Global attention, not business in focus at IRFW (Review)

December 11th, 2011 - 6:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Bambolim (Goa), Dec 11 (IANS) The inaugural edition of India Resort Fashion Week (IRFW) has concluded and the participating designers say the focus was more on brand building and introducing India as a global market for resort wear, rather than doing business.

“Any new thing needs time to establish themselves. Since this is the first time a event like this is happening in India, so one can’t expect good business. It was more of a formal introduction of resort fashion week to the world. I think there is a huge market for resort wear in India and it’s a great opportunity for designers who are solely into resort line,” designer Babita Malkani told IANS.

“No doubt that the market has potential to get some outstanding business… Resort wear collection in our kind of season is definitely saleable through out the year and I am hopeful that the next edition of IRFW will be one of its kind in terms of business,” she added.

The four-day fashion fete, which concluded Saturday evening, saw designers James Ferriera, Shantanu and Nikhil, Manish Malhotra, Shivan and Narresh, Narendra Kumar, Anupama Dayal and Pria Kaataria Puri setting new trends in resort wear.

Designer Narendra Kumar says IRFW proved to be an outstanding platform for Indian resort wear designers craving for global recognition.

“This is fantastic platform for resort wear designers. However, I just want more enthusiasm and more people to come and show their support towards the concept like this which was an unknown territory till now. Nobody is thinking about business but the interaction and this is what one can expect from first edition,” Kumar told IANS.

But that doesn’t mean that business didn’t happen. Shivan and Narresh, who launched first-ever swimwear brand in India, are flooded with enquiries and waiting to strike a deal.

“I think India is already five years late when it comes to launching their own resort fashion week, but it’s better late than never. I think IRFW is a very promising platform for resort wear designers like us. We are also satisfied with the business as we got the enquiries and questions from Middle East and New York,” said Narresh.

IRFW witnessed more than 20 international buyers from Amsterdam, New York and Beirut, as also the Middle East, along with some domestic buyers.

Khaled Mekkawi from Beirut feels India has the potential to sustain fashion weeks like this for years to come.

“This is the first edition so it is the measuring phase but I would say that the some of the designers are really impressive. India is the most potential country in the world; they have all the resource to live on. Some of the designers who impressed with their collection are Narendra Kumar and James Ferriera,” he added.

Amsterdam-based buyer Marwa Zamaray is impressed with the way Indian designers bring variety to garments and added: “I was astonished to see how some of the designers experimented with resort wear line. I loved the sequin and embroidered work on swim wear designs and I am really looking forward to order few stuffs,” she said.

IRFW COO Shalini Chuganee feels that the event proved an apt platform for designers.

“We have been working with fashion weeks, fashion brands and fashion designers for over a decade now. And we realised that there is a platform missing for resort wear and that’s how this idea of IRFW came into being.

“India has some of the finest designers in resort line so we thought of promoting them not only on the national level but also on the global level. Now when the event is over, I am amazed to see the kind of queries people have got for resort wear line. I think designers are satisfied with the way event pulled of,” Chuganee told IANS.

She also revealed that many international delegates have shown interest in organising resort week globally.

“There are many people who have come up to say that they want to run IRFW in different countries as well. I have delegates from Spain who showed their interest so I have quite a lot of global brands including five countries who are planning to run IRFW globally,” she said.

(Nivedita Sharma can be contacted at

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