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The Gurgaon Fashion week 2014 called off in last moment: Designers angry and organiser absconding!
All my hopes and dreams to attend the first edition of Fashion week in Gurgaon was dashed when I received a last minute text stating that the entire show has been canceled. Not able to get any sense of why such a thing has happened, I anyhow landed at the Galaxy Hotel, which was the venue of the event. Gurgaon Fashion week was officially called off and what met my eyes was - empty stalls, a hassled organising team, angry designers and models who were quietly making their way out of the venue.

The show was scheduled from April 17 to 20 at the Galaxy Hotel and reputed brands such as BMW, Budwaiser and Red Paws were associated with the event as sponsors. On enquiring about what went wrong, Designer Urvika, of the Pooja and Urvika brand said, ''The entire thing is a scam. We were promised so many things such as professional models, make up artists and a good show, but when we came to the venue, everything turned out to be false. The organising person, Rohan Verma, is absconding and has switched off his phone. We were also promised advertising and editorial pieces in fashion magazine like Vogue and Harper Bazaar, but there probably were no such arrangements with the publishers.''

Adding, she also said, ''for the same stalls, the organising team has charged different rates from different people. I had to pay 1,75,000 for one stall, while there are designers right now in this room who have paid rates such as 25,000, 75,000 and 1,00,000.'' She said that everything started when they arrived this morning to see zero footfalls and an empty banquet hall with no arrangements whatsoever. From there on, things started spiraling into bigger problems. Most of the designers started realizing that the basic infrastructure was missing and the organizing team was not equipped to provide any facility previously promised to the designers. A few of the renowned designers like Ritu Kumar who were also set to display their collection in the opening day, probably had realised the gaps in the promise and preparation of the organizing committee had withdrawn their participation in the last minute. Rumour mill suggests even Priyanka Chopra was to be a part of the event and canceled her visit.

Reena Chaturvedi, Head of operations, from the organizing commitee was present in the venue. When enquired about the accusations made by the designers she refutes, ''From the beginning, the designers have been difficult. They have been complaining from the word go, whereas, we have tried to pacify them with assurances and much more. They are just not ready to listen and want to point out the negatives of the thing.'' When I pointed out that many of them paid different money for different stalls, she said that they had to pay as per the prominence, location and size of the stall.

It was a sorry state of affair to see an empty ramp, empty chairs with empty stalls. Shagun, designer of the brand Umaarth was dissappointed as she had paid 50,000 for her stall and she got nothing out of it. Talking about the contract and the event she said, ''The contract is a sham. It is just a piece of paper. We were promised professional models but when we came in we realized college girls are called in to act as models. Hefty charges were collected from all the designers for arranging venue, models etc. But look what we got. The venue is sponsored, the models are free and the main organizing member Rohan is absconding. We were to receive our buyers list last week, but till date we are waiting for the mail.''

A person associated with Panache, also pointed out that apart from the stalls, they had also invested in the clothes. The theme was bridal and a lot of money went into that as well as time and effort, which they would never be able to get back. The only way forward the designers feel is now a police complaint and their only agenda is to get their money back.

All efforts to call Rohan Verma went futile as he kept disconnecting all our calls and never replied back to our message. The cancellation of the event brings back the memories of 2011 when a similar shoddy organization had resulted in the cancellation of event for International Rock Band Metallica in Gurgaon and had led to the arrest of the organizers. But canceling off the first fashion week breaks heart of millions of fashion lovers in the millennium city who were eagerly looking forward to the event.

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