All systems go for fashion week: FDCI

July 15th, 2008 - 7:47 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 15 (IANS) With just three months to go for a premier fashion week, its organiser Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) announced Tuesday it was proceeding full steam ahead in spite of major changes at the top that had threatened to split the organisation. “The show is going on. Most designers have committed themselves to the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) and we’ll be announcing the names of the participants very soon,” FDCI director general Rathi Vinay Jha told reporters here.

“We are definitely on schedule and will hold the spring-summer edition of the fashion week Oct 15-19 as scheduled,” added Jha, who steps down July 31 at the end of her tenure.

While the fact that Jha would be leaving was known for long, it was the sudden resignation in June of FDCI executive director Sumeet Nair that had thrown the fashion fraternity into disarray and raised the possibility of a split.

However, both Jha and newly appointed FDCI president Sunil Sethi discounted the possibility of this happening.

“Controversies do take place but we have put all that behind us. Some (designers) have left (FDCI), others have returned,” a confident Jha declared.

“Any split is self-destructive. Don’t let politics mar your careers,” she told a large number of designers who were present on the occasion.

“In the new set-up, the designers will lay down the roadmap,” Sethi, a major buyer at successive fashion weeks, maintained.

A severe rift in the 16-member FDCI board of governors became apparent in May after designers Karuna Khaitan and Anju Modi filed a suit against Nair in the Delhi High Court alleging lack of transparency and financial irregularities in the council’s functioning.

Nair quit June 10, a day after an external audit of the council’s accounts revealed that everything was overboard. He said he found it difficult to work in the “stifling” atmosphere of the FDCI.

Designer Ashish Soni had quit soon after as the FDCI president.

However, there are indications that a reconciliation is underway with Modi making an appearance at the press conference.

As for Nair’s replacement, Jha said the position had been advertised and the FDCI had received some 200 responses.

“We are studying these closely and should be able to come to a decision soon,” she added.

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