Fashion is the passion and big business in the massive Indian consumer market and manufacturing industry, among which the Indian lingerie retail market is estimated to be approximately Rs 15,000 crore now and growing at a CAGR of 20-25 <g data-gr-id="114">per cent</g>. Rising per capita income and change in lifestyle has increased demand for quality branded products. However, with the increasing exposure to international fashion trends, the Indian consumer today wants more than just need-based dressing in addition to old <g data-gr-id="115">parametres</g> like basic functionality, comfort and price, better look, perfect fit, and trendiness which have also become key purchase <g data-gr-id="116">parametres</g>. Innovations in casual wear products are primarily related to product design, colour selection options, and fibre mix.
Research have shown that while choosing a lingerie brand, customers are influenced not by the price but rather by key <g data-gr-id="145">parametres</g> such as product fit, quality, fabric, trendy and emotional connect. There is increasing health consciousness across all age groups and a marked shift from formal attire to comfort-oriented casual attire in urban India. Global trends reveal that customers’ prefer active wear that meet their need for continuous comfort. Consumers show less concern about the price of active wear. Apparels with performance features like odour resistance and moisture management find loyalty with customers.
The development that the Indian retail industry has witnessed, with apparel being the second largest category comprising 10 <g data-gr-id="146">per cent</g> of the entire $37 billion retail markets, gave the industry an impetus for the future. With an increase in consumer spends, the market is expected to grow by 12-15 <g data-gr-id="147">per cent</g> per year. Over the past two years, Sangam’s capacity expansion plans have become a reality and has propelled them to foray into new product segments, according to R P Soni, Chairman, Sangam India Limited.
Leveraging “Make In India” to tap this industry and also export markets, the $1 billion textile conglomerate Sangam (India) Limited announced its foray into the women’s branded apparel category with the launch of new aspirational brand “Channel Nine” – thereby introducing “seamless technology” in the country and the women’s intimate, active and casual wear category. “The latest world-class seamless technology has been imported from Italy for creating a new culture in intimate wear and active wear, that sets women free from uncomfortable side seams while giving them unrestricted freedom of movement in wardrobe like Intimate wear, <g data-gr-id="143">Active wear</g>, Yoga wear, <g data-gr-id="144">Shape wear</g>, Casual wear, Outwear, products for fitness, shaping and technical products,” said S N <g data-gr-id="142">Modani</g>, Managing Director, Sangam (India) Limited.
“Channel Nine is our Make in India, Gen-Next, seamless technology and our first, new brand for women. In this retail foray, Sangam India is venturing into the seamless garment segment, where we are in the process of achieving manufacturing volumes of 3.6 million units per annum. With our capacity expansion plans becoming a reality and thus propelling us to foray into new product segments, we intend to – through Channel Nine – make aggressive inroads into this industry while leveraging the Make in India initiative to target sales from international markets through exports.”
“Channel Nine represents the warp and woof to seamless garments journey in which this technology eliminates the process of fabric laying, cutting and sewing – thus saving time and providing garments having durability and functionality,” said V K Sodani, Executive Director, Sangam Limited. “Sangam has installed 36 circular knitting machines imported from Italy, the world leader in seamless knitting technology, and has an installed capacity to manufacture daily 10,000 pieces of seamless garment, which are used worldwide in the wellness industry, for yoga and sportswear.”
Noting that the Sangam Group is exporting to over 50 countries and enjoys a three-star Trading House Status, <g data-gr-id="117">Pranal</g> Modani, Sangam’s Chief of Business Development, said the Channel Nine brand would maintain international standards in design, quality and comfort while keeping the price points within reach of its target customers pan India through the Group’s vast distribution network including national retail chains, multi-brand outlets, exclusive brand outlets (EBOs) and online digital platforms including its very own E-commerce website www.channelnine.in. Describing Channel Nine as a result of painstaking research on needs, demands and aspiration of Indian women, he said: “this brand intended to establish a new outlook towards intimate wear, active wear and casual wear by blending seamlessly with women’s lifestyle today while meeting their aspirations in terms of range, colour and style”, he added.
