India”s menswear market lure

India’s menswear market, driven by the male desire to be well-groomed and impeccable style-wise, is attracting the country’s top-notch designers to put their creative juices to use in that direction. They say men have finally realised that fashion isn’t only for women.

Renowned designer Manish Malhotra, who has completed 25 years as a costume designer and 10 years of his label, showcased his debut menswear line titled ‘The Gentlemen’s Club’ at a fashion week in Mumbai last month.

The collection had suits and jackets in abundance with embroidery and intricate detailing, and much more.

The designer, who will launch his menswear line in November this year at his exclusive store here, had said: “True style begins with an impeccably groomed man who just knows what looks good on him.”

And it seems like the number of such men is just exploding.

“Menswear is a large market and it’s growing at a high speed,” Nikhil Mehra of the designer duo Shantanu & Nikhil — who are set to launch a menswear store in Kolkata in October — had told IANS earlier.

Nikhil believes that Kolkata is an “artistic space and they deserve to have products that come from an artistic mindset”.

Menswear designer Paresh Lamba, who has been in the industry for 20 years, says the demand has definitely increased.

“Nowadays men are very brand- and fashion-conscious. They are closer to the aesthetic issue and realise that being fashion-conscious is not only for women; it is for the modern man as well,” Lamba told IANS.

“Men’s fashion industry has been booming over the years and we have been growing equally. It’s a great space to be in as the demand is constantly booming,” he added.

Dinaz Madhukar, senior vice president of DLF Emporio, says over the years, they have seen equal percentage of men shopping at the Delhi-based luxury shopping destination, as women.

“Though we do see a spike in shopping during the wedding season, men shop for both kurtas and western wear throughout the year depending on the occasion.”

Be it international brands like Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani, Tom Ford and Burberry, or pieces from collections of India’s ace designers such as Raghavendra Rathore, Rohit Bal and Tarun Tahilani, men are donning chic creations for sure.

It’s not just brick and mortar stores that are attracting stylish men. They are cool with shopping online too.

“Yes, more men are shopping online these days. We have seen an increase in sales by 10 percent over last year to Jabong sales, with gains in both clothing and shoes,” Praveen Sinha, managing director and co-founder, told IANS.

He shared that popular categories are shirts, denims, tees, running shoes, sneakers and loafers.

“Youth segment (17-30) account for 60 percent of the fashion buys,” he added.

So, what’s trending now?

Ace designer Rocky S, whose new prêt collection consists of printed T-shirts, sweatshirts and comforting inner wear, told IANS that the major fashion trends for men in India are vibrant outerwear and funky styles with a comfortable style quotient.

“Apart from clothes, men can always use glares, sturdy watches, caps and a great pair of shoes,” he said.

Menswear designer Varoin Marwah says since the winter festive season is approaching, self-patterned jacquards are highly fashionable. “Jackets are a must have for this season. Well cut, blended wool suiting in colours on the lines of neutral palettes are also becoming popular. Even waistcoats with a high neck are trending this season.”

Designer Piyush Dedhia has also given the green signal to colourful suits, bomber jackets, oversized tops and men’s jumpsuits.

Sahil Aneja, another designer, shared that apart from clothes, good shoes are a must, and for a formal look, good belts, pocket squares and bow ties can “add immensely to the look”.

“For a more causal day look, loafers, a pair of sunglasses can definitely create a huge impact. The secret is not to go over the top! Be confident and love what you wear.”

About Jack K. Harris

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