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Creating Western Formalwear for India

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Perchance it is time to revise an old adage – “When in the Global Order, Do as the Global Order Does!” as India moves ahead and embraces global changes and dis covers its place in the global order, and moves from being “a nation of shop-keepers” to organised business cultures , this issue of Images Business of Fashion talks to several industry leaders and takes a closer look at Western Formal Wear to trace its current dynamics and its growth over the years.

Manufacturers Mantras

Aptly sharing the context for the story to talk about what is in vogue when it comes to preferred choice of fabric for western formal wear in India, Abhijeet Ganguly, head, Grasim from Aditya Birla says, “In men’s formal wear while the hero is the fabric, brands have to keep reinventing themselves by coming up with quality offerings which are in sync with what discerning consumers are seeking for as their wardrobe solutions. In the last two decades and more specifically in recent years the dynamics of fabrics have changed to keep pace with changing consumer expectations which vary from season to season.” Talking to yet another prominent player from the category of fabric manufacturers, BSL Ltd that produces PV and PW blended fabric, 60 percent of which goes out to various markets in the world. JC Soni, business head, BSL Ltd shares, “Most of the fabric that we produce is used for formal wear. If you ask me what is in trend as of now, then without doubt people want fabric that is comfortable and looks good. Another trend is of party and occasion wear and Lycra is used to add to the comfort factor. Also, the usage of new fibres (filament included) has changed the appearance of the fabrics and Chinese fabrics too have made a significant in-road in suits fabric.”

The name behind the brand Being Human, Mandhana Industries Ltd has an annual yarn dyeing capacity of 6,500 tons, a weaving capacity of 45 million meters and a processing capacity of 55 million meters. Mandhana offers a wide variety of fabrics within solid dyed, printed and yarn-dyed segments across categories such as cambric, voile, poplin, twill, sateen and dobbies. Its core product offering in textile for yarn-dyed fabric includes stripes, checks and dobbies. Within this 60 percent are aimed at the casualwear segment and the rest 40 percent are suited to the western formal category. Elaborating on the manufacturing at Mandhana, Rahul Anand its managing director shares, “Given the global environmental scenario and an endeavour to stay relevant, at Mandhana there is a thrust on developing sustainable textiles. We have introduced tencel in different variations and content mixes, which have seen a great response. Recycled polyester is another such fabric we have introduced and hope it generates favourable reviews from the markets.”

Donear having its presence across the globe, since the last three decades ranks in top brands league in textile industry and has under its portfolio brands like D’Cot and Donear NXG which were launched in 2007 and 2010 respectively. Ajay Agarwal, executive director, Donear shares, “Donear has manufacturing capacity of 50 million meters per year, while its apparel brand D’Cot has 175 EBOs and Donear NXG has 75 EBOs, all of them are via franchisee route. As we are youth focused brand, our formal attire is 40 percent while casual is 60 percent, in our case formal as a category has been consistent in delivering performance.” Citing the significant changes seen recently in menswear, Agarwal points out, “The collars have become smaller in length. There are a lot of varieties in terms of semi-cut away collars, cut-away, button down, plackets have become slimmer, skin and patch fusing are being used, labels are being replaced with branding embroideries. It started more after 2004.”

With the growing thrust on western formals for men, Vardhman Textiles Ltd has gone ahead to develop a portfolio catering to this category. As pointed out by Mukesh Bansal, vice president, Vardhman Textiles, “Due to changes in market trend, we also have developed a lot of men’s wear formal application products for shirts and trousers. Until recently the main focus of fashion industry was mainly towards women’s wear. But for the last couple of years, the men’s category seems to be picking the pace across markets whether it is apparel or skin care products or accessories. Amongst the apparel, of course, fabric surface, feel, touch and appearance play a major role, which is why there is a lot of scope for innovation in this category.”

Arvind Ltd which is in to manufacturing and retailing is strengthening its back-end by setting up of an apparel park through its subsidiary, Arvind Garment Park Pvt Ltd. The apparel park will come over an area of 300 acres at Gandhinagar and is expected to be commissioned by March 2015. Arvind Ltd is also planning to invest around `125 crore for a garment manufacturing plant with a capacity of 9 million pieces. Expected to commission in next 12 months, the apparel manufacturing plant will garner expected revenue of `600 crore.

