Dear Friends,

Business of Fashion - - Fashion Foreward - Amitabh Taneja

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.

All 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!

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