The Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), the proprietor of `India Fashion Week` and PDM (Percept D`Mark), partners in implementing and marketing the Fashion Week event, announced ITC`s premium fashion brand `Wills Lifestyle` as the Official Title Sponsor Partner for the India Fashion Week 2006.
Thus, The Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week was hosted by the Fashion Design Council of India from April 5 - 9, 2006 at The Grand, New Delhi. The event was titled as Wills Lifestyle "India" Fashion Week, to represent the "national" scope of the fashion industry of our country unlike fashion weeks held internationally, where they are `city` specific (such as New York Fashion Week or Milan Fashion Week). One of the main objectives of Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week was to develop marketable lines in the category for the forthcoming Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week 2006.
FDCI organized the first three editions of India Fashion Week on its own. Cosmetics major Lakme sponsored it for the next three. FDCI then wanted to make it a Bi-annual event but could not reach agreement on the sponsorship. Lakme then announced its own Bi-annual fashion weeks while hospitality major ITC came on board as the principal sponsor of the FDCI events.
Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week provided a platform to showcase India`s best in fashion and trends to the International media and would help Indian designers make their mark across the globe. This fashion week was unique in many ways. For the first time, there were twin ramps that enabled 56 designers to showcase their work, while another 24 exhibited in the trade area. WIFW was an all-encompassing fashion event, which catered to the entire fashion fraternity. Thus, various representatives from the New York Times, LA Times, Observer, Tatler, Collezioni Donna and many more international media were keenly watching this event.
More than 80 designers are participated include India`s most eminent names in the world of fashion, accessory and textiles as well as young and upcoming designers. Designers showcased their Prêt (ready-to-wear) and Diffusion (between ready-to-wear and couture) lines in Indian, Indo-Western and Western categories on the Ramp and in the Trade centre. The designers included Abraham-Thakore, Abu-Sandeep, Ashima-Leena, Deepika Gehani, J.J. Valaya, Ritu Kumar, Rohit Gandhi, Satya Paul and Tarun Tahiliani. The trade area had some 100 stalls where the designers of jewellery and fashion accessories displayed their products. For the first time, 70 international and over 90 Indian buyers attended the event and this augured extremely well for the industry.
Top designers Rohit Bal, Jattinn Kochhar, Manish Arora, Raghvendra Rathore, Anju Modi and Malini Ramani were among those showcasing their works on the opening day Wednesday of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WLIFW), and this event had attracted a record 160 domestic and international buyers.
Designers like Sabyasachi, Aki Narula, Varun Bahl, Anshu Arora Sen, Shantanu Goenka, Shane & Falguni Peacock, Gauri & Nainika are few names that were unveiled to the fashion industry by the IFW. The biggest trade platform of the Indian fashion industry, the IFW also provided a platform to designers dealing in accessories to reach out to the audiences. Names like Meera Mahadevia, Ritika Bhasin, Niharika Khan made a debut in 2005 and got recognition from the buyers and media alike.
Renowned fashion houses that participated in this event include Bloomingdales (Europe), Selfridges (London), Harrods (London), De Bejinkorf and SAKS Fifth Avenue (Dubai). In addition, buyers from Australia, Britain, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and the US attended the event.
A "By Invitation Only" event, Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week 2006 aimed to serve as an effective platform to promote fashion design and provide industry professionals with the opportunity to form trade linkages within India and globally. Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week with Associate Sponsor Kingfisher offered the participating designers a business presence through a series of marketing tools, including seminars and workshops on various facets of the industry, presentations and research reports- all aimed at informing and updating buyers, investors, corporate houses and media. The WIFW had aimed to gain recognition from buyers and retailers as the single largest B-2-B platform for the Fashion Design industry.