Wanted: High-end Luxury Brands in India

According to a study conducted by Apex Trade Organisation, the Association Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, India’s design-wear industry is growing at a never-before-seen burgeoning rate. With 40% hike in the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR), this industry is predicted to cross the £1.3billion mark by 2020. Experts cite reasons like higher disposable incomes, emergence of mall culture, changing sense of style, and growing fashion consciousness among the urban population for this growth.

In February, the UKIBC invited Bollywood’s top designer Rocky S and other retail experts to throw more light on this growth and to highlight new opportunities available for British brands in the Indian market. “While the government policy in India lagged behind couple of years ago, it is definitely changing now. Few years ago we were seeing the culture of single brand coming in. But now, multi-brand culture is fast catching up, this has changed the tastes of consumers who now have more disposable incomes and want newer brands,” said Akil Hirani, retail expert and managing partner of Majumdar & Co, a leading law firm.

With bulk of India’s population under the age of 25 and a more conscious upper middle class; India’s retail strengthening can spell success for British brands. “The tastes of Indian customers have seen a sea-change. Many are well-travelled and in tune with the global trends. They are more style conscious and no longer shy from high-end brands and design wear,” said Rocky S, who has designed for the likes of Beyonce and Paris Hilton.

India’s retail strengthening can spell success for British brands

However, Rocky maintains that high-end brands will need to tweak their designs according to Indian taste and climate. “Fall and winter seasons in UK and Europe see blacks and grey. But in India, these are the months of festivities, celebrations and colour. No one will touch black or grey, so they need to be mindful of Indian culture,” explained Rocky.

Last December, luxury brands, including Roberto Cavalli, Armani Junior, Tumi and Hackett were launched in Delhi. Luxury fashion group Genesis has brought iconic British brands like Burberry, Paul Smith, Crabtree & Evelyn and Italian brands such as Bottega Veneta and Etro to India.

With Indian designers like Rocky S, Manish Arora, Falguni and Shane Peacock getting a global appeal, it is safe to say it is not a one-way street.

Find out more about this evolution of fashion and retail industry in India in our upcoming issue.

By Dhanya Nair

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