Innovations & Insights!
The aim was brand positioning and networking and the India Fashion Forum 2014 managed to achieve just that. Kashmira Mirza and Namrata D’souza give a lowdown on the event.
The India Fashion Forum 2014 was held on January 17-18, 2014, in Hall V and VI of the Bombay Exhibition Centre, NSE Complex, Goregaon (E), Mumbai. The arrangements at the Fair were exceptional and the ambience, appealing, with a pianist playing the piano in the main hall. The Fair saw leading national brands such as Siyarams, Satvah Creation, Naari, etc. and international brands such as, From Russia with love, Beijing Huafu Manufacturing Ltd and others make their presence felt.
Shilki from Naari said, “The India Fashion Forum is a huge platform since designers across India are present here. Different brands, retailers, distributors and merchandisers can use this vast platform to step into the fashion fraternity and interact with one another. It feels great to be here! I have visited this event before, but this is the first time that I am here for my brand, Naari.” Also, Manohar Samuel from Birla Cellulose spoke to Apparel about the Birla Group’s presence at the event and enlightened us on the finer aspects of Dope Dyeing Technology, “ “Our focus, when it comes to the India Fashion Forum is quite different. The IFF is going to be uniquely advantageous for us because, we, as a fibre company, are reaching out to consumers through our brand, ‘Liva’ and all those we see here, are partners. Our focus is thus, different from the other brands here, who look to pitch and sell. For us, it is about creating value, taking the chain along and this Forum has helped us in that. We have been partnering this event since the last three years, but I don’t know how the numbers are going to be, as this year, the IFF is only for two days. For us, quality is more important and big names have been coming in. With Dope Dyeing Technology, our main focus is on sustainability. The developed world today, is moving towards creating a better future for the next generation. This attitude has caught on in the clothing production and exports segment and rightly so. We need sustainable products; sustainability through products that will save water, energy and be bio-degradable. That’s what our products are all about. The entire dyeing process in the downstream or upstream industry is set and the manufacturing cycle is shortened, which leads to saving of energy, auxiliaries, etc. This is why we have the Dope Dyeing
Technology in place and we have more than 50% of the world market share today.” Kapil Jain from Yellow Jeans said, “This is a good platform. We are looking for large format stores. This is our first time at the IFF and we are very hopeful.” Rashmi Bhagat from Benetton India said, “The India Fashion Forum has been good. We have garnered clients for our distribution segment, which we have just begun. Since Benetton has been in the industry since so many years, the IFF has mainly been about positioning for us, but for other brands that aren’t as wellknown, the IFF is a good place to spread awareness as well as make sales.” The agenda of the Fashion Retail Conference was all set with various sessions organised for the benefit for all participants and for those attending the Forum. We attended the session on ‘Creating the next fashion revolution that will drive consumption and fashion India’ which was moderated exceptionally well by Dr Vandana Bhandari, Dean, NIFT. The session focused on what the future holds for the apparel industry and also on how ‘Green Fashion’ is slowly making its presence felt. The panel comprised stalwarts in their respective arenas. Manish Kapoor, COO, French Connection, spoke about how women’s fashion is undergoing a transformation and how western wear is becoming more and more acceptable in the Indian scenario and justified his point through a unique interaction with the audience. Pradeep Hirani, MD, Kimaya, spoke about how online is going to replace brick and mortar in the future. A strong proponent of the online medium, he spoke about various futuristic inventions like 3D clothes (where the print could be decided by the buyer); wearable computers (washable microchips) and changing colours with changing temperatures. He also displayed a very interesting Powerpoint presentation on ‘virtual trial rooms,’ a unique concept, indeed. Also, Rajiv Nair, CEO, Celio Future Fashion, spoke about how ‘Green Fashion’ is and should be the way forward. Priyadarshini Rao, Creative Director, Mineral and Designer, spoke about how women’s fashion is evolving
ALL STAKEHOLDERS OF THE FASHION COMMUNITY WILL NEED TO INSPIRE EACH OTHER WITH NEW IDEAS AND THOUGHTS TO TAKE INDIA’S FASHION QUOTIENT TO THE NEXT LEVEL AND REDEFINE THE FASHION BUSINESS IN INDIA.
from ethnic to fusion to western wear and that today’s woman likes to experiment with trends and styles and how the Indian woman does not like a toned down look unlike her western counterparts and is always looking for that extra something that enhances her outfit. She also emphasised how value for money, a good fit (since Indian women are different in body type than their counterparts in other parts of the world) and aesthetics matter a lot to Indian women. Malini Agarwal, Founder and Blogger-In-Chief, Miss Malini Publishing, said that the digital space will be here to stay as far as fashion is concerned but for many women, feeling the fabric is still very important before buying it and shopping is a therapeutic experience, not a chore that has to be got over with, so, both mediums can co-exist peacefully. There were many other sessions on both the days which included topics like ‘Catalysing new ideas, concepts, categories, occasions and inspirations to create the next wave of fashion consumption.’ Also, day two included topics like, ‘Fashion influence through new age mediums: big data, social spaces and online channels’; ‘Expanding to the next frontier of fashion growth-reaching the tier II, tier III and IV markets’ and ‘Think fashion, think forward, think fashion forward-the key drivers’, among others. Neeta Lulla, Priyadarshini Rao and Ritu Kumar graced their presence at the India Fashion Forum (IFF), to showcase to consumers and fashion followers as to how they can nix the traditional notion of being just another fashion brand or retailer with the same portfolio of offerings, competing for the same set of customers, and stand out by grabbing a new pie of the market altogether. Creating the aspiration in consumers to want to be fashionable and to crave for the best in fashion and lifestyle, has to come from a philosophy. For this, it is imperative that professionals involved across the entire value chain of the fashion industry—fashion designers, fashion retailers, fashion journalists—create an aura for consumers to desire fashion, by creating their processes around it to make consumers aware of latest trends, educating them on an inspirational lifestyle, and encouraging them to become a fashion-forward consuming class. This will create the next fashion revolution in India, which will increase fashion consumption by leaps and bounds. All stakeholders of the fashion community will need to inspire each other with new ideas and thoughts to take India’s fashion quotient to the next level and redefine the fashion business in India by nurturing India’s fashion creation and retail ecosystem. All in all, both days of the India Fashion Forum were well planned and the exhibitors and buyers got to learn a lot from the very informative sessions and networking opportunities.