Italy is the first ever country to partner with Fashion Design Council of India. Francesco Pensabene, Italian Trade Commissioner talks about his plans to bring some of the most exquisite Italian brands to India and putting up an exhibit at the upcoming Amazon India Fashion Week Spring Summer ‘17. By Devi Singh
It all started with a three-day event on fashion, luxury and design organised early this year by the Italian Trade Commission at DLF Emporio with Sunil Sethi, president of FDCI as one of the guests. “Sunil is one of the main players for me as my work involves dealing with people from a wide range of sectors. We had the privilege of having him at the Italian campaign on the best of ‘Made in Italy’ in India,” said Francesco Pensabene, Italian Trade Commissioner of the Embassy of Italy in Delhi and Coordinator of Italian Trade Commission Offices in India.
Partnering with FDCI for the AIFW SS‘17 Francesco wants to present the best of India to Italian companies and vice versa and Amazon India Fashion Week is a fantastic platform for the same.
Showcasing mainly bags and shoes, the idea is not to enter just the leather industry but go beyond that. “Fashion is a universe of things. Leather of course is something very essential to us and the Indian industry but the aim is to try to push Italian companies in investing in and exporting more to Indian companies and making them understand that the latter is a key market for them.
We are looking at marrying Italian designs and Indian manufacturing. So basically it’s about evaluating different opportunities, be it distribution, manufacturing, joint venture, improving sales or exportation from Italy. And I want to continue deepening this interaction so that in future we can think of some new fashion product,” added he.
On whether he is willing to go with the government’s initiative ‘Make in India’ which is pretty close to FDCI as well, he gave a mixed response. “I am looking at both. When I talk about business then we have to majorly rely on what the companies involved want to do. As of now I’m leaving it to the companies to decide as to what they want to do, which is why we are also organising a round table along with a fashion show. I don’t see any harm in manufacturing in India. There should be some favourable conditions for the companies to invest. In my opinion, India is the place to be in right now. And you don’t exhibit and become a partner of a country if you don’t believe in that country.”
The Italian pavilion will have a forecast on fashion in shoes and bags where designers and companies from both the countries will have an opportunity to discuss the possibilities. Also, fashion week provides for an opportune time and place to exchange creative and business ideas.
With niche luxury brands like Leu Locati, which has catered to celebrities and royalty alike, he plans to make inroads into the luxury segment of the Indian fashion market. “Italy is acknowledged as one of the hubs of luxury. For me, it is an experience, a feeling, and an emotion.
And when you think of fashion, you think of Italy. We are passionate about our fashion and we want to show that it’s not the quantity that counts but the design, elegance and style. The brands we our showcasing our really peculiar, not something you would find easily,” he explained.
There is also this 12-hour fashion, an interesting take on shoes concentrating on a shoe an hour. It’s how Italians approach fashion. Talking about the same, he mentioned, “It is not what you wear, it is how you wear it.
The idea behind 12-hour shoes is something which holds a very similar concept. It’s not about the number of shoes you wear at different hours of the day. It’s the way you wear them defining the moment you are in.”