India has always been a land of vibrant festivals and opulent weddings. An agrarian economy saw them timed most often with the sowings and harvests. Come nation state and western calendar and we added a few more key dates. And these days were also when Indians shopped to celebrate themselves.
What was noticed recently is that with increasing incomes and growing fashion awareness, Indians are celebrating their lives a lot more. So, today we have customers shopping for fashion specifically for birthdays and anniversaries — of others as well as our own, events and parties-work, family or community; apart from the festivals and weddings. Further, the trend now is to seek a distinct individual look rather than to blend in. Indeed, it is a fact that even the middle-class has finally learnt to dress for and celebrate occasions, something that was in past just a privilege of the affluent.
And for us in the fashion industry, this boom in occasions is a boon, as they act as a powerful stimulant for fashion consumption in India. The average Indian’s wardrobe is now well and truly shifting from need-based clothing to occasion specific dressing and the need of a look is paramount now.
In this first of its kind issue on occasion wear, we track this shift in customer preferences and their growing inclination towards occasion specific fashion enthusiasm across geographies. It was an uphill task for sure, as this fast-growing market has not yet matured enough to enable thorough research and documentation. Nevertheless, we delved deep into the emerging nuances and put together articles to give our readers a slew of insights on the pervading trends and the immense opportunities teeming in this new market orientation.
The issue features extensive insights on ethnic, fusion, and western wear wherein we talk to both top designers and top retailers. Studies on bespoke as well as fashion accessories, footwear and precious wearables was also merited as all these categories witness unprecedented spike in sales during occasions in India.
I would also like to extend my heartiest gratitude to both – eminent fashion columnist Meher Castelino for her editorial contribution on the special feature on the emerging vistas in bridal wear – and Lisa White, Head of Lifestyle & Interiors and The Seasonal Vision of WGSN, for taking time off her busy schedule in India to talk to us. The issue also features an exclusive interview with Adeeb Ahamed, Managing Director, Tablez India about the plans and marketing module of the newly launched Spanish brands Springfield and Women’secret.
ll this and more in the pages that follow. We had a challenging and informtive time making this issue and I hope you like reading it!