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.

Apparel - - Contents -

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


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.

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