Col­umn | Fash­ion Critic

The Fu­ture of In­dian Footwear is Male

Shoes & Accessories - - Contents -

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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