To be able to tap into this big chunk of the Indian population with available disposable income and the affinity for fitness, brands have started focusing on active wear/ athleisure segment.
What are the factors limiting the growth of this category in India??
Any new brand in a credibility driven category like sportswear/ active wear/ performance gear needs a certain incubation period and several trials and errors till it becomes good enough to help athletes, sports people and common people in general for providing performance enhancing features and technical advances. This process takes anywhere between 5-7 years with sustained efforts and focused communication plus constant innovation and improvement before we are home with a credible and acceptable product.
What are the price points at which you sell your athleisure range?
Our average price point is approx. Rs 900. It varies from category to category. We can safely say that any given day our pricing is 30 percent lower than the other big international players in the market.
What are the fabrics that you use for your athleisure range??
Vibrant styles, signature cuts and lots of mélange would be found in the upcoming capsules. We use fine stretchable, knit, mesh and breathable rapid dry fabrics which are usually finished with N9 and UV protection layers to enable people to train or perform better while in HRX clothing.
What have been the technological advancements and innovation in the athleisure segment at HRX??
We have recently launched our first performance range of shoes called Metagrip. It has a unique cushioned and light flexible sole enabling runners to run long distance with lesser effort. In clothing it is almost hygiene for us to now provide rapid dry, N9 or anti-microbial layer and UV protection.
How are Tier I and II cities faring in this segment?
Fitness no more is an urban phenomena. The top metros contribute maximum and at the same time other cities like Pune, Lucknow, Jaipur, Indore, Ludhiana etc. are not far behind in their contribution to the fitness industry.
Has e-commerce changed the athleisure game in India? If yes, how??
E-commerce makes it easier for people to access different products even from distant geographies. One doesn’t need to go to a mall today to shop, even trials and returns are easy given the kind of policies e-commerce players offer.
Price is a clear advantage because e-commerce provides deeper discounting than offline retail. Hence, it works for today’s consumer who is time-pressed anyway and still wants to shop.
What is the future of this category in India??
Fitness industry in India is a sunrise sector poised to grow at least 30 percent year-on-year.
Gautam Singhania has stepped down from the position of Chairman of Raymond Apparel, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raymond. He will, however, continue to be on the board of Raymond Apparel.Nirvik Singh will take charge as the non-Executive Chairman at Raymond Apparel
Nirvik Singh will take charge as the non-Executive Chairman in his place. Anshu Sarin has also joined the board as a non-executive director along with Gautam Trivedi who has joined as an independent director.
“I have always believed in setting the highest standard of governance and have always advocated to run the business professionally. I am delighted that Nirvik Singh has been appointed as the Non- Executive Chairman of Raymond Apparel Limited and I am sure that the company will benefit tremendously under his able leadership. I also welcome Anshu Sarin and Gautam Trivedi as new board members of Raymond Apparel Limited,” Singhania said in a release to the exchange.
Nirvik Singh is a 27-year marketing and communication industry veteran and is currently the Chairman & CEO, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa of Grey Group Asia Pacific. He began his career with Lipton India, a Unilever company and became the head of Grey Group India at the age of33.
Raymond Apparel?offers full wardrobe solution with ready-to-wear brands such as Park Avenue, Color Plus, Parx and Raymond Ready to Wear.
Raymond expects around 20 percent of its textile and apparel retail business in India to come from small towns, where it is opening ‘Mini TRS’ stores catering to aspirations of the people , a company official said.Raymond expects around 20 percent of its textile and apparel retail business in India to come from small towns, where it is opening 'Mini TRS' stores catering to aspirations of the people
According to a PTI report: The company, which has recently achieved the target to open its 200th ‘Mini TRS’ (The Raymond Shop), has plans to add around 600 more in its network in tier IV, V and VI towns.
“For the TRS channel, we see, these stores, Mini TRS which we are opening up, to contribute around 15 to 20 per cent of the revenue,” Mohit Dhanjal, Director – Retail, Raymond told PTI.
As per its retail strategy, Raymond has identified around 800 small towns having population above 50,000 to sustain a store and tap the potential through Mini TRS.
Raymond has a network of around 880 stores including Mini TRS, in which 820 are on franchise model and rest 60 are owned by the company, the Raymond Shop Channel.
“In the next 6 months, we plan to open another 100 stores and then to take our total count to 1,000 and after that for next 2-3 years, we would plan to open 100 stores every year,” he further told PTI.
The regular TRS has a spread of over 2,500 sq feet, while Mini TRS format is optimised in around 800 sq feet, he added.
All these new stores coming out are on franchise model and the company has brought down the investments for the TRS format stores.
According to him, these small towns have ‘lot of aspiration for branded clothes’ besides ‘growing spending power’.
Raymond is also working on Omnichannel retail system by integrating online with offline. It operates around 50 stores in overseas markets as the Middle East, Bangladesh.
