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Off Shoulder Dresses Off the Racks

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The off shoulder dress trend, in effect, has existed since the mid 1800s with the queens in the Victorian era popularising the silhouette. There was no Instagram or Pinterest to validate the popularity of the trend back then, but things have changed two centuries since. Today, when off shoulder dresses are back in vogue, netizens across the world are busy pinning their favourite off shoulder dress and googling the trend vociferously.

And what’s interesting is the increased interest in the trend in India over the past 10 months. Google Trends reports show that the search index for off shoulder dresses have gone up from 17 in October 2015 to a 100 in July 2016, placing India on the list of the top 8 countries  googling this trend the most.

And now, a cursory glimpse at the popularity of the trend on social media, amplified by Bollywood’s most influential fashionistas. We culled out five posts of Bollywood fashion mavens Sonam Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhat and Deepika Padukone wearing the off shoulder dress from the stars’ Instagram feed and through hashtags.

The collective number of Instagram likes garnered across images featuring the trend on these Bollywood style icons is 7,10,027. That’s an average of a whopping 1,42,005 likes per image!

This is excluding a video that Sonam Kapoor posted in a cheery yellow Reetu Neeva off shoulder dress,  that garnered 326k views on Instagram.

On Pinterest, the cumulative number of repins that the top five off shoulder dress images have received are 29400, averaging at 5880 repins per image  considered quite encouraging.

Interestingly, the off shoulder styles ruling Pinterest boards are aligned with the top ranking off shoulder dresses across global websites such as HMUK, ASOS and Zara. The trending styles typically come in a solid colour ( summer sorbet shades, red, black and blue seem to be the favourites) or are in denim and are knee length. However, we see a very thin selection of off-shoulder dresses in Indian brands and retailers.

While the hashtag generation in India is loving off shoulder dresses, despite it being not the easiest to pull off, very few brands in India are actually leveraging the adulation that the trend is getting in the digital ecosystem. We observed very few emerging brands make up the handful of options focusing on the trend.

A customer is, therefore left with very few options when looking to buy this trend, even when she has a strong purchase intention. A clear opportunity in our view!

By: Piali Dasgupta

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