The fashion industry is a complex spectrum consisting of people from diverse fashion fields, all with a singular aim to create exceptional apparel. Regarding the fashion industry in India, we have witnessed many rising fashion designers, prominent personalities, fashion journalists and awe-inspiring ensembles over the years.

But it still has a long way to go before it gets the recognition it deserves on the international stage. Is it the lack of endorsement? Are our handlooms and age-old traditions getting replaced? What is the new face of the fashion industry in India in 2022? These are some of the concerns that the industry is facing. In this article, get in-depth details about specific facts that make up India’s fashion industry.

The fashion industry contributors

A few things come to mind when we think about the mainstream fashion industry. It can be the dazzling ensembles worn by models on the runway, fashion designers, celebrities and elaborate settings. But there is much more to this industry than what meets the eye. Many people associated with fashion work behind the scenes in making gorgeous dress wear and presenting them to the common public.

Weavers, garment researchers, fashion photographers, accessory designers, make-up artists, textile experts, fashion journalists, magazine editors, content writers and many more. The combined effort of all people involved in the industry is what makes your favourite brands or designer clothes to be showcased.

International reach

To a fashion designer, recognition and appreciation for the collection he/she designed can be a monumental stepping stone in her career. And when your precisely handcrafted designer ensemble gets showcased on the international stage, it also puts Indian fashion in focus.

That happened in the 2022 Met Gala, an iconic fashion event graced by throngs of celebrities yearly in their best wear. This year well-known Indian fashion designer Sabyasachi’s golden saree was the talk of the town. With its intricate golden designs and following the theme “Gilded Glamour”, it made a stunning portrayal of Indian culture. This is one such example where Indian fashion played a prominent role on the international stage.

Integrating traditional and modern fashion

No matter how globalised and advanced India is regarding traditions and culture, it can be seen staying true to its roots. The same can be said about India’s fashion industry. From beautiful sarees to lehengas and anarkalis, they can be witnessed worn during fashion events, runways, red carpets and award functions.

India's fashion designers take pride in the intricate traditional designs incorporated with modern ensembles and accessories, which seamlessly transcend into unique fashion creations.

Raw materials

India is one of the largest exporters of textiles in the world. In 2021-22, India reached the highest ever tally in exports at US$44.4 billion in apparel, textiles and handicrafts. India is known for producing superior qualities of cotton, khadi and silk.

The fashion industry in India is known for incorporating cotton and silk in making ready-made garments for exports or fabulous fashion statement pieces for the home market. Silk sarees are revered, especially in South India. Khadi also plays a significant role in showcasing India’s rich culture and heritage.

Scope in the fashion industry

If you are thinking of a fashion career in India, you should also know that it’s a competitive field. The National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), the most prestigious institute in India, caters to all things in the fashion world.

The NIFT has difficult entrance exams and aptitude tests that groom young fashion enthusiasts to be part of the future of India’s growing fashion industry.

Talent sourcing

With the fashion industry expanding over the years, talent sourcing has become a stringent process. Only the best are selected for creating and showcasing their works.

But what about the weavers and handlooms artists still following the age-old traditional craft handed down by their ancestors? Many NGOs and startups have taken the initiative to bring back traditional crafts to the mainstream. Four such startups are Karagiri, Inde’ Loom, Aditri and Wood & Yarn.

Millennial Shoppers

Millennial shoppers are the most significant driving force behind fashion trends. With the advancement in technology, they make up the most digital buyers in India.

On average, over 60% of the millennials shop online and are responsible for providing fashion-related queries such as ratings, reviews and suggestions on new trends. It is no wonder the fashion industry keeps evolving to match the trends and growing demands.

Mainstream recognition

No matter which country, the fashion industry often focuses on recognizing the big fashion houses, brands and famous designers with all their glitz and glamour. Unfortunately, the small boutiques, home stores and village weavers do not get their due recognition and are often not considered part of the mainstream industry.

This unorganized part of the fashion industry has a long way to go before identifying and harnessing these hidden talents and bringing them to the mainstream.

Make in India approach.

There was a time when high-quality luxury garments and textiles could be sourced only from the United States or Europe. That is not the case today; because of India’s cheap labour force and abundant supply of raw materials, it is efficient to manufacture and market suitable quality apparel in India and worldwide. Many international clothing brands, such as Tom Hilfiger and Gap Inc, manufacture their products in India.

Future of the fashion industry in India

The fashion industry in India is not yet at a point where it could take over the world scene. Though there is no lack of talent or passion for creating exceptional ensembles, there is much to organize within the industry before conquering the international stage.

The Indian fashion industry has changed a lot and witnessed variations in the fashion from traditional wear to western wear, cumbersome clothes like ethnic royal wear to simple fashion clothes like a couple in one t shirt.

With India’s fashion industry as old as our civilization, you can expect new innovative and notable creations in the coming years. You can already see unprecedented changes in creative apparel collections that render to all age groups in the form of twinning friends and family t-shirts for all occasions.