Fashion Issue

The State and Scope of Luxury Retailing in India



The article discusses the state and scope of luxury retailing in India. Understanding consumer psychology in a diversified market with a huge potential of growth is challenging. Since luxury is still in its introductory stage in India, there is vast scope of research specially in evolving marketing practices in the related field with special reference to a culturally distinguished consumer group.


Famous fashion Designer Gabrielle Coco Chanel (1883-1971) stated that luxury is a necessity that begins where necessity ends. Similar ideas were acknowledged by the famous economist Veblen (1899), in his book The Theory of the Leisure Class, who explains the concept of conspicuous consumption as the waste of money and/or resources by people to display a higher status than others. Luxury is concept related to status, ego and psychogenic needs; it is not necessary for survival. Luxury goods have always been associated with high quality, craftsmanship, uniqueness, creativity, exclusivity and innovation. Apart from these product attributes, the consumers also get the additional psychological benefits like esteem, prestige and a sense of a high status that reminds them and others that they belong to an exclusive group who can afford these expensive goods.


The overall sales of luxury goods in the year 2009 is expected to be more than US$150 billion and Asia contributes 10% to it. The concept of luxury is now not confined to only to Europe and US, the Asian subcontinent contributes majorly to it, with India and China as the newly emerging markets. Professor James Twitchell (2002) comments on the democratization of luxury and the changing consumer psychology These new customers for luxury are younger than clients of the old luxe used to be, they are far more numerous, they make their money far sooner, and they are far more flexible in financing and fickle in choice. They do not stay put. They now have money to burn. The competition for their attention is intense, and their consumption patterns-if you have not noticed- are changing life for the rest of us.” Patrick Normand, managing director of Cartier (Middle East & South Asia), discusses the potential of Indian luxury market, The growth of India as a luxury products market, and its emerging potential is very obvious now especially as the economy is booming and there is a general positive sentiment towards global brands. According to the latest Asia-Pacific Wealth Report, there were an estimated 1, 23,000 millionaires at the end of 2007 in India, up 22.7 percent from the previous year; making it a huge potential market for the international luxury players. As per Forbes magazine (March, 2008), financial capital of India-Mumbai-ranked seventh among worlds top 10 cities where largest number of billionaires resides. Still luxury market is at a very nascent stage in India. As discussed in Luxurion World 2009 in Mumbai, the Indian Luxury Market is estimated to be to be USD 4.35 billion and this forms only 2% of the global share. For an Indian owning a luxury brand would mean accomplishment. According to a study by American Express, Inside the Affluent Space, Indian consumer has a desire to prove that Ive made it. He is an aspirer and for him luxury is a reward, which is a mindset very different from a European consumer for whom luxury is an experience.


India as a retail market is not uniform, especially when it comes to preference for luxury in terms of need fulfillment. Moreover, the market is not as mature as the European market where consumers seek fulfillment through experience. Few players have been able to fulfill the needs of the Indian luxury consumer. Since this segment of market remains untapped, huge potential lies in the same. Therefore, it becomes important to delineate the needs of the Indian consumer to target them better. To be successful in India as a retailer, it is necessary to gauge both, the financial potential as well as the mindset of the Indian luxury consumer. Localization of global luxury brands is essential to tap the huge potential of the diverse market. It requires understanding of luxury product market characteristics and developing the brands accordingly. This will help in bringing forth the right product offerings to the Indian consumer as well as targeting them better. Moreover, limited accessibility to luxury in India is a barrier to its growth and acceptability. There are several cities in India which have a huge potential for luxury which still remains untapped.


Luxury products are exclusive pieces of craftsmanship driving the aspirations of many but owned by a few. Luxury has different meanings for different people (Kate, 2009). To some consumers luxury goods provide a means to lifestyle, some adapt luxury to their lifestyle and there are still others who require these to make a statement of their wealth (Okonkwo, 2007). The perception varies with the maturity of the market and the exposure to which the consumers have been subjected.

Fashion Issue

Fashion Swayed the Psyche of the Indian Consumer

Fashion is an approach and practice that is admired in the present. Its a set of trends that have been accepted by a wide audience. Following fashion provides a way for people to gain acceptance from others. It is a contest without any draft of rules and guidelines in which all of us are partakers willfully or impulsively. These rules we learn by testing and errors and are harmonization of replication and demarcation of others. The word fashion is frequently associated with the world of glamour, beauty, style or apparels.


