Lakmé Fashion Week is a bi-annual fashion event that takes place in Mumbai. Its Summer-Resort show takes place in April while the Winter-Festive show takes place in August. It is the most prestigious fashion even of India now in its second decade. It is sponsored by Lakme, the leading cosmetics brand used in India. The best and sought after fashion houses from India display their creations in this event.
Run through a collaborative effort between cosmetic brand Lakmé and IMG Reliance Ltd, which has made a name for itself in fashion, and entertainment marketing and management, the fashion show was conceived to allow Indian fashion to gain a foothold in the global fashion scene.
LFW began as Lakmé India Fashion Week (LIFW) in 1999 through a partnership between Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) and IMG. Lakmé was the main sponsor for the show that was held in Delhi up to 2005. The designers for the first show included Monisha Jaising, Ritu Kumar, Rohit Bal, Tarun Tahiliani and others. After Lakmé’s contract with FDCI could not be renewed, there was a split, and LFW moved to Mumbai in 2006 while India Fashion Week continued in Delhi.
Presently, Anita Dongre, Anamika Khanna, Manish Malhotra are some of the members of the Lakmé Fashion Week Advisory Board. LFW’s Gen Next programme has launched a number of prominent designers such as Masaba Gupta and Nachiket Barve. 235 designers have shown their work in the past 21 seasons of LFW. Gen Next is an opportunity for young talent to be mentored by renowned Indian designers and find their way into the international arena. The Emerging Designers category of the event is another platform for new designers. Bollywood actors have often walked the ramp during the Lakmé Fashion Week, including the likes of Kareena Kapoor Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Shilpa Shetty Kundra, Shraddha Kapoor, Nargis Fakhri, and many more. Padma Lakshmi also famously walked the runway for Tarun Tahiliani in 2017.
To raise funds in aid of the victims of the Mumbai 26/11 terror attacks, Naomi Campbell walked in Mai Mumbai fashion for her charity Fashion for Relief at Lakmé Fashion Week in 2009. The event showcased fashion by Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, and Roberto Cavalli.
The Winter/Festive event of 2017 saw the Textiles and Handlooms Day, which was established to give a space to artisans, renamed Sustainable Fashion Day. One of the highlights of the day was the pairing of master craftsmen from the Paramparik Karigar group with five young designers to produce modern fashion using the age-old techniques of dabu printing, shibori, bagh and so on.