Top global fashion brands are showing much interest to rush into the Indian market

India is becoming a nest for international fashion brands over the past few years. The fact that India is now among the fastest growing and highly competitive fashion markets in the world is fairly clear by the interest that global fashion brands have shown in the last few years. A legion of fabled international fashion brands entered Indian soil this fiscal- Armani Exchange, Muji, Innamorata, North Face, Massimo Dutti, Cath Kidston, etc., to name a few. On the other hand, a whole line of brands like Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Jimmy Choo, Burberry, Dior, Bvlgari, etc., are expanding business rapidly, after having successfully established a stronghold in the yesteryears.


Top International Fashion Brands Entering India

German footwear brand Birkenstock plans to open 25 outlets in India this year, while Italy’s Pianoforte Group aims to launch 20 stores each of the Yamamay and Carpisa brands in the next two years. Lingerie major Victoria’s Secret also plans to set up its first brick-and-mortar outlet on 4,000 sq ft in Delhi’s Ambience Mall.

In the last couple of years, a new trend has also been witnessed. Several high fashion brands are taking the online-only route to enter India, taking advantage of the absence of regulations around selling through third-party portals and owing to factors like lack of quality infrastructure and high real estate costs. Under current regulations, global brands do not require a license to sell in India through online portals if they do not have operations here.

Amidst old brands consolidating their position amongst fashion lovers in India, many new fashion brands continue to rush towards India, with Gap being the latest! Reliance Retail Limited, India’s largest retailer, recently entered into a long-term partnership with US fashion bigwig Gap Inc. to bring iconic clothing brand Gap to India. To put it simply, Reliance Retail is now the official retailer for Gap across all channels in India. So, for all Gap lovers in India, Reliance Retail brings the former’s latest fashion offerings through a mix of exclusive brand stores, multi-brand store expressions, and digital commerce platforms.


India to be a Global Leader for Luxury Hand Embroidery and Bridal Couture

Known for its diversity, rich culture, vibrant colors, handwoven and handloom fabrics, and exquisite handwork, India has claimed a spot for itself as a global leader when it comes to luxury hand embroidery and bridal couture. Earlier, the ease of availability and procurement of fabric from India was not well recognized owing to the offerings from other countries, but now people have begun to take notice of the many advantages India offers as a hub.

Apparel Online met up with 5 international buyers, each a successful and highly regarded player within the industry, on their sourcing trip to Lakmé Fashion Week Winter Festive 2017 which incubates the finest design talent in India. What ensued was a thought-provoking dialogue that sheds light on the increasingly booming business of luxury fashion buying from India, the sudden spike of interest in Indian fashion abroad, and also, the challenges faced by buyers while sourcing from here.

With the fast-growing fashion industry in the country, India has the potential to become the fashion hub of the world, Union Minister Piyush Goyal has said. The minister said that the spirit of self-reliance can be channelized by helping weavers and artisans get their rightful dues.


Market Value of Fashion Industry Across India

For designer premium brands, India remains a relatively new opportunity. For years, there has been frustration amongst these brands owing to regulatory barriers including high import duties. Louis Vuitton was the first premium luxury brand to enter the country back in 2002 followed by Tommy Hilfiger.

Over the last two decades, one has seen Gucci, Burberry, and Bottega Veneta arrive in India, and if all goes well, Valentino and Balenciaga too should enter the country by the end of 2022.

There are also rumors that Galeries Lafayette from France may explore entry to the Indian market soon. It remains a matter of speculation when that would happen! However, the time is not ripe yet for premium designer labels to find a stronghold in India.

The market value of the fashion industry across India in the financial year 2021 was 80 billion U.S. dollars and this value is estimated to reach US$190 billion by 2026. With a growing organized apparel sector and rising income levels, India was the world’s second-largest textile and clothing exporter with a steady growth forecast in this market.

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