Hindustan Times – Kolkatta – Global platform to spot desi fashion talents, Page No. 1

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ASPIRING FASHION designers take note. The first-ever fashion talent hunt of the country is on. And there’s a lot of moolah for the taking.

Fashion TV and Femina Girl have joined hands with Wigan & Leigh College to organise the nationwide Talent Hunt 2003. Fifty applicants will be short-listed for the awards that will be handed over at Wigan & Leigh’s annual fashion show – Chimera 2003 at Mumbai on May 25. The ceremony would be telecast live on FTV and featured in Femina.

“This talent hunt will provide the ideal platform for promoting young talents. Awardees would gain a lot from this,” Wigan & Leigh Director Vinay Pasricha told Hindustan Times.

He added that the venture would promote fashion consciousness and bring out the hidden talents in India. The top five of the 50 short-listed candidates would be awarded scholarships of Rs 2.52 lakh each, while the next 10 would get Rs 1.26 lakh each.

The remaining 35 would get Rs 63,000 each. This is the first time such huge sums are being offered to prospective fashion designers.

“This competition is open to anyone who’s passed Class XII and is in the 18-22 age group. Unfortunately the response so far from Kolkata has not been very good. That could be due to the ongoing Higher Secondary examinations and because of the fact that we haven’t provided adequate publicity. But we hope to get a better response in the weeks ahead,” said Dr Haimanti Dhir, principal consultant of Wigan & Leigh, Kolkata.

All applications collected at Wigan & Leigh centres at Delhi, Bangalore, Indore and Kolkata would be forwarded to Mumbai where a panel of top Indian designers would judge them. The competition will remain open till Anita Horam, who heads FTV’s Programming & Creative Services in India, said: “Through this talent hunt, we intend to give upcoming designers the opportunity to showcase their works on a global platform.” Applicants would have to furnish a design of their own incorporating the FTV logo, their personal details and a. statement of purpose. Short-listed candidates would be called for an aptitude test and interview at Mumbai. Creativity and commercial viability would be the yardsticks for deciding the winners. The award is being billed as a mega event in the Indian fashion industry.

Wigan & Leigh, one of the largest government-funded education institutions in the UK with a presence in over 23 countries, has received a ‘Royal Charter’ for outstanding performance in the field of education and a ‘Centre of Excellence’ award conferred on it by the Association of Business Schools, UK.

In India, Wigan & Leigh colleges offer courses in management studies, fashion technology; advertising & graphic design, advertising & marketing communications and media studies to over 2000 students in its five centres.

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