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Seven casual wear brands that can’t be taken casually

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The apparel market size in India in 2016 was estimated to be Rs 2,90,000 crore which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.7 per cent to reach Rs 4,66,000 crore and Rs 7,48,000 crore by 2021 and 2026 respectively. Of the total apparel market in 2015, men’s wear accounted for 41 per cent, women’s wear accounted for 38 per cent and kidswear accounted for 21 per cent.

Seven casual wear brands that can't be taken casually
The change in work culture is offering immense potential for the manufacturers of casual wear

Casual Wear Rising

Within the overall apparel market, the Indian casual wear market has evolved significantly over the last couple of years. The industry has witnessed rapid growth, triggered by increasing usage of casual wear by fashion conscious employees of major MNC’s due to the relaxation of dress codes. The change in work culture is offering immense potential for the manufacturers of casual wear. These brands are growing across all segments of the Indian market (premium, medium and value for money). International brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Espirit have seen steady growth over the years in their casual wear segment. Other brands such as Calvin Klein and Guess are increasing their footprints in this segment. Even premium brands such as Mango, Zara and Arrow have introduced casual wear at the entry level to attract first time consumers.

The Way Ahead for Casual Wear

The Indian casual wear market is booming and the rural markets will play a pivotal role in this growth story. Factors including a growing middle class population, rising disposable income, increasing brand awareness among the consumers in terms of quality and up-gradation of service standards, rapid shift from tailored to ready-to-wear suits, the growing service sector ensure promising future for casual wear segment. There is a huge scope for product innovation within the casual wear segment. India has become a market with a plethora of opportunities and brands and retailers who understand the needs of Indian customers better are expected to leverage the opportunities to derive growth.

Seven casual wear brands that can't be taken casually

Being Human, a clothing line with a heart, was launched by Salman Khan in 2012. Globally licensed to Mandhana Retail Ventures Ltd., it has its footprints in over 15 countries with over 550 point-of-sales. Royalties from merchandise sale give impetus to the initiatives of Being Human-The Salman Khan Foundation in India, dedicated to the twin causes of education and healthcare for the underprivileged. This unique business model finds an instant international connect, acceptance and appreciation. The ability to look good and do good at the same time empowers consumers globally and wins their hearts. It is retailed across multiple channels including exclusive stores, shop-in-shops, distributor networks and e-commerce websites internationally and in India. With its trend-setting international design, impeccable quality and customer friendly retail environment, the brand is truly global in spirit and offers top-notch apparel and accessories for both men and women.

USP and Target Consumer

The brand’s USP is celebrity, charity and fashion. The customer base consists of people who believe in international fashion and follow the latest trends, however they believe in doing good too by helping the brand’s charity initiatives of healthcare and education. Hence they ‘Look Good and Do Good’.

Retail Mapping

Pan India, Being Human has 60 exclusive brand outlets (including franchise outlets), 262 SISs including LFS and MBOs. Nationally, the brand has 8 distributors serving 104 retailers. Area wise, the brand enjoys strong demand in North, West and East. The brand has also registered a rising response from Tier-II and -III cities. Being Human’s online partners include Myntra, Jabong, etc. The brand is also present internationally in Mauritius, Nepal, France and the Middle East.

Domestic Retail Expansion Plans

Being Human plans to open 40 to 50 exclusive stores in the next 2 to 3 years.

Seven casual wear brands that can't be taken casually

GAP, one of the world’s most iconic apparel and accessories brands, was founded in San Francisco in 1969. Beginning with the first international store in London in 1987, GAP continues to connect with customers online and across the brand’s about 1,700 company-operated and franchise retail locations around the world. GAP includes women’s and men’s apparel and accessories, GAPKids, babyGAP, GAPMaternity, GAPBody and GAPFit collections. GAP was launched in India in May 2015 and quickly scaled upto 11 stores over 10 months. In October 2016, the brand launched gap.nnnow.com to retail through the omni-channel route, and has recently launched on market place via amazon.in. The expansions across the channels has occured in a brief 2 years span, allowing the customers access to GAP through multiple channels.

Target Consumer

GAP is the authority on classic American style and presents a line of denim and classic casual apparel and accessories for men, women, kids and babies. The GAP consumer is SEC A+, A and B+, ranging in the ages of 0-40.

Retail Mapping

GAP retails online through Amazon. in and GAP.nnnow.com. It is present in metros and Tier-I markets through physical stores. Of late, the brand also has launched stores in two Tier -II cities which include Indore and Pune.

Domestic Retail Expansion Plans

GAP plans to continue expanding into Tier-I and -II markets, along with offering the brand’s reach to 1,000s of postcodes.

Omnichannel Presence

GAP currently retails online through Amazon.in and nnnow.com. It offers customers the flexibility of click and collect in-store, or shipping to their postcode. Additionally through the omni-channel, the brand is able to offer customers an endless aisle of products, i.e., the entire range of GAP products are available to customers. The brand also is able to manage missing sizes — as the best available size is fulfilled from the closest store/warehouse. This allows year round availability of product and ensures that a sale opportunity is never missed.

