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IBFW CO-FOUNDER AND CEO PALLAV OJHA

— Jasmeen Dugal

India Beach Fashion Week is influenced by the beachside glamour that is a part and parcel of Goa — and grows stronger with each season. This season, IBFW will witness both A-List designers and creative, young designers showcasing resort, beach and destination wear over the two-day fashion festival with buyers, editors, social set and celebrities in attendance. In conversation with co-founder and CEO Pallav Ojha in the run-up to Season 6 of the destination fashion platform to be held at Goa Marriott Resort and Spa on 14-15 November.

 

What makes you confident that swim- beach and resort wear deserves its own fashion week?

 

If we study global trends, the category of Beach and Resort has taken centerstage in Fashion. Worldwide, there is a perceptible shift in the mindset of middle, upper-middle and high-income consumers, who are now planning at least two annual trips to 8-10 local and International destinations. With social media platforms being super-active, resort and destination wear has become an essential tool to flaunt one's style while travelling. moreover, according to a survey, in 2014 the global swim and resort wear market was worth $20.9 billion. By 2019, this number is expected to hit $28.3 billion!! In recent years, key fashion brands like Versace, Stella McCartney, Moschino, Roberto Cavalli, Ralph Lauren, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton and Tory Burch are offering luxury swimwear as are new labels who see this as an opportunity to build numbers and express their design sensibilities! So, yes, swim- beach and resort wear deserves its own fashion week.

 

India Beach Fashion Week is the first of its kind in the nation and you have had successful editions over the years. What was it like when produced the debut edition and in what way has it evolved?

 

In its formative years no one believed in Goa as a destination for an IP of this magnitude, in Fashion. It was hard to find designers to register for India Beach Fashion Week. We struggled and we self-funded it because we as a company believed in creating an ecosystem with the model of 'showcase, exhibit and retail'. The tables turned — we showcased some great labels, some beautiful brand experiences and master-class storytellers for five editions. We believed that we could transform Goa into a stylish beach destination like other global fashion destinations… and we did it!

 

Do share with us your vision for this edition. What are the challenges and what are the positives?

 

For this season and onwards, we are focused on creating the most experiential shows, business networking platforms, great designers and overall, two days of destination fashion for everyone who loves fashion! We want to be a platform to cater to B2B and B2C consumers because they are equally important! We want Fashion to become an approachable concept, not only for the select privileged few. Our main challenge has always been to accommodate people during the fashion week in Goa. It's a destination so we try and ensure maximum people should be a part of the team but due to the pressure of travel and hospitality, it's not possible to have it all! Positives from this season is that we have built a great showcasing and exhibit platform where designers feel confident to work along with us and they keep coming back to us, season after season. We will also launch the IBFW Passports — Ticket To IBFW — this season and onwards to enable the entire nation be part of this experience.

 

Pallav, you are owner of a multi-designer store in Goa with the hottest designerwear at affordable prices. Since its launch in Goa, CoMo is the go-to destination for designerwear. Will all participating designers' collections be available here? Is this part of a pioneering vision that all collections showcased at India Beach Fashion Week will be sold instead of designers worriedly looking for buyers?

 

The designers that showcase at India Beach Fashion Week also retail at our multi-designer store, CoMo. The vision was to build a retail platform for our designers and today we retail above fifty designers with the latest in evening and occasion wear, resort, luxury pret, menswear, swimwear, accessories and fashion essentials.

 

What do you foresee for India Beach Fashion Week? What's the dream?

 

The future of India Beach Fashion Week is to be an exciting platform for designers and brands to showcase, interact, network, submerge and have serious business conversions. It should be the most sought after platform for young minds like fashion students, graduates who meet each year in their favorite destination, Goa; we want to be more friendly and interactive in our approach.

 

Swim wear is a rapidly growing market worldwide. What do you think the future holds for swim and beach fashion in India? Have we evolved as an industry?

 

A great Shift! This is a category which helps designers express their individuality in the most interesting ways. Indian designers are exporting resort and beachwear in huge numbers. Lately, buyers love their design sensibilities as it's become more mature with each season. The colours, surface ornamentation, fabrics and silhouettes have gradually become more refined. And, the culture and art across India is now been visible in the collections, perhaps keeping in mind the global consumer. Of course, bridal wear is a source of huge revenues for designers in the past thirty-five years, but now they want break free of this segment, focus on a new global category and reach out to a wider audience.

 

Personally speaking... what do you enjoy most whilst organising India Beach Fashion Week year after year?

 

The Adrenaline Rush and Seeking New Design Talent Each Season!

 

Personally speaking... the two days of shows your survival kit will include…

 

Cool resort blazers and brooches!

 

Personally speaking... how would you describe your own style?

 

Sharp yet comfortable and relaxed.
 

INDIA BEACH FASHION WEEK
Co-founder and CEO Pallav Ojha
 
INDIA BEACH FASHION WEEK
Snapshot from a previous edition of India Beach Fashion Week
 
28-OCTOBER-2018
 
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