India Runway Week (IRW) is an Indian fashion event organized by the Indian Federation for Fashion Development (IFFD). It mainly focuses on talented, young designers. The 4th edition of IRW, which took place from the 10th until the 13th of April in New Delhi, India, was a great success. The Youngest Fashion Movement is lead by the IFFD directors Kiran Kheva and Aviinash K Pathania. I sat down with them to ask more about India Runway Week.
The aim of IRW is to support young designers, could you tell us a little bit more about this?
Kiran Kheva – India Runway Week is a platform created to promote tomorrow’s designers today, IRW celebrates fresh fashion by young talent and provides them an opportunity to share the same platform with senior established names from the fashion fraternity. This is the only fashion trade event in India which is presenting young designers.
What type of support does IRW give to young designers?
Kiran Kheva – Our team remains in touch with the designers throughout the whole process; from the creation of their collection to the organization of their runway showcases. We help them with their theme, their color choices and we help them combine creativity with economics, because at the end of the day their collection should be sellable. Before the event we also assign stylists to the New Gen(eration) and budding designers who help them present their collection on the ramp.
‘India Runway Week is a platform created to promote tomorrow’s designers today’
During IRW there are also veteran designers present who showcase their latest collections, what is their role in supporting the young designers?
Kiran Kheva – The presence of veteran designers at India Runway Week itself is a great support for young designers as sharing the backstage with veteran designers boosts the confidence of young designers. Young designers interact with them and learn from their experience. For example; Rajdeep Ranawat shared a show with Ashfaque Ahmad, Manish Gupta shared one with Mukti Tibrewal and Tanieya Khanuja shared the finale show with young designer Ambreen Khan.
This year you have worked together with the Fashionista School of Fashion Technology, New Delhi, could you tell us more about this collaboration?
Aviinash K Pathania – The summer edition of IRW 2015 was also about encouraging the fashion education perspective and throwing light on the business of fashion. That’s why we joined hands with Fashionista School of Fashion Technology. Taking this thought ahead and in lieu of encouraging young talent, IRW had a student’s fashion show this season with the help of Fashionista. Students also learn how one designer can promote and maintain his or hers image in the industry. In the near future you will see more of such tie-ups.
Tell us more about the selection procedure of IRW, What qualities do you look for when searching for fashion talent?
Kiran Kheva – India Runway Week provides a platform for young rising talent and has attracted entries from different parts of India. The team shortlists the entries for the New Gen(eration) and budding designer shows by judging their mood boards, sketches, previous made collections and more. Then the final call is taken after interacting with the designers, we try to find out how much he or she is willing to learn.
This is the 4th edition of IRW, looking back, what has changed? What milestones have you achieved (up until now) with IRW?
Kiran Kheva – IRW is just 1.8 years old. It is easy for us to recall the 30th August 2013 when it was born, working with only 13 designers while today in season 4 we had around 35 designers. This shows around 200% growth in just 1.8 years. Something to be proud of.
‘It is difficult for young entrepreneurs to survive. Everyone talks about youth but no one is doing anything substantial for them’ (Aviinash K Pathania on the struggles of young entrepreneurs in the world of fashion)
IRW is now known as ‘The Youngest Fashion Movement’. This year you also introduced a young team, tell us more about the team behind IRW.
Aviinash K Pathania – Our team is young and we know it’s difficult for young entrepreneurs to survive. Everyone talks about youth but no one is doing anything substantial for them. The Young Fashion Movement is one small step to give more opportunities to young talent in the field of fashion. In our young talent pool, this time IRW had Shakir Shiekh and Ketan Bhatia as show directors, James Swamy took care of backstage and Hunnar Khanna was responsible for hair and makeup. Sumiran Kabir Sharma and Mishthi Shrawan took care of styling of New Gen & Budding designer shows whereas Rishi Raj styled the grand finale show. Ashish Kumar was there for ramp & venue photography.
Looking back at the summer edition of IRW, what are the hottest trends for this season?
Kiran Kheva – Pastels, yellows, culottes, blue and white, head to toe white and denim dresses.
What advice can you give designers who want to make it big in the (Indian) fashion industry?
Aviinash K Pathania – The most important advice for young designers is that you should learn the art of mixing your creativity with the demands of the customers. If your collection is not wearable then you are going nowhere. Neatness in your design push the customer to pay that extra amount for designer wear.
‘The future of fashion is in their hands’ (Kiran Kheva on young designers)
What are the plans for IRW for the future? Where do you want to be in 5 years?
Kiran Kheva – Our future plans for IRW are all about making this platform serious with more and more buyers on board and improving, improvising this platform with each season according to the growth of fashion industry. Giving the best opportunities to our budding designers as the future of fashion is in their hands only.
Check out the gallery for footage from India Runway Week Summer Edition 2015!
In order of appearance: Manish Gupta, Shalini Gupta, Akassh K Aggarwal, Moet Brar & Rajini K Sethi, Rajdeep Ranawat, Sagar Tenali, Rahul Kapoor, Megha & Jigar, Neha Jadav