Bespoke clothing growing at an impressive rate of 15–20 percent in india – indiaretailing.com

A typical bespoke enthusiast is an evolved gentleman with an elevated taste and believes in excellence in everything he does. All through the catchment – a mixed demographic – a common trait that separates a bespoke consumer is aspiration. “Our target customers are mixed in terms of income group but who are aspirational in nature,” says Naveen Pishe, Partner, P N Rao.

Tejinder Singh, COO, Arvind Internet – the company which launched Creyate, an Omnichannel menswear custom clothing brand in 2014 – says “Our concept of offering premium men’s wear does shift the focus on the higher income strata of the society. However, also maintaining its agenda of introducing the mass customization lifestyle in India, the brand always ensures to optimize the price point, to make the products affordable for the largest audience base.


Besides that, Creyate looks forward to the group of modern gents who have a certain individualistic taste in fashion, eye for detail and prefer to make a personal statement.”

Of late, a new trend of opting for bespoke suits – especially for occasions – has also been registered by brands around the country. “Bespoke items are especially popular in India in the wedding season and for those who are looking for formals for work wear. It is also a great opportunity for people with unique body shapes and sizes to enjoy a no-body shaming atmosphere and buy whatever their hearts desire,” says Shraddha Sharma, Co-Founder, Suit Up India.

Suit Up India is India’s first and only 3D marketplace for tailors, designers and couturiers. It is an endeavour to bring bespoke sellers online and help them sell without having to make or photograph samples especially only for selling online. The brand utilises a unique 3D technology for customers to be able to design their articles online before placing their final orders which then reach the seller.

The simplest reason is FIT! Bespoke suits are completely customized with utmost attention given to even the tiniest of detail. It gives the consumer the best fit for his body type without compromising on the comfort factor, unlike ready-to-wear suits. Also, a bespoke suit is more personal than a readymade suit, any day. Each curve and nuance is taken care of in a bespoke item.

“From extra pockets or no pockets to details and trends, you can make an item more suited to your personal style and body shape in a customised suit than in a readymade. Most formal suit companies follow European standard sizes and in a country like ours, diversity can never be put on a standard scale. Our languages, food, culture and body shapes differ by every few kilometers. That’s what makes us so diverse and beautiful, Hence, bespoke!” says Shraddha Sharma.

“At Herringbone & Sui quality fabric is in our DNA. We source fabrics from some of the best mills in Biella, Italy where their time- honored craftsmanship and latest technology make for fabrics that last you a lifetime. Each piece of clothing expertly crafted by Herringbone & Sui’s couturiers is made up of luxurious fabrics and the finest European techniques,” says Kabir Mehra.

A slew of other brands also have tie ups with fabric majors around the word to ensure that they have the best of fabric to satiate the sartorial buds of their consumers. SS Homme, a brand that draws inspiration from a mix of Savile Row London and European silhouettes to commemorate the art of reconstructing classic men’s wear, is one such brand.

Cuts, Styles and Accessories: Apart from the fabric, a well-tailored suit encompasses an array of other aspects which demand detailed attention to bring out the best in a man. Take for example all SS Homme orders, which are finished with a 1/4th Inch burgundy pipping. “We use horse hair on the chest piece as well as lapels. For closures, we use the finest zips sourced directly from Japan,” says Sandeep Gonsalves.

At Creyate, every garment is manufactured with the help of an automated backend that takes care of all the data fed in by the customer. The canvas is decided basis the type of fabric chosen by the customer. “For instance, a lightweight, fluid fabric would require a heavy canvas to give the suit the right shape and structure while a stiffer fabric may not need the same,” says Tejinder Singh.

Pricing Policy: A bespoke suit generally tends to be on the higher side of the price spectrum. However, considering the time and attention to detail invested in the creation of a bespoke suit, its cost can be justified. Also, in the bespoke fashion word, brands deal mostly with a discerning clientele that focus on the quality and fashion more than on the pricing.

