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Where was business at India's men's fashion week? (Review)

New Delhi, Sep 14 (IANS) There were tall claims that domestic buyers would be around in plenty at India's first men's fashion week here, but were they all in hiding? Even those who were present at the three-day event preferred not to place orders.

2009-09-14T14:29:00Z

New Delhi, Sep 14 (IANS) There were tall claims that domestic buyers would be around in plenty at India's first men's fashion week here, but were they all in hiding? Even those who were present at the three-day event preferred not to place orders.

The Van Heusen India Mens Week (VHIMW), which concluded here Sunday, was high on ideas but low on business.

'We have been retailing garments from most of the designers through our stores for a long time now. So I am here to just give moral support to this good initiative,' Feroz Dalal, a representative of the retail chain Aza Men, told IANS.

'This fashion week has happened at the right time and it is a wonderful opportunity for young designers as well.'

Aza Men is a fashion clothing retail chain that houses designers like Rohit Bal, Manish Malhotra, Narendra Kumar, Rocky S, Lecoanet Hemant, Varun Bahl, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Raghavendra Rathore and Manoviraj Khosla among others.

'I have really liked the collection of young designer Zubair Kirmani and I am planning to place a few orders as well. But apart from that I am here to support designers who are more than happy to see me here,' Dalal added.

Another regular buyer, Atul Malhotra from Chennai-based store Evoluzione, felt that every buyer should come to fashion weeks because it gives a broader idea of their collection.

'It's like you get everything under one roof. So buyers should not shy away from coming down. It's just the first edition of the VHIMW and expecting business from this event would have been a stupid thought.

'It will take some years to establish it as a strong entity like the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW),' explained Malhotra.

'But it was long overdue for the men's fashion market. We retail a lot of designer brands from our chain and most of them were present,' he added.

Malhotra also pointed out that he was looking for some different and unconventional stuff from the designers and young designer Nitin Bal Chauhan's clothes had that extra zing.

'His collection is very youthful and different. I am sure the young generation will love his clothes. I would be placing orders with him soon,' maintained Malhotra.

Apart from domestic buyers, there were a few international buyers as well and according to them, Indian designers have a long way to go before they make it internationally in men's wear.

'As a market, perhaps the Indian designer wear sector isn't at a stage where it can churn out a high street label similar to the ones available internationally, but it's just a matter of time and right investments,' said Doris Pietrek, a buyer from US-based store Anthropologe.

Another buyer, David Schneider from the Portuguese store Living Fashion, said he was here just to get a feel of Indian men's wear collections and due to recession he would have to keep a check on what he was buying.

Designers say they are not disappointed with the business scene - most of them echoed they expected no business - and that it was their duty to participate in India's first men's fashion week.

'It was my moral responsibility to participate in VHIMW, after all it was long overdue,' said designer Ravi Bajaj, a name synonymous with men's wear.

Mumbai-based celebrity designer Rocky S chose not to showcase in the stalls because he knew there would not be many takers.

'I wasn't expecting business at all. Hence I chose not to exhibit my collection in the stalls. I was here to support this wonderful initiative,' Rocky said.

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