Bhopal, Dec 3 (IANS) The glitz and the glamour of the inaugural Bhopal Fashion Week (BFW) crumbled down as the organisers failed to meet the expectations of the participating designers and models. This resulted in the cancellation of the final day of the three-day fashion fete.
As many as 56 male and female models with 12 designers cried foul after they were mistreated and not provided promised accommodation and meals. In fact, they were also not paid their dues and all the shows of the final day, December 3, including the grand finale were called off.
The situation worsened so much Friday night that police had to intervene to end the chaos.
The first season of the BFW began Dec 1 at Hotel Ashoka here. The fashion week was organised by Pankaj Shukla and Ankita Bajpai of Gen-X-Era.
Designers like Aslam Khan of Dubai and Arshi Jamal of Lucknow were to showcase their line on the final day and models like Mugdha Godse and Bruna Abudllah were expected to walk for them.
'They have cheated us. They called us here but failed to provide us the promised facilities and finally called off the show without even talking to us. The organisers think we are fools. They did not want to pay us, so they did all this,' Dubai-based designer Aslam Khan told IANS. He later called the police.
'It is our career. Will these models ever work for us? They have not given good accommodation, there were no proper meal arrangements, and finally organisers end it without our show,' Khan added.
Models like Poonam Thakur, Soni Kaur and several others too complained that they had to stay in a hotel near the railway station as the organisers were unable to put them up at the promised location, Hotel Ashoka.
'Leave aside accommodation, they have not even served us dinner or launch,' said Thakur.
The show organiser, Shukla tried to justify the reason behind all this mayhem.
'We have been working with limited staff. There were just five of us, including me, and we were taking care of everything,' he said.
Shukla also claimed that the sponsors didn't pay him the desired amount which resulted in the last-minute chaos.
But, sources close to Shukla say that he was able to raise Rs.2.5 million from the 14 companies which had sponsored the fashion event.
The three-day show has ended in a disaster and people are worried the reputation of the City of lakes would be put in a bad light.
'This is the first time such cheating has happened at a fashion event. I do not think in coming five years anyone from the fashion fraternity would like to visit Bhopal,' Saurav Ray, a fashion journalist and trend forecaster, told IANS.
Aman Bansal, a business development manager, shared these sentiments.
'This was an opportune moment for Bhopal and we have messed it,' he said.
(Shahnawaz Akhtar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)