An amalgamation of ethnic and western style, fusion wear is rapidly taking over as an innovative solution to changing fashion sensibilities. Chic yet comfortable, these easily wearable garments are popular amongst Indian urban women across metros and small towns.
Growing demand in smaller cities
Initially, ethnic wear was restricted to the more mature woman in her 30’s and 40’s but it is now finding acceptance even among younger women. “The contemporary woman prefers western wear with Indian sensibilities, which is well perceived by Indian brands. Therefore, fusion fashion fairs well in smaller cities. Price point is also a factor to consider while buying international brands,” points out Radhesh Kagzi, President, Fusion Beats, a popular Indian brand which expects its business to grow at 10 per cent this year and plans to set up more stores.
Uniquely Indian product portfolio
The product range for fusion wear includes leggings, dresses, tops, shrugs, jackets and skirts creating a new apparel segment of ethnic-fusion wear. “Our style statement for festive season includes lot of flared cuts paired with gold embellished fabric embroidered palazzos, dhotis and pencil fit pants. We have included exclusive wear which offers the high end kurtas in combination with palazzos and dhotis particularly for festive season and this style can rule upcoming season with fresh colors combinations like mustard, tomato red, earthy fresh shades. Natural textures are the calling as well as voile and cotton variation of fabrics,’’ points out Rakesh Morvadiya, Director, 18 Fire, the brand from Divyanshi Fashion.
A lot of innovation is happening on fabric front which includes cotton, viscose, Lycra, polyester, wool and linen. Bigger players are now planning out their autumn/winter collection where they are dressing two kinds of customers - one for autumn and second for winter – as India has a large temperature difference across different states.
“W by TCNS Clothing, re-defined mix-n-match and re-considered contrast as the basis of coordinated looks, “says Anant Daga, Managing Director of the brand. It combined its core products into one -- the bottom wear is constructed solely to complete the look of the top wear, in a way that they become two halves of a whole.
Some fusion styles making the rounds are draping a sari with an off-shoulder blouse, pairing a flared palazzo or dhoti pants with an embellished crop top, lehenga in a jacket style and wearing a kurti as a dress or a gown sari.
“Our kurtis give an interesting twist to the routine salwar kameez style that has gained prominence over the last decade. With an Indo-western approach to traditional wear, we boast of a wide range of designer kurtis with latest cuts, fabric mesh and kaarigari also. We also have a designer product portfolio of bottom wear comprising of denims, leggings, Patiala pants, palazzos, skirts, jeggings and a lot more designer products,” says Kirti Shah, Director, Zola, a leading ethnic wear brand.
A promising future ahead
Fusion wear segment is also gaining popularity overseas. Brands are already exploring Dubai, UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which has the same fashion sensibilities as India.
E-commerce portals and online sales are rapidly catching on. Jabong, Lime Roads, Paytm, Shoppers Stop, Myntra and Tatacliq are some of the popular online portals. E-commerce portals focus on tracking customers through their sites while gaining a better understanding of what they buy and why they buy it. The discounting system on these portals boosts the sales in this segment. With only a handful of branded players in the fusion wear segment, stakeholders see a huge potential ahead.