Blog blogger branded clothing Brands career options Entrepreneurship famous indian designers Fashion fashion brand fashion careers fashion designing fashion in india fashion industry fashion magazine indian designers Indian Fashion indian fashion designing indian fashion industry industry trends latest fashion magazine editorial Marketing News NewsOpinions premium brands Trends

Evolution, Trends, Influencers, Stats & Future






From Indus Valley civilization to colonization to present day, here’s an summary of trend and the evolution of the Indian trend business. Uncover the statistics, and what our predictions of its future are.

Indian history is so historic and rich, that the concept of Indian style is hundreds of years previous. The Indian style types began evolving proper in the Indus Valley civilization. Nevertheless, the Indian style business didn’t evolve for a lot of centuries because of an sudden cause – the caste system. Identical to in some other country, the historical past, tradition and weather are a number of the necessary elements that influence the Indian style business. Let’s take a look at the how the business began, advanced and what lies forward for it.

Pre-Colonization Period: Origins of the Business

A number of the earliest data of Indian clothes could be discovered in the sculptures of Indus Valley civilization (3300–1700 BC). Data of saree-style drapery date back to the art from Maurya Empire ( 322–187 BCE).


Priest-King from Mohenjo-daro on the National Museum of Pakistan, Karachi (Picture:; Yaksha statues, and Didarganj Yakshi sculpture within the Bihar Museum (Picture: Wikipedia)

Despite Indian style types being historic, it didn’t see any evolution as an business till the British rule.

Earlier than colonization, trend was just for the royalty. The Indian society was divided into totally different castes, which determined their professions. And style needed to be practical for everyone, because the majority of the population was poor. The peasants wore cotton dhotis or sarees, and the warriors wore armor. No one inside the majority of the population either had the means or requirement for vainness.

akbar darbaar

Mughal paintings from 1600 CE; image by

Moreover, the common-folk wove their very own cotton and hand-stitched the hems to create their own dhotis and sarees. Clothes in India was nonetheless meant to be principally wrapped across the body, fairly than stitched. The shortage of disposable revenue among the population made the style business nearly nonexistent.

Trend vs. Textiles

Before the fashion business in India even started to take form, the Indian textile business had already advanced. Commerce occurred in pre-colonization India, which was principally limited to silk imports and cotton exports. In response to,  India found the closely-guarded secret of the best way to make silk from the Chinese, somewhere round 300CE. Earlier than lengthy, silk turned the fabric of selection amongst Indian royalty. Elements of India comparable to Cochin, Gujarat, Malwa, Varanasi and Delhi turned facilities of sericulture and brocade weaving.

akbar jehangir

Akbar and Jahangir featured in Mughal Artwork ca. 1876; Picture:

The Mughals enhanced the colours and art in silks, introducing paisley and buti motifs. So trend remained the unique rights of the riches. They wore intricate jewellery, accessories, silk sarees, lehengas and sherwanis, replete with hours value of elaborations.

Colonization Period: Introduction of European Types

While the East India company launched Anglo trend types, akin to skirts, trousers, suits, achkan and blouses. These types weren’t adopted, but have been enforced upon the Indian British staff. European trend inspirations advanced the Indian clothes among the many nobility and upper courses.

But for the widespread man, style turned a form of oppression. Again along with their poverty, it turned one other issue that stored the Indian style business from rising or evolving.


Indian ladies within the early 1860s; picture by BBC

Publish-Independence: Beginnings of the Indian Style Business

For a few many years after Indian independence, the Indian financial system struggled and trend was a low precedence for Indians. The educated Indian inhabitants shaped the upper courses and nonetheless most popular western clothing, particularly for going out or social conditions. Nevertheless, economic progress and partition lastly led to a improvement of Indian trend business. As inter-state commerce advanced, style types have been exchanged and Indo-western style developed.

The Influence of Bollywood: Major Turning Point

There was no higher pressure within the progress and improvement of Indian trend business than Bollywood. In the late 1950s, shade in Indian cinema turned common. And this brought along a revolution within the Indian style business. Individuals began to take discover of the colourful costumes and way of life introduced within the films.


