Contemporary lustre: Marketing luxury brands in India

Melanie Puddick and Priya Menon
Added Value

After breakfasting and instructing her maids on details of the dinner party she is hosting that evening, Leela slips onto the back seat of her chauffeur-driven Mercedes and goes shopping for Dior stilettos, a bag from Fendi and an outfit from Indian luxury couturier Tarun Tahiliani. Next stop is a purchase for her husband, a Mumbai-based businessman with interests in shipping and hotels. From a small showroom facing the Arabian Sea, she is attended by three sales assistants before picking out a perfect white kurta, made of hand-loomed khadi and decorated with intricate stitching known by cognoscenti as chikankari.1

Of course, Leela isn't her real name, but Leela is real in every other respect. Fuelled by economic growth, wealthy Indians represent a source of enormous potential for global luxury brands.