Fabric major Raymonds recently had a strategic tie-up with Australian firm the Woolmark Company to launch a complete all-weather cool wool collection. In a media statement, Peter Ackroyd, global strategic advisor, Woolmark Company says, “India has tropical climate and customers avoid wearing woolen garments in summers as they identify the fabric with winters. Indian customers need to understand the true potential, versatility and the benefits of using wool in summers.” Raymond also launched 20 garments collection designed by Gaurav Gupta and according to company officials, the premium cool wool ranges start at `1,500 per meter.

Brand Speak

With a state-of-the-art manufacturing units at Kolkata and Bengaluru, having internationalquality machines, technology and stringent quality control measures in place, the brand Turtle has a capacity to produce over 1,00,000 shirts and 25,000 trousers per month. Shares, Shitanshu Jhunjhunwala, director, Turtle Ltd, “Formal wear used to comprise more than 80 percent of our product mix but this has been declining over the years. With changing customer preferences and increased exposure to global fashion trends, people are experimenting with their looks in the workplace – so the lines between formals and casuals will become more blurred in the times to come. Today, the mantra is to ‘dress smart’. Western formal wear has definitely become trendier and fashion forward. There is a relaxed element to it now.” He further says, “When we talk of western formals, the image of an impeccably dressed European or a British gentleman instantly comes to our minds. Earlier, this used to be very orthodox and traditional but now it’s more of a cross-over look with relaxed formals that is in vogue. However, around 75 percent of fabric bases are still pique, satin, herringbone or cavalry
in colours like grey, fawn, mauve, and navy with the regular black and white.” Reiterating the growing popularity of smart wear is Amitabh Suri, chief operating officer of Indian Terrain. Talking about the dynamics of western formal wear, Suri insists, “The usage of the term western formal wear is an extremely outdated concept. Apparel today has a new definition which has a lot to do with emerging lifestyles and consumer choices example – denim, sportswear, smart casuals, evening line, etc. Men’s formals could have a sartorial representation as well as core basic inexpensive clothing. Apparel has now begun to differentiate on consumer price platforms – economy to mid-segment, premium, super premium, bridge-to-luxury and luxury.” He further explains, “The Indian man in the urban towns of India has always adapted well to western clothing, the real shift has taken place in the tier -II and -III towns, western wear got popular with the advent of denim clothing endorsed by the “Bollywood culture”, In 2002, the phase of denim revolution in India, significantly changed the way men shopped. The rise of malls and growing market places have also helped in the same, however, western formal wear is an urban phenomena and has little role to play in the tier -II and -III markets, with the exception of wedding seasons.”
Rajnish Sethia, director, Agwani Fashions Pvt Ltd which has a ready-to-wear brand ‘suCC ess’ is of the opinion that the line between ‘classic’ and ‘fashion’ has become thin. People have started recognising that a classic can be accessorised and worn with different styling and there may not be a need to buy new everytime an occasion crops up. The customers with ‘mature’ taste continue to keep basic with western formal wear while the youngsters are making their presence felt with formalwear with newer details, colours and cuts. Sethia shares, “Our current share of formal wear in our product mix is 35 percent. It has dipped 5 percent as it was 40 percent till last year.” With brands like Van Heusen, Louis Phillipe, Allen Solly and Peter England; Madura Garments is one of the leading names in the category of western formal wear for men and women, has been increasing its network of stores across India. After the parent group Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd buying out Future Group’s Pantaloon, the brands shall now have a wider reach by being available across all Pantaloon stores as well.

In a recent development, Arvind Brands and Retail Ltd, a divison of textile major Arvind Ltd entered into a joint venture with PVH Corp, owner of the international brand Calvin Klein, to distribute the latter’s apparel and accessories in India. The joint venture will focus on the expansion and enhancement of the existing Calvin Klein Jeans apparel and accessories (including belts, bags, and small leather goods) and Calvin Klein underwear (including sleepwear and loungewear) businesses. According to an interview Sanjay Lalbhai, CMD, of Arvind Ltd said, “Calvin Klein is one of the strongest fashion brands in the world and we are delighted to be partners with PVH for Calvin Klein in India. This relationship also strengthens our 20 year association with PVH , which started with ARRO W license and has since been extended to our joint venture with PVH for Tommy Hilfiger business and the license for IZOD ”.

Sourcing Worries

Citing the challenges that apparel manufacturers face when it comes to sourcing fabrics, Suri minces no words when he says, “Yes and no. We do face certain challenges. We source 75 percent from India and continue to source 25 percent from overseas markets. Some of the expectations that we have from the fabric manufacturers included – consistent quality, on time delivery, value added innovations, ability to run JIT programs (Just In Time), credit window, etc.”

