Designers launch Fashion Foundation of India

Mumbai: Various designers have come together to form an apex body for the fashion industry that will work towards capacity building of the fashion, design and manufacturing industry. The body, named Fashion Foundation of India, will be a proactive body involved in multiple design, fashion, and craft initiatives that will help promote the industry and take it to the next level.

The founding members of the Foundation include leading designers like Meera Ali, Rohit Bal, Tarun Tahiliani, Anamika Khanna, Raghavendra Rathore, Varun Sardana, Abhijeet Khanna, Gaurav Gupta, Hemant Sagar, Atsu Sekhose, Alpana & Neeraj, Rahul Reddy, Priyadarshini Rao, Jason & Anshu and Malini Ramani and industry professional and fashion consultant Sumeet Nair.

Speaking on the launch, Fashion Foundation of India spokesperson Meera Ali said, "The Fashion Foundation of India is set up with the intent of bringing together leaders from across sectors to help grow the fashion and design industry in India as well as overseas. The Foundation will focus on developmental activities, incorporate best practices across areas, facilitate business collaborations, and undertake other initiatives in the interest of the industry other than just fashion events."

The Foundation will undertake developmental activities for the industry like improving sourcing and manufacturing, upgrading technical skills, development, and sustenance of craft and craft based skills, developing infrastructure, providing grants and soft loans. It will also provide knowledge based assistance to industry in matters related to IPR, finance, retail, merchandising, marketing, and journalism amongst others.

The Fashion Foundation of India will address both macro and micro issues affecting the fashion industry in India. The Foundation will work towards marketing ‘India’ as a ‘design hub’ and promote India globally as a new ideology in design.

"The Foundation will work closely with designers to understand their needs and bottlenecks and endeavour to provide customized solutions. It will work towards furthering the business interests of each designer by giving such assistance as soft loans / grants based on proposals made by each design house. The Foundation will also help in developing infrastructure to enhance the business capabilities of the designers," added Ali.

"It will actively research, through its Research and Analysis Cell, and commission studies to bring forth various aspects of the fashion industry.  It will also set up a legal cell to assist the design houses in matters including IPR, licensing, contracts, and arbitration," she further added.

Only design houses can apply for membership of the Foundation and a business representative nominated by each design house will be a member of the Foundation. There will be a jury comprising of persons directly linked to fashion that will review and analyse each membership application. The Foundation will also have a Board of Governors of seven people who will take major decisions for the working of the Foundation, keeping the decision making quick and agile. The Board will also have semi autonomous arms across functions, which will be headed by a CEO, to look after the day to day functioning of the Foundation.

The Fashion Foundation of India will interact and liaison with the Government to sensitize it to the potential of the Indian fashion industry as a brand ambassador for the country and on a host of matters that are beneficial to the growth of Designers and the Fashion and Manufacturing Industry in India.