Rich Indian textile heritage to go global

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2017-02-09 14:00:00 – Mumbai

India possesses rich heritage of handloom to an endless resource of craft knowledge. The Indian fashion is burgeoning especially in indigenous textiles and techniques. The sari is again in for modern women, going beyond occasions. There is a wave of designers reinterpreting handlooms in creative and contemporary fashion. Patola and Maheshwari weaves are being constructed into modern shirt-dresses. Indian designers are starting to realize that if they really want to have an original voice, they need to believe in what is truly theirs while staying relevant.

The fashion industry is all about quality and authenticity. Over the next decade, the market might start understanding that a designer garment does not always have to be over-the-top. A good fit flatters your body structure; it needn’t cling to it. People may ironically wear a heavily embroidered jacket to work and a plain silk sari to their best friend’s wedding. Things are changing, and this is only the beginning.

Many Western high-street brands are entering the market at a time when people are struggling to understand what ‘designer clothing’ actually means. It is relatively easy to start a fashion label in India; to keep one going and survive in the business. But by the next decade, only brands with a unique point of view and good quality will stand out.

India has emerged as an important market in global fashion—economically and culturally. The West, looking for freshness, is intrigued by what’s happening in the East. The world finds Indian culture and heritage charming. To reassert creative leadership, India will become more decisive as a fashion voice in the next decade.

The perception of Indian fashion design has already started shifting in a positive direction. Earlier, they were taken seriously only for wedding- or occasion-wear. Now, some of them are considered to be on a par with international brands for luxury prêt. Yet they are essentially known more for manufacturing skills than for design. While technology will play an important role in the industry, people will explore history to decode the future.

E-commerce to play an important role and digital presence will become more important than an offline presence. Fashion will start moving beyond the big cities to tier II and tier III towns in the next decade. Local labels like Fabindia, Anokhi et all will set new standards—Indian standards of excellence and quality.

With changing paradigms, jobs in the industry will grow beyond the primary roles of designer, supplier, stylist. The next generation will be smarter, it will dig up ‘in-between’ roles such as editing collections for brands or being an expert in colours, becoming a concept consultant or a sustainability adviser, starting a wholesale agency or taking care of business development. They might identify the missing links pivotal to the success of fashion brands of the next decade.

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