160 buyers for Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (Curtain Raiser)

October 14th, 2008 - 12:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Deepika PadukoneNew Delhi, Oct 14 (IANS) Indicative of the pre-eminent position the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) as the country’s premier business-to-business event for the style industry, 160 buyers, including 70 from abroad, will attend the spring/summer edition of the Oct 15-19 event that is expected to generate business in the region of Rs.800 million ($16.5 million).”This is the largest number of buyers that will be attending the fashion week,” Sunil Sethi, president of event organiser, Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), told IANS.

“This is all the more heartening because we normally get more buyers for the autumn/winter edition rather than the spring/summer event,” Sethi, who himself has been one of the biggest buyers at the event, added.

While Sethi was reticent on placing a figure on the business that was expected to be generated, another FDCI official said even by conservative estimates, this would be in the region of Rs.800 million.

“Only serious buyers attend such an event. Even if each of them makes purchases of Rs.500,000, the figure would come to Rs.80 crores (Rs.800 million),” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Among the international buyers will be at least two big-ticket houses - London’s Liberty Fashion and Italy’s La Rinascente - as also a few from the Middle East.

With the event getting bigger and bigger with each passing year, the 12th edition of the fashion week will have as many as 10 commercial partners, 79 designers, 53 models and 36 ramp shows.

“With each passing edition, the confidence and trust of our partners has grown as we move towards our primary agenda of promoting the business of fashion,” Sethi said.

Among the other highlights of the event will be Bollywood star Deepika Padukone presenting the “Fiama Di Wills Beautiful Face Hunt 2008″ award on day two of the event.

Sources also revealed that Padukone is expected to walk the ramp for designer duo Nikhil and Shantanu on the same day.

A breast cancer awareness campaign led by breast cancer survivor Devika Bhojwani with designer duo Shane and Falguni Peacock will be the other highlight of day two.

“Though the focus of the week is on generating business for the fashion fraternity, highlighting a social cause like this gives it the attention it deserves,” Sethi explained.

Other than this, top models Milind Soman and Rahul Dev will be essaying a “new role”, though the organisers are keeping details of this under wraps for the moment.

Supermodel Madhu Sapre will fly down all the way from Italy to walk the ramp for designer Payal Jain on day four, Oct 18.

Other than the main sponsor Wills Lifestyle, the other brands associated with the event this time around are Fiama Di Wills, Hewlett Packard, Chivas, Audi, Elle, NDTV Good Times, Big FM, The Park and Yahoo.

Also, IT major Hewlett Packard - in its second edition of sponsorship - is bringing international designer Vivienne Tam, who has designed HP’s special edition notebooks, for the event.

“Our association with the fashion week is a perfect blend of technology meeting style. To prove this, we have international designer Tam showcasing our latest edition of notebooks that are exclusively designed by her,” HP’s head of consumer marketing Shubhodip Pal said.

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