When it comes to nuptials, nothing quite rivals the opulence of an Indian wedding. Big Fat Indian Weddings, as they are notorious globally, are the epitome of flamboyance.
The wedding industry in India – worth almost $50 billion as of today – is fuelled by a perceived compulsion to indulge in lavishness in a bid to celebrate, coupled with an inherited belief in immortal relationships. This high growth industry is running on an aspirational engine that shows no signs of revving down or being affected by any market force. With an estimated 10 million weddings taking place each year in India, the industry is pretty much recession-proof While the wedding engine in India benevolently bankrolls a plethora of industrial sectors with generosity, it is the apparel segment that takes centerstage – after all, isn’t it what the bride and the groom are wearing that is under the scanner throughout the celebration? Inspite of a snowballing market and abundant opportunities, the wedding wear market in India has traditionally been dominated by the unorganised sector; at least it was until 1999 when Manyavar was launched, an event that would go on to change the whole template of segment in India.Over the years, the brand has become synonymous with Indian wedding trousseau and has inspired a new generation of brands in this domain to follow in its footsteps.
In an exclusive interview, IMAGES Business of Fashion, talks to one of the most prodigious figures of the Indian wedding trousseau industry, Ravi Modi, MD, Vedant Fashions Pvt. Ltd., about the evolution of the market, and latest trends.
Excerpts from the interview…How would you describe the wedding trousseau market in India now? How has it changed in the last 10 years?
Back in the day, men’s ethnic wear did not even exist as a category in the organised sector. Slowly, over time, the category has grown and established itself in the psyche of the consumers. Today, the men’s ethnic wear category is witnessing exponential growth and its demand for a casual or dailywear option is also growing. The huge demand in ethnic wear is not only confined to festivals but also to the rising trend of pairing traditional pieces with western wear, bringing the Indo-Western trend to both casual and formal wear.
Also, consumer outlook towards ethnic wear has changed and evolved considerably over time. They are now open to adopting and experimenting with cuts, colors, and hues. This will go a long way in ensuring that ethnic wear continues to be contemporary and interesting.
Manyavar, on its part has also acted as an catalyst in this evolution. By starting an entire non-existent category of men’s ethnic wear in the country, we have done our bit by providing consumers with a wide variety of options in terms of designs, colors, and cuts across various categories.
The general assumption is that the wedding/festive season (October to December) is the principal occasion wear season in India. What’s your take on this?
The traditional wedding/festive season has broadened over time to include many smaller occasions and personal celebrations around the year. Moreover, consumers now view ethnic wear as a comfortable and casual clothing option. Weekends have now become the new occasion for donning ethnic wear too.
Also, for us, we enjoy a healthy distribution of sales around the year as our offerings are varied and cater to various consumer requirements. We ensure that we adapt to changing trends, yet, we strive to ensure that we keep our Indian essence intact.
What do you think are the major influences on the fashion choices while opting for wedding trousseau in India?
Generally, customers used to consult our store teams to show them the latest trends. However, with social media and the large number of influencers that we see today, most consumers are completely updated with trends.Such increased awareness broadens up spending avenues and occasions too.
Bollywood and social media definitely play a major role in influencing purchase decisions. However, Bollywood too looks to real-life trends and traditions for inspiration. Hence, our current trends in a way help shape Bollywood’s choices.
Could you tell us the prevalent trends in terms of colours, silhouettes and embellishments?
Honestly, we see a variety of trends and micro trends throughout the country, so it is hard to narrow it down to 1-2 key trends. Still, there’s a lot of variations and styles coming up in terms of colors and patterns. New cuts and prints are starting to shape the ethnic wear market with indulgence in new colors and patterns. Contemporary designs with pastel hues and traditional motifs are in trend right now and are also dominating the festive wear range this year.
Our men’s collections showcase an exceptional range of exquisite sherwanis, regal Indo-westerns, classic kurta-jackets, and trendy kurtas. We regularly forecast trends enabling us to ensure that we are always quick to introduce fashion trends; be it the introduction of new offbeat refined colors which were originally never seen in a groom’s color palette such as pista greens and soft peaches or unique product characteristics such as edgy and unique cuts with asymmetric hemlines and double-breasted styles along with statement modern prints.
In bridal wear, whether it is the lehenga or the accessories, the focus has always been on the detailing. Hues being the main focus of the season, pastel colors like pinks and greens are ruling the fashion trends and are in demand. Like Manyavar, Mohey too has a varied set of themes fitting the various occasions of a typical wedding affair.
As embroidery is enjoying the limelight for the season, we have specially curated embroidered lehengas to cater to the ongoing trends. Adding to this, cape gowns, pastel hues, fl oral prints have been the head-turning styles throughout the season.
What is the inspiration behind your collection for the forthcoming wedding season? Also, tell us about the latest styles of your wedding collection.
Manyavar has introduced an array of cuts, prints colors, and patterns that are generally not seen in a groom’s trousseau options.
Off -beat colors like pastels, which are never seen in a groom’s palette, have acquired a large space in men’s ethnic wear range. Asymmetrical cuts and hemlines are trending, making the whole range of men’s wear all the more exciting and innovative.
Mohey’s flagship category is lehengas. In lehengas, we have a very balanced collection in terms of colours and fabrics – there are beige and ivory lehengas on one end of the spectrum which is balanced well by dark deep brooding colours such as burgundy, rust, old rose, and wine. The embroidery is a mix of resham and antiquated zardosi.
Today, Indians are increasingly opting for western wedding trousseau than ever before. What’s your take on it?
We, at Manyavar Mohey, actually see the trend going the opposite way. We see this market as one of the most fast-growing and vibrant segments. We are betting on ethnic doubling in a few years’ time from the current position.