Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) is a joint initiative between Lakme, the leading cosmetics brand and a pillar of the fashion industry in India, and IMG, the global leader in fashion weeks and event production. Both Lakme and IMG have been pivotal for the success of the Lakme India Fashion Week over the last six years. The inaugural Fall/Winter Week was held from March 28 - April 1, 2006 at the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai. LFW has been conceived and created with an aim to integrate India into the global fashion world.
Various sponsors who were deeply associated with the event supported Lakme Fashion Week. Carbon Accessories was the Official Jewellery Accessory Partner, Zee TV was the Broadcast Partner, Liberty and AZA were the Co-sponsors for the event. Sify was the Official Broadband Partner, Kingfisher- the Domestic Airline Partner, Hilton Towers was the Hospitality Partner, and the NCPA is the Venue Partner for Lakme Fashion Week F/W 2006.
LFW from this year will be organized twice every year. With the spring/summer Lakme Fashion Week ran from Tuesday to Saturday, the FDCI event, now christened the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week, ran at New Delhi from April 5 till April 9. New initiatives like `Emerging Designer Category` and a unique concept titled the "GenNext Show" was unveiled for the first time in India at the inaugural Lakme Fashion Week 2006 with an aim to provide a platform for promising young talent to establish themselves across India.
The six chosen designers participated in a group show where each one of them presented their creations for the first time before a targeted group of international and domestic buyers and media. Designers Rahul Mishra, Samar Firdoz, Deepti Toor, Swapnil Shinde, Leena Wadhwa and Bhawna Yadav were the gifted young talents who displayed their creations at the Liberty GenNext Show for the first time before a target audience of international and domestic buyers as well as media.
The `GenNext Show` comprised a group of up to six select designers who had never shown at any fashion week. All selected designers got a complete package comprising the runway, set, sounds, lights, models, show director, hair & makeup, backstage managers at a highly subsidized fee of rupees ten thousand only. The Advisory Board for Lakme Fashion Week, which was announced recently, comprising representatives of key stakeholders from the fashion world, participated in the selection of deserving designers for the Emerging Designers and the GenNext show.
The Advisory Board for 2006 consists of well-known designers Wendell Rodricks, Narendra Kumar, and Ritu Beri. The prominent buyers Sangita Kathiwada of Melange and Pradeep Hirani of Kimaya; Fern Mallis, Executive Director of 7th on Sixth and Vice President of IMG / Simon Lock, Managing Director, IMG Fashion Asia Pacific; media professionals Anuradha Mahindra, Publisher, Verve. The selected designers in the GenNext show would get the opportunity of a lifetime to display their collections on this common platform and to interact with and develop lucrative business-driven relationships with a targeted group of domestic and international buyers and media.
Even Haute couture and Prêt took centre stage when the first of two virtually back-to-back fashion weeks kicked off on Tuesday - to mark an exponential leap for what was once an annual event but will now be staged four times a year. There was the presence of 115 designers against 67 last year, 70 shows against 35, 100 models against 48 and 8 choreographers against 4. The Fashion Week had some top names like Ritu Beri, who presented the grand finale, along with names like Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Manish Malhotra, Suneet Varma, Wendell Rodricks, Rocky S, Ashish Soni and Priyadarshini Rao.
Ritu Beri unveiled her clotheslines with matching cosmetics range, from Lakme. `Typically Parisian in spirit, the creations turn women into sophisticated icons - precious, sophisticated and chic as could be,` Beri had said at a media preview of the two collections, dubbed the Happy Hours range. The collection is a combination of humour and chic, a kaleidoscope of visions. As for the cosmetics range, this is what Beri had to say, `When the sun is out and the sky is blue, the day range lets you frolic with candy coloured pinks and chill with icy purples and peach sorbets. When it`s dark, you will shine when you twist the rules with electric purples and sparkling peaches.`
Lakme had sponsored the India Fashion Week for the last three years. FDCI did not renew its contract after failing to reach that agreement on the sponsorship amount for the two events it wanted to conduct from 2006. FDCI also did not agree to Lakme that one of the two events be staged in Mumbai. The fall/winter editions of the two Weeks will be staged in September-October, with FDCI saying its event would be in Mumbai.