With more Indian women joining the corporate world, breaking the glass ceiling and taking on versatile roles, her dressing too has undergone a sea change. Her newfound confidence, freedom of expression is mirrored in the way she dresses up. And this has given a huge boost to the women’s westernwear segment in India, which continues to grow with new brands entering the fray. “Western wear accounts for around 38 per cent of the entire Indian women’swear segment growing at 11 per cent,” says AshishGurnani, Co-Founder, PostFold. The segment has seen a huge boost both in terms of demand and supply. ATechnopak study highlighted, western wear takes about 25 per cent of the Rs 78,500 crores worth women’s wear market in India with. In fact, the growth of this market is much higher than menswear which is growing at 9 percent in comparison.
Demand attracts new players
The reason for this exponential growth in western wear is the increase in number of working women, entry of many international brands, growing popularity of e-commerce and social media, rise of brand awareness especially among working women with high disposable incomes.
Better interaction with brands through social media channels is making consumers more aware of global trends in western wear. “This affinity is also increasing due to reasons such as the changing dress codes at work to evolving personal preferences for aesthetic or comfort reasons,” explains Gurnani. What’s more, it’s not just metros, demand for western wear has grown even in smaller cities across India. “Women are experimenting with their looks as they do not want to lag behind in this fashionable era,” opines Sandeep Jain, Executive Director, Monte Carlo.
Market to witness six-fold increase
The share of brands in women’s westernwear segment is estimated below 25 per cent as of now. However, the segment is expected to grow by a whopping 20 per cent to eventually cross 40 per cent by 2025. “The market would see a six-fold increase over the next decade. It is faring well owing to the push provided by various ecommerce platforms. This negates the misconception that branded market, owing to its price range, has no takers,” points out Gurnani. The entry of international brands has also added to awareness about this category.
“The discounts offered by international players, who come with deep pockets and a lot of funds to sustain first few years of poor EBIDTA is over-pampering the consumer to moving away from same genre domestic brands,” feels AnkitSood, Head, Fashion Trend Forecasting Planning at Madame. He says “Women’s wear market in India is like a gold mine waiting to explode.” And that western wear for women is being accepted in conjunction with ethnicwear.
The advent of international brands is the biggest challenge, and at the same time opening up of Tier II markets the biggest opportunity, believes Rahul Mehta, Managing Director, 109°F. “Competition is intense and as of now, international brandsseem to hold the edge. However, one has always respected the Indian consumer for her astuteness insensing an overpriced product when she sees one. Hence,I see domestic brands making a comeback in a couple of years, once the novelty of internationalbrands wears off, and consumers see much better value for money in Indian brands, and find them catching up on fashion content.”
Styles, colors and trends
Sood says, “Women’s fashion is all about perfect fits, trendy colors and sophisticated silhouettes. The upcoming trendare: multiple layering, blended in solid and engineered structures.” Simple cuts and cotton-blend fabrics rule the chart, at Monte Carlo incorporating all these trends into its collection.
109°F the new age fashion brand for women offers finely crafted designs for the uber cool women. The current collection has basic, classic cuts, no over the top styling. And Mehta says, “There is a noticeable move towards natural fabrics, but women’s fashion continues to bedependent on polyester and man made fabrics for its sheen and brightness. Colours this seasonwill be muted to deep.”
Another brand that creates unique and trendy styles to suit a woman’s personality is Vanca. “Our future forward fashion and designs allow a woman to be in vogue and wear the best always,” avers Rajeev Sinha, CEO of the brand. Drawing inspiration from European fashion to create contemporary and timeless styles for men and women, the brand’s design inspired styles harmonise with a woman’s inner self to bring out her real personality with utmost grace and élan.