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LIFW 2004 reflects Indian haute couture potential

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LIFW 2004 reflects Indian haute couture potential

A recent projection of FDCI and KPMG said that the nascent Indian fashion industry, estimated at Rs 200 crore, would grow to touch Rs 1,000-crore mark, soon.

And, one would easily agree to the projection seeing hordes of buyers from across the world thronging at the Lakme India Fashion Week 2004, started on April 27 in New Delhi, to take away the Indian haute couture. "The LIFW which saw a business of Rs 25 to 30 crore will grow by 30-40% per year," observed Vinod Kaul, Executive Director, Fashion Design Council of India.

The Lakme India Fashion Week 2004, which will showcase prêt-a-porter (ready-to-wear) and diffusion (a line between ready-to-wear and trousseau/couture) will consist of 35 ramp shows for seven days, when designers will showcase their Autumn Winter 2004 collection.

The LIFW is coming up as a big money-spinner for the fashion fraternity in the country. Anupam Bansal, Director, Liberty Group said: "This is the second time we are being associated with LIFW and our association has brought 20% growth in our business." Liberty, which holds a 35% share in the Rs 100-crore organised footwear market, has come up as a co-sponsor for the mega event. Seagram's Blender's Pride, which is a co-sponsor for the third year, is considerably satisfied over its brand promotion. The seven-year-old Seagram flagship brand has achieved a visible growth of 40%. "We are the first one to promote LIFW in media and consider the whole fashion extravaganza as a lifestyle event," said Bikram Basu, General Manager, Marketing, Seagram.

While co-sponsors are gung-ho about their brand being projected nicely in the elite market, buyers are also seem to be satisfied. Sunil Chawla, an NRI, who owns stores in Madrid, named Shatoosh and in Miami, named India, is a happy man. Chawla’s focus is more on beachwear and is upbeat over its fifth consecutive association with LIFW. "Yes, I am looking forward to a tremendous amount of money as we usually pick up ten designer brands per year and they are doing quite well there," he said.

Lakme India Fashion week 2004 includes overseas buyers like Michael Fink from Saks 5th Avenue, New York, Albert Morris from Browns, London, Maria Luisa from MDP Sarl, France, Komal Mirchandani from Dubai, Amit Rastogi from RCKC, London, Nader Sharif from Designers Lounge, Dubai, Joyce Boutique from Hong Kong and many such names. The domestic circle includes names like Kimaya, Be, Ebony, Shoppers Stop, Vama, Elan Couture, Grasshoppers, Ensemble, Amethyst, Apparao, Galleries, Ogaan, Pantaloons (spring Board), Phoenix Mills, Elahe, and Blues.

Among the first timers to the LIFW are Om Goddess from Singapore and Joyce Co from Hong Kong. Their representatives are making a first-time entry and seeing the event as quite exciting. Although they refused to comment more saying that it needed a little more than two days to express their opinion and intent to buy.

However, Danielle De Almeida, Buyer of Jafima from Lisbon, said: "I have been coming to India for seven years and the LIFW and other fashion events in India have significantly helped develop our businesses. I am looking for top range fashion designers with the best quality and designs." She could not comment upon the growth rate but told that she would buy anything between 15,000 to 20,000 pieces per year. And, her favourite was Rajesh Pratap Singh.


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