Column | Fashion Critic
The Future of Indian Footwear is Male
I am BEYONCE all team when it comes to jamming to ‘Who runs the world, girls’ but even I am here to recognise the hijack of footwear industry by our boys! Men, specially urban men, are leaning towards the importance of good appearance, attire and increasingly so. And the magic works with them closing on the look,with well picked footwear. In my vast array of encounters with such eager souls, they look for the following when it comes to shoes:
1. Quality 2. Appropriate to the occasion in mind, if there is - most hate the concept of overdoing it 3. Wallet and its thickness
Somehow when it comes to footwear, the demarcation on different occasion wears is way stronger in case of men than women. The lines have been blurred over the years for women, and much to the surprise of generations it is on the rise for our boys out there. We got our derbies, monks, lace ups, Oxford, brogues merely in formal wear for them and don’t even get me started on the sneaker culture. It’s vast, improvising everyday and we are categorising like never before.
Just like women’s apparel industry, designers and manufacturers are in loop with how aware the customer is nowadays. They can’t afford to mess up on the branding, communication and the quality that they claim. Leather or faux leather, the distinction is a layman’s new fetish, and we as designers can’t bear to compromise even the hidden linings with cheaper alternatives. With growing trends and fashion demands, the Indian footwear market seems bullish as men seem to be leaving behind women with their demand for shoes.
With the advent of GST, we saw a remarkable drop in women footwear sales, but to everyone’s surprise men shoes were relatively less hit. In fact, the number of men’swear designers (shoes or apparel) has been on the rise since a decade. Men that are redefining fashion are leading the way for the Indian footwear market. With a growing need for men to experiment with fashion, we understand their demands for fashion forward yet comfortable footwear. Such a market trend was witnessed with the rise of sneakers and its evolution.
It will be interesting to see how the market flourishes in the next few years as well as to witness growing and evolving fashion demands of men. Seasonal women’s sale is a thing of the past as men are now taking the centre stage and proving that the future of Indian footwear market is male.
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