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Know About the Delhi-Based Fashion Startup ‘FIO’

The current scene of Indian fashion startups

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FIO
FIO is a Delhi-based startup that acts as an aggregator for various players (designers, buyers, exporters, suppliers, etc) in the fashion and design industry facilitating business and networking opportunities. IANS

BY PUJA GUPTA

With the government of India encouraging and unveiling several schemes to promote the startup ecosystem in the country in every sector, why should fashion lag behind? FIO one such Delhi-based startup that acts as an aggregator for various players (designers, buyers, exporters, suppliers, etc) in the fashion and design industry facilitating business and networking opportunities.

Brainchild of Robby Rawat and Vivek Rawat, the firm that was incepted in 2019 aim is to bridge the gap between young designers and international markets.

It offers business and networking platforms for fashion and design professionals through its events like the Asian Designer Week, The Destination Wedding Show, FIO Popups.

IANSlife spoke to Robby Rawat to know more about their venture, the current scene of fashion startups in India and the Indian fashion industry.

FIO
“FIO aims to be a collaborative and community centric one-stop platform for creators and consumers in the field of fashion and design”, says Robby Rawat. IANS

Q: What is FIO?

Rawat: FIO aims to be a collaborative and community centric one-stop platform for creators and consumers in the field of fashion and design. The vision of FIO revolves around creating the biggest fashion and design community and leveraging that community to facilitate business, networking and learning opportunities. At present, the company is building its community through event platforms and successfully created an offline ecosystem. It is popularly known by one of its flagship event platforms, the Asian Designer Week.

FIO is soon going to launch its tech platform offering marketplace, professional networking, and content-based one-stop platform for everyone in the creative world.

Q: How do you see the current situation of fashion startups?

Rawat: The current situation of the Indian fashion industry in general is very unstructured. There is a big gap between domestic and international markets. The designer community is facing a slowdown and they need to think beyond the traditional model.

However, some of the startups have understood the opportunities and came up with some unique ideas. The rental and pre-owned fashion business is one of them. Then there are a few e-commerce startups who are doing really good in the affordable segment. Some of them are also trying AI and Virtual Reality support. Startups catering to niche segment like socks, lingerie are also picking up. Overall the future of fashion startups in India looks very promising.

Q: How do you see the future of fashion in India?

Rawat: India is a big market for global fashion and design industry. The future in fashion will surely see brands originating from India, manufactured in India with well-established worldwide distribution and retail, and also being adopted by the western culture.

The definition of ‘fast fashion’ will change in many folds. A decade down the line we can expect the extension of the “on-demand” economy for fashion. We will finally see 3D printers getting into the fashion and design world actively. The retail startups will grow enormously since a substantial amount of investment will flow into data research, innovation and science.

Fashion will evolve to be more than just about appearance and style. Due to advancing technology and innovation, fashion will be a song for expressions. The fashion industry will witness the use of polymer threads, sustainable fabric and materials with environmental consciousness.

India has a lot to contribute in the near future due to its startup ecosystem and the understanding of advanced technology.

FIO
FIO is soon going to launch its tech platform offering marketplace, professional networking, and content-based one-stop platform for everyone in the creative world. IANS

Q: How FIO is helping fashion startups to raise funds?

Rawat: FIO has earlier announced to launch a Global Incubation Center in association with its industry body, Asian Fashion & Design Council and Whizdom Club by MQDC. The aim of this center is to support ideas in the fields of fashion, design and innovation.

The business idea should also have a social impact, including sustainability, grassroot upliftment, etc. The center will select few such ideas in their early stages and help them grow professionally for the bigger markets. We are also partnering other corporate, investors, and domain experts to help us create an effective ecosystem for them.

FIO will facilitate a demo day for such startups during the Asian Designer Week and also help them in cross-border activities.

Q: What major differences do you see between Indian and international fashion industry?

Rawat: India is a focal point for the fashion industry, reflecting a rapidly increasing middle class and a powerful manufacturing sector. These forces, together with growing tech awareness, make India too important for the international market to ignore.

‘India’s apparel market will be worth $59.3 billion in 2022, making it the sixth largest in the world, comparable to the United Kingdom’s ($65 billion) and Germany’s ($63.1 billion),’ Data from McKinsey’s FashionScope says.

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While the Indian market is gold for international brands, the issues remain in the ‘structure’. It is the most unstructured market that does not have a strong network and growth opportunities for its own labels and brands. (IANS)

Next Story

Saree: The Versatile Outfit for Women

How to make saree your workwear staple

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saree
Saree is practical, it's easy to wear and is graceful and so fashionable. IANS

BY ADITI ROY

Saree is one of the most versatile and elegant garments in the world. Women in India have worn this nine yards of wonder for many centuries belonging to different cultures and across the regions. And not before long, it used to be the most common attire for daily wear for women across ages in our country.

The versatility of the sari is such that it can even be worn at business conferences, workplace and office parties. Yes the trend of wearing or choosing to wear a saree as formal work wear is on the rise . It not only sets you apart from others but also gives you an edge over other dresses and maxies, says Delhi-based designer Anuradhha Ramam.

“It’s power dressing. It oozes confidence and power. In fact for many women with traditional and conservative tastes, formal saris are their preferred clothes for the offices, hotels and other corporate sectors. While pant suits and “churidar-kurtis” may be favored among young professionals in today’s corporate India, the “sari” still is the classic business attire. You can beautifully drape the saree and make a perfect style statement in elegance, style and confidence, she adds.

Saree, a practical as well as fashionable work-wear option

As a designer I think that saree is practical, it’s easy to wear and is graceful and so fashionable. Women in the 1980’s and 90’s mostly wore sarees at the workplace due to cultural and social reasons but today’s generation looks beyond these factors. A well draped saree can make a statement in elegance, style and confidence for women in the workplace.

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In my journey of 15 years in this industry, I have styled my sarees with boots and other accessories like silver jewellery which makes it a fusion wear and fashionable work-wear option for all the confident working women, Ramam says.

saree
Saree is one of the most versatile and elegant garments in the world. IANS

Give your saree a tweak to make it more wearable for regular wear

The best option is to wear a pre-stitched sari. It’s ready to wear in a saree silhouette, easy to wear and very convenient. Comfortable textiles like cotton, tussar and chiffon which are fashionable yet comfortable and also pairing it with accessories like silver jewellery, white shirts, boots, sneakers and what not makes it a decent fusion wear having subtle prints and fine textiles, suggests Ramam.

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Selecting the type of material, prints ideal for a workwear

Linen , mulmul , handwoven cotton are ideal materials to wear to work. One colour tones and small prints are best for work wear. Look for comfortable materials that suit all kinds of weather conditions in which one would feel free and light. They should be very skin-friendly because of being very airy and light, quips Ramam. (IANS)