Business talks get fashion forward

Buyer-seller meets fruitful for Jharkhand designers

By ACHINTYA GANGULY
  • Published 27.05.17
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Colourful lac bangles up for grabs at Jharkhand Fashion Festival 2017 at a Ranchi hotel on Friday. Picture by Hardeep Singh

The ongoing five-day Jharkhand Fashion Festival 2017 at BNR Chanakya, Ranchi, which started on Thursday, has given a platform for the state's designers to interact with bulk buyers and exporters.

The exhibition, which has 20 stalls displaying saris, garments, handicrafts and knick-knacks, has become a meeting ground, albeit small, for 12 designers from Jharkhand and 15 bulk buyers from across the country invited by the state government.

On Day Two of the fashion festival, though designers and bulk buyers kept a low profile, the buzz is encouraging.

"We got a bulk order from a buyer and very encouraging response from five exporters," said Jamshedpur-based designer Doman Chandra Tudu who sells saris and garments under the brand name Baha.

Not taking names in the "delicate stages of negotiations", the tribal designer who is an alumnus of National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Bangalore, said he left his corporate design job to start his own venture, Russica Trends, on Jamshedpur outskirts in Narwamines in 2013.

"As an independent designer who attends many exhibitions, I feel these kinds of events, where you speak to bulk buyers directly and exchange your ideas, are really fruitful," said the designer who calls his sensibility "contemporary tribal fusion" and introduces tribal wall painting motifs in silk garments.

The secretary of a lac cooperative added that they were not only getting bulk enquiries but brisk sales over the counter for affordable lac bangles priced between Rs 50 and Rs 100 a pair. "Response has been pretty good," Jhabar Mall, secretary of Lah (Lac) Hastashilpa Swabalambi Sahkari Samiti, based in Siladon in Khunti, said. "Everyone, from bulk buyers to college girls, are coming to our stall."

Somenath Chakraborty of Fashionista Export, Calcutta, a bulk buyer invited to Ranchi for this fashion festival, praised the attitude of the Jharkhand government and Jharcraft.

"I really liked the approach of the state government here," he said. "I have taken some samples. I am also interested in buying tussar yarn from Jharcraft to make the finished product on my own," he added.

Some participants are however not too happy. "We certainly got interested visitors but not many buyers till now," said Arti Poddar of Mulberry Lifestyle of Ranchi that manufactures bundis for men and women priced between Rs 2,500 and Rs 4,000 apiece. "Perhaps summer is a reason."

Individual buyers like bank executive Chhaya Kumari found the festival "classy". "The saris here are not the kind you find everywhere," she smiled.