Latest fashions may be accepted instantaneously by eminent people, including sports person, film stars, and political figures. Then, other people may go after these fashions so that they can make out with this privileged group. A number of people consider that fashionable clothes and surroundings elevate their status in life. Fashion is a multifarious noticeable fact from psychosomatic, sociological, cultural, or commercial points of view. Many fashions are prevalent in many cultures at any given time but it changes more rapidly than the culture as a whole. Men and women have constantly enjoyed varying their materialization. Following new fashions in clothes, hair styles, and makeup allows people to amend their appearance in a by and large acceptable approach.


Fashion is an all persistent power. It is present in inter-related life style products like in the devise of newer automobiles and architecture, eating habits, the development of latest technology, fast moving consumer goods, and entertainment industry, or in formulating business management strategies. This espousal of fashion applies more to clothes and social behaviour than to cars, houses, and other items that most people cannot afford to swap frequently. Understanding fashion helps to explain how these transformations happen in each and every sphere of life.



Fashion in India is very enlightening in representing the reception and conversion of a product. Fashion awareness is increasing as well. Fashion awareness is increasing as well.There seems to be profound western plead with on urban middle and upper class Indians. There is a positive attitude with regards to western trends. Increasing number of malls in the city, eateries, designer wear, watches, hi-tech products, beverages, canned food, footwear, toys are a few examples which reflect these changes. Now fashion is no more a monopoly of the starlets or just confined to rich people. Even common college going boys and girls or men and women working in a corporate environment, follow the latest trends and wear designer attire as daily office wear or casual wear, unlike a decade ago.


Today, India has emerged as the third most attractive market destination in the world for fashion apparel retailers. Now, the Indian consumers are much more supple and experimental in their approaches. Change is most likely one of the few constituents of passion, and is brought in the minds of the consumer due to sway of media, which has brought the western world in the Indian homes. Secondly, as more and more Indians go out of the country for study, work and leisure, the Indian is exposed to and gets first hand experience of a world and life, which is different from what we have in India. The Indian consumers are selecting and choosing many new product offerings that have entered the market and product variety has also increased to a great extend due to foreign competitors. Due to retail revolution drastic changes are observed, as upgraded service levels are use to attract the consumer and they are more patronized and pampered. Now the consumers show a higher level of fashion consciousness.

The conventional markets for fashion and clothing are changing to a more refined or organized market. There is plentiful launch of dissemination lines by designers in India. They are actively setting up more flagship stores and even license their names. With constructive events like end of multifiber agreement, the global elimination of quotas at the end of 2004, entry of foreign retailers and textile companies into the country and the escalation and appreciation of the Indian fashion industry throughout the world, apparel marketing has become one of the interesting and hard jobs in the arena of marketing. India ranks among the top target countries for any company sourcing textiles and apparel. Indeed, apart from China, no other country can match the size, spread, depth and competitiveness of the Indian textile and apparel industry. The malls are coming up away from the city centers.


Also, celebrities are being progressively more used in marketing communication by marketers to provide individuality to their products. Celebrities create headlines. With the visual media becoming more popular the use of celebrities in the TV media has increased. Consumers like advertisements more if they are adherent of the celebrities in the advertisements. Their behavior and associations are being closely watched and replicated. What they endorse sell like hot numbers. They also help to reposition products and in increasing the sales.

Fashion Issue

Down Product – Apple of the Fashion World

The change of fashion is like a history; and it is more like an epitome of human development. It is the symbol of a society’s progress, civilization and flourishment. The changing fashion has been recording the society’s revolution, and reflecting national spirit. It inherits the local culture.


Down product is one of the most indispensable part of the fashion; it adds many shiny elements to people’s closet. The diversification of down coats has been pushing the development of fashion for several decades. Many customers gave good feedbacks about down products. Most of them said that down products are the warmest, lightweight and comfortable. Without down products, the fashion world will have a deep hole; without down products, our winter will become less enjoyable. It is down products industry that has generated so many fashion elements, brought so much warmth to the cold winter, and made our society so modern.


According to a survey, 70% of the people buy down products in exclusive stores, or from franchise house. 15% of the people choose to buy down products in Department Store, 10 % would like to buy in the supermarket; and 5 % will buy down products directly from the manufacturers. So, why are there so many people choose the exclusive stores?


