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Allow designers to take part in non-FDCI events: DGIR

Finding conditions imposed by Fashion Design Council of India on designers participating in its fashion week as "unnecessary and unreasonable", the Director General (Investigations and Registrations) has asked the council to allow them to take part in other fashion events too.

The DGIR, which has submitted its investigation report to the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC), took strong objection to FDCI's order which asked its 166-odd members, including fashion gurus like J J Valaya, Rohit Bal and Tarun Tahiliani, not to participate in any non-FDCI events, including the forthcoming Lakme India fashion week.

"In the circumstances, the restriction or the condition imposed by the FDCI on designers to participate only in any one event is unnecessary and unreasonable. Its trade practices amount to restrictive trade practices," the DGIR report said.

Providing relief to the designers who had appealed against the FDCI diktat, the DGIR investigation concluded, "keeping the nature and character of the fashion design industry in mind and also the fact that the action taken by FDCI amounts to restrictive trade practice under the act, it may be reasonable to allow the fashion designers to take part in both the events."

However, it asked the designers "to showcase different collections" in the two events.

While the FDCI-promoted India fashion week is slated to begin in Delhi from April 5-9, the Lakme India fashion week is scheduled to be held from March 28 in Mumbai.

The DGIR report said that FDCI is indulging in "restrictive trade practice of exclusivity" by placing a condition on the participants to take part only in one event as per their choice. "This trade adopted by FDCI takes away the freedom of designer members and they are unable to solicit business in both the events.

"In case FDCI provides a forum for fashion designers through India fashion week to promote and support the Indian fashion industry, there is no justification for imposing such restrictions on the members, particularly when they agree to show different dresses in each event," DGIR said.

The MRTPC has already issued notices to FDCI on March 8 and asked it to reply within four weeks.


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