As I write this, wearing my jeans and comfy cotton shirt. I must share that while we at Team IMAGES BoF have never adhered to any strict dressing code ever since we started off in 1992, today almost everyone in our office wears casuals. And, this is definitely not because there is any one particular trend of the moment, but rather because casuals are comfortable, practical and expressive. It’s no wonder that casual wear has taken the world by storm and India is no exception. Look around you and there are chances that you will find 8 out of 10 random people dressed in casuals — denims, t-shirts, polos, tops, etc. After all, it’s so convenient. The casual wear market in India has exploded in the last few years. Rugged casuals, dressy casuals, business casuals, smart casuals or sporty/active ones—the casualization of apparel is manifest in many ways today.
In this, the casual wear special issue of IMAGES BoF, the lead research by Team Technopak highlights that, as of 2016, the men’s segment leads the casual wear market in India with a market at ` 1,24,423 crores and is followed by the women’s segment at ` 1,11,467 crores. The women’s segment is however expected to grow at an even healthier rate of 9.9 percent in contrast to the men’s segment which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9 percent. By 2026, the men’s and women’s casual wear segments will reach ` 2,95,705 crores and ` 2,86,456 crores respectively.
Interestingly, India is at quite at par with global trends when it comes to casual wear. You will also see in the industry study, that follows the research, that all the top brand experts that participated unanimously agree to this fact. It’s surprising as normally global trends would be seen only after a season or two in India. The featured article on trends will take you on an odyssey of exploration on the opportunities brimming in the casual wear segment in India. In addition, the issue also looks at the moves of major casual wear brands like Being Human, Indigo Nation, Lacoste, Vero Moda, Wrogn, Gap, etc.
In the first of our forthcoming series of studies on innovation and innovators we talk to Thomas Cridland whose eponymous brand Tom Cridland is making waves around the world with its ‘Buy Less Buy Better’ philosophy. The brand is attracting a legion of fans that include celebrities from Hollywood and music.
We also preview the forthcoming Hong Kong Fashion Week for Spring/Summer, talk exclusively to Nathasha AR Kumar of the vibrant new online brand Vajor, and showcase AstorMueller’s decennial celebration in India. Another report looks at attempts to revive Baluchari sarees of Bengal. WGSN’s A/W 17 buyers briefi ng, a report on the IFF’17 exhibition, and much more await you in this issue.