Govt pitches in to end fashion row

Written by Praveen Kumar Singh | Praveen Kumar Singh | New Delhi, Aug 28 | Updated: Aug 30 2008, 05:02am hrs
The government is trying to find a common ground between Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) and Fashion Foundation of India (FFI), the new body formed by designers who were unhappy with the functioning of FDCI, to prevent unhealthy competition in the sector.

FFI was formed after fashion consultant Sumeet Nair stepped down as FDCI's executive director in June. Renowned fashion designers like Rohit Bal, Tarun Tahiliani, Anamika Khanna and Raghvendra Rathore joined Nair, but only after Tahiliani shot off a strong worded letter to FDCI board protesting against its working. FFI also announced a programme parallel to spring/summer edition of Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week-a popular fashion event-to be held from October 15 to 19 here.

With the formation of new fashion council, chances are that the two groups would try to attract eminent designers to join them, which will not be healthy for the industry. So, the government has decided to mediate between the two lobbies and calm down the tense atmosphere between them, a source in the textiles ministry said. Making the first move in this direction, textiles minister Shankersinh Vaghela will meet members of the two groups at the NIFT, a premier fashion school, on September 1.

He is also likely to announce setting up a government body that will guide the various stakeholders and help promote young and budding designers, who don't get a platform, the source said. The minister is expected to hold a meeting with leading designer, industrialists from the textiles sector and other stakeholders on the same day to discuss issues concerning the fashion industry, which is pegged at Rs 290 crore at present and is projected to touch Rs 750 crore by 2012.