Men’s Innerwear Mar­ket: A Thor­ough As­sess­ment

A THOR­OUGH AS­SESS­MENT

Business of Fashion - - Contents - -By Bharti Sood with in­puts from Gur­bir Singh Gu­lati

An in­creased aware­ness amongst con­sumers is in­flu­enc­ing the growth in the de­mand of men’s innerwear. IMAGES BoF takes a look at the cur­rent dy­nam­ics.

Men’s innerwear is no longer treated as just an un­der­gar­ment but is worn as a fash­ion­able form of cloth­ing to be flaunted around in. An in­creased aware­ness amongst the con­sumers about health, fit­ness and hy­giene is fur­ther in­flu­enc­ing the growth in de­mand of men’s innerwear. IMAGES BoF takes a look at the cur­rent dy­nam­ics.

Mod­ern con­sumers, es­pe­cially the youth, do not hes­i­tate to spend on a com­fort­able set of innerwear with­out giv­ing a sec­ond thought to its price. The in­crease in dis­pos­able in­comes across house­holds and im­proved stan­dards of liv­ing and life­style are fur­ther fu­elling the growth of the men’s innerwear mar­ket in In­dia.

Ac­cord­ing to this is­sue’s study done by Technopak, the men’s innerwear mar­ket has been cur­rently val­ued at 9,477 crore and it is ex­pected to grow at a CAGR of 7 per­cent over the next decade. and is ex­pected to reach

17,894 crore by 2027. The men’s innerwear mar­ket to­day con­trib­utes 7 per­cent of the to­tal men’s ap­parel mar­ket.

Tra­di­tion­ally the mar­ket was dom­i­nated by a large num­ber of small-scale play­ers mak­ing ~60-65 per­cent of the mar­ket frag­mented and un­or­gan­ised. The mar­ket seg­ment is evolv­ing grad­u­ally and mov­ing to­wards or­gan­ised re­tail.

There are now a grow­ing num­ber of play­ers in this cat­e­gory of­fer­ing a large va­ri­ety of prod­ucts in var­ied de­signs, fab­rics and styles. Thereby, giv­ing the con­sumer a wider choice of innerwear. Var­i­ous new brands are suc­cess­fully en­ter­ing the cat­e­gory as many men in the ur­ban In­dia have started pre­fer­ring branded innerwear. The con­sumers are mostly seen pur­chas­ing branded vests, briefs and box­ers, of­fered by most of the lead­ing innerwear brands.

Growth Driv­ers

To­day, In­dian men have be­come more fash­ion con­scious and are will­ing to spend more on their looks, groom­ing, com­fort and as well as on their in­ti­mate wear needs. Elab­o­rat­ing on the growth of men’s innerwear, Srikanth Ram, Busi­ness Head, Park Av­enue Innerwear and Ac­ces­sories, shares, “The medium seg­ment is around 25 per­cent of the to­tal men’s innerwear mar­ket size. So medium and pre­mium put to­gether is `3170 crores of to­tal busi­ness. Pre­mium seg­ment in In­dia is ex­pected to grow at around 21 per­cent CAGR in next 3 years”. Yo­gesh Ti­wari, CEO, VIP, adds, “Innerwear has come out of its dark closet. From be­ing just a fun­da­men­tal wear to be­com­ing a fash­ion quo­tient, innerwear has bril­liantly cre­ated a niche for it­self in this con­tem­po­rary mar­ket”.

Emerg­ing Cat­e­gories

The innerwear in­dus­try for men is now flooded with choices. Brands are in­tro­duc­ing in­no­va­tive prod­uct lines that of­fer op­ti­mum func­tion­al­ity and com­fort to the newage cus­tomer. Ap­pris­ing on the types of cat­e­gories emerg­ing in men’s innerwear, Srikanth feels that the box­ers and fash­ion innerwear are quite pop­u­lar. Yo­gesh avers that sleep­wear, loungewear and fit­ness re­lated – gym vests are much in de­mand.

Top Trends

Men’s innerwear has also now be­come more stylish, at­trac­tive and sexy.

Not only women, even men want to feel fash­ion­able in­side out. They look for not only com­fort but for a va­ri­ety in de­signs and el­e­ments, and in­no­va­tive styles, while choos­ing their innerwear. Srikanth Ram, ob­serves that pop colours, prints, and in­no­va­tive fin­ishes for bet­ter com­fort is the cur­rent trend. Ac­cord­ing to Yo­gesh, “The In­dian mar­ket is adapt­ing to what the western world has al­ready adopted and us­ing. To­day the lines be­tween innerwear and outerwear are get­ting thin­ner. Innerwear can func­tion as an outerwear. Whereas, the el­e­ments of outerwear are also be­ing used in innerwear. For in­stance, the boxer briefs, has be­come this gen­er­a­tions’ Frenchie. It’s be­com­ing more im­por­tant to match innerwear with the outerwear”.

