Sunil Sethi’s take on fashion in 2022

By Tanya Banon

New Delhi, Jan 1: 2021 was a busy year for the fashion industry, from fashion week collaborations, a focus on sustainability to corporate investments in designers like Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi, Tarun Tahiliani and Anamika Khanna. What does this year have in store for the fabulous world of fashion? IANSlife speaks to Sunil Sethi, FDCI Chairman to get his outlook for 2022:

Read Excerpts:

Q: From Literature Festivals to Art Fairs, events have returned to the physical format across industries, can we expect this in fashion too?

Sethi: As things looked up and started getting back to normal, everything we planned starting from the 1st of January 2022, has been planned in the physical format. We have a handloom fashion show which takes place in Dubai this month as part of the Dubai Expo, all arrangements have already been made for this. In February we have planned a four city fashion tour with shows in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kolkata with a long time supporter of Indian fashion. In March the FDCI X LFW collaboration continues, this time with a fashion week in Delhi. We will also be doing a handloom fashion show at the National level mela, which takes place annually. We are really looking forward these shows.

So, the first three months are the busiest time of the year for fashion, the arrangements are so intensive and at the final stage, that we cannot afford to take it virtual. Of course depending on the ground reality and in keeping with the law of the land concerning Omicron government protocols, if need be we may juggle the dates.

Q: You mentioned that the FDCI X LFW collaboration continues with a fashion week, this time in Delhi, can we finally see a unified fashion front?

Sethi: The beginnings have already been made, during the pandemic we have already successfully concluded two joint fashion weeks, and taking this effort and collaboration forward, we are returning to the physical format together.

Q: 2021 saw a lot of corporates invest in designers for significant stakes in the company, how does the apex fashion body feel about it and what does it mean?

Sethi: FDCI was always formed with the purpose of focusing on the business of fashion, and that has been our aim for over two decades. With this development we have been vindicated, and we can see our hard work bear fruition. It is all happening, and hats’ off to the corporates who believe in the Indian fashion designers and are backing them up to the hilt. We are reaping the benefits of the hard work put in together by FDCI and the designers. While the spotlight might be on Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi, Tarun Tahiliani, Ritu Kumar and Anamika Khanna, over the years there have been corporate investments in brands like Anita Dongre or Raghavendra Rathore. So we are very happy that many many corporates have invested in many designers and young labels in 2021, these are all new relationships and will take time to develop. I hope in 2022 will see more of such investments endevours.

Q: Does this also then auger new tidings of the FDCI and a new direction?

Sethi: With my experience over the years be it fashion weeks, handloom and government collaborations, or even joint fashion events and corporate fashion tours, my takeaway us that it is a combined and collective effort; and FDCI has continued responsibility to focus on creating and propelling such efforts, and combining strengths of various sectors and players to keep bolstering the industry and giving it the direction and stimulation it needs. So for the lack of a better word, the FDCI as the apex fashion ‘body’ will also play the role of an industry body, say like a FICCI or an ASSOCHAM, to look after many more things and delve into the need of the hour. The board and FDCI remains true to the business of fashion with the aim of sustainability and longevity of the industry.