Ethnic wear is special because it carries a rich heritage with it. From the cloth that is woven in the hands of an able artisan to the fresh smell of the various dyes used, everything is exceptional. A layer of hand painting or embroidery or printing is what makes the outfit stand out. When you open your wardrobe and touch your best ethnic wear, it instantly transports you to the last time you wore it.
We have all spent years finding our favourite ethnic wear brand. That is the reason our collection of ethnic wear is very close to our hearts.
In a country as culturally diverse as India, finding the best ethnic wear brands can be a task!
We have done the hard work for you and compiled a list of the 10 best Indian brands for ethnic wear. Read on and make your pick.
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10 Best Ethnic Wear Brands In India:
Biba, which literally means ‘a pretty woman’ was founded by Meena Bindra in 1988. Meena initiated her work from her house in Delhi. Meena started designing garments out of passion and showcased them to her friends. The clothes soon became popular.
|Year of Establishment||1988|
|No. of Stores PAN India||192 Exclusive, 250 Multi-Brand|
|USP||Daily fashion imbibed with comfort & tradition|
Meena made fashion comfortable for women in early days. It would be interesting to know that Meena named the well-known Patiala salwar – which has many Bollywood songs to its credit. Meena continues to innovate the designs, keeping the tradition intact. There is a range of ethnic clothes available at Biba from salwar-kurta to Kurti to palazzo sets. Biba is one of the best Indian brands for ethnic wear, as it has comfort at the core of all designs.
Biba apparels are also available online on various shopping websites.
Fabindia was established in 1960 by William Nanda Bissell in New Delhi. William worked for Ford Foundation in Delhi. Fab India was initially exporting home furnishing out of India. In 1976, the company ventured into the domestic retail market.
|Owner||William Nanda Bissell|
|Year of Establishment||1960|
|No. of Stores PAN India||286 retail stores|
|USP||Empowerment of artisans, Popularizing Indian weaves|
Fabindia pioneered the concept of procuring directly from artisans, community based organizations and sharing profits with them. This earned a lot of goodwill to Fabindia and it became the favorite brand of the elite class initially. Today, it is a massy brand for everyone who loves Indian weaves.
Fabindia has a wide range of apparels for women, men and children including sarees, skirts, dupattas and kurta pajama sets.
The brand has now expanded into a cafe and children experience center along with apparels & furnishings.
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3. W for Woman
W was established in 2001 by the Pasricha brothers. The aim was to provide contemporary fashion to the evolving woman of India. A W garment just like a Gulzar song quickly stands out in the crowd. It speaks for itself with the pastel shade and the minimalistic designs.
|Brand Name||W for Woman|
|Owner||Mr. OS Pasricha and Mr. AS Pasricha|
|Year of Establishment||2001|
|No. of Stores PAN India||More than 300 retail stores|
|USP||Contemporary fashion for contemporary Indian Woman|
W was the first brand to identify 7 customized sizes for the garments instead of the common 3 sizes. This displays attention to detail towards customer satisfaction.
W garments have a range of subtle, pastel shades and rich regal looking garments for festive occasions. Every young working woman aspires to make a W garment a part of her wardrobe.
Okhai started as an NGO by the Tata Chemicals Society For Rural Development (TCSRD) in 2008. This was established under the CSR of Tata Chemicals in Mithapur, where the company had a plant. The objective was to empower the women artisans of the village.
|Owner||Kirti Poonia (supported by TCSRD)|
|Year of Establishment||2008|
|No. of Stores PAN India||1 physical store, sells PAN India through eCommerce website|
|USP||Started as an NGO for artisans of Mithapur, today has 24,000 artisans onboard from PAN India|
Okhai focuses on integrating indigenous art forms like hand block printing, madhubani painting, mirror work, hand embroidery etc with everyday outfits!
The brand also offers tribal jewellery, copper utensils, and home decor items like wall hangings etc. Okhai has continued to grow even during the difficult period of the pandemic and has expanded its artisan base to 24,000. This makes Okhai the best ethnic wear brand online.
Melange is a part of the Lifestyle group. It started off as a private label of Lifestyle. In 2011, Melange opened an exclusive brand store as the ethnic wear brand of Lifestyle. The brand stands for modern, chic style.
|Year of Establishment||2011|
|No. of Stores PAN India||8 exclusive stores, 80 lifestyle stores|
|USP||Fashion forward at mid price range|
The brand provides a fashionable, trendy and comfortable garment at a mid price point. This is a key differentiator for Melange. It blends the traditional fabric, colors & patterns with ultra modern styles. This keeps the brand relevant and popular amongst men & women of all ages.