Bollywood film stills – (prime) Nargis, Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar in Andaz (1949); Dev Anand in Baazi (1951)

The golden age of cinema, from 1940s to 1960s, introduced many films to the limelight. A few of them really showed Indian style in all its glory, a mix of historic and British influences. Actors like Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, and actresses like Nargis and Madhubala turned the primary trendy influencers that moved the Indian style business forward. Individuals started to get impressed by their clothing types for his or her every day style decisions.

Regardless of the rising reputation of trend, Indian trend business remained largely unorganized. A scarcity of common brands and designers made positive that folks needed to depend on bazaars, local tailors and their own sewing expertise to diversify their clothing types.

Progress of the Dashion Business: 1980s – 1990s

From then on there was no stopping the Indian style business. The Indian cinema growth after the 1970s, when superstars reminiscent of Amitabh Bachchan, ZeenatAman, Dimple Kapadia and Jackie Shroff made totally different types of trend in style among the many plenty. Every Bollywood star had to have their very own private fashion, which impressed all strata of society.

amitabh bachchan zeenat aman don

Amitabh Bachchan & Zeenat Aman in a nonetheless from movie Don (1978)

A variety of western trend influences additionally came to India, such as the bell-bottom pants of the 70s, the denim developments and the workout style of the 80s. The growing demand lastly led to the evolution of the Indian style business.

1980s: An Expanding Wallet

Many homegrown trend brands turned fashionable within the 1980s, particularly among the many rising middle-class inhabitants. These included Lakme, Louis Philippe, Raymond, Flying Machine and Park Avenue.

Within the 80s, trend designing turned a viable career, as the first wave of Indian style designers gained reputation, including Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla, Tarun Tahiliani and Satya Paul. Along with them, many overseas manufacturers also entered the market. This competitors and demand additionally created a segregation in the Indian bazaars. Native outlets created collections inspired by western manufacturers. Boutiques bought clothes impressed by Bollywood and style designers and appealed to the younger era.

Indian fashion industry tarun tahiliani 1980s

Tarun Tahiliani designs featured in Bombay the City Magazine ca. 1988 (picture: Scroll)

Style schooling began with the opening of NIFT. Indian trend advanced far more in these 20 years than it had in the previous thousand years. In the late 80s, superhit movies like Maine Pyar Kiya and Chandni made trend an obsession for not simply the high revenue teams, but even for the low revenue, and for all genders.


Salman Khan in stills from Maine Pyar Kiya ca.1989

1990s: The Recognition of Couture

In the 1990s, style finally turned one thing for everybody. TV turned part of a excessive number of Indian households, and the youthful era received entry to a rising disposable revenue. So everybody began to take notice of Indian style designers like Rohit Bal and Manish Malhotra, as increasingly more films began to keep trend as a spotlight. Some examples are Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Dil to Pagal Hai. Additional studying: Indian Bollywood Trend By way of Many years: 1960s to Present

Aishwarya Rai and Sushmita Sen profitable the international magnificence pageants in 1994 and Indians touring overseas meant that western trend developments penetrated India within a matter of months. Moreover, trend and Bollywood magazines additionally contributed to individuals’s publicity to style developments.

Aishwarya Rai and Sushmita Sen

Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai profitable the Miss Universe and Miss World pageants respectively

The upper and middle courses started to dedicate increasingly of their revenue in the direction of style. Social events akin to kitty events, festivals or family outings gave individuals a purpose to buy new clothing. Similarly, getting custom-made wedding ceremony wear turned widespread. Indian style acquired segregated into three elements: reasonably priced, premium and designer.

