Ethnic clothing segment wins the race

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Last Friday, Reliance Brands Ltd (RBL), a unit of Reliance Industries Ltd, agreed to buy a 40% stake in MM Styles Pvt. Ltd, owned by favorite Bollywood designer, Manish Malhotra. The investment in a local luxury ethnic clothing brand was a milestone for RBL, which until now has been in the business of introducing high-end international brands, gateways to luxury and luxury in India.

Also on Tuesday, RBL’s holding company, Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd, announced that it was taking a majority stake in Ritika Pvt. Ltd, the fashion house owned by designer Ritu Kumar that sells semi-formal and bridal ethnic clothing, among others.

At the time of the deal with MM Styles, Reliance Brands said it was looking for local talent rooted in Indian design sensibility.

Reliance’s move follows several investments made by clothing company Aditya Birla Fashion Retail Ltd (ABFRL) which traditionally sold men’s formal wear brands Louis Philippe, Van Heusen, Allen Solly and Peter England. Since 2019, she has taken stakes in ethnic clothing brands such as Jaypore, Sabyasachi Couture and Tarun Tahiliani.

Harminder Sahni, founder of Wazir Advisors, the company that advised Tarun Tahiliani on the partnership with ABFRL, said most of the major clothing companies have completely missed the rapid growth in the ethnic ready-made clothing segment. Most continued to sell Western ceremonies. “They realized the potential of ethnic readymades when success stories such as Manyavar, Biba and W emerged,” he said.

Ankur Bisen, senior vice president, retail and consumer at management consultancy Technopak, agrees. The Indian ethnic clothing market has had a dream run over the past 10 to 15 years for two reasons. First, ethnic clothing has moved from the cut piece to ready-to-wear. Second, he went from sarees to fusion clothing such as a kurta with pants or jeans, he said. “Local brands followed the trend to prove that ‘ethnic’ was not just a side reference but mainstream fashion,” he said.

Manyavar, owned by Vedant Fashions Ltd, recently filed a draft red herring prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Board of India to raise funds through an initial public offering. The category leader in the branded Indian wedding and celebration wear market is present across India.

One earlier mint The report said that as of June 30, it had a retail footprint of 1.1 million square feet covering 525 exclusive outlets for the brand, including 55 stores in 207 cities and stores in the United States, Canada and the United States. United Arab Emirates. The company aims to double its national presence over the next few years.

In time for Ganesh Chaturthi this year, Louis Philippe and Peter England, known for western clothing for men, have also launched new collections of ethnic clothing. Interestingly, these brands are part of the portfolio of ABFRL, which also sells international brands such as American Eagle, Ralph Lauren, and Ted Baker.

Again, while investing in Tahiliani, ABFRL had announced its focus on ethnic clothing for the next several years as young Indians rediscover their culture and heritage. The company said its portfolio will cover all ethnic clothing segments: value, high-end and luxury.

Obviously, spotting the potential, Titan’s saree brand Taneira also entered the ready-to-wear category with the launch of the premium-priced EIRA handcrafted kurtas last December.

Ethnic clothing saw a comeback in the 2000s, when India began to feel proud of its roots, Sahni said. The rise of computers and retail has brought young people to the subways of small towns. While previous generations who moved to big cities for jobs tried to assimilate by mimicking the habits of metro consumers, newer generations have changed that, he said. “Today, our news, our films, our food celebrate the small towns of India. Young people are also confident in their fashion, ”he said.

The gigantic market for ethnic clothing has pushed large corporations to harness the brand value of designer brands, their skills and knowledge base, Bisen said. Both Sahni and Bisen expect companies to use their design sensibilities and artisan strategies to scale their operations rather than operate in niches.

Technopak’s estimates suggest that in India’s $ 20 billion ethnic clothing market, 93% is women’s clothing. This is because the women wear ethnic clothes to work. Men still don’t. It’s a change that Sahni is rooting for. Also, he is eager to see when Armani and Gucci make Indian clothing to participate in this momentum.

Shuchi Bansal is Mint-flavoured editor-in-chief of media, marketing and advertising. Ordinary Post will look into the press issues related to the three. Or just fun stuff.

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