Ethnic wear makers sew up ‘fusion’ plans to woo youth

FRDC works with well known Ethnic brands like Neerus and Biba to reinvent retail design and brand touch points for ever changing customer profiles. Working on new Biba genex store design Sanjay Agarwal of FRDC says-" Biba's new generation stores will be a fusion of contemporary India with Traditional ethos and a western mindset"..The translation of architecture has been inspired from Indian customs but modern materials.

 Twenty three-year-old Manish prefers to buy the modern short kurtas which he can effortlessly wear with a pair of jeans rather than traditional ethnic wear. He doesn’t mind replacing his formal shirt with a casual one.
With a large number of youth opting for the Indo-western wear look, ethnic wear makers are fast adopting new designs and apparels to woo them. Fusion wear – fabric-based formal shirts or Chinese-cut kurtas – are increasingly becoming the order of the day.
Market sources point out that the ethnic wear industry is estimated to grow to Rs 45,000 crore by March 2013. However, organised retail, which can cater to this growing number, is still a small percentage of it.
According to Mohit Tikmany, CEO of Kolkata-based Prapti Fashions Ltd, Indo-western look is the flavour of the season. Prapti has already introduced short kurtas in bright colours, embroidered outfits and Indo-western wear.
“Those in 18-30 years age group are going for Indo-western ethnic wear and more so on experimental basis. This is expected to be a big contributor for us,” Tikmany told Business Line.
Delhi-based Fabindia Overseas Pvt Ltd is another company that has been combining its ethnic wear offerings along with the Western tastes. The brand started off with home décor offerings, but now also has men’s shirts, kurtas and traditional ethnic wear. It recently introduced casual trousers for men while it plans to come out with a range of Nehru cut jackets (with and without sleeves) and trousers soon. In the women’s wear segment too it has the high street range for women apart from the traditional kurtis which can be worn with both leggings and denims.
“In case of our apparels, the cuts and designs are international. Moreover, all apparels are fabric based. With the youth ready to experiment with their looks makes this a very interesting category,” a Fabindia spokesperson said.
According to Siddhartha Bindra, Managing Director, BIBA, youth is rapidly emerging as a major segment for them. While it currently accounts for about five per cent of the total sales, this percentage to go up to 10-15 per cent in the next 2-3 years.
“It is a highly price sensitive category and so we are trying to price our products aggressively as well as increase the portfolio,” he added. BIBA products are priced between Rs 399 and Rs 699.