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'IFF 2009' - Magnum Opus of fashion industry from Jan 27

Nov '08
IFF 2009, the magnum opus of the fashion industry, will house simultaneous and concurrent leadership talk sessions, exhibits of futuristic concepts in fashion forecasting, branding and retailing, the best of retail spaces across India, and an unparalleled opportunity for business networking.

With various events under the umbrella of IFF like Asia Shop, Spring Board, Franchise Expo, The Future Shop, L Cube, Retail Access, Trend View, Fashion & Retail Quiz, Fashion Theater, and The Evening of Fashion Titans, the event culminates in the LYCRA® IMAGES Fashion Awards – the most glamorous fashion awards extravaganza in the world.

Fashion has driven the retail boom in India. With evolving fashion and changing face of Indian retail, the Indian consumer is in for a rapid transformation. The good news is that the consumer spending has been on the rise. Most organized retail businesses in fashion have grown and survived the onslaught of high rentals as the margin in clothing is the highest and this segment has opened up huge opportunities for large retailers to expand.

Currently the fashion market commands a lion's share in the organized retail pie with 58 per cent market share. Strategic partnerships in the fashion and retailing industry will be the route for companies to grow and consolidate. Over 500 international fashion & lifestyle brands have presence in India.

Benetton that has found the Indian market 'the most profitable' was adjudged the Most Admired Fashion Retailer at the India Retail Forum '08. Sisley from the same group has an exclusive tie-up with Trent (Tata Group company) for retail expansion in India. Benetton and other lifestyle retailers like Levi's, Reebok, Adidas etc. have opened their largest stores in India.

The mega success of these brands paved the way for hundreds of others to expand and profit in India. Diesel has recently signed JV with India's largest corporate major - Reliance Industries. While Debenhams is set for major expansion in India with its Master Franchisee Planet Retail Holdings, others shifting from franchise to JV include VF Corp.

(Arrow, Wrangler, Lee & Nautica),Tommy Hilfiger with Arvind Mills, Lee Cooper, Etam & Celio with Pantaloon Retail, Marks & Spencer, Paul& Shark (Dama) and Sixty Group with Reliance Industries, Armani, D&G, Piquadro (proposed) and Salvatore Ferragamo with DLF, Mariella Burani with Gitanjali and Esprit with Madura Garments.

While in China Armani decided to take the franchise route, in India Armani has tied up with the real estate developer DLF and opened two stores in the newly opened premium mall Emporio. Luxottica too has entered in to a franchise agreement with the group and planning to open over 100 stores at premium locations.

As FDI norms become more liberal, India will see 100s of global brands entering her markets. Its time for International fashion, lifestyle and luxury brands to start exploring India more seriously and find the right partners.

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