Small towns? Indian fashion designers say it’s a sleeping giant of a market that is slowly waking up.
Two- and three-tier cities have spelt huge potential business for designers, thanks to growing awareness, fashion consciousness and greater purchasing power. And they are queueing up with stores and online portals in places like Surat, Nagpur, Goa, Pune and Ahmedabad.
“There is a demand for designerwear in small cities because India is getting richer, people are getting more aspirational, they hear about labels and they know about fashion,” couture designer JJ Valaya said on the sidelines of the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2011.
“I think it’s a matter of time that designers go all out and reach out to small cities,” he said.
Designer Payal Singhal, who retails in cities like Chandigarh and Surat apart from other small towns, said: “We get e-mails from clients from cities like Surat asking us about our collections. They buy online and they know the trends.”
“In places like Raipur, Meerut and Ahmedabad, we sell a lot of saris and lehengas,” said Jai of designer duo Parvesh-Jai.
Valaya, who launched his label almost 20 years back, plans to open stores in the small cities, but said it is still in the planning process and finer points are being worked out.