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Niraj Jawanjal, Founder at India Intimate Fashion Week

Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

Niraj Jawanjal : I am into business of fashion & retail since 2004. We have also shot more than 400+ commercial projects for Indian & International clients.

On a particular lingerie brand's shoot when client's expectations and figure of Indian models were not matching, this challenge brought my attention of lack of Indian Lingerie / Beachwear models who can compete with International models. Also, on the Lingerie & Beachwear side, we have very few or almost no brands to compete with the quality, comfort and appeal like international brands. This triggered the idea of creating a dedicated Fashion showcare Platform in India to launch New brands, New styles / lines, New Designers & an Entry point to International brands to India. & That's how IIFW ( India Intimate Fashion Week ) took birth.

Great Companies: What are the various Services provided by India Intimate Fashion Week

Niraj Jawanjal: We are the only Fashion Week platform in entire Asia which is dedicated and designed for Intimate Fashion that includes Lingerie, Beachwear, Swimwear, Lounge wear, Gymwear/ Athleisure. We act as a Launch Pad for New Entrants ( Brands & Designers ), Reputed brands collaborate with us to unveil their new product lines, Numerous Manufacturers, Distributors and Supplier of the Intimate Fashion Industry look at us as a networking platform to reach out the brands & designers to offer their service and participate in the EXHIBITION during our shows.

Great Companies: What makes India Intimate Fashion Week different from hundreds of other similar platforms?

Niraj Jawanjal: We, IIFW started in 2016 as a one of a kind fashion platform exclusively designed for Intimate Fashion Sector but later we started getting very interesting offers and approaches from across the globe. High Commissions, Trade Offices representing various Embassies / Countries started approaching us to to offer Distribution and Franchise of some of the finest brands from their countries. This lead to the launch of our another promising venture called Candy Shop India, in which we offer Distribution, Franchise, OEM/ODM services to brands & designers across the globe. As a Fashion Week company we are exclusively unique as we have IIFW ( an Intimate Fashion Showcase & exhibit platform ), Black Magik ( our iconic Intimate Fashion Calendar ) and Candy Shop India is our dedicated distribution and franchise arm.

Also, we now initiated our charity initiative " Indian BRA Project " which is aimed at helping underprivileged girls and ladies by offering them basic under garments & personal hygiene products which are donated by Indian & International brands in this segment. We have now specially designed Show platforms for LGBTQIA+ / Queer talents in Fashion & Modeling called India Queer Fashion Fest ( IQFF ) and a dedicated platform of Sports & Fitness fashion called India Fitness Fashion Fest ( IFFF ), these both the formats were due for launch in 2020 but got delayed due to COVID 19. Also, I must mention that we are the only Fashion Week brand in India who dared and successfully executed

India's first ever plus size Lingerie Show in association with American Lingerie brand Parfait in 2019 which brought the attention in the global fashion arena. Now, we are gearing up again.

I hope, this much information is enough to understand how different we are from the similar hundred others.

Great Companies: What are the struggles and challenges you face?

Niraj Jawanjal: The biggest challenge we'hv been facing is the TABOO around Lingerie, Personal Hygiene in the Indian Society and Mindsets. Yes, discussing and seeking information, putting choices and raising voice is a still big taboo in India even if its 2021. Since our launch of IIFW, we always stood by girls and their rights. IIFW has its own mission called #BOOTHETABOO and we would always stick to it. We always raise our concerns through thought provoking short films, promotional videos and initiatives. Now, we can proudly say after 6 years of our relentless efforts, support from media fraternity and intellectual corporates we could see changes happening in the mindsets. Many brands and ventures started entering in this field to support and stand by girls & women to support them in these issues. Now girls started raising their voices, started choosing their careers and professions, talk about sexuality, body shaming, inclusive fashion, periods and their preferences etc.

Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for India Intimate Fashion Week?

Niraj Jawanjal: Our first priority is to add motivation to the Fashion Industry which is silent since Dec 2019 due to Covid. The entire talent pool across the fashion sector went through a very disheartening time for last 2 years as the industry wasn't operational. Many lost jobs, projects and also hope to get back. We wish to begin all our pending projects first so that the industry gets the re-energization push and we all can be back to the RAMP. In the future, we have plans to global with global partners and take Indian Intimate Fashion its associated Talent to the global level through Shows, Shoots & Exhibits. We are also gearing up to get into Intimate Fashion Education Sector ( which is absent in India right now ) and offer International Standard Intimate Apparel Design Courses to Indian / Asian students.

Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Niraj Jawanjal: Our advise is to simply dare and stand by your choice if you are passionate about. Many people told me to not to get into this sector as its associated with TABOO and some suggested that it may be illegal to do intimate fashion shows in India, but we never stopped. We went down to the depth of the matter, discussed with influential lawyers, understood the market size, and tried to grab everything we could during our preparation time and the we dared. Today, we are an Indian Entity but globally known. We have international audience and appreciators because we are passionate about our work.

So, don't stop, chase your dream with passion. Cheers.

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