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Where the future of Indian luxury lies

Designers and artisans will need to find ways to innovate and push the boundaries of what is possible with traditional crafts to preserve them and not lose them to modernisation

Artisans at a handicraft centre, on the outskirts of Srinagar.
Artisans at a handicraft centre, on the outskirts of Srinagar. (Mohammad Amin War)

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The Indian luxury market has undergone a remarkable journey, emerging as one of the world's fastest growing luxury markets. 

The Indian luxury industry is well poised to see a positive growth despite the economic slowdown, with a growth in want and interest of buyers to travel and spend. This can be attributed to the growing consumer awareness, consciousness and increasing disposable income. The modern consumer equates luxury with timelessness, desirability and durability that makes it particularly well suited for the handcrafted luxury brands in the market. 

One of the most exciting aspects of this evolution has been the increasing demand for traditional handcrafted luxury goods globally. While it is no secret that Indian artisans have been renowned for their exceptional craftsmanship and skills, their contribution to the global luxury market has not received the recognition or representation it deserves. 

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That is why I see the current global phenomenon as a great opportunity to stage the talent of shadowed indigenous brands crafting luxury goods. 

Looking toward the future, I believe the Indian handcrafted luxury will be an amalgamation of tradition and innovation. On one hand, traditional crafts will continue to play an important role in the luxury market, lending unparalleled charm and character to products. On the other, innovation will play a pivotal role. As consumers become more discerning and demand more, designers and artisans will need to find ways to innovate and push the boundaries of what is possible with traditional crafts to preserve them and not lose them to modernisation.

A by-product of this collaboration will be the sharing of knowledge and resources that will then integrate much-needed sustainable practices into the industry’s production processes and in turn help reduce our overall impact on the environment as we grow. Another key aspect of collaboration is its fostering of a sense of community within the luxury market. By establishing relationships and networks of designers and artisans on the grounds of mutual support, encouragement, and inspiration, we can together drive innovation and growth in the industry.

The future of Indian handcrafted luxury is bright, yet complex. As the industry continues to evolve, designers and artisans will need to find ways to innovate, incorporate sustainable practices, and collaborate to create products that are both beautiful and meaningful.  

Also read: Is elegance finally making a comeback to the world of fashion?

Gautam Sinha is founder and creative director of Nappa Dori.

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