The first ever India Shoes & Accessories Forum (ISAF) kicked off in style today as about a hundred brands and retailers showcased new trends and collections at the Mumbai Exhibition Centre in Goregaon. Day one of the event had more than a thousand business delegates visiting the various stalls and participating at the daylong talk shows being held concurrently with the India Fashion Forum.
In a special session on ‘The fashion opportunity in accessories retail’, a six-member panel spearheaded by Shailesh Chaturvedi, the managing director of Tommy Hilfiger Arvind Fashion Pvt Ltd, reinstated its faith in accessories as a booming segment.
Chaturvedi said that for TH, accessories was giving 25 percent of the business. The CEO of jewellery player Gili, Rahul Vira, announced that the brand was looking to diversify its portfolio by introducing bags, scarfs, watches and more.
However, there was a note of caution when the speakers spoke of high duty structures that are detriments to growth. Another issue that found mention was about pilferage of stock in stores and the need for stringent stock audits.
Earlier, several sessions dwelt on the footwear and accessories category and the need for brands and retailers to try out something new and innovative which could “explode the market”.
A question at one of the sessions from Ram Fashion, a major exporter of footwear, now looking to operate in a big way in the domestic market, whether they should continue to follow the stringent code of Reach compliances, the suggestion from Lifestyle India Chief Kabir Lumba was, “We would look forward to it as it could emerge as a game changer which could also change our thinking and the market for that.”
In yet another session, Subhinder Singh, MD-Reebok and Adidas India clarified that the 1Euro shoe frm Adidas was not a market penetration strategy but a CSR initiative, respecting the fact that there is dignity also in the right to footwear.
The curtains will come down on day one with a grand gala evening, again the first ever –The India Shoes & Accessories Awards.