Pre­ferred Fab­rics

Com­fort is a fun­da­men­tal ne­ces­sity, when it comes to innerwear and it is re­lated to per­fect size, apt weather and the right fab­ric used. With the chang­ing pref­er­ences of the con­sumer and var­i­ous tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments, there have been a lot of in­no­va­tions in terms of fab­ric in the men’s innerwear in­dus­try. There are a plethora of op­tions in this cat­e­gory. Some of the fab­rics mostly used are cot­ton; ny­lon, modal, rayon, polyester, and silk. These are blended with span­dex in the right pro­por­tion to en­sure qual­ity, com­fort, and dura­bil­ity along with am­ple flex­i­bil­ity. Innerwear made from cot­ton, cot­ton blends, modal, modal blends are high on com­fort and func­tion­al­ity.

Ac­cord­ing to Srikanth Ram, new polyester polyamide elas­tane are the new pre­ferred fab­rics for innerwear, whereas func­tional fin­ishes also play a piv­otal role. Shar­ing his view Yo­gesh says, “Cot­ton and cot­ton blends are the most com­mon fab­rics used in innerwear. Elas­tane is also used as a blend for bet­ter fit and com­fort. In sports­wear, polymide and polyester are

used for their func­tional ben­e­fits”. When it comes to other pop­u­lar fab­rics be­sides cot­ton, Yo­gesh feels, “Modal and modal blends are al­ter­na­tive fab­rics used for innerwear. Be­ing a nat­u­ral yarn, modal lends a su­per cool­ing ef­fect just like cot­ton but is also softer to touch and lighter in weight”.

Top Sell­ing Prod­uct Cat­e­gories

Shape and fit are the most im­por­tant as­pects, con­sid­ered by the con­sumers while buy­ing innerwear. Men’s innerwear con­sists of prod­ucts like briefs, vests, box­ers, ba­sic t-shirts, shorts, py­ja­mas, sleep­wear and ac­tivewear. Ac­cord­ing to Srikanth briefs and vests are the high­est sell­ing cat­e­gories for men’s innerwear and have re­ceived mass ac­cep­tance for their per­for­mance, com­fort, fit and style.As far as pop­u­lar el­e­ments or em­bel­lish­ments used in men’s innerwear, Srikanth feels that men’s innerwear is more about fin­ishes than em­bel­lish­ments. While Yo­gesh lays em­pha­sis on the outer elas­tic for su­pe­rior com­fort and dura­bil­ity.

The Fu­ture

Men’s innerwear cat­e­gory is pri­mar­ily driven by vests and briefs only while the other cat­e­gories like shorts, pa­ja­mas, sleep­wear, etc. form a very small frac­tion and are in the nascent stage. Talk­ing about what will trend in fu­ture in innerwear for men, Yo­gesh feels that boxer briefs as a prod­uct are still in a nascent stage. Go­ing for­ward, this will be adopted by the younger au­di­ence, who fol­low youth icons.

Lat­est in­no­va­tions

High­light­ing the ad­vance­ments in tech­nol­ogy and styles, Srikanth shares, “In­no­va­tions in innerwear are al­ways sub­ject to of­fer­ing bet­ter com­fort and hy­giene by virtue of fab­ric con­tent and prod­uct fin­ishes be­ing used”. Ac­cord­ing to Yo­gesh “There have been vast in­no­va­tions in fab­rics. The ‘18 hours jersey fab­ric’ is one such case in point”. Mod­ern con­sumers, es­pe­cially the youth, do not hes­i­tate to spend on a com­fort­able set of innerwear with­out giv­ing a sec­ond thought to its price. Also, in­crease in dis­pos­able in­comes across house­holds and im­proved stan­dards of liv­ing and life­style are fur­ther fu­elling the growth of the men’s innerwear mar­ket in In­dia.

“Briefs and vests are the high­estsell­ing cat­e­gories for men’s innerwear and have re­ceived mass ac­cep­tance for their per­for­mance,com­fort, fit and style.”

– Srikanth Ram, Busi­ness Head, Innerwear and Ac­ces­soriesPark Av­enue

“The In­dian mar­ket is adapt­ing to what the western world has al­ready adopted and us­ing. To­day the lines be­tween innerwearand outerwear are get­ting thin­ner. Innerwear can func­tion as an outerwear. Whereas, the el­e­ments of outerwear are alsobe­ing used in innerwear. For in­stance, the boxer briefs, has be­come this gen­er­a­tions’ Frenchie. It’s be­com­ing more im­por­tant to match innerwear with theouterwear”– Yo­gesh Ti­wari,CEO, VIP

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