Manjima Bhattacharjya has just released the book Mannequin – Working Women in India’s Glamour Industry which shows a number of widespread issues in India’s fashion industry illustrated by in-depth interviews.
Recently released by the publishing house Zubaan, the new book contains 30 in-depth interviews with professionals in India’s fashion industry. From these interviews and her own research, Bhattacharjya posits that a major issue in the Indian fashion industry is that models’ work is not respected which often leads to exploitation and even sexual harassment.
An assumption would be that the economies of glamour would be organized, structured with well built systems, but a closer look shows in it characteristics of the informal sector – unskilled, with a floating labor population, relative ease of entry, operating on informal transactions, with no minimum remuneration, a chain of third parties facilitating work between two parities and the absence of any institutionalized body to oversee or regulate matters arising from conflict.
She also writes about some of the more positive aspects of the industry. Writing that fashion can allow people to step across class and caste boundaries, she does praise the industry for its creation of opportunities for social mobility.
India is the fastest growing market in the global fashion industry.