The biggest challenge that Suri sees hampering this category is the supply chain. He points out, “The expansion story for any brand often fails if the supply chain does not expand simultaneously. Another challenge is the inability to launch lifestyle accessories (of equivalent quality standards).” On behalf of Turtle, Jhunjhunwala shares, “Overseas sourcing has definitely facilitated greater diversification in terms of product development. So, in addition to sourcing fabrics within India, we also buy from outside for certain specialised products.

Expectations from a sourcing point of view are season-wise developments with proper colour trends, globalisation should be accompanied with local taste and favouritism in terms of design collection, innovation in terms of cost effectiveness and perceived value of the fabric, time bound deliveries and continuous development in terms of quality as well as eco-friendly activities.”

Westernwear for women

Where men limit the use of traditional Indian wear for occasions in family and during festive seasons, traditional Indian wear for women which comprises mostly of saris and salwar suits is well accepted as formal wear thus giving a stiff competition to western formal wear. But things are changing and the market is witnessing a growth in the acceptance of western formals for women as well.

With more and more international brands and an international working culture setting in, the custom of customised uniforms for the staff is being widely accepted and adopted. Saris more or less remain confined to hospitality sector but when it comes to modern retail and several other sectors, majority of the sales staff is expected to sport western wear and this is one reason why we can expect the category of western formal wear in India showing a healthy growth.

Ganguly points out, “However women shoppers across metros and smaller cities are increasingly opting for western wear, helping bolster sales for branded clothing. Traditionally an underserviced market, women’s western wear is getting traction and wider acceptance on account of increasing disposable incomes, and more women joining the workforce and dressing smart, but, having said that, women’s western formal wear is characterised by very varied consumer tastes and ever changing fashion trends. Compared to men’s apparel segment, the market for women’s wear is characterised by a greater degree of complexity and diversity owing to the need for availability of wider range of clothing products and accessories.”

When it comes to fabric for women’s western formal wear, Soni feels that the fabric should be soft, smooth, bright and stretchable. Reiterating on the growing popularity of the stretch factor, Shalendra Vasudeva, chief marketing officer, Indorama Industries Ltd, points out, “The landscape of western formal wear category in India has seen a dynamic change in last couple of years and the demand for more comfortable and fashionable clothes having good stretch qualities is on a high. Consumers today are more aware, well connected and travelled, so they have become more specific with their needs and demands. Garments made with Inviya are becoming a rage especially with women who are opting for more fashionable western formal wear like bodycon dresses, cocktail dresses, evening gowns, corporate suits, leggings, stockings etc.”

Inviya is a new age spandex fibre which is used in conjunction with other natural and man-made fibres to create high end garments is catering to the rising demand of western formal wear and lending them remarkable properties of stretch, shape, comfort and freedom of movement.

“The demand for such fashionable garments has doubled the consumption of spandex in the Indian textile market in the last three years. After receiving overwhelming response to our products we shall be entering into our second phase of expansion this year to cater to these rising
demands,” he further said.

Suri has some strong words of advice for the manufacturers of western formal wear for Indian women. He highlights, “Western formals as a copy and paste from the west would not have a very big market considering the body types of women in India. Indo- western clothing however, has a great potential, if they are made well.” According to Jhunjhunwala, “Women’s wear has tremendous scope for growth as it’s still a largely untapped market. It is already contributing around 25-30 percent of revenues to some leading brands. Considering that increasing number of women now joining the corporate and service sectors, the demand for western formal wear is bound to grow significantly.”

Women today are getting increasingly aware and comfortable with western wear as an option to dress in. This change in dynamics could also be attributed to the exposure and availability of numerous international brands within the country catering to this segment, both formal and casual.”

Elaborating on the differentiating factor for men and women wear fabric for western formals, Anand points out, “A good drape, lightweight and breathability are the desired traits in fabrics for women’s wear whether it is for formal or casualwear. Another big difference vis-à-vis menswear textile is that women prefer a bit of stretch in their fabric for both top and bottom wear for it provide comfort and fit. ”Earlier during the year, Aditya Birla Group launched women’s fusion and western label, Liva.

