In 2010, GQ's annual best-dressed
50 in Britain had the then PM-in-waiting David Cameron at No. 8. Simply for
knowing "the importance of a good suit and tie". Apparently a good
suit, and tie, makes you successful, gains you an in into coveted lists and
heck, even wins you the elections.
Since then, Cameron might have slid
on the subsequent lists but was lauded, by what many people treat as a style
Bible, as the ambassador for suits. For the record, the man has a proclivity
for 3,500 Saville Row suits.
Mecca of bespoke might not be here in India but the experience is, courtesy
the luxury menswear brands that are catering to the Indian man's newfound zeal
to be dapper. The men's ready-to-wear gets a new sheen and spin thanks to a
host of luxury brands available.
Hugo Boss, Salvatore Ferragamo, Armani, Versace, Brioni, Ermenegildo Zegna,
Canali, Corneliani, Alfred Dunhill, Cadini, are all in the race to clothe the
new sartorially savvy Indian man.
Men are Buying:
to Technopak Advisors, a retail consultancy, the entire textile and apparel
industry (2010 estimates), including domestic and exports, is pegged at Rs
3,27,000 crore and is expected to grow by 11% to Rs 10,32,000 crore by 2020.
Currently menswear is the major chunk of the market at 43% (Rs 72,000 crore)
and is growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9%.
menswear market in India is the fastest growing apparel segment. The India Menswear Market Analysis 2010-2014 by Venn Research found that total revenue from
menswear was $11.8 billion in 2009, representing a CAGR of 8.6% from 2005 to
2009. Industry estimates peg the formal suits, jackets and blazers segment at
Rs 4,500 crore. Clearly the men want to look dapper.
The fact that it's the
fastest growing luxury segment is no surprise, points out Pinaki Ranjan Mishra,
partner & national leader, retail & consumer products at Ernst &
Young, a consultancy. "
men's apparel is more westernised unlike women where even in the high-end you
would see many of them opting for Indian wear. Hence, standardisation of
products is simpler and easier," he says.
again, the men have always been the prime spenders and are now finding avenues
to explore. Mishra says: "Even in case of equal spending power, by nature
women might buy more jewellery while men show a preference for technology and
the man about in business Abhay Gupta, executive director of Blues Clothing
Company that promotes exclusive menswear brands like Cadini, Corneliani,
Versace Collection and operates in four cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and
Bangalore), agrees with Mishra, but adds that men are fundamentally quick
take faster decisions and have more brand loyalty," he says. Then again,
he adds, the fact that westernised wear does offer more standardisation for men
than women, not only for style but for colours too. "In terms of sizes and
specifications, men's ready-to-wear is simpler and unlike womenwear, there are
fewer attributes to customise," he says.
Delhi businessman Vikram Sawhney is the type of customer Gupta and others are
looking at. Sawhney was introduced to the impeccable Italian cut by his
Dubai-based friends. And as the saying goes, "Once you go Italian, you
can't go back", he was shopping for luxury ready-to-wear on his trips
consultant and grooming coach to various corporates Yatan Ahluwalia notes that
over the past few years, men under 25 and over 35 have become a major consumer
base for luxury ready-to-wear. There's a marked shift from tailoring to
ready-to-wear brands. "With an increase in disposable income and a greater
brand consciousness, the market is set to double over the next few years,"
designer brand Paul Smith, which is planning to open its third store in Mumbai's
Palladium Annexe in June 2012 in addition to its existing two in Delhi and Bangalore, has noticed the demand shifting from simple business wear to
lifestyle space with occasion-based formalwear.
lot of young customers are now interested in dressing up more formally. While
earlier a majority of the demand for high-end tailoring came from senior
management and business owners. Now a lot of young men are treating a good suit
or jacket as an investment, essential for a work wardrobe," says a spokesperson
of Paul Smith India.
Gupta says there's not one type of luxury buyer. He classifies them into four categories: the old money brought up in the lap of luxury and needs no introductions to the brands; the new professionals who have made money, are well-traveled and developing somebrand
loyalty; the entry to luxury category that will start with the lesser-priced
brand and will move up the value chain and the aspiring class that waits for
the end of season sales to get an in into luxury.
Originally published in the Economic Times dated February 12th, 2012
written by Nupur Amarnath associated with the Economic Times Bureau.
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