The lockdown and Covid-19 pandemic changed the way people live and see the world. The new perspectives and understanding also determine the new industry trends of 2021. LuxeBook spoke to experts from various sectors of Indian luxury to understand how COVID-19 has reshaped the Indian luxury business.
Anita Dongre, Fashion Designer
“I can only tell you what I hope the trends should be.
-Conscious consumption over conspicuous consumption
-And market leaders to gain market share.”
Sunil Sethi, Chairman, Fashion Design Council of India
“Comfort, comfort and comfort! I would say revisiting classics and making each piece stand out by innovatively mixing and matching with something old in newer ways. Creating something out of what already exists. Choosing timeless fashion over fads is what will be the blueprint for the future.”
Kapil Chopra, Chairman of the Board, EazyDiner and Founder, The Postcard Hotel
Demand for small, experiential hotels:
A current trend in the industry that I believe will continue is the demand for intimate luxury. Right from the beginning at The Postcard (hotels), we believed that true luxury is found in small, intimate hotels where each guest’s experience can be customised, unique and memorable. We always built for India first with the aim of creating ultra-immersive experiences in small hotels. With a 60 per cent higher revenue when compared with the previous financial year, our model has been validated in one on the most trying years for the industry as people are moving away from larger inventory hotels. This year, we also signed twelve new hotels to add to our portfolio.
Longer, more meaningful holidays:
There has been a reset across the world – in people, companies and across industries. People, in general, have realised what they yearn for and what brings them joy. Rather than ticking things off a random bucket list, people will weigh the experiences on the value they add to their individual journeys. I believe that travel, hotels as well as dining will become a journey of self-exploration. People have started and will continue to take longer holidays, as opposed to multiple short getaways. At The Postcard, post-COVID when we opened our hotels in Goa, we saw a trend of guests choosing to stay for an average of 9.1 nights as opposed to 3.4 nights prior to COVID.
Unravelling of hidden domestic destinations:
With restrictions on international travel, people have started to look inwards at unique destinations across the country, and are discovering offbeat places that stimulate balance, introspection and adventure. There’s new potential in the industry to service the domestic market and a lot of luxury brands are recognising that. At The Postcard, we saw that there is so much that India has to offer with its cultural and culinary diversity. The cuisine in our country practically changes every 100km.
Wellness oriented journeys:
A lot more importance will also be given to overall wellness. The current times have made people highly conscious of their physical and mental wellbeing. Adequate sleep, clean eating, general fitness and mental and emotional peace have become an essential part of ones lifestyle. Even when one is travelling, wellness will remain a key part of the journey.
Monica Shah, JADE by Monica & Karishma
“I think, comfort is going to be high on every bride’s list of priorities, especially for her bridal ensemble. We’re going to see lighter fabrics and breezy silhouettes that not only facilitate movement but also make the bride feel completely at ease on her big day. Another trend will be that ensembles, even the modern ones, will have a distinct heirloom element to them. Techniques like Ek Taar and Kasab can be effortlessly woven into contemporary pieces and these are the kind of pieces that score high on comfort, personal significance and artisanal excellence.”
Smita Baisakhia, Cosmetologist & Head of Product Department, MyGlamm
“The Glass skin trend is definitely gearing up as you see makeup enthusiasts wanting to invest in tinted primers and foundations. Glass skin effect is when the skin appears to be Crystal clear with a flawless glow. MyGlamm has been bringing about skincare products, which when used overtime can give a natural glass skin look, like our Magic Potion and Spotlight Highlighters. With increased awareness about the importance of skincare infused makeup, a preference for the same has developed.”
“We also see the return of the bold 80’s aesthetic. With masks becoming a part of one’s daily wear, the smokey eye with statement coloursare trending. Bold, dual colours with metallic hues have been taking over. And, lipsticks that are long lasting, have a high colour payoff with super comfortable application are definitely the favourite pick in every one’s vanity. Matte lipstick sales have readily increased.”
Dr. Jamuna Pai, Cosmetic Physician, Author and Founder, SkinLab
“Minimalistic skin care ‘Less is More’ is the mantra to be followed when setting your skincare routine. Loading the skin with too many products could disrupt the natural protective barrier of the skin. Using lesser, but required products provides your skin a chance to repair and rejuvenate itself too. Then, there is asought-after treatment to achieve a youthful and plump skin, called micro needling or derma needling. This procedure promotes growth of collagenand improves the skin texture.”
“Another trending treatment is microblading. Thick eyebrows are most sought after and this procedure is what helps one achieve them. It is a temporary tattooing technique using small blades and a pigment. Maskne care is trending too. Constant usage of masks results clogged pores and development of acne. The area that the mask covers is the T-zone where maximum oil glands are present.”
Prashant Gaurav Gupta, Vice President & Head, DLF Luxury Malls
“2020 has truly been an unprecedented year, which has drastically changed the way consumers communicate and behave. The pandemic has impacted and transitioned the retail industry into a more digital-driven sector, while trying to keep the brick and mortar store experience intact. The planning of any retailer in 2021 will begin with its focal point on a consistent omnichannel journey along with a fundamental change in the way retailers switch between online and offline to offer a more holistic experience. As consumer expectations continue to rise and bend towards meaningful investments, brands will find exciting ways to communicate with their audience. For example, e-runways to showcase the latest collections for faster, reach, engage with digital influencers in order to offer bespoke messaging, contact-free and personalised appointments for a safe and intimate retail experience and much more. The key is to have customised and direct engagement, in order to generate exclusive interest and build long-term loyalties.”