As shared to the media by Manohar Samuel, president – marketing and business development at Birla Cellulose, a part of the Aditya Birla Group that provides viscose to large apparel makers globally; although ethnic wear is more popular in India, the company wanted to bridge a gap in the market for western wear. In his view, the women’s western clothing market is growing at 30 percent CAGR. “With the entry of international brands, the demand will surge,” mentioned Samuel.

Traditionally catering to men’s formal wear, brands like Arrow and Van Heusen are today focusing great efforts on women’s western formal wear and the very fact that Van Heusen has exclusive stores catering to western formals for women shows the growing potential of this category.

Creating Fashion –Trends & Influencers

When it comes to fabric, the major influencer remains the innovation done by R&D team to produce fabrics that extend a comfortable wear and remain high on quality. Ganguly shares, “With the changing perspective of people towards apparels, we see a trend of more and more people going in for semi-formals and casual weekend looks which they can easily carry off at any occasion be it a party, office-meeting or any leisure activity. As far as colours, designs and patterns are concerned, people are opting for bright colours, checks and prints.”

Adding further on the in-house culture adopted at Grasim, he shares, “Our brand Grasim has emerged from a fabric to a trendsetter in fashionable branded apparels. To some extent the designs are influenced from international culture but predominantly the patterns, colours and fabrics are according to the current trends in the domestic market.” Bansal too reiterates that there is an element of western influence when it comes to designs but when we talk about fabric, the Indian market behaves differently as retailers prefer rich cotton products than value products.

Accepting that fashion trends usually receive their inspiration from European world, Agarwal shares, “Fashion that is widely accepted is from South European countries. Yes, we do an intensive research from these places. Our R&D team takes care of these. Before planning every season they identify the macro trends and we put in a lot of resources in getting the product dynamics right.”

At BSL, the group has a team of international designers who ensure that their product is in sync with the market demands. On what allows BSL have an edge over its competitors, Soni says, “We have a very good range of Lycra based fabric for women’s wear.”

Jhunjhunwala states, “The international fashion trends are definitely the most important influencers, but we have to be careful when adopting them for the Indian market. One has to modify and customise these trends for the target customers keeping in mind their preferences like DNA of the brand, along with other demographic and psychographic parameters. Trends are forecasted seasonally. Fairs, exhibitions, books, reports and websites are the usual reference sources of studying these international trends. The data is then filtered and only the relevant inferences are taken forward and worked upon.”

The team at Agwani Fashions Pvt Ltd actively participates in workshops conducted by organisations such as WGSN and the design team regularly visits trade fairs, retail summits and design workshops.

Classics-Perennial Favourites

Just as gold jewellry in India will never lose its sheen or a local restaurant serving traditional authentic food will still give a stiff competition to an international fast-food chain, there are colours, fabrics and design that would remain evergreen.

The black suit, for instance, will always be a part of men’s wardrobe irrespective of what is in vogue. Ganguly opines, “In today’s context the only constant in fashion is change nevertheless fabrics that remain evergreen in terms of consumer demand are PV blends, PW blends, linen blends and cotton blends. In terms of colours the classic colours like grey, blue, black and white continues to be popular.” According to Kumat, “Black, blue, brown shade with a price range of Rs 250 to Rs 300 per meter with shine and drape are always in demand.”

On the fabrics that would remain evergreen according to Bansal, “These have to be twill, poplin, canvas and satin are always in demand whereas white, black, blue for both men and women are the colours that would always remain in vogue.” Talking about fabrics in vogue when it comes to western wear, Suri shares, “In India cottons is still the king, linen is gaining popularity largely because of the fact that it is both comfortable and is considered premium, worsted and woolen fabrics are largely consumed as fabrics and are tailored, in readymade garments but they have very small market share.”

According to Anand, “When it comes to look and feel of the fabric, stripes and plaids work as evergreen products for men whereas women have an affinity to solid colours and printed textiles. With regards to colours, beige, grey, blue and black are popular for men hence consequently are in constant demand while green, yellow, pink and black are popular colours for women. Cotton is constantly in demand as it is well suited and ideal for the Indian climatic conditions. We also offer many blends with other fiber contents for novelty products.”

Changing Market Dynami

With fashion trends changing at a drop of a hat, it becomes imperative for anyone in the business of fashion to remain abreast with the changing market dynamics. A breath of relief here is provided by various B2B shows held around the year for a clear forecast into what would be in vogue. Ganguly explains, “With the increasing competition in the global textile and apparel industry and the binding provisions of international regulations imposed by local market, several textile and apparel manufacturers worldwide are focusing on trade shows to expand their trade boundaries, to introduce new products and to build new business relations. A few of the important ones are Intertextile Guangzhou, Hometextile China, Technotex India and In Fashion India.”

