand-woven line. At the same time he said buyers might take their own sweet time to have confidence in his subtle collection.

Betal Jassem Al-Marzouq of Moda In bought more than 700 pieces from their regular designers like Anupama Dayal, Tarun tahiliani, Pallavi Mohan as well as from a few new ones.

We were the first to believe in Indian designers, the fabric and embroidery. Way back in 2002, no one believed in Indian designers till we forayed and started buying, Marzouq told IANS.

Marzouq, however, feels garment prices are still high in India.

For Bader A. Mughni of Designer’s Lounge, the style and fit of Indian designers goes well with the sensibilities of his people. Also Indian designers have an edge over the Western market because of the flexibility factor.

In case we have to alter the length of garments, designers here do that, so we always prefer to buy from Indian designers, he said.

In all, 115 designers participated in the five-day fete that began Oct 23 with big names like Abraham and Thakore, Ashish Soni, JJ Valaya, Kotwara by Meera and Muzaffar Ali, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Ranna Gill, Ritu Beri, Rohit Bal, Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna, Tarun Tahiliani and Wendell Rodricks participating in the event.

This year the highlight of the business-to-business event was a change in venue from Hall No 7 to Hall No 18 at Pragati Maidan. It was so spacious that it gave the feel of an international venue.

There was enough walking space, big exhibition stalls and ample space for three lounges - Wills Lifestyle lounge, Chivas lounge and Kingfisher lounge - which provided the perfect rendezvous platform for designers who were often spotted chatting there.

The Bollywood flavour was not too strong at the WIFW as only Shilpa Shetty and Chitrangada Singh walked the ramp for Tahiliani, while Mugdha Godse and Raima Sen were spotted in the guest gallery.

In all, a happy ending to the WIFW which was high on business.

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