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Fashion industry and media fraternity need to take each other seriously

Lakme Fashion Week kicks off on 28 th March 2006 in Mumbai and runs till 1 April 2006. As a curtain raiser the organizers of the event IMG organized a LFW (Lakme Fashion Week) Media this evening. The aim was to find ways in which the fashion industry and the media can work together better.

The speakers were’s editor Laird Borrelli, The Financial Times’ Robb Young, Hindustan Times fashion editor Vinod Nair, Zee Trendz, Zee Café creative head Lubna Adams, IMG New York director-PR Zach Eichman and DNA Me editor Sathya Saran. IMG Fashion - Asia Pacific MD Simon Lock, moderated the forum.

Nair noted that the Indian fashion industry needs to take the media seriously if it wants to move beyond the realm of page three. “15 years ago designers were individual entities. There was no unity and a lack of seriousness. Things slowly changed with the Fashion Design Council Of India (FDCI). This brought oneness among designers. However when IGM split from FDCI once again differences started. The fashion industry needs to take the media seriously.

At the same time journalists also have a responsibility. This point was made by Saran. She stressed the fact that fashion journalists must understand cultural theory. They should do their research and be able to comment and critique. “Journalists must have strong visualization and communication skills. A historical perspective is important as is an open mind. One cannot go into a show with preconceived notions.”

A journalist should have the skills to explain to women why a particular style is good for her and what does not suit her and why. Adams pointed out that the fashion industry is growing along with the media outlets that cover it. There are over a million fashion sites. The audience has become an intrinsic onlooker.

As far as the fashion industry is concerned she says that the Indian industry if it wants to export more of its product abroad needs to focus on ethnic sensibilities with a global perspective. “Indian fashion on TV must speak a global language. Designers need to adapt to an international style of dressing.

Young dwelt on the importance of journalists going beyond the hype. “Journalists need to look beyond who is sitting in the front row at fashion events. Tahey also need to look at fashion on the street and not only what is on the catwalk. One must know the social, economic and political side to a garment. Otherwise it is merely fluff.

"Also a journalist to write a complete business story must speak to the CEO, distributor and customer in addition to the designer. The speed at which the media is moving is growing. The citizens media like blogs have an advantage over traditional media in this respect.”


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