For Soni, the not-to-miss names when it comes to B2B fairs include – PV and Texworld in Europe and Shangaitex. On the ever changing fashion trends, Suri feels, “Trends are all about the environment one lives in and which are cross functional, while we do look at trends from fashion magazines and fashion and style forecasts, the brand too needs to do research on its consumers and see things from their perspective, sometimes fashion can be too fast and does not allow an existing trend to reach its true potential.”

Commenting on the current trends seen in western formal wear for men, Abhay Kumat from Kamadgiri Fashion Ltd points out, “Even though men’s fashion does not change much yet shine is a factor that has come across as important in all fabrics. Drape and cotton feel is a must. Lycra is coming for more comfort. The most important influencers are its visible appeal, utility appeal and financial or economical appeal.”

On the practices followed at Vardhman to remain abreast with the changing market dynamics, Bansal shares, “We have a dedicated product development centre, where 300 people are employed on design, product analyses and pilot plant. The innovation is a continuous process like a nervous system to the human body. Our designers are from major fashion hubs of the world, we have tie-up with a reputed European design house and subscribe many international design magazines and visit websites for design forecast. We bring about two seasonal collections for spring summer and fall winter. Latest trends are microstructure fabrics, geometric patterns in fabric, performance finishes like easy care
shirts, stain free, moisture management is back in demand in Indian market. In women’s formals rayons are in high demand with drapy and soft hand-feel.”

Anand reveals, “We at Mandhana follow global trends very closely and employ forecasting agencies of global repute and reach. Most of the inputs come from international buyers as well as the team’s international exposure that helps us
interpret the trend and adapt the same into our collections. There has been a surge in demand for viscose bases in women’s wear recently. Tencel, modal and viscose are quite popular in demand internationally not only for western wear but also for casual wear. We have developed a special blend of cotton, polyester and Lycra that has an excellent drape, luxurious and soft with quick drying properties. It is a great product for formal wears for women.”

Not sounding too pleased with the quality of B2B fairs, Anand feels that off late the B2B fairs in the recent years seem to have lost their sheen, but having said that, he also advocates some fairs like Premier Vision in Paris and Bread & Butter in Berlin which his teams like to visit to get an overview of upcoming trends in the textile and apparel industry.

On the fabrics most in vogue and demand, Agarwal shares, “Nowadays people prefer lot of structures and dobbies over just a plain view. The coarseness has given weight to fine double ply fabrics.”

The Diversity Paradigm

There exist many Indias within India! Ask any major retailer what his biggest challenge is and pat comes the reply that it is catering to people belonging to various cultures and communities. In fact within a 10 km radius, the taste and preferences differ so we can imagine the task of creating something that is widely accepted across the country.

Smilarly, Anand shares, “The weather patterns in our country are very different from region to region is a known fact. We believe this contributes majorly to the change in tastes and preferences of the consumers. Though there is not a prominent marked difference between regional markets in India in western wear category, yet some preferences do change across regions on a macro level. While northern parts of India prefer brighter colours, south is subtler. In terms of textiles, we notice a higher demand for more compact and heavier qualities from the north and more open weave and softer textiles
from the south.”

Ganguly shares, “Broadly consumer tastes and preferences do vary from region to region and within cities as well. In fact, consumers living in major metros like Delhi and Mumbai are more exposed to the latest trends and designs hence are more prone to experimenting with new fabrics of different shades and hues. For youngsters there is a constant pressure to adapt to the latest fashions in fabrics, designs and colours – this attitude is predominant among consumers even in tier -II cities such as Pune, Ludhiana and Indore. However consumers in cities like Madurai and Kanpur have a simpler taste and prefer lighter colours that portray a simple yet serious image.”

Kumat feels that the taste for fabric varies for 30 percent of the range. Elaborating further, he shares, “70 percent is the same. For example Gujarat, Andhara and Indore market needs fancy as always.” Bansal is of the opinion that Western India leads in fashion followed by north. South and east India are slow movers when it comes to fashion though he quickly points out, “North east people are very fashion conscious.”

