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Ethnic brands are readjusting their inventory amid a sombre wedding season (Mint)
Ethnic brands are readjusting their inventory amid a sombre wedding season (Mint)

Apparel brands go easy on festive wear

  • Apparel retailers, especially those that sell formal or heavy ethnic wear, are bearing the brunt of pandemic-induced lockdown, economic slump and the consequent annihilation of the big fat Indian wedding

NEW DELHI : Anticipating a muted festive and wedding season, fashion designers and ethnic apparel brands are cutting back on inventory and toning down designs as shoppers opt for small social gatherings and scrimp on discretionary expenses.

Apparel retailers, especially those selling formal or heavy ethnic wear, are bearing the brunt of the pandemic-led lockdown, economic slump and potential annihilation of the big fat Indian wedding, which has severely impacted their revenues.

The festivities, which coincides with the wedding season is staring at a sombre consumer mood. Consequently, brands are readjusting their inventory, simplifying designs and slashing future orders.

For starters, the wedding market has been a complete washout. “Individual fashion designers’ business has been badly hit by the pandemic," said Monisha Jaising, a Mumbai-based designer who offers ready-to-wear, pret and bridal couture. She said the market for Indian designers, who thrive on the big fat Indian wedding, has crashed this year. Brides are picking lighter and fewer outfits as wedding celebrations turn modest.

Jaising says at least 70% of the weddings have been postponed. “The remaining 30% who are still getting married are holding small, intimate events. They are having only one function instead of the five they would have had earlier.

At fashion house Ritu Kumar, managing director Amrish Kumar is reducing the inventory. “Though design planning takes more time and we have just started coming back to work, there is some element of focusing more on casual dressing in this structure of what the portfolio looks like. To that extent, we are looking at the next season being more loaded toward casual," said Kumar.

“What will happen is that for the bridal piece, the merchandise will be similar but since lesser people will be there for festivities and celebration and expenditure is going to be curtailed, so demand for less expensive pieces will rise. That’s how most of the brands are planning their collection," said Kavindra Mishra, MD and CEO at House of Anita Dongre.

suneera.t@livemint.com

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