When star-stylist Shabina Khan first stepped into the Indian film industry in 1989 at 19, she recalled exactly six costume designers (now known as stylists) working for the whole of Bollywood. Today, she estimates, there are at least 25 and growing. And film styling is a mere atom in the ever-evolving body of the Indian fashion industry.
The Indian fashion design industry is likely to touch Rs 750 crore by 2012 from the current level of Rs 270 crore owing to Indian companies heavily investing big sums in the industry, consumers increasing shift towards designer wear, exposure to western media and the ready availability of designer wear in shopping malls, according to a paper by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM).
Although the Indian fashion industry accounts for barely 0.2 per cent of the international industry’s net worth, the market is getting more dynamic with the influx of the big daddies of international fashion like Tommy Hilfiger, Gucci, Chanel, Salvatore Ferragamo, Escada, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton etc making headway to India in recent times.
Says the first lady of Indian fashion, designer Ritu Kumar, “We are going to see a phenomenal rise in international brands coming here since markets abroad are seeing a saturation of retail and India, perceived to be the second largest growing consumer country in the world, is an attractive avenue for global brands to explore.”