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Spending on ethnic wear on the rise among Indian women

By Meenakshi Kumar


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Indian consumers are increasingly spending more on ethnic wear. The merchandise, especially premium ones, which was mostly visible on catwalks and bridal scenes a few years ago has now turned mainstream and is being worn daily. Brands like Biba, W, Aurelia and Manyavar have almost doubled sales over the past three years.

Indian wear, initially largely restricted to the old-age segment, has also found acceptance among younger consumers as companies widen their portfolio to sell fusion clothing — a mix of modern and traditional wear — instead of just ethnic, which is reserved for special occasions. In India, ethnic wear is the single biggest category in the women's wear segment with a share of 71 per cent. Ethnic wear is still considered formal wear for women. It is considered de rigueur office wear. Consumers are also increasingly getting steeped in Indian traditions, signaling the potential of the burgeoning ethnic wear market. The broader trend is about Indian pride now in a country which is doing well economically.

Another growth trigger is the growing popularity of online shopping that has helped these brands reach out to customers in smaller cities. This surge in growth will continue, especially as 2018 was a hallmark year as far as weddings go for India’s power couples.