It is no surprise that the Indian apparel industry has traditionally been driven by women, with men’s purchases being more need-based. Recent years, though, have seen a massive shift in this regard with men gravitating towards bespoke and trend-led styles that speak of individualism and self-expression – pinning this category as the fastest growing apparel segment in the country.
Despite being valued at Rs. 1.6 trillion in 2018 and dominating the overall Indian apparel market, menswear in India has not received the same attention to detail when it comes to designer fashion, as opposed to its female counterparts.
Tapping on this prevalent gap in the market, Delhi-based menswear label Amaare, targets the savvy men of today who are well-travelled, well-aware and well-exposed to the outside world. These men are not afraid to experiment with their looks, and prefer structured and clean garments that harbour a simple yet refined aesthetic.
Founded by two brothers – Sahib and Gaurav Bhatia in January 2017, it didn’t take long for Amaare to attract a loyal consumer base – success of which was further ascertained when the designer duo won Lakmé Fashion Week’s prestigious Gen Next program in 2019. Since then, there has been no looking back!
“I have always aspired to become a fashion designer. Growing up, I had realised my love for fashion and was very clear that this is what I wanted to do. I always wished to have my own fashion brand,” Sahib told Apparel Resources in an exclusive interview, adding, “I wasn’t able to learn design from any conventional design college per se, but I knew that being familiar with the basics in design is a must.”
During his tenure at Rina Dhaka, Sahib sharpened his industry skills in sampling and merchandising. He took training on pattern making and draping from the masters who worked at his factory, and additionally completed a part-time diploma in Graphic Design. After gaining enough on-the-job experience and technical know-how, he along with his brother came up with the idea of Amaare.
“Amaare literally translates to ‘be fond of love’ or ‘my love’. Our brand is a heartfelt love sonnet for our love for fashion, design, and creativity. Also, we wanted to keep a gender-neutral name for our brand so that we don’t restrict ourselves to a certain genre, as we would love to expand into womenswear fashion as well,” Sahib elucidated.
“Menswear market in India has shown slow but steady growth in the last decade. The onset of fashion blogging, exposure to global fashion and cinema, and celebrities being available one on one have given a lot of courage to people in terms of expressing their style through fashion. Men are becoming more conscious of fashion in terms of how, when and what they want to wear, and they no more think of clothes as mere necessity.”
Product assortment & techniques
Comprising wedding formals that include tuxedos, sherwanis, bandhgalas, heavily embroidered Nehru jacket sets, kurtas and everyday workwear such as jackets, suits, shirts, and casual Nehru jackets, Amaare positions itself to be a one-stop solution for the men of today. Amaare’s starting points for retail are Rs. 4,000 for its ready-to-wear range, and Rs. 35,000 for its wedding range.
Displaying a semblance of contemporary fashion as well as tradition, Amaare aspires to create classic pieces with a special touch of complex and contemporary ideas. The label revels in extensive exploration of surface ornamentation techniques to create a unique blend of simple and clean silhouettes with a complexity of new-age ideas.
“We attribute a lot of our inspiration to travel, which exposes us to novel cultures, people and art forms. These influences eventually form the basis for our creations,” Sahib said, adding, “We use garments as our bare canvas and use story telling as a medium to further our experiences by harmonising as well as uniting different cultures and art forms, bringing newer possibilities to the world of fashion.”
Working on the basis of Spring/Summer and Winter/Festive, Amaare releases two collections per year.
As a brand, Amaare believes in and is committed to the concept of ‘Make in India’ and provides employment and livelihood to the rural workforce prevailing in the villages of India. Commenting on the same, Sahib said, “Until March 2020, we had about 40 per cent of our surface development techniques being outsourced to two small villages in Eastern Uttar Pradesh named Kakori and Malihabad. We are committed to push this figure to at least 80 per cent in the future by providing opportunities to these craftsmen to work from their villages and help them in becoming financially self-reliant and forming self-sustaining cottage industries.”
Processes such as fabric cutting, pattern making, stitching and finishing of garments are done in their factory unit based in New Delhi.
Buying and sourcing
Sustainability is the way forward, and Amaare tries to incorporate as many of the natural fabrics as it possibly can, within its collections. It sources 100 per cent of its silk and silk blends from Karnataka, West Bengal, and Jharkhand. Embroidery and stitching material is sourced locally, whilst some of the merino wool suiting fabrics used in its collections is imported from around the world.
“We believe in supporting the local and homegrown cottage industries as opposed to buying readily available imported Chinese fabrics. As a result, the produce is 100 per cent natural and organic instead of a duplicate variant,” Sahib corroborated.
Besides being available for purchase at its own flagship store in New Delhi, Amaare is also available at various MBOs and multi-designer stores (in-store and online) across India, including Aza in Mumbai, Pernia’s Pop Up Shop in Mumbai as well as Delhi, Curato in Mumbai, Ensemble in Mumbai, Origin in Kolkata, and Armadio in Bengaluru, to name a few.
Internationally, the label is available at Este Couture in London, Vesimi in Dubai alongside online on vesimi.com and aashniandco.com.
Amaare is also in the process of readying its own e-commerce portal in an effort to ease the shopping experience for its clients from the comfort of their homes.