The Indian domestic intimatewear market is sizeable, and its potential is reckoned to be enormous. The prospects of exports too are substantial-a Fibre2Fashion report anchored by Subir Ghosh, with base inputs from Sanjay Arora, Anubha Sehgal and Barnaa Dekaa.

Those were once perceived as only functional elementary necessities that no one needed to talk about or give second thoughts to. But today, they are used to assert style statements. That's how much the sheer concept of intimatewear itself has changed. These days, the term 'intimatewear' connotes one of those handful of product ranges that are both a necessity and luxury. The once-traditional intimatewear market that was underlined by abysmal production quality and desultory promotions is now seeing experimentation of untold scale in terms of product design, style, colours, fabrics and what-have-you. The insipid, anaemic market of yesterday is now bustling with life. Some indicators: ad spends by intimatewear brands have grown exponentially; there are fashion weeks dedicated specifically to intimatewear, and the intimatewear market is expanding at a stunning rate.

Innumerable international brands have hurtled into the segment, rightly fathoming its immense potential in the Indian scenario. Intimatewear is now a talking point; intimatewear is something that an Indian cannot do without. The market needs to talk about it too-it can't be all hush hush anymore.

Intimate goes Indian

Intimatewear is an integral segment of apparel manufacturing; it also lies at the core of any individual's set of garment requirements. Even conservative estimates put the share of intimatewear in the average consumer's garment expenditure to be as much as ten per cent. Although-globally speaking-intimatewear manufacturing is consistently scaling new heights, Indian intimatewear manufacturing is arguably still in a nascent stage. India is a long way off from realising its-well-potential.

The current state of affairs is not a State secret-the Indian Intimatewear market has been growing rapidly over the last few years. The current market size is estimated to be $4.8 billion, which marks an 11 per cent increase over 2014; and, the share of intimatewear is roughly 8 per cent of the total domestic apparel market. The segment is expected to grow at a healthy pace in the coming years-by 2025, the market will be worth a whopping $13 billion.

Very broadly speaking-in terms of product segmentation at least, intimatewear in India can be safely categorised into three major segments: women's innerwear, men's innerwear and kids' innerwear. The market is dominated and also being driven by women's innerwear which holds sways over 50 per cent of the landscape. The value of women's innerwear alone is estimated to be around $2.4 billion. Men's innerwear accounts for 38 per cent with an estimated market value of $1.8 billion, and the kids' constituent is surprisingly low in terms of value ($0.5 billion). The women's innerwear component is the fastest-growing among the three and is expected to wrap up 60 per cent of the market share by 2025.