It is always true that if something becomes popular, some other things are going to mimic it. With the increasing demand for down coats, some manufacturers produce poor quality down coats, and even fake down coats. When you are looking for a down coat, you should be careful, there are many fake down products in the market. It is much safer to buy the down product in exclusive stores. If you want to buy a specific brand, firstly find out the location of those exclusive stores in your city. Then go to those stores to look for coats. Those stores will also ensure you the quality and provide after sale service. If your down coat loses a button, or gets other damages, you can bring it to the store and let them repair it. It is free under warranty period. If there is no exclusive store of your favorite brand, you can go to their online store. A lot of products are available on the internet. You have a larger variety of options. Choose one and place the order, then you will receive the down coat after several days.

Everything is changing, so are down products. Down coats are going to be more fashionable, casual, and original. They will have more colors; some may look very bold, but will be welcomed by the young people. There will be a lot of down coats that can make people look slimmer, which will win many girls’ hearts. Some down coats will combine the tradition with modern, which will be liked by many mature women. In order to protect the environment, new fabric will be invented and adopted. Our down products will become more and more environmental friendly.

Fashion Designer Fashion Issue

Colour Craze!!!

Colours are the phenomena of visual insight. One cannot hear, taste or feel the colour, the only way to recognize the colour is to see it. A colour is a means of nonverbal communication and says a lot more than you can ever imagine.Colour is a fundamental consideration in the design process. Colour can also affect someone’s ability to concentrate or to focus well. Colour can also have an effect on the way someone appears to look in the clothing they wear. It is often the first element that is noticed about a design and influences how the garment or collection is perceived. Colour is often the starting point of the design process. Gender and personality are the most common factors for determining the type of colours a person will wear. Males are typically dressed in dark colours such as blue, black, green, gray, red, and brown. These colours are usually worn in various shades but they still consist of these primary hues. Females typically wear lighter colours such as pink, yellow, cyan, lime green, orange, and peach. Women and girls also wear the darker colours that are normally associated with men but men normally do not wear lighter colours associated with women.

Colour also has an Impact on:


  • Your apparent shape
  • Your apparent weight
  • Your apparent personality
  • Your emotions


Psychological Properties:


The eleven basic colours have fundamental psychological properties that are universal, regardless of which particular shade, tone or tint of it you are using. Each of them has potentially positive or negative psychological effects and which of these effects is created depends on the relationships within colour combinations. Colours can warm up, cool down, make practical or impractical, create impact or camouflage. It has been determined by medical science that colour can influence the viewer’s hormones, blood pressure and body temperature. Every colour is having a positive as well as negative effect; negative effect shows when it is mixed with lighter or darker shade). Colour can have a profound effect on one’s mood as well as their level of energy. The psychological properties of the eleven basic colours are as follows:

Positive: Physical courage, strength, warmth, energy, basic survival, stimulation, masculinity, excitement.

Negative: Demanding, aggression, strain.


BLUE– Intellectual
Positive: Intelligence, communication, trust, efficiency, modern, duty, logic, coolness, reflection, calm.

Negative: Coldness, reserve, lack of emotion, unfriendly.


YELLOW– Emotional
Positive: Optimism, confidence, self-esteem, emotional strength, friendliness, creativity.
Negative: Irrationality, fear, depression, Immaturity, anxiety, suicide


GREEN– Balance


Positive: Harmony, balance, refreshment, universal love, rest, renewal, reassurance, environmental awareness, peace symmetry.

Negative: Boredom, heavy, stagnant, blandness.


VIOLET– Spiritual


Positive: Spiritual awareness, containment, vision, luxury, authenticity, truth, quality.
Negative: Introversion, decadent, suppression, inferior.


Positive: Physical tranquillity, nurture, warmth, femininity, love, sexuality, survival of the species.
Negative: Inhibition, emasculation, physical weakness.


Positive: Neutral

Negative: Lack of confidence, dampness, depression, lack of energy.



Positive: Sophisticated, glamour, secure, emotional safety, efficiency.

Negative: Domination, coldness, menacing, heavy, cruelty



Positive: Hygiene, sterility, clarity, purity, cleanness, simplicity, sophistication, efficiency.