Zara has launched online sales through a dedicated worldwide online platform – http://www.zara.com/ww – thus bringing its fashions to customers in 106 new markets.Most of these new markets are in Africa and include Angola, Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Madagascar, Zimbabwe and Ghana, among others
Most of these new markets are in Africa and include Angola, Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Madagascar, Zimbabwe and Ghana, among others. The online store has also made its début in numerous parts of the Caribbean and Asia.
The http://www.zara.com/ww platform, which is available in English and French and is supported by dedicated customer service similarly available in both languages, features new items from the women’s (including the Woman, Trafaluc and Basic lines), men’s and kids’ collections twice a week. The simple and intuitive browsing experience, configured for all devices, has been designed to enable the brand’s collections to be shopped as entire looks, thanks to its Corner Shops, which organise the ranges into curated collections (such as the current Dress Time theme), and Stories, which take shoppers on a visual tour of capsule collections and trends.
Zara customers can also shop the brand’s Join Life range, a selection of garments made from more sustainable raw materials and using more environmentally-friendly processes. In this specific section of the http://www.zara.com/ww platform, consumers can find out more about the stringent sustainability, environmental and quality standards that govern everything Zara does in order to generate value beyond profits.
http://www.zara.com/ww accepts widely used online payment methods such as PayPal, as well as all the main credit cards. Orders are processed in euros, grossed up by the corresponding delivery and customs charges, and fulfilled from Zara’s online platform in Spain; they will be received within three to seven days.
Bespoke fashion, once a prerogative of style connoisseurs with deep pockets, is fast becoming a growing trend among professional men around the world, as prices fall, and awareness grows.The big gap in the market between luxury brands and fast-fashion clothing has also been cited as a catalyst for the rapid growth of this industry
All it takes is just one look at the urbane and dapper men of today to realise that bespoke – made-to-measure or custom-made fashion – is the best personal style upgrade men can hope to gift themselves. After all, if fashion is all about glamour, then what can be more charismatic than having clothes tailored to your exact specifications, both in terms of size, style and individuality?
India has long harboured a rich bespoke tradition. Back in the day, bespoke was the norm and the only option, especially when it came to suits. It was only with the entry and expansion of international and domestic apparel brands in the early 90s, that the RTW segment increased in popularity, especially in urban centres, and ever since, the segment has grown rapidly. But a shift away from ready-to-wear back to bespoke has been registered in the last few years, mostly among the young, style conscious, financially stable men of today.
Lately, a profusion of socio-economic factors has culminated in the proliferation of this savvy consumer base which exhibits a conscious inclination towards unique, made-to-measure pieces; a part of what is being called ‘the new luxury’.
The growth of this segment within the Indian subcontinent is largely due to the emergence of the nouveau riche and the High Net-worth Individuals (HNIs). This section of society possesses an increased disposable income along with a keen desire for exclusivity. Apart from celebrating their personal and professional achievements, the owners of bespoke clothing often also see the exclusivity offered by a bespoke suit as an extension of their own personality.
“In recent times, bespoke suits have enjoyed lot of popularity with the young crowd aged 15 to 24 as at this age they want to try something unusual. Apart from this, those with high net worth individuals who live in a socially active society also enable the Indian bespoke industry as does the upper middle class,” says Rachit Sewani, Founder and Owner, Label It Custom.
A purposeful sense of individuality and uniqueness is what sets aside a bespoke experience from a homogeneous high street offering or even the expensive most factory produced apparel. In addition, bespoke suits are completely customized with utmost attention given to even the tiniest of detail.
“The whole point boils down to attention to the finest of details and the ability to customise even the smallest element. But in contemporary times, there is a growing awareness towards sustainability wherein clients would rather invest in a high quality product that is versatile and functional rather than selecting a low quality product that may be used only for a specific event or purpose,” says Sandeep Gonsalves, Director and Co-Founder, SS Homme.
Bespoke design in suits is a great concept for those who crave individuality.
“People who want to look great body-wise go for bespoke clothing as it assures them of 100 percent fit. Bespoke also opens the gate of imagination for the customers as they can design, experiment, innovate with colours and have a fit they desire which is next to impossible with ready to wear brands,” Sewani.
Bespoke clothing also serves to provide a more intimate relationship for the client with the brand, especially when it comes to luxury bespoke suits for these brands sell an experience.
“Bespoke clothing has evolved over the years to become more experience oriented than just being product specific. The main driver for this has being the explosion of the wedding market in India over the past decade and bespoke has made a huge come back. While fit still remains the biggest reason why people prefer bespoke, design has been getting a lot of relevance,” says Prem Dewan, Retail Head, OSL Luxury Collections Pvt. Ltd., the company which retails the brand Corneliani in India.
The Occasion Connection
When it comes to nuptials, nothing quite rivals the opulence of an Indian wedding. Big fat Indian weddings, as they are righteously referred to as, are epitome of grandiose and one of the biggest markets of exclusive fashion in India. Today, it is not just the bride and groom who prefer to sport something exquisite and unique, the kin and guests are at their exclusive best too.
