India has not yet built a reputation as an international fashion center. A few gifted designers are,
however, beginning to break into the world of haute couture. They retail their work through select outlets-usually under their own labels. Prices can exceed Rs 20,000/- for a single ensemble.
As couturiers sell exclusively, only a limited number of pieces are made up per design. Production, therefore, is confined to very small units where the designers personally supervise the fabrication and marketing of their creations.
Haute couture is a small and exclusive sector, where success depends on a combination of rare talent and astute business sense. Even abroad only a handful of aspirants are able to enter the top fashion houses of Paris, London, Milan and New York.
This is the biggest sector with the largest number of openings for new entrants. It concentrates on bulk production and covers a range of garments for a variety of markets and purposes such as:
Still the major segment in this market includes everything from undergarments to evening dresses.
Is also a growing market, as men become more conscious of their appearance and the number of outlets catering to their needs is on the rise.
Covers the range from baby clothes to teenage fashions that are often retailed at their own shops
under appropriate brand names.
Sports and Leisurewear
Are specialist areas in the lifestyle category with a growing market in India. This is a youthful, lively segment where new fabric developments strongly influence designs. Sales are usually through sports and hobby stores.
This is a specialist area and includes anything that enhances clothing-like shoes, handbags, scarves,
jewellery or watches. Manufacture of accessories involves working with materials other than fabric and special training is required for their production.
Rising disposable incomes have greatly increased fashion awareness in India giving an impetus to the garment industry. The domestic market is expanding fast and outlets for any of the above categories of clothing and accessories range from exclusive boutiques to market stalls to large
department stores and chain stores. Most of the larger retailers employ their own staff to develop and market their lines.
Textiles have always formed the bulk of India's exports. Today apparel constitutes nearly one half of Indian textile exports, which in themselves account for about a quarter of our country's total exports. There are now thousands of garment manufacturing units all over the country catering exclusively to this market. The number is growing and holds great employment potential for skilled workers in the manufacturing and merchandising sections of the garment industry.