With not much happening in the business of fashion at the moment, thanks to the slow economic conditions around the globe, the Indian export industry is going through a sluggish buying season. In the changing market conditions high-end is no longer defined by highly embellished garments and mass is no longer just about cheap and affordable. Exceedingly consumer-driven, the market is all about what the client will buy – and this client is no longer loyal to their favourite brands but go for ‘value for money’, be it through online, boutique stores, thrift stores or just a new brand on the block offering something afresh. What has therefore become extremely important for fashion brands is to understand the best sellers in the market, rather than being experimental, finding ways to innovate into the existing key trends in order to sell well and remain competent. The Apparel Online Fashion Team takes a look at the bestsellers for S/S ’13, which in all probability are interpreted for high summer and early fall.
Dresses continue to bag orders in pastel tones and printed variations
Talking to exporters about their highest selling developments for Spring/Summer 2013 in different markets, it is clear that the tastes of EU and US have started to overlap in terms of silhouettes barring the colour preferences, which remain slightly brighter for UK and softer and subtle of the US. Dresses once again reign the season with a general colour palette of pale and pastel world over, making bright colour blocking a part of fashion history. “In knits, cotton and viscose, our maximum orders are booked for dresses which are a half and half mix of knee length and full length styles. Unlike brighter colours that were present all over last summer, the colours are a lot more subtle like a softer lavender shade, both with buyers from UK and the US,” said Ashish Garg, CEO, AG Fashion.
Prints in dresses remain in fashion, with an obvious change in preferences which vary from buyer to buyer and theme to theme. “While dresses continue to bag orders in heavy georgettes, crepes, cotton and rayon, it is actually the printed dresses that are doing extremely well for us. From small all over prints, the trend has now changed to really big and bold – blown up sized prints which are more jungle inspired with an abstract mix of leaves, flowers, and animals all together. It’s almost like a tropical island playing an inspirational role for prints for the coming summer,” claimed Amrit Jain, Manager – Product Development, Manidhari Exports Inc. “For colours, the most preferred shade was that of sea green colours, shades of aqua, coral colours – basically the hues of submerged flora,” he added.
Another company which is doing particularly well with prints is Nehal Exim. “Mostly in knee length dresses, we are selling both flower and animal prints. Although the animal prints this time are not the regular zebra prints, but are variations in tiger and leopard skin patterns in a single colour tone. Also popular are small birds all over in multi colours which make the dresses quirky and youthful. Colours are mostly coral shades, which are popular globally,” said Vikas Moondra, Partner of the company. GKGN Export also bagged popularity with ditsy prints and placement prints, in a pastel colour palette of ecru, white, grey, peach and camel.
Other than dresses
“Catering to both the US and EU, Spring/Summer 2013 will see more of blouses, lowers and shirts. Orders for the regular long dresses are being replaced by midi dresses, and blouses are mostly in cotton woven fabrics. A particular trend in trousers that is gaining popularity is of the lowers with elastics on the waist that makes the shape a lot more comfortable than the usual tailored ones”, said Shishir Kapoor, Director, MLK Exports, who specifically didn’t get a lot of orders for the regular long dresses for S/S ’13.
Selling like a rage with both Nehal Exim and GKGN Exports, was the short length skirts (21 inches) with cute lace trims along the hemline. The lengths in tops are also shorter ranging from 70 to 80 cms which are till the belt line, and cannot be tucked inside the trouser. Mostly pleated and pin tucked, demand in tops is also for all over schiffli work with small booti designs.
Adding on, K. Mago, Proprietor of Kack India said, “70 to 80% of our orders came for tops this time in a length of 24 inches. In terms of fabrics from a brief period of time when everyone shifted to polyesters to cut down the cost, cotton has once again become a staple from India in all kinds of looks. The next summer everything is synonymous to ‘simple’ with not much jazz, as even the embellishments are not all over, but only along the hemlines or the neck”. Unlike others, the most unique element for Kack India was its colour palette which consisted of majorly fluorescent colours in subtle tints, like that of yellow and pink.
Catering to both the US and EU, Spring/Summer 2013 will see more of blouses, lowers and shirts. Orders for the regular long dresses are being replaced by midi dresses, and blouses are mostly in cotton woven fabrics. Embellishments are only through the use of lace and are not all over, but only along the hemlines or the neck.
Different markets seek special trends
With the emergence of many new markets like Russia, Middle East and South America, there is a twist to the trends, injecting some fresher tastes in trends and demands from the Indian manufacturer. Also, some of the older markets have shown a desire to be different from the general trends, giving a new swing to fashion. “While for buyers in Italy we registered orders for long skirts and full length dresses in plain cotton fabric, in UK the clear preference was for shorter lengths; also to note was that there were no orders for tops in Italy at all. Embellishments are only through the use of lace and absolutely no embellished work as we know it in India. On the other hand in Russia, there was demand for a lot of tops in georgette fabrics again in pastel colours with a popular addition of coral red. For the May-June orders, the skirt lengths are balanced between long and knee lengths,” said Namrata, Co-owner & Designer, GKGN Export.
“Booked for Turkey and Iran are the fresh ‘Dhoti Pants’ – a modern version of traditional Indian clothing item ‘dhoti’ which has been taken up by girls with a twist,” claims Amrit. Portraying more of a hippie and a bohemian look these trousers are vibrant in a mix of techniques like batik and tie-n-dye, which are popular from our company.”