The fashion industry saw an impressive growth of 10 percent over the past five years. Discussing the drivers of this growth in fashion and the challenges ahead a session titled “Indian Apparel and Fashion Market – 2012 and Beyond” moderated by Subhinder Singh, MD, Adidas and Reebok India was held on the first day of India Fashion Forum 2012, Mumbai.
The session explored the factors driving the growth, learning’s and challenges along the way and future predictions. Imminent personalities from the fashion, retail business like Rachna Agarwal, CEO, Indus League, Amir Sheikh, Country Manager India, Woolmark Services, Akhil chaturvedi, MD Provogue and Anjana Sharma, Head, IMD Fashion participated in the discussion.
Speaking on the areas of potential growth for fashion, Sharma pointed to the kidswear and the maternity market. “Women today don’t want to hide the bump in behind anarkalis, instead they want to flaunt it in fashionable gear that’s also comfortable. I see a huge market there. Also it’s time to think beyond the denim. In fact it’s time to think the next denim story,” said Sharma.
While the industry did witness a 10 percent growth, was it too small for an industry that everyone thought would scale greater heights? Agarwal pointed out that the real growth centres are the tier II and III centres. “In the last five years, we have seen the market growing out of the high-streets to the malls. Mainly the growth has been restricted to the big six to eight cities. All of us are now talking about the tier II and III cities. At Indigo Nation and Jealous we are now exploring markets in towns we have never been to before which includes Jhansi, Patna, Jabalpur, Kota, et cetera and the experience has been absolutely phenomenal,” revealed Agarwal.
The winds of global recession have not left the fashion industry untouched and Chaturvedi felt the need for fashion to evolve. “The shelf life and the wardrobe life of products need to go up. In fact we need to make our merchandise fashion proof. Also the fabric manufacturers need to shorten the delivery time and make it available in smaller batches,” said Chaturvedi.
Sheikh says that they want to promote sportswear. He said, “M-commerce is driving sales. People are ready to buy online and make changes for fit later.”
-Nivedita J. Pawar