Earlier, the Aditya Birla Group had launched – through its Birla Cellulose – the “Liva” brand where K K Maheshwari, Group Business Director, Fibres and Textiles, and Managing Director, GRASIM, stated that the business had a great long-term future and that Viscose Staple Fibre – once reckoned as a commodity, was increasingly moving to raise its share of value-added products and solutions.
Noting that LIVA would be the mother brand with variants, Maheshwari said that fibres and yarns produced in India get committed into end products or exported. “Of the Group’s total $40 million expenditure, about $12 million went towards fibres and yarns. The value chain needs to be developed as 70 <g data-gr-id="90">per cent</g> of our products are consumed in India itself. About $10 million of our business is consumer-phasing, customer-centric.
We have spent a tremendous amount of time, effort and money to ensure that the value chain – though fragmented – becomes strong. Brazil is the exporter of cotton, but their currency has gone down. Farmers need to get remunerative prices. We had to make a significant expenditure in the capital and recurring expenditure where we spent Rs 100 crores on our Taloja unit, and with the R&D facilities at Nagda, the total coming to Rs 150 crores. We have been stretching our manufacturing activities globally including Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and China, besides Turkey also being part of our strategic global planning to open a plant there.”
Describing the Pulp and Fibre business as an integral part of the Group, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Group Chairman, has stated that over the years, it has contributed significantly to the company’s growth. “We enjoy a leadership position with over 20 <g data-gr-id="109">per cent</g> of the world market share and, over the last three years, our investments have been in excess of Rs 4,300 crores with our capacities scaling close to one million tonnes per annum. Our consumer brands are over Rs 60,000 crore and with the launch of LIVA, we intend to establish the same connect with the end consumer while taking the entire value chain along with us.”
The reigning Miss Universe, Paulina Vega, came to India for a glamorous fashion show in Mumbai recently to showcase the fashion collection Miss Universe Collection of “Jealous 21”, the exclusive women’s wear brand from Indus league brand division of Future Lifestyle Fashions Ltd. The event showcased the signature collection of “being confident in your own skin” including embellished tops, crop tops, dresses along with stylised hip-fit Denim and glamorous evening wear for women. Rachna Agarwal, CEO, Indus League, Brand Division of Future Lifestyle Fashions Ltd. said: “We were looking to lift the glamour quotient of this brand and beauty with attitude, confidence while embodying Miss Universe values. Jealous 21 believes in the inherent strength of every woman and our collaboration with Miss Universe is a reflection of that belief. The Miss Universe Collection offers young girls the opportunity to feel beautiful and confident, and to experience first hand the style and the glamour of wearing a collection endorsed by Miss Universe Paulina Vega.”
Expressing excitement at being able to help launch her new partnership with Jealous 21, Miss Universe 2014, Paulina Vega, said this was her first trip to India and this new collection was bold, glamorous, and expressed a confidently beautiful attitude. “I hope young girls in India love this new collection and will embrace their attitude in style.” Replying to questions, she said: “I will join Bollywood if they invite me. As for my style, it’s sporty. My greatest achievement is winning this Miss Universe award which is a tool for bigger things in life like education and helping society in a bigger way – especially children.”
Bollywood celebrity and designer Masaba joined hands with Anouk, a fashion brand from Myntra, in unveiling their latest collection for the new age women, which masterfully combined the quirky designs of Masaba and the contemporary ethnic styles of Anouk. The trendsetting signature line “Masaba for Anouk” highlighted stylish apparel in bright colours and quirky patterns, bringing cheer to traditional ethnic wear.
The “Masaba for Anouk” collection explores Masaba’s signature usage of strikingly unique motifs that capture her fascination like the lock and key, parrots, sunflowers and pointed pencils. The trendy apparel ranges from kurtas and SKD’s to dhoti pants, tops, palazzo pants and jumpsuits. The silhouettes are sharp and geometric, its etched symmetry drawing vision to follow the lines.
