Mumbai as Dior’s next destination speaks about India’s position as a key market in the Fashion and Luxury Sector. 

Dior’s Pre-Fall 2023 show will take place at the Gateway of India monument in Mumbai on March 30, marking the first time a European luxury brand has staged a major standalone show in India.

Dior and Chanakya Atelier

Dior’s Mumbai Show: A Celebration of Indian Embroidery and Culture

Maria Grazia Chiuri’s decision to hold Dior’s Pre-Fall 2023 show in Mumbai is a celebration of Indian embroidery and culture. For Chiuri, showcasing the collection in India is an opportunity to acknowledge the importance of Indian embroidery in the fashion world. The Mumbai show is also meant to highlight the collaboration between Dior and Mumbai-based atelier Chanakya, which has supplied surface ornamentation for luxury brands and couture houses over the years. Chiuri wants to celebrate the heritage of India in embroidery, and the Gateway of India monument is the perfect backdrop for this event.

The Mumbai Outing: A Key Move for Luxury Brands in India

Dior’s decision is a strategic move for luxury brands looking to expand in India. The country is seen as having high growth potential, with demand for luxury goods expected to explode over the next decade. India’s luxury sector, however, remains challenged by limited retail infrastructure, high import duties, and operational complexities. By showcasing their collections in India, luxury brands can deepen their ties with the market and engage high-spending local clients. For Dior, the Mumbai outing is not only a celebration of Indian culture and embroidery but also a key move in expanding its business in India.

Luxury brands have been using traveling shows as a way to produce memorable marketing moments with the “wow”-factor to stand out on social media. These shows also provide an opportunity for brands to engage high-spending local clients and activate key geographies. Luxury purchasing is expected to slow down in markets like the US and Europe this year, and hence many brands are looking eastwards for growth.

India, in particular, is seen as a country with high growth potential for the luxury sector. According to Bain & Company’s Reports, luxury spending by Indian consumers is expected to be around €25 to €30 billion by 2030, up from less than €8 billion last year. However, the majority of that spending will happen abroad, as India’s luxury sector remains challenged by limited retail infrastructure, high import duties, and operational complexities ranging from a bureaucratic regulatory environment to investment difficulties, which make it difficult for foreign brands to do business without a local partner.

Celebrating Heritage and Craftsmanship

For Dior, the Mumbai show is not just a marketing tool, but also a celebration of the rich heritage of Indian embroidery and craftsmanship. The pre-fall 2023 collection features silk dresses, evening coats, and sari-inspired skirts that reference traditional Indian silhouettes. Some of these pieces are adorned with intricate embroidery by Chanakya, the Mumbai-based atelier and craftsmanship school for women.

This is not the first time that Dior has collaborated with Chanakya. The luxury fashion brand has been working with the atelier for several years, and the Mumbai show is a way to highlight the ongoing collaboration between the two entities. This partnership not only helps to promote and preserve the art of embroidery but also provides opportunities for Indian artisans to showcase their skills on a global platform.

The show also aligns with Dior’s parent company LVMH’s Journées Particulières program, which opens many of its French ateliers to the public. Chiuri hopes to take this idea to India which she considers very important in the fashion system. By showcasing the craftsmanship and expertise of Indian artisans, the show serves as a celebration of cultural exchange and collaboration in the global fashion industry.

The Gateway of India

The Gateway of India monument is one of Mumbai’s most iconic spots and is situated right across the French luxury brand’s retail outlet inside the Taj Mahal Hotel. The monument, built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911, has become a symbol of the city’s rich history and cultural heritage.

For Chiuri, the decision to stage the show at the Gateway of India was also personal and said that she was doing it for the love of the country and the support that she receives for her creativity. By showcasing the collection at a historic and culturally significant location, Dior is paying tribute to India’s rich cultural heritage while also celebrating the country’s vibrant fashion industry.

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