The Supply Chain of Luxury Global Ateliers in India

Have you noticed the increasing number of luxury ateliers producing their exceptionally crafted and embroidered garments and accessories in India?

Take the luxury brand Dior for example, their 2023 showcase at the Gateway of India, Mumbai, was their big bang entry into the Indian market segment. They utilized the power of celebrities, social influencers, and global stars to bring their show to global news channels. However, what not many people know is that the production and embroidery were in partnership with the Chankya School of Craft. A non-profit foundation that dedicates its work to craft, culture, and women empowerment. They offer opportunities to the many underprivileged communities, especially women, by upskilling with unique craft skills.

Dior is not the first luxury label to produce in India. However, Dior was sure on for the first to win hearts for significantly highlighting the craftsmanship of Indian artisans in their 2023 collection launch in India.

Many luxury brands are known to have been produced in India. Global luxury ateliers like Yves Saint Lauren, Gucci, Hermes, and Chanel amongst others. Dior changed the game by making it a celebration of Indian talent, craft, culture, and craft makers. Bringing global attention to the highly skilled artisans of India and their exquisite craftsmanship.

Why Are Luxury Brands Uncovering Their Supply Chains?

We are living in a world of hyper-awareness of global issues. In a matter of minutes, news travels from Afghanistan to Latin America, thanks to social media. This has offered consumers an insight into the world of luxury fashion like never before. With conscious consumerism on the rise in luxury market segments, consumers are demanding fair, just, and transparent supply chains.

Key reasons why brands are unveiling their supply chains:

1. Policy and Advocacy

The advocacy lobby in the luxury fashion sector has become strong over the past decade. Not-for-profit organizations like Fashion Revolution, Slow Fashion Movement, Remake, Sustainable Fashion Forum, and many others are advocating for garment worker rights globally. These organizations make policy recommendations to government establishments and build consumer awareness. These are based on their extensive research backed by numbers. Decent living wage and safe working conditions are a few examples of advocacy 101 leading to policy decisions in the fashion sector.

2. Social media activism

If anything is fuelling the awareness and knowledge building for the consumer segment, social media platforms are it. TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Clubhouse, WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram, are just a few examples of global social media platforms that are accessible globally. Helps to spread information like fire and build toolkits for people to learn and activate their active citizenship. Social media platforms bring in tighter scrutiny of brands, making them more accountable and responsible.

3. Purpose-driven marketing

This is the latest trending marketing campaign many brands are utilizing. The aim here is to market a purpose to connect with the consumer’s sentiments. Many luxury brands are uncovering their supply chain connection with India to build a connection with users of them acknowledging the artisans. Stella McCartney is a global luxury designer name known to highlight production in India amongst other countries. The designer recently was at COP 28, Dubai part of the sustainability workshops highlighting the need for fair labour conditions across global production locations, sustainable sourcing, and transparent supply chains.

4. Pioneering transparency and sustainability in the luxury sector

A key reason for luxury brands to uncover their supply chains and honour their production makers is to become market leaders. Pioneering such a change can bring global attention to them and offer consumers real insight and traceability into their supply chains.
Take the Dior 2023 show as an example, the brand made the right moves with its celebration of Indian cultural heritage. Picking the right venue, bringing in the glamorous world of Bollywood and Indian billionaires to the front row.

Every news platform and influencer across the globe highlighted Dior’s collaboration with the Chanakya School of Craft. Making Dior a luxury market leader for bringing transparency to the supply chain and highlighting the incredible Indian craft sector.

After the Dior 2023 India showcase, luxury brands Hermes, and Balmain have gone ahead to credit Indian artisans for some of its garments.

What Attracts the Luxury Fashion Houses to India: The Indian Craft Connect?

French designer, Isabel Marant quoted to Bloomberg that ‘Haute Couture is practically all made in India’. Here are some reasons why luxury brands have always been attracted to the Indian craft segement:

1. India’s skilled craft makers

As a hub for many unique crafts, India has been a key supplier for several luxury fashion houses. The craft makers of India are the real heroes that the luxury houses come to India for. These skilled artisans can craft delicate, intricate, and sophisticated embroidery. Many designers have used Indian craft makers to build their exclusive Met Gala outfits for the likes of Lady Gaga and Beyonce.

2. Variety of Indian crafts

India is home to many crafts, weaving, and handloom techniques. Phulkari embroidery from Punjab, Kantha from Bengal, and Chickenkari from Lucknow are a few examples of the many embroidery techniques in India. The variety of crafts in India is a major attraction value for luxury fashion houses. It helps them to distinguish themselves in the market offering something unique and handcrafted with each collection.

3. Economies of scale

Another key reason why India is the preferred location for luxury houses is the low-cost, high-quality ratio it brings to the table. The work is done by skilled crafts makers, within due time offering a high-quality product in return. Experienced artisans work on exclusive textiles and embroideries to build complex designs for luxury brands. The cost conversion of euro, pound, or dollar to INR makes it cheaper for the brands to produce in India while attaining a high quality of work.

With Dior’s bold initiative to bring transparency to the supply chain, the world woke up to India’s skilled art of craft, culture, and capabilities. It brought to light the luxury fashion’s historical production in India. It has paved the way for brands to highlights their supply chains, and work with Indian organizations to produce in India.