Seasonal shift, focus on e-commerce at Lakme Fashion Week

Mumbai, March 3 (IANS) Standing a trusted business model on its head, the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) beginning here Friday has been turned into a seasonal event with the focus on e-commerce in a bid to improve the business prospects of designers.

‘With this shift, the buyers will not have to wait for six months to get the collection in their stores. Our season driven approach will help designers to fetch good business and consumers to get new trends,’ Sujal Shah, head of event management firm IMG that has tied up with cosmetics brand Lakme for the March 5-9 show, told IANS.

According to Shah, it was important to focus on the domestic market and hence a collective decision was taken to present a spring-resort collection instead of an autumn-winter one.

At fashion shows the world over, and also at the premier Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week, an autumn-winter collection is presented early in the year and a spring-summer edition in the later part.

‘This seasonal move will definitely fetch good business for our designers and we have already seen a 30 percent rise in the buyers who will be participating in the event. Overall, we are expecting around 40 percent increase in the business,’ he added, while declining to give figures.

Shah also revealed that this time, there will also be focus on the e-commerce business at the LFW, being held at the Grant Hyatt.

‘E-commerce is in a very nascent stage in India, but this is the future of business. Though online shopping in the West is much more mature, we want Indian designers to get a hang of how this business works,’ Shah explained.

Gurgaon-based online fashion portal fashionandyou.com that sells products from international brands like Hugo Boss, Dunhill, Moschino and DKNY, believes that there is ample space for designer clothes in the online market.

‘We have had quite a few queries from Indian designers on using our platform to reach out to a discerning community of people who buy luxury goods. We are looking at opportunities to work with great Indian designers,’ said Narvekar, director (Brand Sourcing) of fashionandyou.com, which will be participating in the LFW as a buyer.

London-based fashion designer Christopher Kane will also be attending the event. Shah feels that the presence of people like him will give Indian designers increased international exposure and provide them new business perspectives as well.

As fashion weeks and Bollywood go hand-in-hand, Shah didn’t rule out the presence of tinsel town celebrities at LFW.

‘There is a link between Bollywood and the fashion designers because a lot of Bollywood celebrities are their clients. We can’t deny the fact that many Indian designers derive business from the industry; hence it is very logical for the stars to be present there (LFW),’ Shah explained.

As many as 61 designers, some established and some new, will display their creativity over the five action-and- glamour-packed days of the LFW.

Among the designers participating are Manish Malhotra, Narendra Kumar, Malini Ramani, Rocky Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Satya Paul, Shantanu and Nikhil, Suneet Varma and Vikram Phadnis.

Anand Bhushan, Anand Kabra, Digvijay Singh, Lecoanet Hemant, Nachiket Barve, Payal Singhal, Pooja Kapoor, Vipin Batra will also feature at LFW.

The brands associated with the LFW include Gitanjali, Samira Habitats, SkodaAuto, Philips, DHL, iNIFD, Grey Goose and Kingfisher.

(Shilpa Raina can be contacted at shilpa.r@ians.in)

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