The cult fashion label is ready to make its debut in India. Jamie Lloyd, MD, Religion clothing divulges more on their marketing strategy, promotional plans and collections that they plan to offer to the indian clientele.
The London-based fashion label Religion Clothing is influenced by the British heritage, devoted to the pursuit of individual style, and inspired by the street culture. Founded in the early ’90s, it draws inspiration from London’s east end and international street culture that has been essential in shaping the core of the brand. After luring many international celebrities, such as Agyness Dean, Rihanna and Rita Ora, Religion Clothing is all set to foray into the Indian market with Delhi-based consulting firm Inventure. The management consulting fi rm has experience of more than 18 years in varied industries and is looking at the rising awareness of fashion in India. In a quick conversation with the brand’s managing director Jamie Lloyd, let us know more about the brand and what it has to offer to its Indian clientele.
We know Religion as a cult British brand. How would you defi ne it further?
Fashion in England is not something that is handed to you on a plate. London is the most fashion-creative part and lot of people have their own taste of what they want to do. It is creative in the way something is worn with the mix and match of various fashion elements. For instance, people spot someone looking quite chic and that can be entirely creative urge on the part of the individual. That might not be taken from a high-end designer or a high-end chain because in England they are aggressive with their design development. They see a design, pick it up, work around it and then we see someone walking down the streets wearing that design. It is a very fast moving environment and that is the kind of setting we come from.
How successful you have been in this endeavour?
I would say, pretty successful! The company has seen an organic growth. It is not the kind of brand that you can simply supercharge. There has to be an element of organic produce because that is the DNA and philosophy of the brand. There has to be a bespoke element in everything that we do, be it in terms of the product, in terms of the shop-in-shop or anything that we do. In our products, there is handwork, a lot of embellishment done by hand. So there is always an artistic aspect to the product. I would say that being characteristic is also the structure of the company.
What inspired you to enter the Indian fashion industry?
India is one of the fastest growing fashion industries in the world. Especially, the youth is adopting and responding to the latest fashion trends very well. Since the Internet is a strong medium, people are aware of the latest in international fashion too.
When are you launching Religion Clothing in India? Also, which cities do you plan to target?
The process is in its advance stages and the team is working aggressively to introduce the brand in India. By the end of 2014, we will have Religion Clothing in the country. As I already mentioned that the Internet has a strong infl uence over the people, hence we will launch the brand pan India through the online medium.
Apart from India, what other countries are you targeting to expand?
We are looking at China and most of the South East Asia. Today, everyone is plugged to the Internet and people know what they want. So, we get huge response from countries like Russia too. People keep asking where they can purchase Religion products from. We are receiving good response and are also working on our expansion plans.
Do you have a manufacturing unit in India?
We are ready to manufacture the brand in India. In fact, we are already producing almost 30 percent of our womenswear in India. The team we are dealing with is based in Delhi. So, we will emphasise on the working relation with the manufacturing base. Also, I do understand what exactly we need from them, which is not easy to explain to people. Apart from India, we produce in Europe, Bali, Hong Kong and a many other places. It depends as some products are best made in certain parts of the world and a few made best in
other parts of the world.
What is your marketing strategy going to be for India?
To be honest, I am not familiar with the available options in India. However, as per my understanding, the population is Internet savvy. Hence, the Internet and social media would be the appropriate options to reach out to the target audience. We believe the key is to provide an interactive platform to the customers.
We will also follow the traditional form of advertising. In my view, nothing is more powerful and targeted than positioning a store in the right place and environment. It connects you with your audience at the place where they will spend the money.
How do you plan to promote the brand in a country like India?
Of course, through social media as the Internet is a very powerful tool. Other than that, we believe celebrity endorsements are a great option because the people who tend to enjoy fashion products the most are from the fashion fraternity, actors, celebrities, media, artists, performers, et al. They recognise the value of the design element of Religion Clothing.