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Ishit Jethwa, Founder, Ludic
Ishit Jethwa, Founder, Ludic
Ishit Jethwa is the Founder of Ludic, a footwear-first lifestyle brand with a trendsetting product line across diverse categories, such as apparel, accessories, luggage, beauty, and personal care, led by an exclusive footwear line. With Ludic, Ishit aims to bring well-crafted products into everyone’s daily repertoire.

Challenges & opportunities for new-age menswear brands in an overcrowded segment

The Indian menswear market has rapidly evolved over the past few decades. According to Statista, in 2024, the revenue in the Men’s Apparel market in India has already reached US$ 31.10 Billion, and the market is projected to grow at an annual rate of 3.93% (CAGR 2024-2028). The increase in disposable incomes, urbanisation, and the shift in consumer preferences and buying patterns are the key factors driving this growth.

Here is a detailed market overview of the last few years and a brief look into what is expected.

What Was & Is

A couple of decades ago, the Indian male consumer was content with his wardrobe, which included limited essential attire in formal and casualwear, as fashion per se was not considered a serious enough necessity for men. Fast forward five, ten, fifteen years later, and we have witnessed a significant change in the external environment, which has directly led to changes in not only what a male consumer wears but also what he chooses to wear and how.

Today’s consumer is traveling more, witnessing diverse cultures, is exposed to social media and also has a choice to buy a T-shirt for anywhere between Rs 300 to Rs 30,000. All these factors have helped create an aspirational fashion environment and made him more image-conscious than he was before, leading him to work upon a far better wardrobe for himself.

Menswear Categories

The market share in menswear in India is currently dominated by casualwear, followed by formalwear and then ethnicwear. The male consumer is most comfortable wearing a semi-formal shirt teamed with jeans to work, even a T-shirt with jeans if allowed. The likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai internationally and closer home, Zomato Founder Deepinder Goyal and CRED Foudner, Kunal Shah are instrumental in redefining the professional / formal dress code.

Also, we have moved far beyond the days when only Fridays or Saturdays were ‘Casualwear’ days at work, boosting this category significantly in size in the market. Formal and ethnicwear too now fall in need-based categories and are no longer considered preferences.

Psychology of Male Consumers

Clothing has become a key means of self-expression for many men, so they often choose apparel that reflects their personality, lifestyle, and social status.

  • Young professionals may prefer sharp, formal wear to convey competence and ambition
  • Younger consumers might opt for trendy casuals to align with current fashion trends
  • Comfort and practicality are significant considerations for male consumers, and they tend to favor clothing that is not only stylish but also functional and comfortable for daily wear.
  • While many male consumers are willing to invest in quality apparel, they are also price-sensitive and seek value for money
  • Men prefer brands that create the right balance of design, affordability, and durability, correlating with the price
Old Legacy Brands v/s New-Age Brands

The menswear market is overcrowded with established domestic and international brands. New entrants must compete with these well-known brands, which already have a strong customer base and brand loyalty. Indian consumers are generally price-sensitive and seek value for money, and new brands often struggle to balance competitive pricing with maintaining quality and profitability.

So how can a new-age brand then build its identity? Here are a few ways to go about it:

● Crafting a compelling brand story and identity can resonate deeply with consumers. New-age brands can leverage storytelling to highlight their values, mission, and unique selling points, building a loyal customer base

● Emphasising superior quality and craftsmanship can attract discerning customers who value durability and premium products. Highlighting the quality of materials and the skill involved in production can justify higher price points

● E-commerce and digital marketing allow new brands to reach a wider audience with less or feasible costs. Utilising social media, influencer partnerships, and direct-to-consumer models can further help drive brand visibility and engagement

The present-era consumer has become more receptive and is open to experimenting with a home-grown brand as long as it meets his requirements. Today, you will see an international sneaker like a Nike Air Jordan with a new-age homegrown sneaker like Ludic’s Eclipse, a ‘ready to wear’ shirt from Van Heusen with a bespoke three-piece suit from Raymond in the same wardrobe. 

 

The Next Growth Stage

The menswear market will continue building, substantially expanding its overall market size. The shift towards online shopping will continue accelerating, and e-commerce platforms will dominate sales, particularly among younger consumers who value convenience and like a series of options. Expect innovations in online retail experiences, including virtual try-ons and augmented reality. Category-wise, Casualwear will continue to lead the market, followed by formal wear and then ethnic wear. One thing is sure: a male consumer in his 20s, 30s, 40s or more is now quite fashion-conscious and particular about what he is looking for and does not hesitate to purchase. This has and will continue to provide old and new brands ample opportunities to design, create, sell, grow and build.

How Ludic Leads in an Overcrowded Market

With a design-first philosophy at its core, Ludic prioritises aesthetics and functionality in its products, focusing on creating relevant and stylish products for two to three years or even more. The brand’s product categories are led by an exclusive footwear line where high-quality, well-designed, and comfortable footwear is the cornerstone of the brand.

Along with footwear, Ludic also has a trendsetting product line across diverse categories, such as apparel, accessories, luggage, beauty and personal care, that caters to all genders and ages above 16, ensuring that everyone can find something that suits their style and need with Ludic.

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