Gaurav Sekhri, Director, Fratelli Wines
The consumers are ready to experiment, and the demand for convenience is at an all-time high. Therefore, wine-in-a-can (WIC) as a category, will grow.
The popularity of rosé will soar as both men and women enjoy it.
#VocalForLocal campaign will be further emphasised upon.
More consumers will enjoy wines at home.
Even young consumers will appreciate and drink wines.
Sommelier Nikhil Agarwal, CEO & Founder, All Things Nice
“Wine consumption will continue to grow in Tier-I, Tier-II and III cities. India has finally woken up to rose wines and we will see wines from Provence and other parts of the world like Italy is becoming more popular. Craft beer produced in India is having a terrific run and I see more local brands entering the market. Tequila has quietly become the spirit of choice for a lot of people and there are die-hard fans that are looking for the very best. You will see a lot of top-quality Tequila being consumed in India.”
“Top-quality Rum as a category is growing, albeit slowly, but this is a space to watch out for in the future. Other western and South-East Asian markets are already taking to rum in a big way. Bourbon will do well in India if only it is marketed correctly. So if the brands push themselves here, there is no reason why India will not be drinking bourbon in a big way. This could be a trend. There are perhaps too many gins on offer now and people are losing track of the new ones. So gin as a category will continue to be popular, but new individual brands will have to try very hard to get consumer attention.”
“2021 is going to be all about intricate thoughts and detailed planning. Since this is the time for all things intimate, we will continue to see a growth in personalised gifts and safety kits. Following a colour scheme and having little things like name tags, dish tags, customized napkins adds to the personalisation. Writing personal notes and curating creative giveaways will infuse the couple’s personality and love story into the wedding.”
“Hill stations and boutique hotels have become more popular as wedding destinations. The places that are seeing a lot of weddings are Goa, Rajasthan, Delhi, Bombay, Lonavala, Pune and Hyderabad.”
“Couples are opting to be as sustainable and minimalistic as possible. They are selecting outdoor venues where trees and plants are a part of the décor like setting up Mandap under a tree or using barks of the trees to hang cute décor or lights. Intimate sit-down dinners are now more popular than the lavish buffet style layout, thereby increasing the emphasis on table arrangements. Keeping in mind the hygienic needs of each guest, curating personal sanitation kits with sanitizer and masks that each guest can use throughout the function.”
Aashna Saran, Founder and Creative Head, Aash Studio
“Extending the wedding celebrations with friends post the wedding. Couples are providing a 2 to 3 days itinerary for their friends to go around the city together. A new concept called frienymoonis born from this idea.”
“As Pantone suggests, the biggest colour trends of 2021 are giving people a sense of hope and optimism. This colour, PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is a bright yellow, which can be a tricky colour and needs to be used correctly and in right proportions. While it is lovely for day functions like Mehendi and Haldi, it can also be used in modern settings, using yellow roses, lilies, sunflowers, pairing it with a break of grey and blue, giving the set up an Italian or Portuguese vibe. Offbeat elements like printed tiles, chandeliers, candles and shades of lighting can be effective too.”
Jitu Virwani, Chairman & Managing Director, Embassy Group
“The real estate sector in India is now diligently working towards the path coupled with both innovation and building a cohesive strategy for their business. Luxury Housing has remained largely insulated from the slowdown because the market is driven by end-users at the top of the pyramid and unlike the affordable and mid-income housing, they have not been deeply impacted by the pandemic. Bangalore sees rising queries for properties over 3000 sq feet in built-up area from the dynamic IT professionals, entrepreneurs and business owners.
Owning a home in your home country
Also, the year 2020 saw high net worth individuals evincing a greater interest for ready to move in expansive residences within gated communities built by Grade A reputed developers that deliver a global lifestyle. The rising demand from the Non-Resident Indians (NRI) segment has also contributed immensely to uplifting the mood of the luxury residential segment across the country. This need coupled with the value depreciation of the Indian rupee has given NRI’s a strong purchasing power for real estate in India. And the affluent consumers will continue to realign their priorities to spend more on real estate as it gives them and their families a sense of security, safety and privacy in a place to call their own. Also, for the wealthy – work, school, socializing and entertainment will be centred around the home through much of 2021 as well.
Homes turn into activity hubs
The perception of lifestyle has changed in response to the new reality, buyers are attaching more value to community, neighbourhood, spatial design, amenities and services. As homes turn into activity hubs, we see a continued surge in buyer interest for larger homes, even if it means moving to the peripheries. This demand is fuelled by the need for flexible multi-purpose spaces that are facilitating work from home (WFH), online learning and even gym facilities. Also features such as floor to ceiling windows and decks that open out to greenery, provide improved efficiency, privacy and living comfort are the driving factors for an increase in large homes led by design.
Managed residences and branded residences
Luxury homeowners are specific about the legacy of brands, quality of construction, the promise of delivery and reassurance of continued impeccable levels of service post-occupation. Branded Residences like Four Seasons Private Residences at Embassy ONE represent exquisite engineering, cutting edge design and dedicated concierge services matching international standards apart from being part of an exclusive, coveted community of owners.
The current year will see a reinforcement of seamless integration of technology, its applicability, and the ease of living which will deliver transformative solutions. Post the pandemic, the future of luxury housing will evolve with holistic facilities management, home automation, IoT enabled developments, advanced safety measures and other technological improvements that foster connected communities and thereby elevate lifestyles.