The hardest thing when selecting the 10 most expensive clothing brands in India is understanding how this country approaches luxury shopping, and the way this mixes in with their customs and traditions. If you got a million to spare and are planning a trip to New Delhi, then this is the definite guide on where to go waste your money.
Western luxury brands in this country are not as popular as one may think when it comes to clothing and jewelry, and since the higher class of Indian society is pretty conservative in their looks and traditions, local designers pose a strong competition, since their prices are not nearly as high. This is largely because import duties make items up to 10% more expensive than they would be in Europe or the US, so the offer is limited to some high-end shopping malls, five stars hotels, and online stores. The latter poses a good solution and is exponentially on the rise; however, India’s luxury market is more complex than that. Indians actually prefer to touch and feel the pieces, not only for the pleasure of the shopping experience, but also to avoid counterfeit objects produced in nearby China, which are abundant.
Another reason western brands haven’t been able to properly settle across India is that they seem not to understand how culturally diverse this country is. When the population is as large and assorted as it is here, one cannot expect one design –or one marketing technique- to satisfy all; it’s a recipe for financial loss. One of the few brands who picked up on this was Montblanc, which features regional adaptations of their products and is highly successful in India.
“Where do I go to buy my must-have Chanel crystal slippers and Dior bathrobe so I can walk from the bedroom to the toilet at the Taj Mahal Hotel?” you might ask -or not. Well, I’d say a good starting point is the DLF Emporio in Delhi. “If you want to buy a Harry Winston, or Armani couture in Delhi, you know you’ve to head straight to Emporio Mall.” Here you will find a tiny Parisian oasis to shop for your favorite high-end brands. The prices, however, are so outrageous that flying to Paris and shopping there seems like a better option. If you’re not a fashion junky, just a dude looking for the Top 10 Best Selling Men’s Shirt Brands in The World, don’t bother looking in India, just go bare chest, see what happens.
In any case, it was thanks to this mall that I finally arrived to an acceptable ranking methodology: cross-referencing. First, I had to make a list of the most expensive fashion brands in the world, which was not easy. There are a lot of articles on the matter, which usually share a general consensus on which are all in all the most expensive brands, but each site has its own opinion of the order they stand in. Since every single list was different, I made a chart of my own, averaging the places where each brand appeared in each list. Here are some of the sites I checked: Forbes, Business Insider, In Style Beads, and Success Story, to name a few. Then I cross referenced that to the stores available at Emporio and Palladium and ta-dah! We’ve got a list. Out of the 16 most expensive brands in the world, I discovered that neither Oscar de la renta, Prada, D&G, Ralph Lauren, Valentino, Jimmy Choo, nor Marc Jacobs have any stores in India and are therefore excluded of this here ranking, leaving us with what follows. Are you curious? Click Next to see the list of most expensive clothing brands in India.