Melange offers a variety of garments for men as well. This makes it the ultimate family fashion destination!
Melange launches a festive collection every year which has remarkable variety and non-traditional colors.
6. Global Desi
Global Desi collection is like wasabi – it has the zing, pop of color and leaves you asking for more! The brand keeps in touch with the wanderer in you but also has an international appeal – as the name suggests.
|Brand Name||Global Desi|
|Owner||House of Anita Dongre|
|Year of Establishment||1995|
|No. of Stores PAN India||286 exclusive retail stores, 789 Multi-brand|
|USP||Chic, Boho style|
The brand was established in 1995 and has the fortune of having ace designer Anita Dongre behind it. The brand features different shapes and cuts in the garments.
It has a vibrant collection of kurtis, jackets, palazzo sets and long dresses.
Aurelia literally means, ‘the golden girl’. The brand was established in 2009 by Pasricha brothers (yes, the same Pasrichas who own W). Their aim was to craft an affordable collection for the modern woman. It is a combination of formal, casual and festive styles.
|Owner||Mr. OS Pasricha and Mr. AS Pasricha|
|Year of Establishment||2009|
|No. of Stores PAN India||208 retail stores|
Aurelia has a good collection of office and casual kurtis, churidars, dupattas and salwar-kurta sets.
Aurelia designs are effortless to carry and hit the sweet spot between graceful and spunky!
Soch is a premium ethnic wear brand. The brand sees itself as a reflection of modern, independent women. Their use of rich fabrics like chiffon, georgette and silk makes them class apart. They have a regal collection of sarees to choose from along with salwar suits.
|Year of Establishment||2015|
|No. of Stores PAN India||124|
Soch was established in 2015 and is a well recognized ethnic wear brand in India and abroad.
Rangmanch by Pantaloons as the name suggests is characterized by a dramatic pop of color! The collection treats your eyes with bright yellows, trendy fuschias and fresh greens. Rangmanch uses the flowy Liva fabric which is super light and comfortable.
|No. of Stores PAN India||346 Pantaloons Stores|
|USP||Color Pop, mid range ethnic wear|
Rangmanch is popular for its kurtis, salwar kurta sets, dupattas, churidars and anarkalis.
Nalli which was established in Chennai in 1928 remains the best brand for fine silk sarees. It has a legacy of rich fabric, elegant designs and unmatched quality for almost a century. Nalli has gained the trust of generations and has played a big part in keeping silk sarees on the top of the spectrum!
|Owner||Dr. Nalli Kuppuswami Chetti|
|Year of Establishment||1928|
|No. of Stores PAN India||32|
|USP||Premium silk sarees|
Nalli is heirloom material, gifted between generations and treasured by all!
Latest Trends in Ethnic Wear:
- The Sharara is Back: As we became secular, so did the Sharara! It is trending this season more than ever. It is a dress you choose when you want to stand out from the crowd. The rich shades, multi-layers and heavy work takes you on a ride to royalty.
- Kaftans: Kaftan is undoubtedly the best thing to come out of the work from home culture. Kaftans are trendy, vogue and comfy at the same time. They blend India’s rich heritage with contemporary fashion so well that it is difficult to distinguish which element is traditional and which is modern – a good reflection of our culture.
- Capes: All superheroes don’t need capes. But they are trending this season, so why not! Capes add character to any outfit from a saree, lehenga, suit. Adding capes is also useful when you are redesigning your old outfits from last season. So, grab that dainty cape and hit the spotlight!
- Belt Sarees: Saree with Belt is the new way of saying, ‘I love my mother’s saree, but I love my new belt too!’ Many bollywood actresses have been seen sporting a belt with saree. But today this look is making its way to office traditional day outfits. It’s massy now!
- Extravagant Dupattas: Nothing accentuates an ethnic outfit like a statement dupatta! Bold, bright dupattas are in vogue this season. A pastel suit set and a bold dupatta is the go to stylish look today. The added advantage is that you can mix and match and create a new outfit every time!
Frequently Asked Questions
Manish Malhotra is the highest paid designer in India.
Cotton is said to be the best fabric for ethnic wear due to its versatility and low maintenance cost.
Bhilwara, Rajasthan is known as Textile City in India as it is the largest producer of fabrics.
Saree is a common ethnic outfit across India. But, each state has multiple different ways of draping it. There are more than 108 traditional ways to drape the saree.
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