2000s: The Web Era in Indian Style Business

Not simply the style business, however by the new millennium, cosmetics, hair and skincare business had also grown so much. Demand for teenagers put on and clothing for various events, trend business boomed.
Within the 21st century, a couple of elements influenced the additional progress of Indian style business:

  1. Indian weddings had turn out to be giant lavish affairs, and expensive wedding ceremony wear turned an enormous a part of them, for all high earning households.
  2. Ladies turned unbiased, incomes members of the family. This meant that they might spend more of their disposable revenue on trend, and style turned a method of expression of her personal type, id and freedom.
  3. More overseas trend manufacturers similar to Louis Vuitton, Zara, Aldo, had penetrated the Indian market within the 2000s. This increased publicity to developments increased demand, and in addition created employment for more style designers, consumers and store india 2005
  4. Progress of purchasing malls ensured purchasing turned not only a solution to fulfill clothing or self-worth need, but in addition a means of passing free time and socialization.
  5. Web elevated the exposure of international style tendencies and types. And the widespread Indian might now entry overseas style developments inside seconds of their inception, by watching style exhibits occurring in Milan or Paris.

The 2010s Growth in Indian Style Business

As smartphones received fashionable in the 2010s, a wave of Indian e-commerce startups continued to grow the Indian trend business, along with overseas purchasing websites. Websites like Amazon, Myntra, Flipkart and others gave all areas of India the access to latest style developments, as well as created extra trend jobs. Learn more: 15 Greatest Online Purchasing Sites in India for Clothes.

top-western fashion-brands-india-clothing forever21

Screenshot from taken in 2019

The e-commerce business has been a significant factor that gave Indian trend business a progress spurt in 2010s. Well-liked trend turned not limited to the metropolitan cities that had the buying malls.  Purchasing web sites also gave local designers and small sellers the opportunity to extend their reach. This increased competition pressured buying web sites to push style brands to provide 15-20% reductions.

Based on a 2015 report by Financial Occasions Retail, style brands “claim to be paying 30-40% commission to e-commerce platforms.” This, in line with Arvind Singhal, chairman of retail consultancy agency Technopak Advisors, is just like the 40-45% margins brands pay to run a physical retail retailer. Style clothes retailers often make 10-15% profit after overlaying working costs.

How huge is the fashion business in India?

Elements together with web & smartphone penetration, style media, rising center class, e-commerce gross sales grew the Indian attire market from $38 billion in 2012, in line with based on Technopak’s estimates, to $67 billion in 2017, as advised by Rahul Mehta, President, Clothing Producers’ Association of India (CMAI).

Luxurious, Premium & Reasonably priced Trend

These online sales shortly blurred the strains between premium and reasonably priced style, although worth range still demarcates these sections of style.

For instance, designer manufacturers like Louis Vuitton that has three shops in India is taken into account very unique. Their retailer representative in Bangalore spoke to in an interview, saying “Bags range from ₹69,000 to ₹21 lacs, depending on the leather and design. Shoes start from ₹46K and clothing ranges from ₹38K for t-shirts and goes up to ₹4.5 lacs for dresses that could be made with exotic leather.”

louis vuitton chennai fashion bags

Louis Vuitton assortment preview in collaboration with Harper’s Bazaar; picture by Shilpa Ahuja

A few of the prime Indian designer boutiques additionally make up the posh style business, together with Sabyasachi. His bridal lehengas have been popularized massively in this decade after being worn by A-list celebrities like Anushka Sharma, Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone. Prepared-to put on Sabyasachi  pieces begin from ₹50,000, with around ₹7 lacs being a mid-range. His couture bridal lehengas go as much as ₹25 lacs.

Also learn: 20 Prime Trend Designers in India Ruling the Business

deepika padukone bollywood mehendi look

Deepika Padukone wears Sabyasachi ensemble at her wedding ceremony

For the Indian trend designers, wedding ceremony trend still remains an enormous focus, since that’s the place the demand of the wealthy Indians is.

Similarly, a brand like Zara is taken into account premium. Zara has many boutiques all over India in buying malls. A fast search on their web site reveals that their products start from ₹790 (accessories) and go upto ₹9990 (clothes and outerwear). Read extra: Prime Western Wear Brands in India from Retail to On-line


I pose in Zara, Chennai boutique in 2018

Reasonably priced style brands are aplenty on online style websites and in markets. For example, Miss Chase has thousand+ products on sale on style app, Myntra, with ladies’s clothes ranging
From ₹275 to ₹1850. Learn extra about Prime Indian Trend Brands.