Negative: Sterile, elitist, coldness, barriers, unfriendliness.



Positive: Serious, warmth, Nature, earthiness, reliable, support.

Negative: humourless, heavy, lack of sophistication.

Personal Colouring:


The colours play an important role and one should think before adding the colours. Once the desired effect is achieved half the job is done! Contrast colours in clothes looks stunning and catches the attention in its own way and tones of the same colour also adds a lot of smartness and adds a chic feel.In viewing a design, colour often has an overriding visual impact over other design considerations. A garments message can be completely altered by the colour; for example: a severe cut can be softened if it is executed in a candy pink.


  • Simply wear the same colour / shades of the same colour (that is, a suit/top and bottom) from head to toe. Create interest by wearing different textures .You could also choose a shirt in a brighter/lighter shade. Now youve created a vertical Line-slimming. This will also emphasise your face.
  • If a person wants to look taller then he or she should wear a light colour from head to toe. Also try to match shoes to hemline colours.
  • A person will also look taller when he/she repeats the same colour tones in top and bottom. For example medium top and medium bottom.
  • A Person can minimize their upper torso when he/she wears a darker top and lighter bottom.
  • A Person can minimize their lower torso when he/she wears a lighter top and darker bottom.
  • A person can appear shorter / heavier when she/he wears a different colour in your skirt/slacks/trousers, hose / socks and shoes.


Be Colour Crazy


Be colour conscious right down to your toes. Sometimes you only need to change the colour to make it work! It will pay dividends. Our fashion colour choices say a lot about the image we are trying to portray and how we feel about ourselves. Care must be taken with the basic colour of the garments if unusual colour accessories are to be worn to advantage. Check the colour of the fabric against your face. Hair, eyes, and skin colouring must be taken into account, plus the occasion for day or evening wear. Generally, the smaller and the thinner person, the lighter the colour she should wear, with the reverse for taller, heavier types. The right colours can make your skin tone appear more even, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and dark circles and make you look brighter and healthier. While on the other hand wearing a colour which isn’t so good for you can make you look tired, dull and even ill. Create your own colour story without restricting yourself to just two or three basic colours. Choose colours which flatter and enhance you, not colours you have to work hard to wear to look alive. Only through experience will you become selective about colours and tones which compliment or do nothing for you.


The author is Faculty in Satyam Fashion Institute, Noida

Fashion Issue

Effects of New Technologies, Social Changes & Economic Trends on Fashion1

Many prominent fashion trends develop in response to contemporary global social, political, and economic events. Perhaps the most celebrated reactionary fashion statement followed the austerity of World War Two when Christian Dior showcased the celebrated New Look collection in the post-war era.


In Britain, the 1970s and 1980s brought social upheaval in the form of trade union strikes, rising inflation and unemployment, and these uncertain times also impacted on the futures of fashion .Most significant in retrospect was the sheer determination on the part of the young women who found ways of being economically sufficient. Similar to the earlier development of the New Look, the Punk ideology and ensuing individual approach to dress developed as a response to the social, political, and economic upheaval during this period.


Throughout the Twentieth century, many trends have adopted various cost-effective approaches to dress. There was an explosion in home dress-making due to the growth in user-friendly sewing patterns, readily available, and easy to construct from companies such as Butterick or Vogue. Both the hippy movement and later the grunge movement adopted a penchant for hand-made, charity shop and flea-market fashions, in a move away from corporate excess.


Speculation in the markets culminated in a series of crashes, with the burst of the Harshad Mehta scam in 1990s ,crashing the financial markets and sending the country into a global recession .This insecurity combined with the rise in unemployment has had a radical effect on the general spending habits. Empty premises, closing down sales and an influx of discount retailers are increasingly common place in the market. The difficulty of trading in a recession combined with the ready availability of cheaper fast fashion alternatives from the realms of the mass manufactured high street retailers make trading conditions for independent boutiques additionally difficult.


The credit crunch has undoubtedly impacted consumer habits with a knock-on effect for many retailers. In the words of John Galliano, this is a credit crunch, not a creative crunch (Socha, 2009).


Fashion Graduates in an age of austerity


As Lakme India Fashion Week closes, Indias budding designers must tackle the challenge of finding employment in an economy where most recent fashion graduates are struggling for work and in an industry that is notoriously competitive.


