When I started my journey in fashion, India was an understated player. The past decade saw the tide pointedly turning, with India poising itself as a mammoth in the global fashion scene. One of the key moments in the fashion cycle this year was the celebration of India’s much-deserved contribution and impact on fashion, started by Dior, in March.
With Dior publicly celebrating its relationship with India, Indian fashion witnessed a moment in history. Not only did the show celebrate Indian craftsmanship that major French houses employ, but it also acknowledged the growing luxury consumer market that India offers. Dior’s showcase in Mumbai will remain a significant step towards highlighting the (still) unacknowledged role of India’s heritage of skilful craftsmanship in global luxury.
With the Dior show making global highlights, one could easily say that it is the perfect time for high-end brands to leverage and establish themselves as a brand for Indians. With a growing middle class and increasing disposable incomes, India is an important market for luxury brands. Indian customers are evolving and using brands to represent who they are, not just as a means to flash logos. In the recent decade, India has made noteworthy contributions to the luxury fashion industry as a source of inspiration and talent. As India’s economy continues to grow, its influence on the global fashion industry is likely to increase even further.
The Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre (NMACC) launch, which happened the very next day, is the perfect example of the above statement. NMACC is a space that welcomes everyone—performers, makers and dreamers, along with spectators. This is an institution that celebrates India’s timeless legacy in art and culture. The initiative by the Ambani family also makes this legacy accessible to the general public.
I also had the privilege of hosting the NMACC event—it was a truly unforgettable weekend! The exhibit was unreal; it delved into the elegant and intricate history and visual appeal of Indian fashion, clothing and fabrics and their significant influence on western fashion, spanning centuries.
For a long time, India has been a bystander in fashion, represented only in stereotypical or commoditised aspects of our culture. With these encouraging events for Indian brands, artists and creatives, hopefully, we will see more participation in fashion and arts. As a country, we need to drive the narrative of our heritage and values and represent them to the world. We are a country with limitless opportunities.
The NMACC and Dior week was a whirlwind—days filled with great people, iconic moments and immense pride. I am blessed to have had a front-row ticket to this revolution and acceptance India brings to the fashion industry. I believe I have done my little part in helping India be a strong contender in fashion and, especially, within luxury. This has been a well- deserved, wonderful week for Indian creatives!
Despite these achievements, I believe this is just the beginning. We are yet to see what we can achieve and present to the world. We have a long way to go, and this is when we buckle up. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!
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