Indian Luxury Lingerie Market - Lace Demands

With India becoming more confident and women becoming independent, the luxury lingerie market in India is predictably going to see an upward trend

By: Sukriti Singh Rao

Posted on: September 8, 2015

La Perla Spring Summer 2015You know people around you are getting more open minded, when lingerie ads in your country get bolder, sexier and on your face. India as a country, is opening its doors to the idea that a woman in a bra ad is not necessarily a ‘tart’, or someone to be looked down upon. Men’s and women’s innerwear market in India is worth approximately $30 billion a year and growing at a rate of 17% per annum, according to Intimate Apparel Association of India (IAAI). It accounts for 11% of the women’s wear market.

In the early 1990s, there was mostly one multi-retail store selling everything together, from cosmetics to lingerie to baby products, all under one roof. Over the last decade, India saw a massive change with the entry of players like Marks and Spencer, La Senza, and very recently, nearly all e-commerce players have a lingerie/innerwear segment specifically targeting the niche audience with Elitify selling brands like BCB Generation, Calvin Klein, Agent Provocateur (Penelope Cruze’s Brand), the well known US acclaimed brand, Hanky Panky and Straps & Strings selling Oscar de la Renta, Cosabella and Canadian brand Blush. 

A customer on basis of anonymity said, “Till a few years back, there was nothing in India, and we used to buy all the latest collections of luxury brands from our vacations overseas or order online from Net-a-Porter. But now India is maturing to be a market that caters to all segments of society, and luring customers with bold and bright colors like neons, reds and purples. A very refreshing change from the standard black and white.” With the younger generation becoming more confident of themselves and not afraid to experiment with colors, cuts and designs, the Indian lingerie market is an untapped multibillion dollar industry with a lot of scope and hope.

The super-premium segment (garments priced at $56), is 1% of the overall market, while the premium segment (prices ranging between $25 and $55), makes up to 5%. The mass segment contributes 39% with pricing ranging from $5-$24. The economy category makes up the remaining 55%, with garments priced under $5, according to IAAI.

Wacoal 2013-14 collectionIncredibly, the luxury intimates segment is growing at a faster pace around the world than the lingerie market itself, according to a new report by Fashionbi. What is missing in lingerie boutiques across India, however, are tailor made services to address an individual’s body type and their specific requirements. And these specifications need to be addressed by brands in order to grow and retain a good customer base. La Perla, for example, recently launched a made-to-measure service that highlights the brand’s heritage as a luxury atelier.

Having entered and exited India previously, La Perla is planning a comeback with a new partner – Vikas Jain, co-founder of Micromax mobile phones. Wacoal, the Japanese luxury lingerie brand, is also entering India, through a joint venture between Wacoal International Hong Kong and Periwinkle Fashions Pvt.

Neha Jain, a South Delhi based HNI said, “It’s very difficult to get the right lingerie in my size since my cup is small but bust line is different. What would work really well is a ‘Tailor Made’ service. Money is not an issue if we get the right feel and comfort.”

With the Big Fat Indian wedding around the corner, and ‘brides-to-be’ ready to roll in the festivities, luxury lingerie brands should be ready with their latest collections for us to indulge in senselessly. 

Sukriti Singh Rao, NYC.PIESukriti Singh Rao is a management and PR Professional with eight years of experience. From having done PR for mass brands like Red Tape and Saregama to luxury brands like Chopard, Piaget and Moet Hennessy, she has been there, done that and had a blast doing it. Talking and making friends come naturally to her, so the decision to get into PR was a no-brainer. She is currently Director of NYC.PIE, a boutique gourmet pizzeria in India.

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