Affluent Influence

India’s first ever white paper on luxury is launched in Mumbai by The Voice of Fashion, a division of Reliance Brands Limited, as a yearly feature, with insights on Indian fashion, design, crafts, and retail – a post-pandemic study at what it means to be affluent in India.

Jaspreet Chandok, Head, RISE Worldwide Lifestyle Business, with Darshan Mehta, President and CEO of Reliance Brands Limited (RBL)

It was that rare night when leading luminaries of the luxury world – from CEOs and entrepreneurs to architects, designers, stylists and editors, aficionados and consumers – came together in the ultra-swanky The Bay Club at Jio World Centre, to witness the launch of India’s first-ever white paper on luxury, the Atlas of Affluence (AOA) 2022. Created by The Voice of Fashion (TVOF), a division of Reliance Brands Limited, the daily digital magazine that tracks and leads conversations on Indian fashion, design, crafts and retail, AOA 2022, is the first such wide and in-depth study from India that dissects consumer behaviour studied through the prism of luxury.

Shefalee Vasudev, editor, The Voice of Fashion

A collective reflection on what affluence means in India spiked during the two years of the pandemic. Charting the post-pandemic market and the clearly altered consumer mindset through a specially commissioned study across six cities and markets of India, AOA 2022 has been published as a book with exclusively commissioned artworks. This study uses the time graph of “pre-pandemic” and “post-pandemic” months to specify a comparative matrix. It also helps debunk long-held ideas about what affluence and luxury have meant to Indians.

Designer Rahul Mishra and Divya Mishra

The study was formulated over the last several months through scientifically designed consumer research to understand metro and non-metro differences among buyers, brands and behavioural ideas behind consumption. The other sections of this white paper move beyond luxury as a product to explore granularities of affluence.

“In finance and business studies affluence is about assets compared to liabilities. But for an evolved luxury market – which includes aesthetic finesse, awareness, aspiration, affordability and distinction as well as trend defining choices – affluence brings a new set of affirmations. It is a combination of wealth, assets and high disposable incomes, with socio-cultural awareness, self-knowledge, and a response-able outlook. This comes out clearly in this white paper as the rise of the individual,” says Shefalee Vasudev, editor, The Voice of Fashion.

Designer Rajesh Pratap Singh

AOA is a strategy document for all those who create in India or for India, who make or market here and must have a finger on the pulse of the consumer.Beyond business strategy and numbers there are a series of columns, interviews, ground reports and features stories on architecture, personal style, the ascendance of India in South Asian design and global luxury, the emergence of the gold collar consumer and the growing market for beauty and wellness. This study is a consortium, a melting pot of topical, relevant, ready-to-use creative and commercial insights.

Manish Malhotra at the launch of the Atlas of Affluence

“Reliance Brands is happy to support the creation of the Atlas of Affluence, which will become the definitive document for understanding the luxury market in India not just for businesses already operating in this sector but for global businesses looking to invest in the India story. There hasn’t been an authoritative, single document that tells the story of the luxury market in India - this is the largest exercise ever to decode the affluent consumer across various consumption categories and this will help build our own strategic views as we continue to expand in the luxury sector,” says a spokesperson for Reliance Brands Limited (RBL), the largest luxury operator in the country, which strengthened the report by providing significant consumer insights.

AOA features guest columns by The Oberoi Group’s Vikram Oberoi, American Express’ Manoj Adlakha, couturier TarunTahiliani, DLF Retail’s Pushpa Bector among other leading industry names. It also has voices from designers Anamika Khanna, Manish Malhotra, Hanut Singh and PVR founder Ajay Bijli. Additionally, the “Global Voices” section of the Report features leaders such as Gildo Zegna and Stefano Canali.

Sandeep Khosla

At the launch, host Ambika Anand asked the panel – which included industry leaders like Pushpa Bector, Executive Director, DLF Retail, and Head, Luxury and Shopping Malls, architect Ashiesh Shah, designer David Abraham, VT Bharadwaj, Former MD of Sequoia Capital and partner at private investment firm A91, among others – what they understood by the word affluence. “Affluence is the ability of a person to exercise their passion and choices, without guilt,” says Pushpa Bector.

Shefalee Vasudev, editor , The Voice of Fashion and Jaspreet Chandok, Head, RISE Fashion and Lifestyle

With this first edition, the Atlas of Affluence is set to become an annual feature. Besides a yearly study examined from various vantage points, AOA will evolve as a series of market related deep dives to appear periodically. With the pie of cuisine-led luxury only growing bigger, in its next, sub-category volume later this year, The Atlas of Affluence will trace India’s Eat Map.

The report is available to download atThe Voice of Fashion website

Key takeaways of AOA 2022 At A Glance:

57% Men claim that their fashion spend has increased. As per the RBL data, men’s brand portfolio saw 46% growth in 2021 compared to 2019. For women, it was 14%.

76% Invest in luxury brands that depict their sense of style over 26% who still see luxury as a means of social assertion.

65% of non-metro residents buy luxury on a regular basis vs 53% in metros.

2 out of 3 among the affluent had shopped luxury online for the first time during COVID-19 restrictions.

65% of those shopping online mention that they are eagerly waiting for stores to open.

26% Gen Z spontaneously associate luxury with travel and hospitality followed by 21% who associate luxury with fashion and apparel.

52% Respondents keep celebrity endorsements and influencers in top 2 ranks for key drivers behind brand affinity.

58% agree that they have spent more on tech products to curate a futuristic entertainment experience while being stuck at home.


Priya Kumari Rana

Lifestyle Insider is a kind of junction point, connecting people with diverse interests that touch on the more luxurious aspects of lifestyle – fashion, design, travel, food and spirits, art, watches and jewellery, cars, yachts, and aviation, and technology. People today don’t fit into boxes and categories. In our individual ways, we are interested in diverse themes, products, and the challenges that face our world today. You will judge how well this effort of mine caters to your passions and proclivities.

Lifestyle Insider is a showcase of all that is beautiful and luxe. Behind every creation, is a designer, chef, entrepreneur, or a design maison. I have delved into my own appreciation for objetsde luxe that I have admired over the years – be it a love of fashion from the world’s top Parisian and Italian fashion maisons and their ’90s muses, or the care that goes into sari and Indian textile collections in my own family. Growing up on four continents, as the daughter of a former Indian Ambassador, I’ve seen a remarkable array of historic places and met a myriad people. My aim is to bring my world view into this website, a curation of what I find particularly stunning, unique, and newsworthy.

It’s an exciting time for brands all over the world. With change comes opportunity. With the global ‘reset’ and uncertainty on many fronts, there is a chance to write a new script. Let’s be those pioneers.

A bit about me:
A luxury and fashion journalist with 25 years of experience in publishing and magazine journalism, I have edited some of India’s top fashion and luxury magazines. I got my BA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, and went on to receive my Master’s in English and French from the University of Strasbourg, France. I have also studied German and Film. I live in Gurugram, India, and look forward to once again exploring our world with a new-found freedom.

Priya Kumari Rana

Founder and Editor

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