Fashion and the 21st
India in the 21st
century is different from what I remember of it, when I was growing up.
As kids of the eighties we often relied on generous uncles and aunts living abroad for our
quota of foreign goodies, everything from cookies to clothes.
The amendments in our economic policies in the 90’s changed us from being mere
bystanders in the consumerist world to being participants and indulging in our fair share of
luxury items. And every statistic out there points out to a wave of India emerging as a
power player in global market of good and possessions.
The purchasing power parity of Indians has increased
from $1760 in 1991 to $5565 in 2014, internet
penetration which was only about 18% until 5 years
ago, has jumped to about 30% in 2015 with the arrival
of the smartphone.
Companies all over the world are vying to get a share
of the Indian Consumer Pie, and none of the Economic
Pundits see this trend changing for a while. We’re
here and we’re going to stay.
Add social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to the mix and what you
have is a heady combination of wants and needs and ways to fulfil them, nay not just fulfil
them but flaunt them.
A significant change that has also occurred with availability is the fact that people don’t
want to necessarily purchase the product to
experience the joys of said product.
You don’t need to purchase an Audi to sit in it,
just request an Uber Black and you could enjoy
a ride in a super premium car. In fact Uber
took it to the next level with Uber Choppers,
one can now request a helicopter & be one of
the jetsetters, expensive yes, but infinitely
cheaper than owning a helicopter and the costs
associated with it.
Jokes aside; as much as we aspire to flaunt these goodies, purchasing them is not always
financially viable. And it was this thought that has created a new market that was unheard
of a few years ago. The renters market, everything from cars, to furniture can now be
rented at a fraction of the cost it would take to purchase the item in question.
And net worth has nothing to do with it, Steve
Jobs, the brains behind Apple Inc, never owned a
car, he leased it, the same model of Mercedes, in
the same colour; he just renewed his lease year
after year, just updating to newer versions as
And the logic behind this, simple, calculate the
cost of the car, plus insurance, maintenance,
fuel, road taxes, PUC’s and other sundry charges,
not to mention the fact that a car is a
depreciating asset. Cut to leasing a car, which entails the annual lease and fuel only.
It would seem like a no brainer that renting is definitely a better option, and you don’t
need to break the bank for it.
And with the advent of companies like Zoom Car & Myles Car in India, it seems like more
and more people are thinking out of the box vis a vis the ownership of goods.
Renting Furniture has been on the upswing as well, 20 and 30 something’s who move to
new cities, and rent homes, are not always looking to purchase furniture, it comes with
the hassles of packing up when it’s time to look for a new rented home, instead rent
furniture for your rented home and when the lease runs out, rent new furniture for your
new home, a new look and new needs based on the size of the new home, it just makes
A country where close to 50% of the population is under the age of 25, fashion of course is
something that the youth of this nation is interested in.
Good clothes, shoes, accessories are no longer what they want, but branded clothes, shoes
and accessories are what they yearn for.
But the prices for a Michael Kors bag or a pair of Jimmy Choos can set you back by a
month’s rent and unless you were born with the proverbial silver spoon, purchasing these
seems out of bounds.
And why must the prices of these fashion staples keep one from experiencing luxury and
quality that these products offer.
The answer to this question lies in the concept of purchasing these pre owned.
All over the world Vintage clothing or pre owned clothing is a thing; of course we in India
have or rather used to have a mental block about purchasing something that has been
used by someone before.
As a collector of Vintage Ray-Bans, and by vintage I
mean dating back to the 60’s and 70’s and by vintage I
mean someone else used my babies for many many
years before me; I can assure you that having one of
these just ups the cool quotient because it means that
I not only have an eye for what’s cool, I don’t carry any
of the stigmas associated with using a pre owned item.
Of course thrift store shopping is hard in our country
where old things are handed down to siblings and
cousins, or donated to people who needed them, today
however when we use a product a few times,
discarding it seems like a waste of resources, at the same time, we wouldn’t want to be
caught dead in fashions that are last season.
Image: Ray Ban
Image: Michael Kors
Image: Jimmy Choo