India’s luxury consumers are interested in buying much more than elite branded clothing. How about Hermes porcelain plates or Burberry’s fragrances? In India demand for hard luxury goods such as jewelry, crockery or home decor exceeds that of high fashion.
With the struggling economy in the United States and Europe in the past few years, one industry that continues to grow is couture and high luxury accessories.Chanel cites record sales for Spring 2012. Jean-Paul Gaultier jumped 23 percent in the spring with escalating sales from Russia, China, and Brazil.
One region, however, is asking for particularly specific imports. Instead of clothing items, handbags, and other “soft” luxury products, India is purchasing high-end goods in a different category: accessories, fragrance, and home furnishings.
These “hard” luxury items are in such demand that Armani is re-vamping their business approach in the country to offer expensive brand apartments. Versace is selling furniture. Burberry, known for its outerwear and designer clothing, has successful fragrance lines.
The upper class in these regions are pushing purveyors to expand their brand offerings. Sales in jewelry, fragrances, home furnishings, and even crockery are at a record high in India.
International architecture and home design has become a growing trend in India. They don’t just want nice cars and clothing. They want brand-name furnishings in lavishly decorated homes. Class, refinement, and sheer decadence of an internationally modern home has great appeal.
The conception that the rich have beautiful homes on the outside and scarce furnishings inside is quickly becoming discredited. Spending takes a turn toward completion of wealth in home decor and hard couture.
Creating a truly extravagant home is something of pride for Indian consumers. In modern architecture, the builders develop a unique outer shell and leave the interior warmth and extravagance to the creativity of the owner.
This trend is growing especially in larger Indian cities as owners create a welcoming, decadent home. The desire is to design homes that exalt as well as pamper, amaze as well as comfort. Expensive is valuable, and Indian consumers are purchasing with this in mind.
Indians have definite focus on the brand name. They recognize the indulgence and high-fashion quality that comes with Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Versace.The demand is in luxurious and useful items that contribute to overall wealth and well being.
Often synonymous with couture clothing and watches, Hermes has made a great leap in New Delhi in the dinnerware department. The Hermes Art of Living line, which includes everything from ashtrays to umbrellas, is purchased at record highs.
In a recent report by Bain and Company, the couture market in India for 2012 is estimated to reach 1.2 billion euros. High-fashion brand names choose to bring their items like sunglasses, high-luxury luggage lines, and other travel accessories first to India.
They are being challenged to rise to the global request for high-fashion items in much more than just trendy clothing. Bain and Company concluded in saying, “India is strategically poised to create one of the largest global market opportunities in the next decade.”
With refined taste and a large audience, India creates an appropriate infrastructure for the fashion industry to evolve their brands and create high-fashion items that will pass through generations and gain timeless value.