Plagued with infighting and meltdown woes,the Indian fashion industry has yet another player the newly formed Fashion and Design Promotion Council of India (FDPC),which is backed by the Ministry of Textiles. Vijay Singh,CEO of FDPC,spoke to PAROMITA CHAKRABARTI about his plans for Indian fashion. Excerpts:
* With so many fashion groups already in operation,what was the need for a new fashion body?
The council has been formed by an initiative of the Ministry of Textiles so that fashion and design get the necessary exposure and aid they require. So far,the only major player has been the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) but their basic work has largely been to organise fashion weeks. If you look at the big picture,thats hardly enough. About 60-70 designers participate in weeks when there are about 2,000 designers passing out each year.
The FDPC was launched to provide assistance to this segment.
* How do you propose to do that?
We shall provide them with exposure to trade shows in India and outside,financial resources,technical assistance,research and development facilities,marketing advice,consultancy and forecasting services. Apart from sponsoring the participation costs of four designers to outside events,we shall ensure these people get the technical know-how to set up their own businesses or get absorbed in the retail chain.
* Who all are part of FDPC?
There will be designers as well as corporate members. The advisory council consists of president Kishore Biyani,vice-president Raghavendra Rathore and Varsha Parekh of NIFT.
* How is FDPC different from other fashion bodies?
Well,its directly backed by the government,so the scope of financial aid is much more. One of our chief aims is to ensure that 30 per cent of all fashion-week shows go to younger designers and 25 per cent of our budget is allotted for them. Also,even though this a government-backed organisation,we are not running along bureaucratic lines. We will formulate policies that will help the entire industry,but we are looking more to providing infrastructural support than controlling it.
* Will the organisation only look into the workings of apparel designers or does it include accessory designers as well?
No,we will take into account everything from handloom and handicrafts to designer export items.