End of another season. All fashion weeks are over now but what you hear at the end of the Week, you hear the same now from some of the designers who participated… where are the buyers?
While this is not something new that I hear at the end of each fashion week, where some designers say they had good business and some throw up their hands in disgust, I tend to think that after about 12 years, it’s about time that fashion weeks in India started transacting solid business. It is not enough that a small sprinkle of buyers come and place their orders in small quantities. After all, fashion weeks are positioned in the lined of ‘business of fashion’ and if business doesn’t happen, what is it held for in the first place?
All designers who took part in fashion weeks in India tend to think that even if buyers come to these fashion weeks, all of them want the merchandise on consignment basis. This is something designers don’t want to do and I agree with them. These buyers, after getting them on consignment basis, make no effort to market the same and at the end of the season, just return the same to the designers. Whereas, if they make an outright purchase, the onus then is them to do whatever it takes to sell them. So they do aggressive marketing and sales tactics to push their merchandise to the clients.
Unfortunately, outright purchases do not happen in Indian fashion weeks. I bumped into a fashion designer the other day at one of the dos in Delhi and he told me that he still have last Spring/Summer order papers lying at his office and no one came forward to take them even now. If that is true (why would he lie anyway?) then it’s really a shame. Business of fashion is not happening the right way.
Organizers of fashion weeks in India should do introspection on this and come out with remedies. A postmortem is needed to be done at the end of each fashion week and they should get honest feedbacks from participating designers and then assess what needs to be done to promote their business that can possibly come from fashion weeks. Flaws need to be corrected in order to make the participating designers get benefitted. Or else, they will just end up paying for their shows and stalls and at the end of the Week, go home empty handed.