The luxury sector has always flourished in the Indian market as the country has provided a secure and diverse landscape of consumers who regularly seek out premium goods and services. As the South Asian presence grows internationally, these global luxury brands are now also actively associating with celebrities that speak to the young and savvy consumer market, both in India and abroad. This development coincides with the rise of Indian faces claiming space across various creative platforms — be it Diljit Dosanjh’s Coachella debut, Deepika Padukone unveiling the World Cup trophy or even Alia Bhatt’s recent appearance at the prestigious Met Gala.
This shift is a result of fashion becoming democratised with the advent of social media in addition to the image of an industry icon shifting due to a more direct connection with consumers. Brands are departing from traditional ambassadors and are now aligning with young faces that are relevant with the masses. This is where the social capital of an Indian star becomes an asset for luxury brands who aim to widen their footing in the regional market space. Italian luxury house Gucci recently announced actress Alia Bhatt as their first global ambassador from India. This development is followed by Bhatt’s Hollywood debut in the movie Heart of Stone. Additionally, her film RRR was celebrated internationally and also won an Oscar for its viral track 'Naatu Naatu'.
Previously actress Deepika Padukone who is in regular attendance at the Met Gala, Cannes Film Festival and who recently performed the role of a presenter at the 95th Academy Awards was also announced as the global brand ambassador for French luxury houses Louis Vuitton and Cartier. Padukone has amassed a large following of international fans who were first introduced to her via the movie XXX: Return of Xander Cage. The star also recently graced the cover of Times and Forbes Magazine and while the exposure on multiple international platforms has garnered a special status for the actress, it is her influence in the space of fashion that remains unmatched. Padukone became the first Indian star to be featured in Business of Fashion’s (BOF) prestigious list of people shaping the global fashion industry back in 2022.
International star Priyanka Chopra Jonas, who regularly appears in Hollywood movies and TV shows, is also another Indian actress who is a global brand ambassador for the Greek-Italian fashion house Bulgari. The style icon has shared close association with other international brands such as Valentino and has been styled by powerhouse stylist Luxury Law. She has similarly graced the cover of innumerable prestigious magazines and is also an ambassador for UNICEF GOODWILL. Priyanka’s influence is wide ranging and her regular appearances in podcasts and talk shows bring forth the nuances of her South Asian heritage.
It is important to note that all three of these actresses are founders of successful independent brands. While Alia Bhatt runs a special clothing brand selling kidswear and maternity wear, it is the impact of the brands run by Deepika and Priyanka that are uniquely rooted in Indian traditions of beauty. Unconventional hair-care brand Anomaly run by Priyanka was recently awarded by Allure magazine and is informed by the hair secrets employed by Indian women. Similarly 82E by Deepika is inspired from the wisdom of historic ayurveda rituals. These ventures have helped the three young talents in widening their influence in the space of fashion and beauty while in the process also leading conversations centered on these topics at an international scale.
As India becomes an epicentre of luxury and fashion with recent advancements such as the Dior Showcase and the opening of fashion exhibit at NMACC which included archival pieces from global luxury houses; we can expect more and more of our local stars to also claim space across the international fashion landscape. While our craftsmanship and aesthetics have led the industry for decades, we lacked the representation of Indian faces to back it. These global partnerships are a clear sign of Indian women making a mark within these spaces and channelling their South Asian cultural heritage while doing so. As global ambassadors of luxury houses they carry immense power to shift the winds in fashion and also carve out avenues for other Indians as well.