Mumbai, Nov 10 : Lakme Fashion Week, in association with multi-designer retail store Ensemble, hosted an evening here to celebrate sports and fashion with the World Cup champion Indian Kabaddi players and leading menswear designers.
"In India, though we celebrate sports but whether it is with cricket, badminton and tennis, we never turned the spotlight on kabaddi. So when Lakme and IMG Reliance came with the idea, we just grabbed the opportunity. We recently launched our menswear store and working with lots of young designers. So I think, this is the right occasion to celebrate," fashion designer Tina Tahiliani told IANS.
Five players from the national team - Surender Nada, Mohit Chillar, Shabeer Bapu Sharfudheen, Vishal Mane and Rishank Devadiga - walked the ramp for famous designers like Gaurav Khanijo, Pranav Mishra of Huemn, Ujjwal Dubey of Antar Agni, Tarun Tahiliani and Sahil Aneja.
As these kabaddi champions rocked the ramp in designer ensembles, Tina said: "I have been asked why am I doing it with these players instead of real celebrities. Well, all these players are making our country proud by winning the championship. For me, anyone who is so accomplished is a celebrity."
This is the first time that Mane walked the ramp. Admitting to a mixed feeling of excitement and nervousness, he said: "It is very different from our game. We are always well prepared and practiced for our game. However, here, it is very spontaneous on stage. I am honored to wear cloths designed by such a great designers. It feels good."
While Pranav chose the weather friendly material and comfort in mind when designed leisure wears for these players, Dubey who designed for Antar Agni aimed to enhance the personality through his design.
Talking about his design, Pranav told IANS that he was "very happy to design for these champions and sharing my design philosophy on their cloths".
"This kind of collaboration merges both the industry - sports and fashion. An interaction between two fraternities starts from here, as in people who are alienated from the sports with get to know about it and sports personalities will also get a great exposure to fashion. However, the result will come in an organic way with time."
Adding to the thought, Dubey said: "Apart from business, it is also about the fraternisation. Through this collaboration, we tried to appreciate the effort of each other's fraternity. So it is great to be a part of a cause where Lakme Fashion Week is collaborating with a multi designer store like Ensemble."
Ensemble, known for supporting and mentoring new age designers, is adding a value to the business in fashion industry.
"As a store, we are supporting many young designers and I think that is very important for them to get such support, exposures and mentor-ship from a store. Therefore, I think we are playing an important role in the fashion industry by introducing these young designers. On the other hand, because it is a multi-designer store and we work with veterans, it gives more credibility to the youngsters who are sharing the same platform with them."
While western clothes are mainly preferred for sportswear, according to Tina, it is the attitude that matters the most.
"You can wear a malmal handloom sari and treat it in a sporty way, because it is not the cloth that you wear makes you sporty but your attitude does. When you are wearing sari, be cool with it, do not be conscious, and let it be. It is your mind and body confidence that makes you cool!"