Mumbai & Delhi have the reputation as a cradle of new fashion talent, with National Institute of Fashion Technology boasting an illustrious list of alumni including Ritu Beri, Sabyasachi, Manish Malhotra etc. The fashion institute showcases its graduate talent every year, luring headhunters looking for up-and-coming talent to offer their labels.

Fashion Issue

Effects of New Technologies, Social Changes & Economic Trends on Fashion

A lucky few will be tapped on the shoulder for positions at top brands. But most will have to settle for employment that doesnt advance their dreams beyond internships and jobs on the bottom of the career ladder.


Technological Advances


For any new fashion entrepreneur, the internet has proved indispensable to the growth of her/his business .The website facilitates ordering for commercial and private customers alike, showcasing the full collection alongside color variations and prices. Working with a website not only provides a more direct route to the final customer, but also helps to gain exposure and portray a more professional brand. Private consultations with the designer offer a unique shopping experience, and a participatory role in the design process as the consumer becomes a co-designer in the final product.


Social networking, such as Facebook, also play an important role in this type of business model; prospective customers are able to interact with established customers, initiate debates, view collections, follow promotions, and identify up-coming events (Burns, C., 2011).



In a period of economic austerity, this competition becomes all the more apparent as consumers become more prudent. In recent years, the growth of fast fashion has made clothes much cheaper relative to income in comparison to a few decades ago (Black, 2008, p.14). It is therefore unfeasible for the fashion entrepreneur to compete with these price scales and for that reason that their product ranges have the added value worth that merit their higher prices.




Despite the climate of austerity, the growing numbers of craft and fashion events indicate a market for fashion products, although a definite change in consumer attitudes is perceptible.



In addition, a greater level of customer service establishes a strong reputation and ensures that customers will return or recommend the brand to others. Identifying and understanding the needs of the consumer is critical, finding an appropriate sales location, or targeting the right craft fair is essential.



In addition, the ability to quickly embrace new technologies to advance their business allows Fashion businesses to compete in the market place against stiff competition from all sectors of the global fashion and textile industry. More importantly, this new media has become instrumental as a way of moving product to the market place, cutting out the middle man, and providing an easier and more profitable alternative to supplying retailers. Even from a remote location, it is an excellent tool for networking with customers & retailers.

Fashion Issue

Towards Sustainable Fashion – Computer Technology Integration for a Green Fashion Value-Chain

“Sustainable development” has become a buzzword in the present times due to the emergence of various social & environmental concerns. Increasing pollution from vehicles and industrial units, deforestation, excessive use of chemicals, plastic, metals and other non-biodegradable material, expanding landfill sites are leaving devastating impacts on the environment. Extensive use of natural resources and superfluous production & use of man-made articles along with tremendous waste generation is adversely effecting the environment. This has intensified the need to minimize the environmental damages and make the earth a better place to live not only for the present generations but also for the future generations to come.


To “Sustain” means “to maintain” or “to up hold”. Sustainability is a wide-ranging term. It’s important dimensions are


Environmental Sustainability – Environmental sustainability is the ability to maintain the valued qualities of the physical environment. It refers to preservation of the environment & natural resources.


Social Sustainability – Social sustainability is one important aspect of sustainable development. Social sustainability encompasses human rights, labor rights, and corporate governance. For a society to be functional & sustainable, the basic needs of the members must be met.


Economic Sustainability – Economic sustainability is about achieving economic growth along with ensuring the improvement in quality of life and the environment.


The Sustainability concern is applicable to all areas of human activity such as computing, design, manufacture, architecture, transportation, agriculture, to name a few.


The term “Sustainability” is being discussed for almost a decade now but its explicit and all-round intervention in the field of Fashion is a recent one. Its relevance in the Fashion industry is because of the highly unsustainable nature of this industry. Fashion Industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. It is the second largest water-consumer of all the industries of the world. Trends like global operations, fast fashion, increasing disposable incomes, increasing consumerism are intensifying the social & environmental concerns with respect to the fashion industry. An interesting area of research is to emancipate the role of technology integration in the fashion industry and its contribution in the emergence of an ethical and green fashion value-chain.