“India requires a reason to wear a suit as opposed to other countries where suits are regular buys. But with events such as weddings and the availability of affordable customization, this market is slowly gaining in momentum,” says Sewani.
“Usually we see a lot of wedding wear and corporate clientele at the store. I would say the social demographic is split evenly amongst grooms, groomsmen looking for wedding garments and corporate clients looking for business suits,” reveals Gonsalves.
Bespoke suits are also popular among corporate workers since corporate offices emphasize on sharp dressing codes and bespoke suits fit the bill.
“The corporate world today accepts people who dress sharply for the workplace. The use of jackets is largely accepted, and they are often seen matched with fashionable formals, shirts and trousers. A wide range of jackets are available at all our PN Rao stores for the semi-formal line/fashion formal line with different hues, cuts and color with different fits suiting all body types and need. We see a lot of potential in this segment and are seriously looking at it to tap into the opportunity,” says Ketan Pishe, Partner, PN Rao.
The Bespoke Suits Market in India
The bespoke market in India is steadily scaling the ranks. The growing need for that perfect fit, awareness of best fabrics, quality international brands and companies offering impeccable bespoke products along with a higher detail of product understanding, have all led to this growth. It has been noticed that the customised suit segment is growing at a high rate, and its share is expected to increase in the next five years.
“Rising awareness in terms of fabrics, styles and fits especially in the professional space is largely becoming a huge audience for this market. The customised market in India is here to stay and is growing at a very fast rate due to the competitive pricing and the quality of the products,” says Gonsalves.
“Bespoke services are seeing a much higher demand. Customised services account for almost 15 percent of the US$ 250 million (Rs 1,300 crore) luxury apparel and accessories market in India,” states Sunil Mehra, Founder & Designer, House of Sunil Mehra.
Today, even small cities have the aspiration and the spending power so made-to-measure is no longer restricted to Tier-I cities. “Today, with the middle class becoming more affluent, the scope of customisation services in smaller cities is also growing at a rapid pace. The population of smaller cities have also started following the latest trends of the fashion market,” says Mehra.
According to Pishe, the trend starts from cities like Mumbai and Delhi for they have always stayed close to national and international fashion trends and then spreads out to rest of the country.
The big gap in the market between luxury brands and fast-fashion clothing has also been cited as a catalyst for the rapid growth of this industry. In a nutshell, the customised suits market in India is keeping pace with the elevated fashion conciseness of the Indian consumer. This has opened doors to a slew of breed of brands and designers who specialise in meeting the suave, modern consumer’s demand for a more fitted look. At the same time, it has also given rise to a healthy competition among the established names of this domain to up the ante on their products and services, stand out among their peers.
In contemporary times, investing in new technology has taken center stage in every industry across the globe. Rules of business are changing by the day and it is imperative that businesses identify and implement relevant technologies can create new value for them. Even industries like the bespoke suits industry, that draw chiefly on manual processes are impelled to utilise newfangled technology and machines to breast the sophistication and finesse that the cultivated modern consumers of this sphere demands.
“In terms of machinery and technology, we have a total of 10 machines, which are placed over the entire workshop space. We have eight sewing machines, one overlock machine and one fusing machine. With the advent of technology, there is a lot that can be offered in terms of bespoke clothing such as 3D technology and data storage to reinvent the entire process,” explains Gonsalves.
Brands like Label it Custom are also investing in the creative prowess of experienced designers to shell out unique products and create a niche. “We have our team of designers who innovate and churn out new styles every three months. We also heavily bank on cutting-edge laser cutting machines, button hole machines, etc., to ensure perfect finishing on the final product. We are very open to technical upgradations and would we definitely will be willing to try it out any new technology after having a pilot study,” says Sewani.
Label It Custom, which prides on dressing celebrities like Diljit Dosanjh, Akshay Kumar, and Shaan, stand out with an Omnichannel approach. The brand uses services of stylists to offer clients the luxury of ordering and giving measurements from the comfort of their homes. They have also introduced a digital measurement and trial machine through which clients can get the best possible fit and comfort.
PN Rao boasts of having a high first time right percentage and about 45 percent of its business consists of repeat customers. It also has a high referral of about 80 percent. “We offer the half canvas jacket as a standard at all our showrooms and the customer can opt for the full canvas jacket as well. There are very few tailors in the country who can make the full canvas jacket,” says Pishe.
At SS Homme – Sarah & Sandeep, design aesthetics that align with international standards and the influence of geometry is what makes the cut. “While our bespoke service is the most innovative and unique process, we also have a made-to-measure process which can get you a sharp garment in a span on 3-4 days,” states Gonsalves.
Corneliani aims to become the curators of Italian sophistication. Weightlessness is the dominant characteristic and specialty of the brand. Their garments are airy and built around an idea of subtle effortlessness.
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