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Money-Makers: What Mumbai earns from Lakme Fashion Week

By Simone Preuss


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With various European fashion weeks and New York Fashion Week Men's drawing to a close at the end of the month, it is time to head east to India for Lakme Fashion Week, which will take place from February 1 to 5 2017 at the recently opened Jio Garden at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai. With 15,000 visitors expected to attend this season of Lakme Fashion Week, the immense costs linked to staging a catwalk show or presentation is no secret. In this mini-series, FashionUnited asks how much money cities gain from hosting a fashion week and examines how much money Mumabi makes from Lakme Fashion Week.

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Although far behind fashion week giants like New York City and London that make hundreds of millions on global fashion weeks, Lakme Fashion Week is still a good money spinner. According to calculations carried out by FashionUnited's Business Intelligence, the total income made from Lakme Fashion Week is 13.3 million euros (97 crore rupees). How did we arrive at this sum? By looking at the number of visitors each fashion week brings to the city, combined with the average income each visitor has, plus local hotel and food costs as well as sales taxes, applicable tourist fees and corporate taxes, FashionUnited was able to predict the total income Lakme Fashion Week brings to the city each season.

Lakme Fashion Week total income: 13.3 million euros

If you are wondering about the distribution of the total income generated by Lakme Fashion Week, it is the retail income that makes up the lion's share with 6.2 million euros (more than 45 crore rupees). Following with a bit of a gap is the total accommodation income at 2.9 million euros (more than 21 crore rupees), the restaurant income at 2.6 million euros (19 crore rupees) and the total venue income at 1.7 million euros (12.4 crore rupees).

Surprisingly, the direct income generated for the city of Mumbai is not as high as it is for other cities, where it could make up one fourth or one sixth of the total income generated. It is based on the number of local venues rented out for the event, the number of visitors staying in the city as well as general sales tax, food tax and service tax, which is currently 14.5 percent. In Mumbai's case, this adds up to a total of 2.2 million euros (16 crore rupees), the remaining 11.1 million euros (more that 81 crore rupee) ends up as income for the retailers, venues, restaurants and accommodation businesses in the city.

Of course, staying in any city during Fashion Week can be a pricey affair, but in Mumbai the average expenditure per visitor is relatively modest with 777 euros (56,829 rupees), especially compared with cities like New York, London, Paris or Milan where the same expense is 2,404 euros, 1,806 ; 1,823 and 1,902 euros, respectively.

Lakme Fashion Week, one of India's premier fashion events, takes place twice a year with a Summer-Resort show in February and a Winter-Festive show in August. Given that Mumbai is also home to Bollywood – India's film industry whose movie turnout per year is much higher than Hollywood's, e.g. 225 movies in 2016 alone – many filmstars either walk the ramp or are celebrated visitors.

While there were 49 scheduled designers showcasing their collections at London Fashion Week, this number is almost double in Mumbai with 92 designers presenting their designs. This can be credited with the fact that Lakme Fashion Week puts GenX talent at the forefront to make sure the show is brimming with freshness.

Lakme Fashion Week kicks off on Wednesday, February 1 and will run through Sunday, February 5. FashionUnited will be on site visiting designer showrooms, speaking to attendees, reviewing the most anticipated shows and events in order to share in depth, behind the scenes and insightful Lakme Fashion Week information with its readers.

Images: Sujit Jaiswal /AFP

Lakme Fashion Week