Some pertinent researches and distinctive initiatives in this field have enabled the evolution of specialized disciplines with a focus to understand, evaluate and reduce the carbon footprints of human activities and aim towards environmental & social well-being. A few of the emerging disciplines include Sustainable Design, Sustainable Architecture, Sustainable Fashion, Sustainable Tourism, Sustainable Agriculture and so on. This article gives an overview of sustainability concerns in the fashion industry and the technology intervention to address these concerns.


There are some of the very useful resources which give an insight into the concept of Sustainable Fashion and its gradual entry into the fashion mainstream. Janet Hethorn and Connie Ulasewicz in their book “Sustainable Fashion: Why Now?” discuss the various issues and practices related to Sustainable Fashion. Kate Fletcher promoter of “Slow Fashion” in her book ‘Sustainable Fashion and Textiles Design Journeys” writes about ecologically sustainable fashion and textiles.”Green Technology, Strategy and leadership for clean and sustainable communities” [3] discusses strategies for green and clean living. Eco Textile News [4] gives an insight into the latest developments in the field of environmental & social sustainability. The website Business Green [8] informs about Fashion industry signing up to green makeover. Sustainable Style Foundation [7] talks about “look fabulous live well, do good”. London College of Fashion launched the Centre for Sustainable Fashion (CSF) in 2008 to function as a globally connected catalyst for change moving towards a sustainable fashion economy.


Information technology today has become the keystone in an organization’s quest for growth in a rapidly changing and complex environment characterized by intense competition, global impacts, uncertainties and fast-changing business models. Computer technology plays an important role in the strengthening and reinforcing the sustainability efforts and is specifically directed to the contribution of computer technology for bringing in social & environmental sustainability in the Fashion industry. It contributes significantly towards giving a greener face to the fashion value-chain. The computer technology, policies & practices with an orientation towards environmental, social and economic sustainability is known as Green Technology (greentech) or environmental technology (envirotech). Widespread application of greentech or envirotech in the Fashion industry is an important dimension of Sustainable development. Because of its role as a tool for sustainable development, green technology is also known as sustainable technology.

Fashion Issue

A Look Back at ‘Dior’s New Look’

World War II was not only a time of hardship for everyone but it was also a time of sacrifice of fashion for most women. Because of the lack of money and supplies women were not able to dress up like they once were but in 1947 Christian Diors new look transformed fashion and womens views of it; he began using luxurious fabrics and lavish designs that women from the 1940s had longed for. 1950s fashion is often portrayed as poodle skirts and sweaters but that is really a pale imitation of Diors new look. The new look included a fitted top, a tiny waist and a wide flared skirt that came slightly below the knee. There were night and day versions of the new look, the evening look a little more extravagant than the day. The evening versions were ultra-glamorous and feminine and often used a boned strapless top. Christian Diors new look was worn by women who wanted to look more feminine and traditional; like their grandmothers before them. The new look dominated womens silhouettes of its time.


Diors most famous silhouette was the iconic Bar suit. It was comprised of a silk jacket with a sloped shoulder, large bust, cinched waist and large hip. The wool skirt was full and fell halfway down the calves. The Bar suit look was often paired with a wide brimmed hat, an umbrella, heels and short leather gloves.


Christian Diors A ensemble was another popular silhouette. The original dress was known for being seen at the wedding of Olivia de Havilland, an American film and stage actress. The suit dress was created with a tailored mens suit in mind but at the same time it was feminine and beautiful. The dress was crafted from wool and was most often worn with an A lined coat. Like the Bar suit, it was fitted on top and flared out on the bottom in an A shape (hence the name.) Accessories worn with it include long leather gloves, heeled shoes and a clutch handbag.


Evening gowns followed along the same lines as the Bar suit and A-line silhouette Dior popularized. They were fitted through the top half and had a wide skirt. The ancient Greek God, Venus, inspired Diors Junon evening gown of 1949. The dress is extremely detailed with beading and embroidery on ombre petals. It is made from cotton and silk and is a great representation of what Dior wanted for the post war women; femininity, luxury and style. Accessories that may have been worn with this look are stiletto heels, a beaded clutch and a short necklace.


Christian Diors look was made for the traditional woman who wanted elegance, luxury and style wrapped into one. We continue to see current day fashion designers use the silhouettes Dior popularized on runways and in editorials and he will always be one of the most influential fashion designers in the world.

