Eminent fashion designers announce Fashion Foundation of India

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New Delhi, Aug 7 (UNI) In a move against the ''too much negative energy'' of the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), eminent fashion designers, including Rohit Bal and Tarun Tahiliani, here today announced the formation of Fashion Foundation of India (FFI) - an apex body aimed at taking the fashion industry ''to the next level''.

Announcing the establishment of the autonomous body, FFI spokesperson and leading designer Meera Mazaffar Ali said, ''Fashion Foundation of India will work towards capacity building of the fashion, design and the manufacturing industry. It will be involved in multiple design, fashion, and craft initiatives that will help promote the industry and take it to the next level.'' Besides Rohit Bal and Tarun Tahiliani, the founding members of the FFI include famous fashion designers like Anamika Khanna, Raghavendra Rathore, Varun Sardana, Gaurav Gupta, Hemant Sagar, Priyadarshini Rao, Malini Ramini and industry professional and fashion consultant Sumeet Nair who had quit as executive director of the FDCI on June 10.

Throwing light on the differences with FDCI, Mr Rohit Bal said, ''FDCI was not progressing as it should. It just began with Fashion Week and ended with that.'' He said there were many other things besides a fashion week like production, infrastructure and retail. ''Some people in the FDCI thought very differently. The body became I, me, myself. I wanted to walk away from that. Too many things were not being done,'' he alleged.

''FFI is really the new order of the Indian fashion industry. It will go much beyond the FDCI as it's more focussed, tighter, stronger. We are here to just grow, grow and grow,'' Mr Bal said.

Asked if the formation of FFI meant that the founding designers were moving away from the FDCI, India's ace fashion designer termed the move as a diversification. ''There's no divide. It's a different platform. But we are definitely more result-oriented and more progressive, moving forward at a faster pace. We don't want to get stuck in a groove in the Fashion Week.'' Ms Ali underlined that rather than just focussing on fashion vents, the FFI would be involved in sourcing, manufacturing and upgrading the technical skills like developing and sustaining the craft and craft-based skills. It would also facilitate business collaborations and joint ventures between design homes.

''Our mission is not just to hold fashion weeks but to consolidate the fashion industry,'' she added.

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