an age when corporate sponsorship seems to have become a major concern for designers who keep vying to get a brand's backing for better growth, the Winter/Festive 2016 (W/F 16) edition of the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW), beginning Wednesday, will see a new high.
To be held at St. Regis here, the gala will see the participation of 92 designers, with 15 sponsors backing some of the major shows that will feature the works of established as well as emerging names.
Corporate sponsorship is a form of advertising in which companies pay to be associated with certain events.
After all, who wouldn't want to be associated with shows by Manish Malhotra or Tarun Tahiliani, two popular designers who always garner maximum attendance at Indian fashion weeks?
Tahiliani's show will be presented by LYF, a phone brand, while Malhotra will set the stage to present a bespoke collection that will transform the grandeur of the runway into a Virtual Reality show in association with Etihad Airways.
Malhotra says the partnership with the airline is not just limited to the LFW show.
"The partnership with Etihad will extend beyond the show, where we will shoot the clothes on the runway using cutting-edge technology. This will then be used to create a simulated virtual reality viewing experience for travellers flying with Etihad," Malhotra told IANS.
Another known designer, Ashish Soni, will unveil his line at a show backed by TRESemme. It has been inspired by the new TRESemme trend for the season: The Volume Revolution.
The designer feels great seeing so many brands associating with designers.
"Corporate sponsorship is vital because, till about 15 years ago, we weren't even considered an industry so the fact that today corporates are venturing out and partnering with us and realising that fashion can be a medium to co-market the products, especially when we are addressing the same audience.
"I'm extremely happy that corporates are understanding and valuing the association," Soni told IANS.
Some of the other associations are INIFD presenting the GEN NEXT show, while Lakme Salon will be collaborating with designer Payal Khandwala.
The 6 Degree business networking company has taken the naming rights of Stage One -- a main show area -- which will be now called "6 Degree Stage One". Designers Sanjukta Dutta, Sumona Parekh, Architha Narayanam and Saroj Jalan will be featured and there will also be a "Fashion Tech Talk" seminar on future trends in the industry.
Reliance Trends has collaborated with designer Rajesh Pratap Singh for a show featuring iconic trendsetters across various industries walking the ramp, while Monaco Tourism has collaborated with Sanjay Garg, who is all set to showcase his festive collection and promote Monaco as a wedding destination.
Also, in a first-of-its-kind in the Indian fashion industry, there will be a plus-size show curated by designer Shilpa Chavan of Little Shilpa in association with the aLL plus-size store.
Moving ahead, what else will there be at the fashion event?
LFW will have a few offsite shows, including Tahiliani's opener on Tuesday, ace designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee's finale and Malhotra's fashion-meets-technology show.
Some other known designers who will participate are Ritu Kumar, Shantanu & Nikhil, Atsu Sekhose, Antar-Agni, Kallol Datta, Kunal Rawal, Suhani Pittie and Arjun Saluja.
Goan designer Wendell Rodricks will also be launching the first ever Standard Indian Women's Size chart that he has been trying to create since 1988.
This season is also special as two models from the northeast will be walking the ramp at the gala. There will also be a show called Assam Day as part of the Sustainable and Indian Textile Day to be dedicated to Assamese designers.
All in all, LFW is trying its best to go a step up with each edition in terms of creativity, concept and creating opportunities for new talent.