Indian Fashion: Conquering Local or Going Glocal?

The most interesting aspect about fashion is its constant moulding tendency. What may be in today, can be a complete faux pas tomorrow. In the quest to hit the right balance, fashion designers have been widening their imagination and reaching out for more, newer, inspirations. This paved way for the recently coined term “glocal” which simply explains the newly fangled perception of globalising inspirations. 

The Indian Connection

Michelle Obama for Manish AuroraThere was a time when the fashion ramp was owned by big names like Valentino, Versace , Giorgio Armani etc but now Indian designers are starting to make their mark in some of the most prestigious fashion weeks. Senior designers like Ritu Beri were one of the first Indians to make their presence felt in the International Fashion scenario. The instant success of Indian designs paved way for many talented Indian designers to showcase their talent in all major International weeks. Designers like Ashish, Naeem Khan and Manish Arora have been appreciated and have positioned themselves on the global Fashion map with style. Naeem Khan was recently appreciated for his custom made silver art deco inspired gown which was worn by the First Lady Michelle Obama at a surprise presence at the Oscars 2013 via video.  

Manish Aurora for Paco RabanneManish Arora broadened his map after having a successful time frame in India for his kitsch and colourful designs. After collaborating with a lot of brands like Swatch , M.A.C  and his most famous Fish Fry with Sports market giant Reebok .He has also gone ahead made a remarkable debut in the prestigious London Fashion Week and also participated in International fashion weeks like Paris Fashion Week where he now regularly showcases his work. He was also appointed as Paco Rabanne’s Creative Director for two seasons after which the Fashion house and he, mutually decided to part ways. 

 

The Foreign Invasion

With recent statistics pointing at India as the next luxury hub, foreign brands all over the world are now looking at India as a potential investment. In an interview, Jeffery Doltis, Owner of Italian fashion brand 40 Savile Row said he believes that the Indian consumer is more aware of the luxury market and that the Indian market is exploding  in terms  of luxury and he states travelling as the main reason for the same.

Hermes, French luxury giant, opened one of the first flagship stores in India in Mumbai in 2008. CEO of Hermes stated that “surging” demand of luxury goods in India encouraged Hermes to open its first flagship in India. 

Similarly, spread over 320,000 sq feet , DLF Emporio Mall in New Delhi is home to nearly 65 luxury brands and close to about 129 Indian designers. Emporio houses well-heeled stores of foreign luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Dior , Chanel, Salvatore Ferragamo to name a few. Dinaz Madhukar ( Senior VP of Emporio) stated that Indian designers have taken relatively lesser space in the mall because they don’t require much space to retail. However, same is not the case with International brands which are frequently visited mostly for their ready-to-wear collection and accessories. 

The Analysis  

Lady Gaga for Manish AuroraStudies show that the Indian market is extremely dynamic and adaptable to almost every change it goes through. With the west slowly losing power on hold of the customers, they are slowly entering Asia in search for loyal customers in this booming sector. Indian designs, colors and the various surface treatments are considered to be extremely diverse and exotic by the rest of the world. Due to this, Indian designers have been accepted by the west with great accolades and open arms. Many celebrities abroad have been open to sporting designs by Indian designers, For example, Falguni and Shane Peacock for Shakira, and Lady Gaga was seen sporting one of Manish Arora’s creations. 

 

Similarly, the Indian consumer is more aware and has a more flamboyant sense of lifestyle because of which people are now delving into luxury foreign brands for their wants. Even though the response to foreign brands has been fluctuating between profit and loss, this aspect has not deterred brands from coming in and expanding their retail space in India. All in all, it has reached a certain balance between the two sides. India is slowly finding a balanced place in the Global Fashion map.