Fashion Alliances & Collaborations

We are at our best when we work as a team. This applies to the fashion industry as well. To ensure that the consumer’s demand is well met, it becomes important to offer them a package of the most recent fabric with the most innovative ingredients binding it and then of course the best in design that would make them pick the apparel off the shelf.

Jhunjhunwala feels that collaboration with a fabric manufacturer is the key to success in creating innovation for a fashion brand. He reveals, “We treat the manufacturer as business partners and not like a vendor. This kind of relationship makes it easier for us to communicate our requirements in terms
of development and for the manufacturer to provide full support to materialise the dreams of the design team.

There is an activity called the ‘Mill Week’ which is organised by the fabric manufacturers and a ‘Brand Week’ which is organised by various brands. In these particular events, besides showcasing the designs for a particular season, concepts and ideas are also exchanged between the fashion designers and the textile designers to facilitate better collaboration.”

Ganguly adds, “Fabric-ingredient manufacturers can establish a new level of collaboration with strategic players in fabric manufacturing. Such collaboration can bring the performance of fabrics and garments to new heights. Fabric ingredient manufacturers can play a wider role by offering technologies, consumer insights and collaborative business models that can genuinely help fabric manufacturers to create greater value for customers.”

On how fabric manufacturers can collaborate with garment manufactures, Soni shares, “We get latest brief from them and samples are prepared in close collaboration with the garment team.” And adding on how fabric ingredient manufacturers can add value, Soni says, “We work very closely with fiber and filament manufacturers in addition to chemical manufacturers.”

On the culture adopted at Mandhana when it comes to collaboration, Anand says, “To be innovative and ahead of competition we need to keep an eye on the latest available ingredients in the field. We work very closely with like-minded innovators, be it at equipment, technology, fibers or dyes and chemicals. We are closely working with Lenzing on the development of our modal and viscose textile ranges. We are also closely working with Dystar on the latest in chemicals and dyestuff, and especially on the sustainable or eco-friendly dyes and chemicals. Such a partnership is essential and is a process of continued exploration.”

Adding to the collaboration that can be fostered with a designer, Anand feels, “A designer sows the seeds; weaves a web of imagination and a manufacturer waters those seeds to turn that fantasy into reality. The two are always in a symbiotic relationship, which is very important for innovation in the product ranges.” On the collaborative efforts put in place at Indian Terrain, the team does run JIT programs with some vendors and also co-created certain products in the past.”

Roadblocks & Challenges

The journey of each manufacturer or brand is not devoid of the constant roadblock and challenges they face, amongst many other things including
the challenge of being a step ahead of the competitor. Citing the challenges that are seen as a major threat, Ganguly shares, “The fabric industry is largely dominated by the unorganised sector which offers cheaper products and higher margins. Also within the industry there is limited product differentiation.”

Commenting on the broad challenges that western wear in India faces, Suri points out, “The Indian consumer still sees it as a product and consumes it as a product, while his western counterpart consumes it as a lifestyle; this point in my opinion is the biggest challenge and has the largest opportunity to take advantage of.”

For Anand, in the past three years, the unpredictable and fluctuating cotton prices have been a nagging issue and a major challenge. He adds, “Like any other industry, textile industry has its own share of problems and challenges related to labour, power and fluctuating demands.”

On the challenges that Turtle had faced since its inception Jhunjhunwala cites, “Since we’re a home-grown company, and it’s a capital intensive business, availability of funds has always been a challenge. Another challenge is the competition from international brands.”

Sharing a constant challenge faced by brands back in India, Sethia shares, “The major challenge we face while designing formal wear in India is the fit and acceptance of newer silhouettes or colours, while customers abroad are willing to change moods with respect to colours and silhouette and break rules when it comes to decorum to dress for an occasion.” Throwing light on a much neglected challenge that India faces, Sethia adds, “Poor manufacturing conditions and unfair trade practices like child labour are still abundant in India. The need for ethical manufacturing processes is a must.”

Moving Ahead

There is a clear indication that women’s western formal wear category is growing at a much faster pace than men’s western formal wear. The thrust for men’s western formal wear is more on ‘dressing smart’.

Fabric innovation is largely based on making the fabric comfortable to carry rather than on designs. Stretch is another influencer when it comes to western formal wear. The best possible means to move ahead in this category and maintain a leadership position is by means of collaboration.

Western formal wear in India has a good scope of re-defining the very word ‘western’ if all the parties involved come together to create western formal wear in India with a true Indian touch that cannot be replicated or be called an imitation of the western world!

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