How ICH Next is forecasting ethnic fashion trends catering to the regional fashion diversities of India

Based in Bengaluru, ICH Next aims to define and predict the trends that might flourish in the regional ethnic markets of India based on the social, cultural and political movements.

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As much as the mega event of the Ram Mandir consecration ceremony, the country saw in the initial month of the year, is likely to impact the political landscape of India ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections 2024, it has already been driving fashion trends, and will continue to impact the ethnic fashion industry this year. This comprises one of the major forecasts done by ICH Next, an indigenous fashion trend forecasting platform that observed Indian consumers getting back to their erstwhile cultures. However, it is just one key event that the consulting firm counts as an influence on the industry along with forecasting designs, colours, patterns and silhouettes for this year.


ICH predicted the preferences and the moods likely to influence fashion choices.

While weather forecastings go wrong, at times, so might the fashion forecasting but what seems to have been accelerating such a business in the Indian fashion industry is the scientific research-based predictions for the Indian retailers. First-of-its-kind fashion forecast platform in India, ICH Next, can hence, be seen as a pioneering step towards this revolution aiming to create a "conscious fashion culture".

Led by Kanika Vohra and Anuradha Chandrashekar, the creative agency, based in Bengaluru, has put forth the fashion trends for this year including colour trends that might dominate including Marble Blue and Grey, Royal Black, Tobacco and Gold Patina along with a few pattern trends like "old shiffli", "Seacape Doodles". The firm has also forecasted the trend of 'Multilevel Hemlines', 'Blouson Puff Sleeve', and 'Draped Triage' to flourish this year. 


Pattern trends that might dominate the ethnic fashion industry in India, as per ICH Next.

To forecast trends with such accuracy, ICH Next conducts extensive trend research before presenting it to their clients and popular retailers and brands like Amazon, Myntra, Tata Cliq, Pantaloons, Ethnicx Raymond, Libas, and more. This research encompasses market analysis, consumer behavior studies, and an exploration of fashion influences, both conscious and subconscious. Factors considered include tracking Bollywood and regional celebrities, global trends, influential labels, bloggers, magazines, F&B trends, travel trends, media, and cinema. Kanika Vohra adds, "We also monitor market reports and governmental policies that may impact fashion choices."

A hit trend forecasted for the 2023 festive season


Foreign dignitaries were seen wearing sarees at the G20 Summit held in India in 2023. Source

ICH's predictions for the festive winter of 2023 were based on various factors, including a strong confluence of cultures. "This was spurred by several events in the country, such as hosting the G20 Summit, which garnered global attention and fostered a sense of positivity and cultural interconnectedness," says Vohra, aged 54.

The founders of ICH Next analyzed the historical significance of the 'Silk Road' or the 'Silk Route,' which stretched from Persia to Africa, with India serving as a crucial stop that facilitated flourishing trade. "Much of what we recognize as art, craft, and culture originated from that era of the Silk Roads," adds Vohra, which formed the basis for ICH Next's major trend prediction.

"From this analysis emerged multiple trends, including the resurgence of carpets with rich patterns and colors," notes Vohra. She also observes a recent trend of reverting to tradition, even dating back to the pre-colonial era.

Relying on international platforms to create their own; the founders' story


Kanika Vohra (left) and Anuradha Chandrashekar (right) claim the forecasting business is likely to grow as Indian retailers understand the importance of research.

Having worked with retailers and brands for an extensive period, Vohra, formerly a business head and one of the founding members of, along with Chandrashekar, a designer turned marketer and a key member of's creative team, possessed a deep understanding of the fashion industry. With this background, the entrepreneurs decided to leave their jobs and embark on their venture. "I had a creative inclination coupled with a business background, while Anuradha was trained in creativity but also had a business mindset. We complemented each other well and believed we had something unique to offer," says Vohra.


Kanika Vohra with the team.

ICH, which focuses on researching trends for forecasting, has a designated team to carry out this work. As Chandrashekar explains, it's the 'science behind the research.' 'There's intuition involved, picked up by the team, then probabilities assessed for their future consumer appeal,' she adds. Speaking with Local Samosa, the founders suggest that fashion influences, both conscious and subconscious, are amalgamated with the applied human zeitgeist to produce accurate results.

Fashion Forecasting: Why India needs it?

However, the founders believe that only in the last 10 years, with the growth of e-commerce platforms, could such a service emerge. 'The genetic landmark in the Indian fashion industry lies in its fragmented and regional markets. Different players catered to their respective cities, towns, or regions and had a deep understanding of their consumer base,' says Chandrashekar, aged 41. She adds that the industry has only recently begun to organize, with a growing focus on investing in research for a broader nationwide market opportunity, and nothing but digitization could pave the way.



Vohra and Chandrashekar always relied on global research agencies and trend forecasting companies to draw inputs, in their entire career in the fashion industry. However, as Chandrashekar says, "While that might serve a certain sector of the industry, a very large segment of our industry is unaddressed and quite fragmented is muted. With digitisation, there was a certain level of singularity in influence in that diversity." 

Having led the brand and design for Elle Fashionwear, India and Weekender® while working extensively with Disney, before co-founding ICH Next with her colleague,  Kanika Vohra talks from her experience and mentions it requires a "concept" in the garment industry to carry the manufacturing. "It takes a minimum of three to nine months to get the product together. From designing to bringing out the production in bulk, there is a time lag," she says adding that such a cycle makes it mandatory for the forecast to come in the production process. 

ICH Next has collaborated with the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India, the largest association that represents the clothing manufacturers of India. "Through them, we have been able to reach the manufacturing markets of Rajasthan," Kanika Vohra says. She also adds that various MSMEs have been associated with them and are designed according to the trends given by the brand. 

ICH NEXT Fashion trends 2024