Fashion Issue

Zara Fever Grips Indian Retailers

Spanish retail brand’s ability to pull shoppers makes it most-preferred neighbour in malls


World’s largest clothing retailer Inditex entered India with its flagship brand Zara on a Friday in May last year and that day the South Delhi outlet recorded the largest single-day sale by an international retailer in the country.


Less than a year later, Zara fever has gripped several retailers who are chasing shop space next to the Spanish brands outlets to leverage on its ability to pull shoppers in herds.


“Zara has nailed it,” Natasha Chopra, who heads personal shopping services at Select Citywalk mall in South Delhi where Zara opened its first shop, said. “It’s a hot favourite among shoppers because it offers trendy styles between 1,500-2,300.”


Zara’s ability to chase fashion trends around the world, move a design from a drawing book to shop floor in two weeks and launch new lines sometimes twice a week has helped it ensure steady flow of consumers who now embrace global trends like never before.


It’s fast. It’s fashionable. And it has won the attention of several apparel brands; both Indian and multinational, that now launch more collections in a year and have stylized their shops.


“Zara has been selling very well over the past ten months in India,” said the head of a rival international brand. “Its success has proven that there is definitely a market for fast fashion, especially in western women’s wear,” the person added, requesting anonymity.




The day Inditex’s Indian joint venture with Tata Group’s retail arm Trent opened the first Zara outlet; it sold apparel worth a record 90 lakh, according to industry estimates. The 18,000 sq ft shop at Select Citywalk sells 5-6-crore clothes a month. The average sales at Mumbai’s Palladium Mall outlet is similar, while it’s nearly 4 crore a month at DLF Promenade shop in New Delhi, industry insiders said.


Inditex refused to confirm this. “Please let us leave this in complete confidentialityLet us say that we are really honored by the good reception that our customers are given us in India,” its global spokesperson said.


But other brands’ rush to become its neighbour and mall developers’ keenness to host it reveals Zara’s crowd-pulling power. In January, retail planning consultancy Asipac Projects received requests from some international apparel brands, jewellery major and a cosmetics chain have sought shop space bang opposite Zara outlet at Hyderabad’s City Capital mall, which will be operational by 2013 end, an official at retail planning consultancy Asipac Projects says.

At Select City Walk, two store executives with international brands operating near Zara said customer visits in their stores have increased nearly 20% since Zara became their neighbour.

DLF Promenade in South Delhi, where Zara opened its second store in June, settled for a revenue share of 7% of sales, compared to 8-20% that developers usually charge, to attract the Spanish retailer. The mall developer also deleted the minimum sales guarantee clause for Zara and did the interiors and air conditioning of the store that usually retailers do.
Clearly, many brands would rather leverage Zara’s visibility than fight it.




Zara’s early success in India reflects its impressive global growth. Amancio Ortega Gaona founded Zara in 1963 as a maker of ladies’ lingerie in the Galician town of La Coruna with just 5,000 pesetas, or $83. Today, the 75-year-old Ortega is the richest man in Spain and owner of the world’s largest apparel retailer ahead of GAP.


Zara owes its success to its control in every part of the business from design to distribution. It controls fabric supply, design, cutting and finishing that goes to company-owned stores. It even owns a large part of production.


It has 200 designers who chase fashion trends and refreshing designs all the time. And it takes just 2-3 weeks for a new fashion idea to reach store racks, while most apparel brands typically take six months to get new merchandise to the store.


From high-waist trousers for women’s corporate wear and casual suits at price points that count to new trends such as animal magnetism-fashion lingo for animal motifs on clothing-and flesh-coloured apparel, Zara has a huge product range that changes almost every week.


If a new style is not a hit within a week, it goes off shelves. Even popular styles don’t stay long. Zara makes small quantities of each style to retain a sense of exclusivity.
Thanks to its success, the 12.53-billion Euro Inditex will launch Zara’s urbane, more premium counterpart Massimo Dutti in the country in less than a year.


Inditex and Trent have earmarked 4-5 store locations for Massimo Dutti, which straddles men’s, women’s and children’s apparel and accessories, across Mumbai and New Delhi, retail industry executives said.




But the road ahead is not easy for Zara. The competition is strong. Western fashion market has been growing steadily in the country where more people now travel abroad and are exposed to global trends due to rising incomes and aspirations, improving lifestyles and infrastructure, and Indias rise as an economic power.


