With changing lifestyles, India is becoming the hub of global fast fashion brands. Despite this fashion revolution, there are many women in India who are still traditionalists at heart, and prefer ethnic wear. Even the millennial,who drive the maximum consumption of fast fashion tend to opt for ethnic at festive occasions or family functions. Moreover, there is a fair share of working women who find ethnic wear more comfortable for day-to-day wearing. Though, the Indian fashion market has become crowded,ethnicfashionhas shown no sign of fading; in fact, the market is growing like never before.
Let’s shed some light on some interesting trends in this space.
The Humongous Size of the Ethnic Market
According to Technopak, ethnic wear is the single biggest category in women’s wear segment with a share of 71 percent. Moreover, this segment is transforming itself from the unorganised sector to large retailers and companies.
Speaking further on the market, Puneet Jain and Yatin Jain, directors Odhni, said, “On looking at the market’s performance closely for the past five years, it has grown tremendously. Particularly the luxury and designer ethnic wear segments have seen a steep rise with the growth of middle class and working women. Presently, the ethnic wear market is pegged at 82,000 crore and is expected to grow to Rs 1, 26, 210 crore by the end the current year.”
The growing popularity of Indian and western fusion wear and e-commerce bandwagon shopping are few reasons behind its impressive growth.
Odhni was launched in 1999 at the time when the market was running out of trusted and reliable ethnic brands to cater to the enormous demands from the rising middle class. The founders, aka entrepreneurs, Anju Jain and Shashi Jain, started Odhni from 500 sq. ft. store in Pitampura, New Delhi to meet the demands of contemporary Indian women – educated, confident, and fashion-savvy. Later, the venture was joined by brother-duo Puneet and Yatin Jain; the aspirational businessmen who helped Odhni to become one of the leading players in ethnic wear market in Delhi in short of span and time and that too, without any external funding.
Conscious is the New Trend
To match up with evolved consumer behavior, ethnic brands are transforming and becoming more conscious towards many things like making environment-friendly product, chemical free dyes and material, and so on.Today, people have become aware about environment like never before, thus, conscious fashion is the latest trend in the ethnic space. Ancestory,a latest brand from Future Style Lab in the ethnic space promotes conscious fashion. The brand offers a variety of fashionable clothing, home decor, footwear and accessories, all of which is constantly evolving and in line with international trends, and yet rooted in Indian heritage and crafts. Presently, the brand is retailed via six exclusive stores.
Speaking on same, Manjula Tiwari, CEO, Future Lifestyle said, “There is a growing consciousness among the consumers about the impact of fashion on environment. Consumers are now–more than ever–educated and curious about the quality and contents of the fabrics and materials used to create what they wear. On the supply side, however, there are not enough brands catering to such sensibilities, thereby offering a huge market opportunity. But, further down, the creation of slow-fashion is a time consuming and expensive process, with slower fashion churning out what most Indian consumers don’t want; they are used to with fast-fashion brands. It’s the fine balance a brand creates that keeps it going.”
Fusion Remains the Hot Favorite
Fusion wear has really revotionalised ethnic fashion. Fusion is nothing but westernisation of Indian wear, which has so far been well received by Indian women. Speaking on the same, SandeepKapoor, MD, SHR Lifestyles Pvt Ltd, said, “Today, we have a huge population of working women as against times when women were usually homemakers. These changes together have led to an evolution of fashion to suit their changing needs. Influence of western elements in Indian ethnic wear is vivid in a woman’s wardrobe today.”
Therefore, fusion is becoming the obvious choice of young India. Launched in 2009 by Sandeep Kapoor and Sheetal Kapoor, Shree is a women's ethnic wear brand with offline and online presence. Recently, the brand has raised Rs 80 Cr from Alpha Capital.
E-commerce companies such as Myntra, Jabong, have infused a lot of growth in ethnic space. Anouk, AKS Clothing, Varanga are amongst few brands, which started their journey from one of these platforms, and become highly successful today. For example, AKS Clothings, an online apparel brand of Yuvdhi Apparels Pvt. Ltd which was started in 2014 by an enthusiastic and energetic fashionprenuer Nidhi Yadav, has crossed to Rs 100 cr revenue mark in the Q3 of fiscal year 2018-19.
Clearly, ethnic fashion is here to stay. However, the brands need to ensure that they stay relevant to modern India whether it is distribution or product choices.