AIFW now four-day affair for ‘better business’, dedicates day to handloom

New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) The forthcoming edition of Amazon India Fashion Week (AIFW) will have many firsts in terms of presentations. For the first time, the gala will be held for four days instead of five, and the opening day will be dedicated to handloom and textile, says Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) President Sunil Sethi.

In a twist, the designers will showcase their works only for four days at the AIFW Autumn Winter 2017. Being organised in association with Maybelline New York, it is scheduled from March 15-18 at Jawaharlal Nehru stadium here.

The fifth day will be dedicated to ‘Pearl Portfolio’ — an initiative by Pearl Academy.

Asked why the fashion week has been reduced from a five-day affair, Sethi told IANS: “The reason is that all our buyers come from outside and most of them want to start their day from Monday from their respective places — whether it is from Dubai, New York, London or Mumbai.

“So, the board members (of FDCI) and designers were feeling that Sunday is not the best day to conduct business-to-business activities as most of the buyers go back. We are in the business of fashion, after all.”

Traditionally, the finale used to happen on a Sunday.

Sethi ruled out any role of demonetisation — the ban of high value notes ordered by Indian government on November last year — on their decision, even though this will be the first AIFW edition after the scrapping of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

“We have no drop at all in terms of number of stalls or the number of the people who want to do shows with us. There is no drop at all. Also, there have been no hiccups as far as FDCI and AIFW is concerned. We are going with same strength,” he said.

“But I would like to admit that the retail environment has become a bit of a challenge, but recovering fast,” said the veteran, who is committed towards taking Indian fashion global.

What will happen during Pearl Portfolio on the fifth day?

“We have tied up with Pearl Portfolio, under which there will be four to five shows of Pearl Academy. The Main Show Area (MSA), the food stalls and even the lounges will be there on fifth day. The only difference is that the designers will showcase for four days,” added Sethi.

Even the first day will be different this time at AIFW.

“The first day will be entirely about handloom and textiles and it will weave an Indian story,” said Sethi, who has been working closely with the Indian government to come up with initiatives for the benefit of weavers.

FDCI, the apex fashion body, is known for promoting young talent too. So is Sethi’s daughter, who recently launched her line ‘Taani’ by Tanira Sethi, going to be a part of fashion week?

“No, I am very clear about this. Also, she has decided to do things on her own and has had a successful launch. Even though her products are right for the season, but she will not be participating in stalls or in shows. In fact, she has not even applied for membership (of FDCI),” Sethi said.

(Nivedita can be contacted at Nivedita.s@ians.in)

–IANS

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