LFW buyers will eye designers - more than designsFebruary 22nd, 2010 - 12:32 pm ICT by IANS
By Dibyojyoti Baksi
Mumbai, Feb 22 (IANS) Any fashion week is a trade event and the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) here next month won’t be an exception. Here too buyers will probably not be in a hurry to grab exclusive designs, but instead hunt for creative minds.
“At fashion shows like Lakme Fashion Week, we are always looking out for talents. The idea is to spot some talent, provide them with a platform, so that our customer benefits. They (customers) get new designs with different creativity,” Gaurav Mahajan, COO of Westside, told IANS.
Sangita Kathiwada, owner of Melange Boutique, echoed the same and added that fashion shows help get into the minds of designers.
“I think a fashion show is a great place to judge designers’ capability. I don’t think at the event I will be looking at whether collections are commercially viable. I will literally try to get into the minds of designers,” said Sangita.
“This is one time when he or she (designer) is given the liberty to take as much freedom as possible to present his or her collection. If I want to buy any of these designs, I can go to their shops and buy them,” she added.
Both Sangita and Gaurav feature on the buyers’ list of the Mumbai Lakme Fashion Week, starting March 5.
Usually, fashion shows provide platforms for the established and first timers to make timeless presentations of their creativity.
“This timeless presentation would help me understand where the designer has reached in his career. It’s also the time when a designer is really able to take a risk to show his creativity and that is his imaginary world, which he is not able to bring to the real world as he has to make wearable clothing,” said Sangita.
Another reason why there are not many buyers is that designers are not well-equipped for business.
“It’s expected that buyers would come, see your collection, place the orders and take the loot home. But it doesn’t work that way in India because I think the designers are unfortunately not trade equipped,” she said.
“The prices quoted by designers are astronomically high to place orders. If we block our money three months in advance, the collections don’t reach in time, delivery schedules aren’t maintained. The only reason we order consignments is that they (designers) take the risk with us.”
But unlike boutiques, big chains plan it differently because even if per shop requirement is less they have to buy in bulk to meet the demands of all the stores.
“We have 50 stores spread across 20 cities. In each shop, the demand is not for a large quantity. It’s amplified because you have that many stores,” said Gaurav of Westside.
Stores like Westside caters to the masses; so they work out with the designers to ensure the designs fit the “affordability” of all customers.
“I think you can work with the designers to create a range that fit the price points. It is possible to sort of make a garment and have a design that is accessible to our customers,” said Gaurav.
It’s a different story for the boutiques - they don’t need to worry about quantity, but they are under constant pressure to produce new designs frequently.
“In small businesses like mine, the quantities are very little but a number of collections are big. We have repetitive clients. The client who has came 10 days ago would want something new on the next visit. A woman who went to a party last week won’t wear the same dress next week. We are highly challenged in a small business because we have to produce more and offer new styles,” said Sangita.
“We have six seasons; so it works in an entirely different way from how it functions in the international market. We are always on our toes so that we can make sure the collections arrive before Rakhi, Diwali, Holi, weddings and so on,” she added.
(Dibyojyoti Baksi can be contacted at email@example.com)
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Tags: baksi, capability, collections, coo, creative minds, creativity, customer benefits, designers, fashion show, fashion shows, first timers, freedom, hurry, imaginary world, lakme fashion week, loot, melange, platforms, real world, talents