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Lakme India Fashion Week 2003 - Full Coverage

Overview: Fashion Week and Lakme India Fashion Week

Fashion Week – The Concept
Internationally, designers have organised themselves into various ‘councils’, each of which form the backbone of their respective fashion industries. The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) in New York, the Chambré de Syndical in Paris, the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana in Milan and the British Fashion Council (BFC) in London, all play vital roles in enhancing their respective fashion industries, including the designers, textile manufacturers, accessories manufacturers, beauty and health product companies (including cosmetics), models, makeup artists, hair stylists, choreographers, and the fashion media. They work together as a whole industry, each individual piece as important as the next in collectively completing the fashion industry jigsaw puzzle.

Twice each year, concurrent with the two annual fashion seasons, the entire industry comes together to present its Prêt-a-Porter (ready-to-wear) lines to a focussed target audience. Globally recognised as ‘Fashion Week’, you have New York Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week, or Hong Kong Fashion Week. It forms the highlight of the season’s fashion calendar in any country, and has been proven effective worldwide for close to a century now. It is an opportunity for the entire industry to collectively showcase the upcoming seasons’ collections to trade buyers (retailers, buying houses, distributors, wholesalers, agents, potential franchisees), the media and individual buyers. The concept is successful because it benefits everyone involved: designers are provided with a single platform to unveil their upcoming collections to their potential customers; trade buyers attend a single event to preview, plan and order their lines for the next season. The event is also a platform for the media, which acts as the main channel through which the latest trends, designs and colour coordinates are communicated to a wider target audience.

Unlike individual ‘couture’ fashion shows, which showcase a one-of-a-kind designer collection, the focus of a fashion week is more trade-oriented, where the clothes showcased are representative samples, which can then be produced in larger quantities and various sizes for sale through multiple outlets. Hence, the event takes on a more ‘serious business’ orientation, as compared to the more ‘dramatic/theatrical/social’ slant of couture shows.

• Lakme India Fashion Week – The Inception
Historically, India has been globally acknowledged for its rich textile heritage, but fashion, as an industry, continues to be challenged with several infrastructural and industry-related issues.

Until recently, leading Indian designers primarily focussed on couture lines and wedding trousseaus. Over the last 4-5 years, an increasing number of people have joined the designer/fashion industry (designers, textile designers, models, make-up artists, hairstylists, stylists, photographers etc.). However, the target customer base has witnessed limited growth in the same period.

Hence, the need for affordable prêt-a-porter clothing, priced between Rs. 500–10,000. This would help expand the customer base significantly, and grow the Indian fashion industry.

Recognising this, in 1998, the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) was born as a single entity representing the business interests of the designer fraternity across the country. To address the need to grow the target customer base and the industry, FDCI launched their ‘fashion week’ initiative, which would serve as a single platform to facilitate buyer-seller interaction within the fashion industry.

The event is titled as ‘India’ Fashion Week, to represent the national scope of the fashion industry of our country unlike fashion weeks held internationally, where they are ‘city’ specific (such as New York Fashion Week or Milan Fashion Week).


FDCI, which is the national apex body of Indian fashion, is the proprietor of India Fashion Week. FDCI is responsible for overseeing the entire event, right from the concept and planning stages to the conclusion of each year’s event.

The designers are represented by FDCI, which is responsible for the overall event.

Each participating designer is individually responsible for presenting the clothes and accessorizing his/her collection, and working with the choreographer and hair-make-up teams to put on their show during Lakme India Fashion Week. The designers are given a complete basic package including the ramp, stage, sets, seating, lights, audio setup, invitations, a set of models, a choreography team, a hair and make-up team, backstage helpers and dressers for Lakme India Fashion Week. In addition, designers are also responsible for decorating and manning their own exhibition stall.

IMG, the world’s largest sports, lifestyle and entertainment marketing company, has been retained by FDCI to organise and market the event. IMG is exclusively responsible for all commercial aspects as well as the event management of LIFW.

India’s first-ever Fashion Week came to life in August 2000 with Lakme as the title sponsor. After the end of the initial title sponsorship agreement with LIFW 2002, Lakme has renewed its title sponsorship agreement for another three years, starting with LIFW 2003.

Seagram continues its relationship with the event as a co-sponsor. DHL and Hyundai come in as new co-sponsors, each for three years. Sony Entertainment Television will be the Host Broadcaster, also for the next three years. Hutch will be the Official Sponsor. In 2003, the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai will be the Official venue, while the Taj Mahal Hotel will be the Official Hotel.