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• India’s largest B-2-B fashion event
• 61 designers to take part, up from 57 last year
• 39 fashion shows, up from 35 last year
• 70 designer stalls, up from 60 last year
• NEW: Accessory stalls, interactive panel discussions

New Delhi, April, 2005: Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), the apex body representing the Indian Fashion Design industry, announced the names of the 61 designers (55 showcasing on ramp and 6 opting only for stalls) who will be participating at Lakme India Fashion Week 2005. India’s most important annual B-2-B fashion event, conceived with the primary objective of creating business relationships and facilitating a dialogue between designers, trade buyers and media, will be held from April 20 - 26, 2005 at The Grand, New Delhi.

The participating designers will showcase their Prêt (ready-to-wear) and Diffusion (a line between ready-to-wear and couture) lines in Indian, Indo-Western and Western categories at the country's largest fashion event. The seven-day event will include 39 shows, 70 exhibition stalls, and an interactive panel discussion.

With LIFW 2005, FDCI carries forward its vision of using LIFW as a platform for the overall development of the fashion design industry. Since the inception of LIFW in 2000, FDCI has consistently broadened the scope of the event to expand the involvement of key stakeholders of the fashion design industry. In 2003, FDCI opened the event to new models through the process of auditions to enable upcoming models to showcase their talent to the best in the fashion design industry. Over the years, FDCI has used LIFW to effectively promote the concept of designer prêt labels amongst retailers, merchandisers, corporates and the general public, in order to achieve its final objective of promoting ‘Affordable Fashion’.

Announcing the names of the designers (Annexure 1), Ms. Rathi Vinay Jha, Director-General, FDCI, said, "It gives me great pride in presenting to you another edition of Lakme India Fashion Week. The event has moved from strength to strength each year with contributions from each one of us present here today. LIFW has played a key role in popularizing the concept of designer prêt and in the corporatisation of the fashion design industry in India, which is the way forward to take this industry to the next level. The credit of this unprecedented success goes to all - designers, buyers, media and sponsors. Participation from major international buyers like Saks and Browns for the first time at LIFW 2004 is indicative of a bright future for the fashion design industry in India. Excise sops provided by the Union government and a booming economy have provided further impetus for designers to explore the tremendous potential of the domestic market.”

“Each year, LIFW infuses new and fresh talent into the industry. This year we have 3 first timers, namely young designers - Rabani & Rakha, Deepika Gehani, Shantanu Goenka - and the established designer duo Abu Jani-Sandeep Khosla who are also showcasing for the first time in LIFW this year and I would like to welcome all of them aboard and wish them luck and success. I would like to thank our title sponsor Lakme Lever, for their continued support to the event since its inception. I also wish to thank Samsung, DHL, Liberty, Hyundai, Royal Challenge, Sony, The Grand, Foster’s and Red FM for their support," Ms. Jha added.

A "by invitation only" event, Lakme India Fashion Week 2005 aims to serve as an effective platform to promote Fashion Design and provide industry professionals with the opportunity to form trade linkages within India and abroad. Lakme India Fashion Week offers participating designers a business presence through a series of marketing tools including presentations, research reports, seminars, and workshops on various facets of the industry; to inform and educate buyers, investors, corporate houses and media.

Lakme India Fashion Week has steadily gained acceptance from buyers and retailers as the single largest B2B platform for the Fashion-Design industry. Lakme India Fashion Week 2004 witnessed a significant rise in the number of trade buyers as compared to the previous editions of this event. LIFW 2004 attracted approximately 200 companies from both domestic and international markets. This comprised retailers, exporters, buying house/agents and corporates. Though the major chunk of buyers (160 out of 200) were domestic companies, LIFW 2004 also saw an increase of 100 per cent in the number of international companies who participated, including buyers from USA, France, UK, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan .

FDCI is the proprietor of India Fashion Week with Lakme as the Title Sponsor. Samsung is the Associate Sponsor, while DHL, Liberty, and Hyundai continue their relationship with the event as Co-sponsors. Royal Challenge will be participating in the event for the first time as a Co-sponsor. Sony Entertainment Television continues its association as the Host Broadcaster for the event along with The Grand as the Official Venue, Foster's as the Official Beer Sponsor, and Red FM as the Official Radio Partner.

Attendees at LIFW 2005 will not only witness the latest collections from India's leading designers, but also get to see India's best - models, make-up trends, hairstyles and accessories for the upcoming season. The venue at The Grand will contain the Main Show Area, an Exhibition Area for the designers, Media Centre, Seminar Room, the Lakme Beauty Salon, the DHL Buyer's Lounge, the Samsung Hospitality Lounge, the Royal Challenge Model's Lounge, the Foster's Pitstop Cafe, and a section for other
sponsor-driven activities."

Speaking on Lakme's association with Lakme India Fashion Week, Anil Chopra, Vice President, Lakme Lever, said, "Lakme India Fashion Week continues to be one of Lakme's biggest initiatives and as in the past, consumers, trade and media can look forward to Lakme taking, some unique initiatives to expand the realm of 'fashion', 'style' and 'beauty' on and beyond the ramp. Lakme India Fashion Week is the platform that the brand is building its 360-degree experience around. As the undisputed 'leader & expert' in the beauty industry, Lakme constantly innovates to offer unique products & expert Beauty Salon services, specially designed for the Indo-global woman."

He further added, "While last year's trend-setting fashion statements by Lakme for summer and winter - Fruit Shock and Fireworks respectively were well received by both the fashion world and the marketplace, we are confident of setting yet another milestone through our yet to be revealed fashion statement for Summer 2005 - another riot of colours with Monisha Jaising and Varun Bahl.”

FDCI has retained IMG to handle all the commercial aspects and management of LIFW 2005. IMG is the world's largest sports, lifestyle and entertainment marketing company, which owns and conducts 7th on Sixth (New York Fashion Week) and owns IMG Models, the number one modeling agency in the world.

Ravi Krishnan, Managing Director, IMG/TWI South Asia and Senior Vice-President - IMG said: "Lakme India Fashion Week has risen in stature tremendously during the last few years. During these six years, IMG has consistently ensured that the event is sponsored, organized and leveraged to global standards and this is reflected in the amazing success and status the event enjoys. Our commitment is to produce an event that is on par with Fashion Weeks around the globe – an event of which India can be proud. In this endeavour, we have always been generously supported by not only all the designers, the Indian fashion design industry and media, but also by our sponsors and our own global fashion network. This formidable combination has helped us to scale new heights every year."

Lakme India Fashion Week was conceptualized by FDCI with the aim of providing a platform to develop business opportunities for Indian fashion industry professionals. In the first ever Lakme India Fashion Week, which was held in 2000 in Delhi, 33 designers from eight cities across the country presented their prêt lines, while LIFW 2001 in Mumbai had collections from 44 designers and LIFW 2002, again in Delhi, had 53 designers showcasing both Prêt and Diffusion lines. LIFW

2003 & 2004 saw participation from 57 designers from across the country and generated unprecedented business opportunities for the Fashion Design industry in the domestic and international markets.