New Delhi, Oct 22 (IANS) With 110 designers and 175 buyers participating in the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) starting here Saturday, the country's premier fashion event seems to be getting bigger and better.
Out of 110 designers, 70 will put up their stalls and the rest will showcase their collections on the ramp during the five-day event organised by the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) at Pragati Maidan.
'This time we are focusing more on the Japanese buyers as it is still a virgin market for us. We have good presence in US, Europe and Paris but not in Japan. So we are getting six important Japanese buyers and I am sure that our designers will impress them,' FDCI president Sunil Sethi told IANS.
This year 100 domestic and 75 international buyers are participating in WIFW.
According to Sethi, the event is also an ode to the coming together of the design fraternity.
Last year, due to the fragmentation within the industry a new fashion body -- Fashion Foundation of India (FFI) -- had emerged and started organising its own fashion week called Delhi Fashion Week (DFW). Leading designers like Rohit Bal and Tarun Tahiliani showcased their designs at DFW.
Now with DFW nowhere in the picture, the 14th edition of WIFW will see all designers participating under one umbrella.
'I had always vouched for one fashion week and I am glad that this has finally happened. Our fashion industry has such great potential that they can reach places. This happens when the fraternity stays together,' Sethi said.
Also the spring-summer 2010 season of the fashion week will see a grand comeback of three designers -- Ritu Beri, Suneet Verma and Ashish Soni who had stopped showcasing at the WIFW long ago.
Also Mumbai-based designers Wendell Rodricks and Narendra Kumar are coming to showcase their creations -- the two will kick start the show.
The recently concluded second edition of the HDIL India Couture Week (HDIL-ICW) in Mumbai was high on Bollywood glamour.
Talking about the presence of Hindi film stars at WIFW, Sethi said: 'We want to focus only on the business aspect but we also welcome Bollywood. At the same time, our concentration is more on clothes and designers.'
But sources said that film stars will walk the ramp to promote their movies as WIFW provides an ideal platform for publicity.
This time the organisers have shifted the venue to Pragati Maidan. The autumn-winter edition was held at a five-star hotel here, but the designers didn't like it.
Commenting on the choice of the venue, Sethi said: 'It is a tried and tested venue for many years. This time we have so many designers participating therefore we needed more stall area. So it was the obvious choice.
'Also, WIFW is a business-to-business event and it can take place in a space where luxury is not important. We needed a consolidate space and it would have been impossible for us to get that much space in a hotel,' he added.