Overall, the price of a suit depends on the fabric, style and accessories opted for. “The pricing policy is based upon the type of fabrics the customer prefers and the kind of design he would prefer on the garment. The bespoke process and the key focus of our brand is minimalism, which drives customers towards our brand,” explains Sandeep Gonsalves.

The Process: The basic modus operandi of a bespoke brand is as follows – the customer visits the store and places an order by choosing from a variety of designs, styles, fabrics and accessories, post which his measurements are taken. As the process is initiated, the customer comes again for a trial and then to take delivery. The process can take anywhere between 10 days to 4 weeks depending on design, product and the details involved.

“Once the selections are done with the help of our MTM (made to measure) specialists, 19 scientific measurements and over 40 body observations are noted to ace the perfect fit for the customer. Thereafter, all the specifications are sent to an automated manufacturing backend which works on the same. With a state-of-the-art finish from the factory, the garments are ready for collection at the store in about 7-10 days,” explains Tejinder Singh.

Herringbone & Sui’s employs a revolutionary virtual measurement technology that maps anybody measurements in under five minutes. All a customer has to do is share three pictures and a couple of basic measurements and the proprietary technology will use artificial intelligence to compute 34 different measurements more accurately than a tailor.

There is a clear difference between the two types of production based upon the purpose of the production, the costs involved, the business model, and lead times. The difference ultimately boils down to one single point – manufacturers vs makers. The custom making process would have more human fabrication as oppose to mass production which would rely solely on automation of machines. This enables bespoke brands to allow a plethora of option in terms of customisation and also allow them to create one-off novelty item products for an enthusiastic individual.

Over a period of time, the demand for customised suits has rapidly increased. The ready-to-wear apparel industry which was flourished during the 2000s has now been challenged by bespoke tailoring. It has been currently noticed that the customised suit segment is growing at a high rate, and its share is expected to increase in the next five years.

“As per a 2015 report by the Indiaretailing Bureau, the size of the Indian luxury industry, which encompasses bespoke tailoring, is approximately US$ 5.3 billion, with a nearly 20–25 per cent contribution from apparel (US$ 950–1300 million). Presently valued at US$ 360 million, the market for bespoke clothing is growing at an impressive 15–20 percent,” says Tejinder Singh.

The growth of this segment within the Indian subcontinent is largely due to the emergence of the nouveau riche and the High Net-worth Individuals (HNIs). This section of society possesses an increased disposable income along with a keen desire for exclusivity. Apart from celebrating their personal and professional achievements, the owners of bespoke clothing often also see the exclusivity offered by a bespoke suit as an extension of their own personality.

“The primary market for made-to-measure suits undoubtedly lies in the Tier I cities. However, as India has always been an evergreen market for wedding wear, especially a lot of Tier II cities are showing immense potential for the growth of occasion wear. Today, we have already reached out to prospective Tier II cities including Amritsar, Pune and Kochi,” says Tejinder Singh.

According to Tejinder Singh, while check suits and coordinated suit separates have made a strong fashion comeback, peak lapels and slanted pockets are being preferred in style. Double breasted blazers with cuffed hems have also been revived. The slim and athletic Italian style is doing a successful round in the market, while the soft shoulders of the American style is also in.

Trends are more liberal these days and suits in classic slim fits to double breasted suits, all are in demand. A prominent choice these days are chalk stripes which is in close competition with the evergreen shades of blues. The current trends are structured suits, sharp razor cuts, precise attention to sub structured silhouettes and darker shades.

“In terms of business wear, 2pc and 3pc are still ruling the roost. However, double breast is making a comeback this season while fits are still slim. In business wear, lot of personalization in style is clearly noticeable, contrast buttonhole colours, wide lapels seem to be making a comeback as well. Shades of blue are the popular choice of colour, Green and purple are still the flavor of the season,” says Naveen Pishe.

The Indian tailoring industry is thriving and growing despite the growth of ready-to-wear and branded segment of the apparel market. A slew of new brands, including a surprising number regional and online players, have emerged in the last few years in the bespoke suits’ domain, which reinforces the demand and potential of bespoke services in India.