Amidst leading luminaries of industries spanning across the business of luxury, the Atlas of Affluence (AOA) 2022 was launched in Mumbai today. Created by The Voice of Fashion (TVOF), a division of Reliance Brands Limited, the daily digital magazine that tracks and leads conversations on Indian fashion, design, crafts and retail, AOA 2022, is the first such wide and deep white paper from India that dissects consumer behaviour studied through the prism of luxury.
A collective reflection on what affluence means in India spiked during the two years of the pandemic. Charting the post-pandemic market and the clearly altered consumer mindset through a specially commissioned study across six cities and markets of India, AOA 2022 has been published as a book with exclusively commissioned artworks.
This study uses the time graph of “pre-pandemic” and “post-pandemic” months to specify a comparative matrix. It also helps debunk long-held ideas about what affluence and luxury have meant to Indians.
The study was formulated over the last several months through scientifically designed consumer research to understand metro and non-metro differences among buyers, brands and behavioural ideas behind consumption. The other sections of this white paper move beyond luxury as a product to explore granularities of affluence.
“In finance and business studies affluence is about assets compared to liabilities. But for an evolved luxury market—which includes aesthetic finesse, awareness, aspiration, affordability and distinction as well as trend defining choices—affluence brings a new set of affirmations. It is a combination of wealth, assets and high disposable incomes, with socio-cultural awareness, self-knowledge, and a responseable outlook. This comes out clearly in this white paper as the rise of the individual,” says Shefalee Vasudev, editor, The Voice of Fashion.
AOA is a strategy document for all those who create in India or for India, who make or market here and must have a finger on the pulse of the consumer. Beyond business strategy and numbers there are a series of columns, interviews, ground reports and features stories on architecture, personal style, the ascendance of India in South Asian design and global luxury, the emergence of the gold collar consumer and the growing market for beauty and wellness. This study is a consortium, a melting pot of topical, relevant, ready-to-use creative and commercial insights.
As the largest luxury operator in the country, Reliance Brands Limited (RBL) also strengthened the report by providing significant consumer insights. An RBL Spokesperson said, “Reliance Brands is happy to support the creation of the Atlas of Affluence, which will become the definitive document for understanding the luxury market in India not just for businesses already operating in this sector but for global businesses looking to invest in the India story. This is the largest exercise ever to decode the affluent consumer across various consumption categories and this will help build our own strategic views as we continue to expand in the luxury sector.”
AOA features guest columns by The Oberoi Group’s Vikram Oberoi, American Express’ Manoj Adlakha, couturier Tarun Tahiliani, DLF Retail’s Pushpa Bector among other leading industry names. It also has voices from designers Anamika Khanna, Manish Malhotra, Hanut Singh and PVR founder Ajay Bijli. Additionally, the “Global Voices” section of the Report features leaders such as Gildo Zegna and Stefano Canali.
With this first edition, the Atlas of Affluence is set to become an annual feature. Besides a yearly study examined from various vantage points, AOA will evolve as a series of market related deep dives to appear periodically. With the pie of cuisine-led luxury only growing bigger, in its next, sub-category volume later this year, The Atlas of Affluence will trace India’s Eat Map.
The report will be available to download on 21st May from The Voice of Fashion website https://thevoiceoffashion.com/
Some Key takeaways of AOA 2022 At A Glance
- 57% Men claim that their fashion spend has increased. As per the RBL data, men’s brand portfolio saw 46% growth in 2021 compared to 2019. For women, it was 14%.
- 76% Invest in luxury brands that depict their sense of style over 26% who still see luxury as a means of social assertion.
- 65% of non-metro residents buy luxury on a regular basis vs 53% in metros.
- 2 out of 3 among the affluent had shopped luxury online for the first time during COVID19 restrictions.
- 65% of those shopping online mention that they are eagerly waiting for stores to open.
- 26% Gen Z spontaneously associate luxury with travel and hospitality followed by 21% who associate luxury with fashion and apparel.
- 52% Respondents keep celebrity endorsements and influencers in top 2 ranks for key drivers behind brand affinity.
- 58% agree that they have spent more on tech products to curate a futuristic entertainment experience while being stuck at home.
RBL is a subsidiary of Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd and began operations in 2007 with a mandate to launch and build global brands in luxury to premium segments across fashion and lifestyle. In the past five years, RBL has also invested in building and operating homegrown Indian designer brands.
Its current portfolio of brand partnerships comprises Armani Exchange, Bally, Bottega Veneta, Brooks Brothers, Burberry, Canali, Coach, Diesel, Dune, EA7, Emporio Armani, Ermenegildo Zegna, G-Star Raw, Gas, Giorgio Armani, Hamleys, Hugo Boss, Hunkemoller, Iconix, Jimmy Choo, Kate Spade New York, Manish Malhotra, Michael Kors, Mothercare, Muji, Paul & Shark, Paul Smith, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Raghavendra Rathore, Replay, Salvatore Ferragamo, Satya Paul, Steve Madden, Superdry, Scotch & Soda, Tiffany & Co., Tory Burch, Tumi, Versace, Villeroy & Boch and West Elm. RBL today operates 1,937 doors split into 732 stores and 1,205 shopin-shops in India.
In 2019, RBL marked its first international foray by acquiring the British toy retailer, Hamleys. Globally Hamleys has 213 doors across 15 countries.
The Voice of Fashion (TVOF), launched in 2018, is India’s first and only digital daily on fashion, culture and design. A division of Reliance Brands Limited (RBL), it is published by RISE Worldwide as an independent media destination without advertising. TVOF tracks, defines and leads conversations in media on Indian fashion in the county and globally. In 2020, TVOF published the first white paper on sustainability in the fashion industry, called The India Sustainability Report (ISR) 2020 based on industry interviews and consumer research.