Delhi may have its own fashion hub soon in Dwarka

The Delhi designer fraternity has cheered a government proposal to create a fashion hub in Dwarka, saying that it would signal Delhi’s arrival as the country’s premier style destination. The announcement was made by Minister of State for Urban Development Ajay Maken at the ongoing Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW).

“It’s a most welcome development,” said Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) director general Rathi Vinay Jha of the announcement.

“It’s definitely a step forward. Finally, we are beginning to see some hope,” said designer Payal Jain.

“It’s a wonderful idea. All of us will be under one roof and this will create enormous synergy between the various components of the fashion industry,” beamed Leena Singh of the Ashima-Leena design duo.

The idea of a fashion hub at Dwarka in west Delhi has been in the pipeline for a while and received an impetus after the Supreme Court ordered demolitions last year of commercial establishments running illegally from residential neighbourhoods.

The demolitions had seen large numbers of designers, many of them the crème de la crème of the fashion fraternity, thrown out of fashionable addresses like 1 and 2 MG Road they had occupied for years.

At the bottom line, the designers were not really complaining since they were level headed enough to realise that they could not forever break the law. What they would, however, have preferred was alternative accommodation before being evicted.

That solution now seems in sight though it may take upwards of a year to fructify, after crucial issues like land prices and the various components of the fashion hub are resolved.

As part of the plan, a five-star hotel would have to be constructed as an integral component of the fashion hub to accommodate the increasing numbers of foreign buyers, fashionistas and journalists that are attending the WIFW. Though this hotel would be assured of fairly decent occupancy rates for about 20 days a year – the five days of the fashion week plus a few days preceding and following the event – the question is whether they can stay out of the red for the rest of the year.

Also, Dwarka is essentially a sprawling area with high-rise residential complexes and market complexes and related facilities. Thus, while it is fairly close to the international airport, it is not home to businesses or industries of the type that would attract visitors requiring hotel accommodation.

Maken further stated, “There will be a number of issues to be resolved but I hope that next year’s fashion week (autumn/winter edition in March-April) will be conducted in the new complex.” – Times of India