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The Indian fashion design industry's overall production was expected to grow to 7.5 billion rupees ($148 million) by 2012 from 2.7 billion rupees in 2007, according to The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, helped by an affluent class which is increasingly focusing on fashion wear. The estimate has not yet been revised.
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India Fashion Week
Global Fashion Fray
NEW DELHI, INDIA April 7, 2009
"It is just something I threw together," Himanshu Verma, an arts organizer, said at one of the mobbed events marking Wills India Fashion Week here.
"It's called a taxi sari," he added, referring to the aggressively garish outfit of polka-dotted organza and polyester brocade he wore. That pronoun is no typo, by the way: Mr. Verma is a man. The luxury malls thrown up over the last several years now look a lot like ghost towns. Indeed, KFW will be different, as designers plan to showcase more affordable collections and also more conservative, keeping the preferences of the eastern metropolitan, in mind.

There are so many talented designers from Bengal who are prominent names in the Indian fashion business. Also, there are weavers and international buyers who swear by the traditional pieces of art from Kolkata. But despite that, Kolkata has never had a proper showcase till now," Dutta said.

So Dutta is organising Kolkata Fashion Week, at an estimated cost of Rs 4-5 crore, and has brought together names like Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna of Cue, Gauri and Nainika Karan, Wendell Rodricks, Zubair Kirmani, Anjana Bhargav, Shane and Falguni Peacock, Manoviraj Khosla, Narendra Kumar and Kolkata-based designers Mona-Pali, Dev n Nil, Abhishek Dutta and Sharbari Dutta, among others for KFW between April 2-5.

Dutta has also roped in Bangladeshi designer, Bibi Russel, as well as a showcase by Bengal weavers, who will put forward a display of their cottage industry. "Kolkata Fashion Week is one of the most expensive proposition, with organisation costs touching Rs 4-5 crore. We have 15 national designers participating and three upcoming designers."

"We intend to make this a bi-annual event and are also trying to arrange some international tie-ups for building credibility in the market. The first year may not see great business prospects considering the current slowdown, but any project needs some time to break even and become viable."

"We have about 30-40 buyers for Kolkata Fashion Week. Some are single buyers, while many are from US, Sri Lanka and other countries."

On the marketing front, KFW will show live feeds on Zoom channel which will also be available on MSN. It also has its own website kolkatafashionweek.in.

Dutta is reluctant to give out details about who these buyers are and what the rates for the ramp shows and stalls will be. While a few of the participants are invited to participate and are not being charged a fee, others have to pay a fee per slot to participate in KFW.

As for the designers and the collection they plan to showcase, one of the biggest takeaways at the KFW this year will be designers’ willingness to build on the affordability range as well as a slightly remodelled collection for the average buyer in Kolkata who is more traditional than buyers in other metropolitan cities.


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