Seven casual wear brands that can't be taken casually

Started in 1990, Jack & Jones is a democratic jeans brand that helps fashion conscious men create their own personal style. Today, Jack & Jones is one of the Europe’s leading producers of men’s wear with more than 1,000 stores in 38 countries with products being sold by thousands of wholesale partners all over the world. In India, Jack & Jones was introduced in the year 2008. The brand continues to have a high level of expertise when it comes to the craftsmanship, quality and design of jeans. Over the past few years, Jack & Jones, through its marketing activities, has built a perception of being a disruptive, rebellious and an edgy brand.

Target Consumer

The brand targets men who want to flaunt their individual style statement.

Retail Mapping

The brand currently has 66 stores and 251 shop-in-shops spread across the country. Available at leading online partners along with own website for e-commerce, Jack & Jones is present in 38 countries globally.

Domestic Retail Expansion Plans

Jack & Jones continues to look forward to explore opportunities in new markets, especially in Tier-II and -III cities.

Technology Deployment

Technology is positively contributing to almost all functions of the retail business like operations, supply chain management, marketing, customer accessibility, etc. E-commerce has allowed the brand to reach the consumers in places where physical stores are not feasible. Jack & Jones is currently working on its Omnichannel strategy.

Seven casual wear brands that can't be taken casually

In 1933, René Lacoste, a French tennis legend and André Gillier, the owner and President of the largest French knitwear manufacturing firm of that time, set up a company to manufacture the prominent logo-embroidered shirt. The champion had originally designed this for his own use on the tennis court, golf and sailing. This was the first time that a brand name appeared on the outside of an article of clothing – an idea which has since become extremely successful. This shirt revolutionized men’s sportswear and soon replaced the woven fabric, long-sleeved, starched classic shirts. Today, it continues to offer the same quality, comfort and solidity on which it built its name. Lacoste believes in providing a superlative experience to its customers and hence is very selective about the retail areas. In India, the brand has one or two flagship boutiques in each of the key cities, i.e., Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Pune, with approx. 1,200-1,500 sq.ft. boutiques in other key retail developments.

Target Consumer

Lacoste caters to men and women who possess an active life-style and desire comfortable, affordable yet qualitative, timeless products to accompany them in the different moments of their daily lives. Lacoste products assist these individuals in expressing their lifestyle that encompasses elegance, refinement, comfort and quality to the outer world.

Retail Mapping

Lacoste has selective distribution policy which is essential to keep the exclusive positioning of the brand. The distribution strategy is led by one or two flagship stores in each of the key cities, i.e., Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Pune in India, with approx. 1,200-1,500 sq.ft. boutiques in other key retail developments. The brand also has a digital flagship store (online store) in India. Lacoste is present in international markets across 120 countries wherein 2 Lacoste products are sold every second. In India, the brand sells one product every 2 minutes.

Domestic Retail Expansion Plans

Delhi and Mumbai being the most important markets, the brand has much deeper penetration in these markets and intends to expand further. It is keenly watching the premium developments in Tier-I and Tier-II cities, both in terms of consumer demographics and psychographics, and also in relevant retail developments. The brand is open to exploring store opening at any location in India where like-minded brands are present and quality infrastructure is available.

Technology Deployment

Technology has played a phenomenal role in the fashion industry for both the customers as well as sellers. With the emergence of the online podium, the industry has provided a convenient shopping and less time-consuming experience to the customers. Data availability and analysis ensure understanding of customers’ buying patterns and future forecast is relatively better planned. The age-old principles of good quality product, great customer service assisted by new technological tools provide a perfect blend to bring a smile to customers’ and sellers’ face.

Omnichannel Presence

Besides retail boutiques, the brand also has its digital flagship store (online store) in India which has certainly aided the sales in the country while offering convenience to our patrons.

Seven casual wear brands that can't be taken casually

Lee Cooper is an authentic British denim brand which has been catering to the youth and their celebrity icons since 1908. Creating specialised cuts and innovative new styles has always been at the core of the brand. Innovation, originality, style, attitude and comfort have been the ideologies that have always been at the core, resulting in the creation of jeans such as flexible denim, water resistant denim and reverso jeans. Lee Cooper entered India through a licensee agreement with Future Lifestyle Fashion Ltd. In 2007. Today, the brand is retailed out of more than 6,000 outlets worldwide in nearly 100 countries.

USP and Target Consumer

In India, the USP of the brand lies in the fact that apart from having a very strong foothold in men’s category, its women’s line has got a very exciting response, being by far the best accepted brand in key premium retail chains like Central. Lee Cooper’s kids range is also doing exceptionally well across chains like Lifestyle and Central.

Lee Cooper considers the young and youthful, who exuberate attitude and confidence at all times as its core target consumer. Looking cool without trying too hard is the mindset that the brand’s customers live with and hence being on-trend is what matters the most to them.

