Fashion is a symbol of society and has continuously been influenced by historical, social, traditional, religious, political, economic, psychological and more recently technological changes (Welters and Lillethun, 2011). The luxury industry has also witnessed these aspects of evolution and like fine sculpture the old luxury brands have become modified and enhanced with age; and the new brands have become highly appealing with the aid of effective modern techniques (Chevalier and Mazzalovo, 2008). Several of today’s largest and most valuable luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Guerlain and Gucci originated in France and Italy in the 19th and early 20th century and therefore have a long history. These brands and their countries of origin have played a key role in the development of the global fashion industry (Sengupta, 2009; Kasbekar, 2006). The 20th century has made the luxury brands which were authentic and exclusive to European countries towards other countries across the globe.
India is the most desirable market for international luxury brands today (Boroain and Poix , 2008). The luxury brands make a soft landing in India. In terms of the spread of luxury model India is squarely at the start of money stage the emerging middle class is upping its quality of life, making its first foray into washing machines and air conditioners while a small elite segments indulges in luxury brands. India is one of the emerging luxury markets gaining momentum worldwide. Although Indian market has been slower than China in embracing Western Luxury brands several indicators show that it is as ready for luxury fashion as the Chinese market. India has a growing literate population with potentially brilliant careers and spending power (Jones, 2010; Hollensen and Banerjee, 2010).
Understanding the Indian consumer
There are currently 70,000 millionaires in India which make up a top end of the Luxury consumer population. The population structure is also favorable for the luxury brands as the working age population is growing. The Indian luxury consumer is also highly fashionable and is likely to make more luxury purchases than their western counterparts in the near future (Michman and Mazze, 2006). India’s long term fondness for jewellery has created a base for the upsurge of luxury brands into the lives of Indian consumers.
- Hollensen S and Banerjee M (2010), Global Marketing, Dorling Kindersley, New Delhi
- Welters L and Lillethun A (2011), The fashion Reader, Oxford International Publishers, UK.
- Chevalier M and Mazzalovo G (2008), Luxury Brand Management, John Wiley & Sons, New York.
- Sengupta H (2009), The Business of Indian fashion, Dorling Kindersley, New Delhi
- Jones G (2010), Beauty imagined: a history of the global beauty industry, Oxford University press, New York.
- Boroain M and Poix A D (2008), India By Design, John Wiley & Sons, New York.
- Michman R D and Mazze E M (2006), The affluent consumer: marketing and selling the luxury lifestyle, Greenwood Publications, USA.