Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cultural craftsmanship

ColorPlus honors its heritage of quality with a new authenticity-inspired flagship set to dress the modern Indian male 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Ethnic wear makers sew up ‘fusion’ plans to woo youth

FRDC works with well known Ethnic brands like Neerus and Biba to reinvent retail design and brand touch points for ever changing customer profiles. Working on new Biba genex store design Sanjay Agarwal of FRDC says-" Biba's new generation stores will be a fusion of contemporary India with Traditional ethos and a western mindset"..The translation of architecture has been inspired from Indian customs but modern materials.

 Twenty three-year-old Manish prefers to buy the modern short kurtas which he can effortlessly wear with a pair of jeans rather than traditional ethnic wear. He doesn’t mind replacing his formal shirt with a casual one.
With a large number of youth opting for the Indo-western wear look, ethnic wear makers are fast adopting new designs and apparels to woo them. Fusion wear – fabric-based formal shirts or Chinese-cut kurtas – are increasingly becoming the order of the day.
Market sources point out that the ethnic wear industry is estimated to grow to Rs 45,000 crore by March 2013. However, organised retail, which can cater to this growing number, is still a small percentage of it.
According to Mohit Tikmany, CEO of Kolkata-based Prapti Fashions Ltd, Indo-western look is the flavour of the season. Prapti has already introduced short kurtas in bright colours, embroidered outfits and Indo-western wear.
“Those in 18-30 years age group are going for Indo-western ethnic wear and more so on experimental basis. This is expected to be a big contributor for us,” Tikmany told Business Line.
Delhi-based Fabindia Overseas Pvt Ltd is another company that has been combining its ethnic wear offerings along with the Western tastes. The brand started off with home d├ęcor offerings, but now also has men’s shirts, kurtas and traditional ethnic wear. It recently introduced casual trousers for men while it plans to come out with a range of Nehru cut jackets (with and without sleeves) and trousers soon. In the women’s wear segment too it has the high street range for women apart from the traditional kurtis which can be worn with both leggings and denims.
“In case of our apparels, the cuts and designs are international. Moreover, all apparels are fabric based. With the youth ready to experiment with their looks makes this a very interesting category,” a Fabindia spokesperson said.
According to Siddhartha Bindra, Managing Director, BIBA, youth is rapidly emerging as a major segment for them. While it currently accounts for about five per cent of the total sales, this percentage to go up to 10-15 per cent in the next 2-3 years.
“It is a highly price sensitive category and so we are trying to price our products aggressively as well as increase the portfolio,” he added. BIBA products are priced between Rs 399 and Rs 699.

Shree Narayan Sabharwal is Business Head, Simba Toys

FRDC is retained by Simba, Germany to provide Retail Design and Communication services on  long term basis in Indian market. Speaking on this occassion Mr. Sanjay Agarwal of FRDC says "We understand Simba's aim to shake up Indian toys market and to help them, our team with International competency is spearheading the design initiative for them".

International toy-maker Simba Toys has appointed Shree Narayan Sabharwal as its Business Head in India.
Sabharwal joins Simba from Future Group, where he headed the toys and sports category, across all formats such as Big Bazaar, Pantaloon, Central and Home Town.
He has also worked with Arcus Stores, Times Guarantee in the past. With a specialisation in toys and sports, Sabharwal brings with him over 15 years of retail experience.
Sabharwal will be responsible for the overall operations and expansion of Simba Toys in India, including sales, marketing, distribution, brand expansion and strategic tie-ups.
“India is the first market worldwide where we are experimenting with the retail model and opening retail chains. Shree brings with him over 15 years of retail experience with a specialisation in toys and sports where he has achieved remarkable success. We look forward to him leading Simba Toys growth in one of the world's most dynamic and fastest-growing markets,” said Ben Nabert, CEO, Simba Toys.

ColorPlus goes in for a new retail identity

FRDC worked with Global firm Gensler to create Color Plus's new pilot stores. The first set of pilot stores opened in Chennai and Bangalore last month. The store design is start of a new chapter in Indian retail design, where currently 'blingy' and 'be loud' is considered as beautiful. Understated and artistically sophisticated Color Plus stores appeal to its target customers.

    Hetal Kotak
 It will provide ‘a sense of space and freedom’ to customers
ColorPlus Fashions Ltd., a subsidiary of Raymond, has gone in for a quiet re-jig of its retail and product strategy in the wake of a subtle shift in the dress sense of the Indian man.
According to Hetal Kotak, Chief Operating Officer of ColorPlus, Indians are increasingly becoming health and fitness-conscious. The modern global Indian, who has been exposed to international tastes and trends, thanks to the spread of Internet culture and increased travelling overseas, is also playing the ‘influencer’ role, and sets the agenda for the elder members of the family. The growth of the entrepreneurial class and the loosening of dress codes in India Inc, too, have brought about a paradigm shift in the dress culture of Indian men. 

These have, according to Mr. Kotak, triggered a move towards tailored-fit wears. The Rs.200-crore ColorPlus has indeed seen the demand for tailored-fit wears go up considerably in the recent past. So much so, around 45 per cent of its revenue now comes from the sale of tailored-fits. Not long ago tailored-fits were contributing to just around 15 per cent of the company’s sales.
Asserting the ‘classic and yet contemporary’ undertone of brand ColorPlus, Mr. Kotak said, “Colour, comfort and craftsmanship” remained the core design philosophy of the company. Besides the tailored-fit, it had in its portfolio classic and sports fits as well. Roughly around 10 per cent of its sales came from sports fits, a new addition. Category-wise, 80 per cent the revenue came from smart casuals, he said. Smart formals and sports wears contributed 10 per cent each to the sales, he added. “The personality of our brand is smart casual,” he said. “We don’t follow every fashion fad. The ability to say ‘no’ to fads is a critical challenge,” he pointed out. “ColorPlus got into tailored-fits a few seasons ago. But it has gained momentum in the last six months,” he added. “The 30 to 45 age group is the core belly of the brand,” he said.
Fielding a range of questions, Mr. Kotak said ColorPlus was going in for a new retail identity. A pilot was on at its store here, he added. ColorPlus would test the concept in each zone, he said. The national roll-out would happen once the pilots were tested for efficacy, he added. “This retail identity is a response to India’s evolving dressing and fashion trends. The store helps customers select a look and not just a product. Products will be the key focus of the new retail identity,” he said. All props at the store were yarn and product-based and not just plain architectural elements, he added. The new retail identity would provide “a sense of space and freedom” to customers.