Retail Mapping

Lee Cooper has a global presence in more than 100 countries. In India, the brand is present in more than 150 cities including primary markets like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Delhi and Chennai. Lee Cooper retails through large format stores including Central, Lifestyle, Reliance, etc. with majority of business coming from department stores. The brand has SIS presence of more than 1,200 doors. The brand is also planning to expand in Tier-II and -III towns in times to come. Lee Cooper also retails through major e-commerce websites like Jabong, Myntra, Amazon and Flipkart.

Domestic Retail Expansion Plans

Lee Cooper boasts of an extensive presence across India and the brand’s key focus is to drive organic growth, that is, growth from existing doors with penetration of newer lines and sharper product offerings across categories in men’s, women’s and kids’ segments. In terms of inorganic growth, the brand is planning to add around 500 doors spread across LFS and EBO channels within the next 2-3 years.

Share of Casual Wear in Total Revenue

Around 40 percent of the total business of the brand comes from its casual wear range.

Seven casual wear brands that can't be taken casually

A brand known for its classic styling, premium fabrics, trendy collections and offering runway styles at affordable prices, Vero Moda was launched in 1987 and soon became one of Europe’s largest women’s wear clothing brands. Vero Moda’s healthy and successful start provided a solid foundation for the continuing expansion and success of the brand. The brand entered India in 2010 and ever since, it has been recognized as one of the most admired women’s western wear fashion brands consecutively for four years in India. Apart from this, the brand has won numerous accolades in digital marketing and integrated marketing campaigns.

Target Consumer and USP

The Vero Moda woman is the one who uses fashion as a tool to sharply demonstrate her personality. Vero Moda caters to the needs of the self-driven and ambitious woman who looks for fashion that is effortlessly chic, smart and structured attires that allow her to sail through a busy day. Fashion at Vero Moda is distinctively tailormade with an eclectic mix of the season’s trendiest fashion statements and classic wardrobe staples.

Retail Mapping

The brand currently has 64 stores and 176 shop-in-shops spread across the country. The brand is also available at most leading online stores apart from its own website for e-commerce. Globally, Vero Moda is present in 45 countries.

Domestic Retail Expansion Plans

The brand continues to look forward to explore opportunities in new markets especially in Tier-II and -III cities.

Technology Deployment

Technology is positively contributing to almost all functions of the retail business like operations, supply chain management, marketing, customer accessibility, etc. E-commerce, for example, has allowed brands to reach consumers in places where physical stores are not feasible. Vero Moda is currently working on its Omnichannel strategy.

Omnichannel Presence

Vero Moda’s partnership with Tata CLiQ is one of the strategic alliances in the omnichannel approach. Once ordered on Tata CLiQ , the customer gets the option of either getting the products delivered to him within six hours or collecting the product from the store. The focus is to be as close to the customers as possible.

Seven casual wear brands that can't be taken casually

Founded in 2012, Universal Sportsbiz Private Limited (USPL) consolidated three celebrity fashion brands under its retail umbrella. USPL, a celebrity commerce company, co-founded by Anjana Reddy and Sachin Tendulkar, has Accel Partners on its board. The brand portfolio includes Wrogn, a men’s casual wear brand inspired and co-owned by Virat Kohli; Imara, a contemporary women’s ethnic and fusion wear brand with Shraddha Kapoor; and Ms. Taken, a women’s western wear by Kriti Sanon.

Target Consumer

Wrogn is a casual wear, sophisticated youth fashion brand, for open-minded and progressive men. It targets men in the age group of 22 to 28 years. Wrogn is India’s most quirky youth fashion brand and does not wear blinders and questions everything. Fashion is personal and may vary from one person to other, based on region, skin type, size and other matrix. Wrogn defines the consumer idices with theneedful requirement catering to the consumer segments accordingly.

Retail Mapping

Wrogn is retailed across 34 cities nationally through e-commerce websites like Myntra, Jabong, Flipkart, through large format retail stores like Shoppers Stop, through its brand website along with its exclusive brand store. Wrogn has a strong market share in the South followed by the West, East and the North respectively with contribution as high as 40 percent coming in from Tier-II and -III markets. Wrogn is currently retailed in India only.

Domestic Retail Expansion Plans

Wrogn is planning to have 100 exclusive brand stores in the next 3-4 years. It also plans to set a global footprint into other countries in the Middle-East, Europe and South East Asia.

Technology Deployment

The brand uses technology to map the colours, silhouettes, patterns and stories apart from the price matrix, sizes, etc. to plan its offering. Tech becomes an intrinsic part of the analysis as the mapping is routed across the respective men’s casual wear category across various brands. Wrogn has adopted software to define the above matrices apart from the stock replenishment module.

Omnichannel Presence

The strategy has largely been through its exclusive brand store and the brand website where the purchasers are mapped and recognised on both platforms for re-targeting with the offering of products. The Omnichannel initiatives are largely activation led to allow the customers to avail offers using the same mode of gratification through online and offline. In the FY 17-18, the brand plans to include a higher involvement from other channels of sales as well.