Aditya Modak is the Co-founder & Director of Gargi by P N Gadgil & Sons, a handcrafted contemporary jewelry brand based in Pune. Aditya is a widely experienced finance, marketing, and sales professional with over nine years of expertise in working at the CXO level at PNG & Sons Private Limited with proven mettle in technical and people management.
Fashion accessories have just recently been presented in the formal retail experience. With a long-lived history in the unorganized market, ranging from small-time street vendors to unbranded mom-and-pop stores, fashion accessories can now be found in customized collections through high street brands, luxury boutiques, international accessories chains, and multi-brand outlets. The ever-flourishing e-commerce industry has also played a crucial role in the rise and growth of the fashion accessories market, providing a host of options to shoppers across India and the world.
Contrary to popular belief, accessories no longer fall in need-based purchases; instead, they have become a source for customers to make a fashion statement. The rising disposable income and need among urban accessories enthusiasts to demonstrate their style and unique taste has given the platform for the entrance of several home-grown and international brands in the evolving world of fashion accessories. Interestingly, even customers are now directing their spending towards things that add a ‘look good, feel-good factor, and consequently, accessories are getting more critical than ever.
A recently published report by Fortune Business Insights on Fashion Accessories Market, 2022-2029, revealed that the global accessories industry is poised for striking growth in the forthcoming years. Products within the category, like eyewear, footwear, and Jewelry, are mainly trending among fashion influencers and millennials. Asia-Pacific is deemed to be the fastest-growing market when it comes to accessories, with countries like India and China grabbing the spotlight. To pace up the supply around offline stores, retailers in these markets are leveraging technology to improve the in-store experience using facilities like digital displays and payment checkouts.
Factors Driving this Change
Women in the Workforce
As the ratio of women participating in the workforce is picking up the upward ladder, their demand for work-appropriate apparel and accessories is increasing by leaps and bounds. Moreover, the fact that women have gained control over their finances and the freedom to make choices independently has propelled them to purchase things that make them look and feel good. Thus, more and more women keen on different accessories invest heavily in valuable branded and non-branded pieces like sunglasses, bags, and jewelry.
Shifting Mindset of the Customers
The fashion accessories industry in India, mainly, has evolved drastically in the past few years and has seen a natural progression. In these years, we have also witnessed consumers happily embracing fashion accessories and faux jewelry just as much as gold and silver jewelry. As a country that is traditional and has been heavily inclined toward precious metals, this positive change has enabled modern customers with the accessibility to their preferred trends at a price that suits every segment.
With the rise in purchasing power, the need to stand out has driven customers to seek personalization for their products and experiences in their shopping. Jewelry that can be tailored and the design process that can be controlled and witnessed by the customers has gained immense demand, and it’s most likely that this trend will continue to grow.
Increasing Interest Among Men
The unanticipated growth area for the industry has been the changing preferences of Indian male consumers, who are now becoming fashion-conscious and embracing the presence of accessories just as much as their female counterparts. Men today enjoy donning fashionable bracelets and chains with pendants, matching bags, belts, and sunglasses for moods, weather, and occasions. There seems to have been a significant influence on both Bollywood and Hollywood.
Impact of Social Media
The Indian market has witnessed the most significant transitions in social factors, thanks to the increasing use of mobile phones and social media. The latter has influenced over two-thirds of fashion accessories and apparel purchases in 2022. Overall, social media, e-commerce platforms, and the internet have offered customers in tier-II cities and beyond easy access to a range of products and brands. Consequently, fashion accessories, among other things, have become a preferred choice for buyers belonging to this segment of society.
The Final Word
India’s fashion accessories industry has displayed significant growth potential, provided appropriate strategies are employed that take into account the unique demographics and ever-changing consumer tendencies. Many players have entered the market in the last decade, but very few have survived and successfully built a brand. The reasons are many: poor quality, incorrect target market, pricing, and lack of customization or variety. In reality, millennials must be the primary target audience, owing to their rising spending power and demographic standing. They embody an ideal customer for the accessories industry, given that their consumption patterns are driven by impulse buying. Not to forget, with a growing number of millennials becoming parents, the kids’ fashion accessories market also offers great potential and a gap yet to be filled.
It will be interesting to see how the accessories industry reinvents itself to keep pace with the customers’ needs and market trends in the coming years.