There is a fair amount of experimentation taking place in the apparel sector and Disney seems to be spearheading the revolution, trying to appeal to even adults who want to stay young. Roshini Bakshi, Managing Director, Licensing and Retail, Disney UTV, tells us how to cater to all age groups with a common offering, something they’ve managed to achieve successfully.
We have extensive presence in adult fashion across markets like the US, China, Europe, and Japan. The product categories span across apparel, footwear, sleepwear, and accessories. Through collaborations with leading designers, influencers, licensees, manufacturers, and retailers, Disney delivers a stunning fashion portfolio and array of brands that weave Disney’s magic into everyday lives. India as a market shows fashion trends similar to the international markets.
Indian youth is becoming more and more aware about the global brands and wants to own products that are trend-setting and encouraging. Our apparel and accessories range cuts across ages – from new born babies to toddlers, tweens, teens and youth. The range is customised keeping in mind the tastes and popularity of our characters amongst our fans across ages. We launched the adult fashion range after doing a consumer research.
Our vision is to make Disney a much sort after fashion brand for the youth in India. Much like the route Disney has taken in markets like Europe, Japan, China, where Disney is perceived as an adult fashion brand. It is very important to work with the appropriate partners and to bring out fashion range that appeals to the youth. Globally we have worked with Forever 21 for Minnie Muse collection, Zara, Benetton, D & G, Mango, Tommy Hilfiger and many more.
In India, we recently launched a fun and stylish collection of t-shirts for men and women with Cotton World, Myntra, Lifestyle to name a few and fun accessories like bags and scarves for women. The range is inspired by the classic Disney characters such as Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Marvel Super Heroes, which includes Iron Man, Spider-Man, Hulk and more.
The Indian fashion industry is poised to grow with the youth population in India being over 60 percent i.e. more than 60 percent population is under 25 years. This clearly means that India is a very high potential fashion market. Our target clientele is adult fans who are in love with our characters and stories and want to relive their memories in a very fashionable way.
More Opportunities than Challenges
We see a lot of opportunities in a market like India. Our consumer research clear shows us that our characters and stories have timeless appeal and are liked by adult fans. Disney is a leader in character led fashion in India and we are thrilled with the response we got from our adult fans for the fashion range that we launched few months back. The range included apparel – dresses, t-shirts, tops, jackets and accessories such as bags and scarves.We will continue to push the boundaries and grow our adult fashion category in the country.
Trends are forecasted by Trade Shows such as Premier Vision and Magic along with Trend Forecasting Companies; Promostyl, WGSN and Style Sight to name a few. Our Disney global team visits these trade shows and they convert these into style guides/ art, which is then shared with all the global offices
Disney is a creative power house and as we continue to extend our brand to fans across age groups we constantly innovate, design renditions of the world’s most loved characters to appeal to our fans in the country. For our team here, creativity lies in being able to conceptualize different interpretations of our characters for e.g. Mickey Mouse in a category like apparel, is given a treatment in such a way that it appeals to a 5 year old and also to a 25 year old.
The team works in sync with global teams with constant engagement with the Europe and Japan teams. For us the most important factor is to be in sync with the best practices and filter what is relevant for the Indian consumers. One design that became a rage is our vintage Mickey Mouse that caught on like fire with young adults and also with the fashion designers across the world.
Importance of Fashion weeks
Fashion weeks are extremely important for us. Through fashion weeks we get to showcase how Disney as a brand can be interpreted in a youthful manner. It also helps us drive awareness amongst key opinion leaders. Last year, Disney tied-up with Lakme Fashion Week for a contemporary range of fashion apparel and accessories inspired by Mickey & Minnie and designed by Little Shilpa and Nitin Bal Chauhan. Besides Lakme Fashion week, Disney has also collaborated with London Fashion week, New York Fashion week and many more.