More than 20 international brands have been entering the country every year since 2005, according to Third Eyesight, a consumer goods and retail planning consultancy.
Zara effect of not, many fashion retailers focus more on design novelty, widening product lines and premiumising stores.


“Retailers here have been evolving very rapidly, learning as they grow and growing as they learn; from each other and from the rest of the world,” mall management firm Star Centres MD Pranay Sinha said.

Premium men’s formal wear brand Van Heusen has expanded into sport, club wear and women’s wear and increased store sizes to 5,000-7,000 square feet. “Our competition benchmarks have changed,” Madura Fashion & Lifestyles Van Heusen brand head Ajay Ramachandran.


ITC’s Wills Lifestyle has doubled the number of new collections it launches in a year to eight for women and six for men, said Atul Chand, divisional chief executive of lifestyle retail business at ITC. Brands like Wills Lifestyle, Raymond and Reid & Taylor owner S Kumar Nationwide have roped in western design houses to modernise their stores and improve display and have hired executives with international experience.


“Brands have realised that the fashion industry is still young in India and that they have to think global,” S Kumar Nationwide Apparel & Retail President Ashesh Amin said.


All this may impact Zara’s prospects. With a model that depends on 100% imports within India’s high duty regime, low penetration of women’s western wear and the need for upscale real estate locations to fit its large-format stores, it could be challenging for Zara.


A person who has invested in fashion brands in the country and follows Zara like a hawk said it is not easy to sustain six fashion cycles in India. Head of an international apparel brand said it is premature to declare Zara a success in India just yet.


“Zara has done exceptionally well in two malls where incidentally all brands have high sales. But in New Delhi, the largest market for premium brands itself, its third store in Rajouri Garden has not performed as well,” the person said.


Star Centres’ Sinha, who earlier headed Select City Walk, said it will be difficult for Zara to repeat its first shops success in other malls, but the brand is here to stay. “Whether Zara emerges as a market leader or not, it may be too early to tell. That it will not fail is an easier one,” said Sinha.

Fashion Issue

Effects of New Technologies, Social Changes & Economic Trends on Fashion

This article has been written by keeping in mind the effects of the tumultuous economic downturn, social changes & technological advances on the fashion. It will scan how periods of austerity have impacted on the fashion industry from a historical perspective; analyze the situation on these sectors nowadays, particularly in relation to fashion. It will also examine the effects of new technologies, social & economic trends on fashion.


Fashion has always been greatly influenced by social standings and accessibility to money. In the 30s, there was a shift to purchasing more inexpensive items for the common people while if you could still afford it you would buy your clothing from abroad. During this time a lot of American designers emerged and with the help of movie stars helped to set trends without having to spend the money. Zippers were less expensive than buttons so they became very popular. As the effects of cinema became more evident, the hemlines altered from mid-calf during day time to full length in the evening. Mens fashions were more relaxed and the v neck sweater and wider pants replaced the 3 piece suit. A hat for a man was a social standing and was a sign of a well-dressed male.


Technology had many advances during the 20th century as well. This included the first glimpses of the TV set, as well as medical improvements.


Technology has proved to be a great drive in the vicissitudes and trends in fashion. Silk was produced years ago which helped in the new dress styles for evening wear that became very popular with time. Cotton increasingly got more popular and was manufactured more because of the great demand for an easy to care for fabric. Gradually people overcame the obstacles of the depression and were still able to see the positives and relay that into their fashion choices. If one looks good one feels good. During austerity period, when the money was scarce, one was able to get cheap fabrics and more women started sewing more themselves to save money as well which enabled them to set trends in their own social circles that were to stay around for decades.


The behavioral content of the core assumptions is too simplified. Who can reasonably deny that individual preferences to some extent depend directly or indirectly on what other individuals around are doing? People do care actually about what others think or say. Let us consider, as the simplest example, fashion, which has obvious implications in many economic sectors, from clothing to leisure and finance.


An antiquity of austerity in fashion


Throughout the Twentieth century the world has endured various periods of economic austerity triggered as a result of war, political upheavals, and market uncertainties. World War One, the Second World War, the Wall Street Crash, the Oil Crisis, Black Monday etc. have all had a negative impact on the lives of millions of people in their respective societies.


There was a move during the 2nd world war to train women in mending classes, so they could use unwanted cloth for making new clothes and learn how to extend the life of their existing clothes by mending.