As the country’s leading trade and fashion platform, Lakmé Fashion Week ushered in new talent and expanded its reach by tapping buyers from across the country to promote Indian craftsmanship and facilitate trade for designers. Winter/Festive 2012 addressed the power of e-commerce, creativity and social media and successfully concluded yet another season of Lakmé Fashion Week.
The season witnessed a remarkable growth in the number of buyer registrations from across the globe with a total of 220 buyer registrations that included 175 domestic and 45 international buyers. A platform that functions as a creative and trade outlet to showcase innovative designs from around the world, LFW has established itself as a strong networking ground for designer and buyers to collaborate and build relationships. LFW Winter/Festive 2012 saw an exponential growth of participating designers and greater business opportunities for buyers as well.
Lakmé Fashion Week this season also announced Gaurang Shah as the winner of the LFW Heritage Award- a cash prize of One Lakh rupees for the designer who best incorporated Indian textiles in their collection for Indian Textile Day. The winner was selected by a prominent jury of Jaya Jaitly, Maximiliano Modesti, Krishna Mehta and Anjana Sharma.
“Business has been very good from the domestic buyers which has already summed up to a total of 50 lakhs and up. Most of our buyers were from South and Western India and a few from Northern and Eastern region. This season International buyers were less compared to the other seasons but they don’t really matter at this stage because Indians today are far stronger buyers. Besides the Indian contingency takes up my full production capacity”, said designer Krishna Mehta.
Participating in his second season, designer Nikhil Thampi says, “For a non-design student and an absolute newbie in fashion the response I have got is dream like. My collection was so very well accepted and the sales and store inquiries kept pouring in every minute. I have one confirmed order and one from a big store in Bahrain and they have asked for 37 pieces per garment which adds up to an estimate of 15 lakhs. I think that is brilliant for a new comer to start. I am in talks with an international store in New York and others leading stores in Mumbai like Ogaan, Fuel and others that would be stocking my collections. Also what is overwhelming is the interest people have shown for me to showcase my collection at international events. So far a London Fashion Week representative and somebody from Dubai have shown keen interest. To sum up the season has been a really fruitful one for me and I am keeping my fingers crossed for more.
Designers Mayank Anand & Shraddha Nigam said, “This season we have had much more inquires, footfalls and more serious buyers. It’s festive time and the season’s really opened up. It has just been really awesome. I think each season it just gets progressively better and better. If we compare our last Winter/Festive season, business has really tripled and also the response has been pretty good in terms of our growth and a much better response to our work”.
Shruti Sancheti said, “I have had a good season so far and much more business keeping the festive season in mind. The collection was well appreciated with a lot of lucrative offers. I was retailing with a lot of stores but this time, the number of buyers has doubled and more business offers have come in with some very interesting ones. I am looking forward to my next season already”.
First time participating designer Aniket Satam of the Gen Next category said, “I have had a pretty good response from buyers, and all the stores that I was aiming for have approached me. They are all looking for consignments but since we are part of Gen Next it is good and is a start to a business opportunity for sure. It is really good to see established multi designer stores approaching young designers and giving them an opportunity to have a rack along with the other big designers in their stores. I was surprised to see stores from Nagpur, Hyderabad, Pune apart from Mumbai and Delhi approaching me and looking for pieces that were shown on the runway”.
“This has been my first year and first show and it has taught me a lot of things and what I probably should concentrate on the next time around. I have got a lot of good response, a lot of people that have come in and are looking at following up. In fact a lot of people have come back twice and thrice. I also have a lot of confirmed inquiries. Hope that translates completely into a really fruitful season for us and it’s been good so far,” said, designer Karishma Shahani.
“We have had a very good response from the buyers this season. Our existing stockiest have come and confirmed orders worth 30-40 lakhs for this season’s collection and we have also met around 10 new stores that we are still in negotiation with. We have also had new enquires from new retail outlets and one or two e-commerce sites that we are interested in. So overall it has been a really positive season”, said designer Isabelle Mittal.
Designer Ritika Bharwani said, I would say that LFW is a really good platform to facilitate buyer - designer interaction, especially for new designers like me that give us visibility and the reach”. I am very happy with the response by label has received at LFW. Post LFW Summer/Resort 2012 I was able to start retailing at many stores and this season my aim has been to continue to reach out to other stores
Falguni and Sushil Jhaveri of Fuel, Mumbai said, “As buyers for the past 9 years in the country we are extremely happy with the overall arrangements at Lakmé Fashion Week as always. Every season it gets better. The participating designers are far more mature than earlier & are well prepared to do business. We are highly impressed with the Gen Next lot, they have great potential. Our budgets for buying is normally 30% for LFW, 50% for WIFW and 20% others. Must say that this season it shall be 40% LFW, 40% WIFW & 20% others. We are already planning business with the likes of Richa Agarwal, Aniket, Sonakshi Raaj, Shruti Sancheti, Babita M, Gaurav Shah, Rajat Tangri, Swati Jain, Pia Pauro, IZI Atelier, Mayank & Shradha and many others.
“Lakmé Fashion Week has always been a nice experience for me and this time as well, it was very well organized. We see a lot of new designers coming, showing their talent on the ramp and getting recognition. For the business of fashion it is very essential to have good prices. We are looking forward to working with Yogesh Chaudhary who has come up with a beautiful collection this time and has made a nice come back in his second season after participating in Gen Next last season. We are also looking forward to working with designers like Swati Jain, Nandita Thirani, Shruti Sancheti, Krishna Mehta and some more”, said Nilesh Parashar of Nautanky.
Rasika Wakalkar of Rudraksh, Pune said, “Firstly, the initiative to recognize buyers and giving a platform to share common concerns with industry peers was a laudable and much required effort, perhaps the first of its kind at a public platform. The Gen Next designers seemed to have been mentored much better in terms of their market readiness rather than just fashion week readiness, which in turn will help them establish a retail relationship with stores than just hope to have it. There was a pronounced positive feel and vibe in terms of the designers-buyers-FW organizers’ working towards a common market place, which for a Trade show is important. We are buying outright with Krishna Mehta, Priyadarshini Rao and Wendell Rodricks, who we’ve been buying from since FW2008. We are also investing in Pia Pauro, Vaishali Shadangule, Rohan Arora, Anushka Khanna, Mayank Anand Shraddha Nigam, Nimish Shah, Swati Vijaivargie Jain. Also looking at a business relationship with Aastha Bahl,Shruti Sancheti, Jatin Varma & Karishma Shahani and Gen Next designers Aniket Satam, Threesome, Richa Aggarwal & Sneha Arora. I think we would clock minimum about 10 lakhs of buying budgets if not more”.