It is predicted that by 2020 men’s fashion will outstrip women’s. That menswear market ‘globally will grow by 2.3 percent a year over the next three years, compared with 2.2 percent annual growth for womenswear’ according to Financial Review. The rise of internet shopping, the continued hype in athleisure trend and the creativity designers are now placing on men’s collections, are one of the many reasons for this. Menswear designer Sahil Aneja (@sahilaneja) talks to us about the rise and rise of men’s fashion and men in fashion.
Photography: Runvijay Paul
“It is the idea of gender neutrality that is contributing majorly to this. Women are as interested in menswear as they are in womenswear. We are moving towards a gender-neutral fashion and menswear is just a part of this change. I think a large part of the contribution is also made by individuals who are looking towards fashion as a medium of self-expression and art. The most vital catalyst being social media.” Sahil Aneja
“Women have always been targeted as the main demographic, it wasn’t until recently that the fashion industry started targeting men in a more outright and unreserved way. What do you think has changed in the recent years? “I think the demand increased when men started accepting fashion for themselves and the notion that fashion is for women shifted to the idea of ‘fashion for all.’ Where being fashionable for men was considered less manly, with gender stereotypes bending the world was ready to explore menswear with a new viewpoint”, Sahil Aneja
There are a lot of Indian designers making non-traditional clothes and are being recognized ( Ruchika Sachdeva of @bodicebodice recently won the International Woolmark prize) internationally. However, we don’t have any designers in India making sneakers! We know that you are into sneakers yourself, are you going to be designing some cool kicks in the future? “I think a lot of factors are at cause for this. Main being the lack of raw material and other resources but with expanding global market things are changing. Also our surroundings and climate play an important role is affecting the utility of sneakers. But clearly the demand has been felt and soon I think we will have sneaker producers in our country as well.” Sahil Aneja
“Will I be designing sneakers anytime in the future? If the opportunity demands for it, then why not?”
What advice would you give future non-traditional designers in India? It is a wise way to go? Is it sustainable? How do they compete or even rise above international brands?
“Fast fashion makes it difficult for business sustainability. So the idea is to keep up with the fast phase with originality. If you can’t produce authentic work then there is no way you can sustain in the international market as well as the Indian market. According to me it’s a combination of originality, speed and persistence. Also quality will always play an important part in your growth as a brand.” Sahil Aneja