Masaba, who was announced as Creative Director of Anouk in October 2014, told Millennium Post that the new collection fashion pieces – which were strictly for the Indian market – would be sold at between Rs 1,399 to Rs 4,199, though the future would see these prices coming down through her newer fashion collections.
Describing the rationale behind the new collection and her involvement in the brand, she said: “The inspiration was a mix of many stories. The lock and key motif with parrots, lot of florals and pencils are all designed in a unique manner and add to the quirk quotient. They are not rigidly strewn across the <g data-gr-id="154">canvas,</g> but made to freely interact with the elements of the design, like for instance; parrots perched on pencils, holding locks in their beak. This collection is close to me as Anouk personifies every young Indian woman who I like to speak to through my designs. She has a passion for life, a flair for fashion and loves unique bold design concepts. I’m happy to have designed a collection which brings out her many facets and the intense colour palette reflects her profound persona.”
Abhishek Verma, Head, Myntra Fashion Brands said that this collection, in collaboration with Masaba, highlighted unique styles for the contemporary woman and would add a new dimension in the fashion trends while offering women shoppers the very best of chic traditional styles. “The Masaba for Anouk collection is available exclusively on the Myntra App, which is among leading e-commerce platforms in India for fashion and lifestyle products and has partnered with over 1,300 leading fashion and lifestyle brands in India including Nike, Adidas, Puma, Lee, Levis, Wrangler, Arrow, Jealous 21, Diesel, CAT, Timberland, US Polo, FabIndia, Biba and others. The platform receives over 90 million visits every month and its delivery network extends to over 20,000 serviceable areas across the country,” he added.
Meanwhile, fashion jewellery made its own statement at another event which – for the first time ever – displayed 1,000 years of jewellery being viewed at the click of a button in Mumbai as Velvetcase.com was launched by Bollywood actress Kriti Sanon with over 30 leading global jewellery retailers and designers going online, This is a first in the jewellery e-commerce industry worldwide, where such a large number of leading jewellery retailers and designers will go digital on a common platform creating the largest marketplace for fine jewellery today.
VelvetCase.com brought together the largest gathering of the who’s who of jewellery retailers and designers to provide consumers the widest and best variety in fine jewellery from around the world. India’s premier jewellers such as Anmol, Zoya by Tanishq, Gemfields, <g data-gr-id="118">Coriza</g> by Minawala, Waman Hari Pethe, Tanya Rastogi by Lala Jugal Kishore, Neha Lulla, Laksh Pahuja – along with Jane Gordon & <g data-gr-id="119">Minsun</g> from New York – amongst many others have now become accessible to a global clientele on this online portal, which already hosts over 100 designers, and 65,000 products, making it the “largest collection of precious jewellery online.”
Fashion-forward Bollywood actress Kriti Sanon was the guest of honour at the event along with the co-founders of VelvetCase.com, Kapil Hetamsaria and <g data-gr-id="108">Runit</g> Shah, to unveil the many designers going live. “Being the largest global online marketplace for fine jewellery, this portal has not only added variations but also become a one-stop destination to cater to fine jewellery seekers and great connoisseurs of fine jewellery.
With the launch of this mobile app, one just needs a phone to avoid the tussle of starting a laptop or desktop. Also, it would rope in people on the go who can just access the app and wait for jewellery to be delivered just after one tap.” said Kriti on the occasion.
Kapil Hetamsaria, Co-Founder and CEO, Velvetcase.com said: “We are thrilled to be pioneering the richest experience in jewellery discovery and buying for our consumers worldwide. Now, a consumer from France can buy jewellery from a designer in Bhopal. It’s truly exciting to create this borderless marketplace.”
“We are excited to open up the endless possibilities inherent in the online platform. Our expertise in technology, marketing and global logistics is the perfect complement to our partners’ legacy of over 1000 years in the world of jewellery,” said <g data-gr-id="87">Runit</g> Shah, Co-Founder and COO, VelvetCase.com.