Designers Fair 2018
Hidden among the many initiatives that unfolded at Council for Leather Exports(cle), is of Designers Fair, which the Council is particularly proud of.
Designers Fair is a unique platform that provides an opportunity to the designers to display their wide range of designs and prototypes to the Indian manufacturers and exporters of leather, leather products and footwear. Council for Leather Exports (CLE) announced its third edition of the show from 1st to 3rd Feb, 2018. The 3rd edition of Designers Fair is scheduled to be held during Feb.1-3, 2018 at Hotel ITC Grand Chola, Chennai. About 40-45 overseas and Indian designers/ design institutions will be displaying their wide range of designs of leather products and footwear in the upcoming 2018 edition of the fair. This fair will be extremely useful to you to meet the popular overseas and Indian designers and procure the latest designs. The fee for participation has been fixed at ` 2950 (Fee of ` 2500 + 18% GST) per person.the appointment of Naresh Bhasin to Convenor of Designers Fair exhibition began a new chapter in the organization’s exciting story and continues the legacy created by CLE. A familiar face in the footwear industry, Bhasin is a longstanding member of CLE.
CLE had organized two editions of Designers Fair in 2016 and 2017 in Chennai. The fair is dedicated to footwear, bags and accessories and has registered significant attendance in its earlier editions. This year the event is expected to attract 40 plus designer exhibitors, of which 38 would be from foreign countries, presenting their S/S18 & F/W18 collections.
Naresh Bhasin gives his thoughts on the industry at home and abroad as he moves into preparing for the third edition of the fair.
What advances have you seen in the Designers Fair in the time you’ve been in the industry?
The exhibition industry has evolved a lot. Digital has become a key factor and online complements the offline platform, especially trade shows in fashion and product industry. New technology has become a key success factor for show organizers in terms of generating the growth and revenue of their trade shows. Technology will enable organizers to engage with visitors/exhibitors/sponsors 365 days a year, and enable them to use the data wiser.
What opportunities and threats are there for Indian industry, from competitors elsewhere in the world?
I see more opportunity than threats for the competitive landscape. There’s huge interest in the Indian footwear market from USA and Europe. Market competitiveness has kept
exporters infrastructure up to speed, ensuring we are ready for business focused on quality products, enabling CLE to more aggressively develop our new business approach.
What lessons have you learned from the past shows?
My key responsibility was to build strong fundamentals to facilitate international exhibitors and local manufacturers looking to tap trade opportunities through this platform. What I learned is that Designers Fair should perform as a creator and initiator, leading the trends and creating business opportunities for key stakeholders in India. This will be one of my key areas of focus.
How is Designers Fair helping India to realize the Government’s ‘Make in India’ objectives?
The government’s Make in India program aims to encourage cooperation between the government and private sector to support innovation, boost manufacturing and digitalization of the country. This fair is a market platform that publicizes and assist manufacturing sector to align its capabilities with the global requirement. Its focus is on promoting innovative and emerging industries.
The past editions have reflected very positive result results and the climate for the next edition is optimistic. Last year show pavilions were quite crowded with both exporters as well as domestic manufacturers, with the greatest majority coming from South and North. The designers who displayed their works were from across the globe as well: USA, Russiaand more from Spain, France, Germany, Italy, as well as China were represented very well. In the last edition of the designer fair held in 2017, 34 overseas designers and 8 Indian designers/institutions participated. Besides, the fair was attended by 375 business visitors resulting in generation of business worth of US$ 5,37,780.
Indian footwear manufacturers are showing a positive mood for seasons to come since, after the last 18 difficult months, the year 2018 should bring recovery in export. USA is the largest market for Indian leather and leather products. USA’S import of leather and leather products touched US$32.89 bn in 2016 whereas India’s export to US$ stood at US$870 mn holding a share of 2.65% in its total import. Considering the potential of the US market and the scope to further enhance India’s export, the Council has been regularly organising participation of Member Exporters in MAGIC Show, Las Vegas facilitating members. Besides this, the Council had also earlier organized stand alone Buyer-seller Meets in New York to enable our members get a wider outreach for their products in this potential market. Of recent past, the Council had engaged the services of professional US consultants in order to promote the Indian leather products and footwear in the US. Karen Giberson, President Accessories Council, USA has proposed “To educate and prepare Indian leather goods/accessories factories for success in the US market”. As per the proposal, Karen will conduct seminars for CLE member companies in 5 cities across India. The Council will be organizing seminars for members in Chennai, Delhi, Kanpur, Kolkata and Mumbai with Karen as the speaker. Karen would be sharing insights on: State of the Handbag & Small Leather Business in the USA - Overview of current retail climate and opportunities; what is selling? Styles, Colors; Key Price points, Who are the potential customers - How to find/contact them, Tips for success, How to present, How to Follow up, Expected Payment Terms Trade Shows - Where to show, When to show, What to bring Compliance: -Expectations for US Market
According to Karen,‘one to one consultation will provide the highest-level outcome for the member company/ factory. (Even if the advice is that the US market isn’t right for them—it will save them money and time).’’ The program has been pegged at ` 20,000 .Karen is the Design DirectorUSA of the CLE Designers Fair since the last 2 years and for the upcoming Designers Fair.