The apparel industry in India is witnessing growth. People are moving towards more flexible fabrics and clothing styles. ShrutiSancheti, designer and owner, Pinnacle, told BE, “We believe that there has to be a thin line between art and commerce. It is one good thing to make fashionable clothes, but if no one wears them, there is no point. So we need to account for figure flaws, we need to account for the cultural ethos and also factor in other trends while designing clothes.”
In India’s high-growth, fast-changing apparel market, the apparel industry is witnessing some specific trends. The transformation is due to an increase in income and penetration of branded wear as well as enhanced awareness of fashion trends among consumers. The designers have brought in several trends that have changed the game of fashion for men and women. So, it is important to discuss certain trends that are emerging in the textile industry.
Trends of the Fashion Industry:
Trend 1: Using what our country offers
There was a time when Indian designers followed Western trends. Not anymore. Until recently, khadi or handloom garments were considered old fashioned, but now, people prefer comfort over style and our own heritage is offering us the material. Sancheti informed, “As a designer, I have always believed in the unsurpassed legacy of weaves and textiles that our country has to offer. I always felt that we Indian designers don’t need to look towards the West. We have a lot to take from our own heritage, which is never going to be short of inspirations.”
Aditi Somani, designer and owner, AditiSomani, told BE, “We cater to women who prefer wearing youthful yet classic styles. If you go through my collection you will find contemporary designs but the embroideries are classical and inspired from traditional motifs.”
Trend 2: Pastels are the new black
Somani also spoke about the preferred shades and colours. She said, “Right now, we are into the nudes, the greys and the sea-greens, on which if you create heavy embroidery then it looks very dreamy but at the same time, I also create the same on darker colours. You can play with light colours and even put a lot of bling on it, yet it would look very subtle.” The pastels are easy to design and work with and designers are now increasingly opting for pastels. They are also worn with multiple colours to accentuate the lighter shades. The pastels can be styled easily since they go along with pastels as well as multi-coloured patterns.
Trend 3: Use of Flora Prints
Floral prints generally look good for all occasions and with the changing rules of fashion, people are even sporting them in formal wear. They are romantic, floating and printed on floaty materials to emphasise the romantic and airy appeal. Sancheti informed, “Floral prints never go out of fashion, it’s every woman’s favourite, they go with every occasion whether it’s casual or formal and work really well when combined with soft pastel colours. They bring out real feminine traits!”
Trend 4: Region Specific
In India, weather plays an important role in determining the styling as most of the places are highly humid. Materials used for clothing have to be cotton or a cotton-based mixture in order to have breathability during summers. Sancheti said, “The fabrics have to be really breathable since 90% of India has 10 months of summer.”
Somani added, “Being a resident of Mumbai, we don’t experience winter as such but I also have a store in Delhi and I have to design my clothes keeping in mind the two contrasting weather situations. For the summer, I generally use pure khadi, pure silk, pure cotton as well as khadi silk and pure organza. Chanderis are a blend of silk and cotton and you can wear it all through the year.”
Trend 5: Price Segmentation and Target Specific
In this context, Sancheti mentioned, “My target customer base would be someone who believes in restrained opulence and understated luxury, understand craft in a way that less is more. We are not following trends very seriously but then someone who like crafts or wants to understand them can always buy my clothes.”
DivyaTodi, designer and owner, Allur told BE, “My USP is to create a sophisticated, ethnic, elegant and traditional look. The age bracket for my target customers would be 35-55.” Price segmentation is very important according to the target group. Once it’s clear, it becomes easier for both the buyer and the seller to decide whether it fits their range or not.
Trend 6: Single Stops
Everyone is running on a busy schedule and it is hard for people to go out and find time for shopping. People are not even getting time to concentrate on elaborate wedding shopping due to pressing schedules. AayshyaJhunjhunwala, co-owner, Shaadilogy, told BE, “Shaadilogy is a one stop solution for everything that’s wedding, so we have an online marketplace which caters to everything that is wedding and hence we started doing something called the Trousseau closet in order to help people who are shopping for their wedding and people who are attending weddings. The idea is to provide a stop solution. We keep limited designers that are known in the market and people can select from them.” Now people are asking for the same for every occasion in order to avoid the hassle.
Trend 7: Customisation
Customisation is very important in the present market. If we come across a design, we get it stitched for the next occasion we attend. Todi informed BE, “Our brand mainly consists of ethnic, traditional wear and our staff are mostly hand-embroiders. We focus on doing entire outfits for couples and focus on customisation.”
Trend 8: Sustainable fashion
Sustainability is the new trend. People are moving towards eco-friendly clothing fabrics. This benefits both the consumer and the environment. Such fabrics are easy, breathable and environment friendly. The inclination towards creating an eco-friendly environment has also impacted the apparel industry.
The Indian textiles industry, currently estimated at around $ 150 billion, is expected to reach $230 billion by 2020. The future looks promising because of the growing demand from the domestic as well the foreign markets.