An Unorganized Business

The style business nonetheless stays largely unorganized, with formal retail accounting for simply 35 % of gross sales in 2016, in accordance with McKinsey. Local stores and boutiques make up for a majority of sales. As such, unlawful road distributors and semi-permanent outlets in markets like Sarojini Nagar in New Delhi and Trend Road Mumbai nonetheless remain a go-to selection for the low to mid revenue group, especially for many who don’t like to shop online.

Unorganized apparel shops in Bandra, Mumbai

Unorganized apparel outlets in Bandra, Mumbai ca. 2012 (Image by Shilpa Ahuja)

Digital Media & the New Influencers

With high velocity web, style media gained even more reputation within the 2010s decade, with the arrival of style bloggers and digital trend magazines like and The primary modes of selling modified from print magazines and newspapers to online media resembling blogs and videos.

shilpa-ahuja-online-digital-fashion-magazine-style-best 2019-top-cover 1’s cover of digital style magazine, April 2019

At the moment, the web style and way of life media plays an enormous position in growing the demand for clothes, skincare, make-up and equipment, since everybody has access to the newest developments, what to purchase and concepts on tips on how to wear it. Style influencers usually are not restricted to Bollywood celebrities and these days, anyone who loves trend has the opportunity to precise their private fashion on social media.

Moreover, the changing face of Hindi cinema has encouraged even Bollywood celebrities to companion with Indian brands to create clothing strains, corresponding to Deepika Padukone with Van Heusen or Karan Johar with Vero Moda.

Also learn: Manish Malhotra Couture 2017 Collection is Impressed by Paris Couture Week

The Future of Indian Style Business

McKinsey predicts that the Indian apparel market is about to turn into the sixth largest on the planet by 2022. The style retail business in India is predicted to increase to US$115 billion by 2026, in line with Forbes India.

Listed here are the most important causes for this progress: India’s center class is predicted to develop by 1.four % a yr by then, together with growing internet access in rural elements and Tier II and III cities, like Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Lucknow, will develop the Indian trend business. Additionally, a GDP progress of 8 % a yr will give Indians a higher disposable revenue.

Going into the 2020s decade, I anticipate the business to develop into extra organized, as increased competitors will lead to acquisitions in the trend e-tail market. Smaller, unknown manufacturers that gained’t have the ability to survive the challenges will give approach to conglomerates and bigger consolidated brands. McKinsey studies that greater than 300 international trend brands are anticipated to open shops in India in the next two years.

online shopping sites india

Additionally, I can foresee India also following the trail of the western nations, the place extra celebrities, style influencers and prime bloggers to enterprise out and begin their own style brands. Similarly, as an alternative of catering to only the high revenue groups, I predict that a few of the prime Indian style designers will start their very own premium style brands. Anita Dongre has already accomplished that many years ago, and to cater to the growing middle class’s demands, I can foresee different designers following go well with.

Future of the Needs of Indian Shoppers

These homegrown brands will be capable of fill out there gaps that the Indian population will see in the 2020s, corresponding to sensible/hi-tech style, fashionable adult-inspired youngsters’s wear or international fashion-week-inspired garments which might be eco-friendly and high-quality.

3d printed shirt future fashion tech wearable technology

3D printed shirt (Picture by way of Boston Journal)

Likewise, I also predict that extra business-savvy Indian trend entrepreneurs and designers will create style brands that may also cater to the international trend needs in rising markets, very similar to Zara and H&M have accomplished within the west. To do this, manufacturers should perceive the rising tendencies within the international trend business, corresponding to:

  1. Increased customization by way of synthetic intelligence
  2. Variety in style needs comparable to totally different body sizes, genders and sexual orientations
  3. Low-maintenance, snug materials that may work within the scorching climates of the rising markets reminiscent of Brazil, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Mexico.

Future Indian style manufacturers may additionally cater to emerging international markets

Clearly, going forward, Indian brands should be sensible about their quality, and understanding Indian shoppers’ wants. These needs are evolving as shortly as the style business. Whether or not they’ll or won’t, only time will tell, however I have a great feeling about it.

Read subsequent: Trend and Know-how: Shilpa Ahuja Predicts the Future of Style

Watch subsequent: What’s Trend & Private Type: Why are They So Essential? (Video)