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IN CONVERSATION WITH BADAL SABOO

Badal Saboo is a key player in Fashion, Real Estate Advisory and Hospitality. He has been instrumental in conceiving and building Pune Fashion Week into a leading Indian Luxury Fashion Exhibition platform. He has driven growth at World Fashion Week, Korea Modelling Associations, International talent discovery platform 'Face Of Asia', Asia Model Festival and Nivedita Saboo Couture. His next venture 'Fashionable Bharat' builds social capital through an innovative NextGen sourcing and distribution model. In Real Estate, he's credited with introducing and growing brands such as World Trade Centre, FTV Residences, Fendi Residences, Bentley Residences, in India. He has also stitched together an exclusive partnership for FTV parties in India. In conversation with the multifaceted gentleman spearheading Pune Fashion Week Season 7.

 

Let's look at the history of Pune Fashion Week. When was the moment you knew you wanted to produce it?

The fashion industry in Pune is growing by leaps and bounds and Pune Fashion Week has been instrumental in putting Pune on the Indian fashion map. It was and is our vision to create an environment where tradition and luxury are brought onto a single platform, to offer equal opportunities to fashion professionals, untapped talent and stakeholders in the industry, and to give them a medium to showcase their strengths.

 

With experience in Fashion, Luxury and real estate, why do you feel Pune deserves its own Fashion Week?

Fashion in Pune is evolving; a lot of Pune-based designers and fashion business moguls have made it big nationwide and overseas. What I realized was that I could create a platform in Pune where designers from other cities in India and world-renowned fashion personalities could come down to showcase their collections. By doing this, our homegrown designers and models too would get an opportunity to showcase their talent.  Why go anywhere else? The youth as well as the crème de la crème of Pune are fashion conscious. And we are providing luxury and fashion under one roof. In all these years of travelling across India and abroad for fashion weeks, I wanted to give my city an event of fashion, beauty, luxury, grandeur and glamour that everyone remembers!! The people of Pune city are experimental and curious about fashion; I am just giving them food for thought.

 

What are the tips you could give designers about getting maximum benefit from Pune Fashion Week?

I recommend that designers use this event as a networking platform. Firstly, more as B2C, meet and interact with more customers, try and see how they can increase their sales. Secondly, designers should try and meet as many media people as possible and give interviews, as it is a great platform for exposure. Thirdly, be a part of the Fashion Knowledge Series — they can impart knowledge and make connections with students as these are futuristic connections with millennials. Lastly, use this time to connect with the city. It is important to know the heritage, history and culture of Pune. The team at Pune Fashion Week could organise tours for them where they could gain cultural exposure!

 

Do tell us about the event format. What makes this edition unique for participants and guests?

After six successful seasons, Pune Fashion Week 2017 is all set to raise the bar with the seventh edition. It gets bigger, better, grander and bolder! Season 7 will run from 22—24 December at Pyramid Lawns, Mundhwa, showcasing a grand opening by renowned designers followed by GenNext designers, pre-finale and finale shows and of course the official FTV Parties. The highlight at PFW-7, that takes the whole experience a notch higher than previous editions, is the Knowledge Series — a series of workshops educating people about fashions trends, blogging etc and an arena dedicated to handicrafts and traditional textiles curated by Fashionable Bharat, in addition to high octane fashion shows and the much sought-after Luxury Expo, an F&B zone and designer pavilions which will be open to shoppers. Overall, Season 7 aims to #MakePuneFashionable along with socially relevant causes. We have collaborated with London School of Trends in association with INIFD India to source designers from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Mauritius and Arabia. Twenty designers will get an opportunity to showcase their collection at London Fashion Week which will be curated by Fashion Scout [one of UK's largest Fashion showcases for emerging and established design talent] and New York Fashion Week.

 

What have you enjoyed most while organising Pune Fashion Week? Also tell us difficult situations you have faced and how you got out of it in previous editions?

It's the constant adrenaline rush that keeps me going. The fact that this is the seventh season, people are expecting more glamour, grandeur and extravagance than previous seasons. Raising the bar isn't always easy but I have to keep evolving and innovating to deliver beyond expectations. Well, no one particular situation, as such, it's dynamic. There is a lot of multi- tasking required, my team and I constantly need to be on our toes. Managing both skilled and unskilled labour and maintaining a balance is important. It's a mental gym.

 

What are the three attributes a fashion week producer should have?

It is patience, presence of mind wherein if something goes awry he-she should have the skill to solve it, the ability to foresee challenges that may occur last minute and having a backup plan B and C to resolve the same!!

 

The day of the shows your survival kit will definitely include…

A bottle of water, final checklist, battery in the phone and a smile on my face.

 

Badal... how would you describe your own personal style?

Staying focused and patient along with a dash of energy and optimism. To organise an event on such a large scale, it's important to hold yourself together and work in a calm manner. To make the event successful, one has to wear blinders and see nothing but the goal. I'm focused and determined to make Pune Fashion Week Season 7 a grand success, raise the bar and strive to exceed everyone's expectations. An undying spirit is very necessary; I can and will do it!
 

PUNE FASHION WEEK
Badal Saboo
 
16-DECEMBER-2017
 
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