Today, The Trend Is Shifting From Buying Just Functional Kids’ Apparel To Known Branded Range. Images Business Of Fashion Sees How Brands And Retailers In Market Are Expanding Their Product Portfolio To Attract New Customers.
What can be cuter than a newborn baby? A baby in a beautiful costume! Imagine your little darling in a blue and white flowing gown with big bows; the Wizard of Oz Dorothy costume. Or the cutest ever baby gnome to crawl in your drawing room in a vibrant jumpsuit with hat, detachable ears, beard and booties. Infants dressed up in cute clothes become an object of adoration. Fashion trends and apparel market has grown much in approach, that its impact has grown from making stylish kids wear and reached the infant clothing line.
Global & Indian Market for Infant Wear
Kidswear market, which also include the infant wear has demonstrated considerable resilience even during adverse situations. Infant wear refers to the clothing line of children from 0-12 months, toddler wear from 1-3 years and kidswear refer to clothing for children in the age group of 4-10. International retailers are exploring potential options for foray into the Indian infant wear market segment.
Metro cities such as Delhi, Mumbai,Bengaluru, Kolkata, and Chennai are promising markets for infant wear.UK-based specialty retailer targeting mothers-to-be and infants, Mothercare showed similar optimism when they entered India in 2006. The brand that operates through a joint venture with real estate firm, DLF as well as through a franchisee agreement with the country’s largest department store operator, Shoppers Stop work on three formats, i.e., standalone, shop-in-shop and outlets within larger stores.
Similarly, Mahindra Retail also forayed in the domestic market through its unique venture of Mom & Me stores which seeks to address mother and child product and services.
Generally parents prefer to dress their children reminiscent to their own selves. They also tend to purchase brands that are known to them. This gives latent opportunity for well established kids wear and even men and womenswear brands to enter the segment.
Parental aspiration to offer the best to their children is a major motivating factor. Today’s parents are more willing to indulge in pampering their new born with beautiful and expensive costumes. Dual income in majority of the households, growing number of nuclear families, increasing amount of disposable income of the parents, and a certain degree of brand consciousness are a few other factors that fuel the growth of infant wear. The trend of gift shopping is also a driving force behind the growth of this segment. Brand related investments, media publicity,entry of more foreign brands, and ethical improvement are likely to influence infant wear market growth in the future.
“Children’s wear has huge opportunity in India. However, to sustain a brand is a challenge,” said Rohit Mohanty, co-founder, Globe. Bengaluru-based firm Tech Midas Retail launched Globe in 2009. Touted as a large format stores friendly brand, it offers two separate range. The first range caters to 6-24 month-old infants and the second range is for kids up to 12 years of age.
Infant Wear Brands
With kids wear already gaining a prominent place in the Indian apparel segment; snooty brands are making a beeline into the infant wear segment. Retailers who are dedicated fully into kids wear are now exploring opportunities into the infant wear segment and are rolling out big plans. Clothing stores allocate more space for infant wear racks, and retailers plan more promotional activities.
Mumbai-based Me N Moms, started by Naresh Khattar in 1994 with a single store in Juhu, was the first domestic retail store for kids in true sense that catered to all the needs of a new born some 20 years ago when stores like these were not heard of. They retailed
Singapore-based brands like Tollyjoy and a few European brands too. Today, it has 12 company-owned-companyoperated retail stores operating in 6 cities. They have 12 distribution centres spread across the country supplying to over 600 outlets including superstores, hypermarkets, etc.
Later, they launched their brand, Mee Mee in 2006. It offers numerous products in infant and kids category with over 450 fast moving SKU that include infant apparels, accessories, furnitures and toys.
Likewise, Beautiful Garments commenced its operations in 1987. Theyspecialise in manufacturing garments for children under the brand name, Mama & Bebe. It has a state-or-art manufacturing unit with Japanese machinery. It manufactures for domestic clients like Trent, Pepe Clothing and Raymonds, while their international clients include Ding Dong, Ethel Austin and Bewise.
With an aim to produce high quality children’s wear at affordable prices, the kidswear brand Babiano was also established in the mid-80s (1985). It offers a wide range of products for infants from 0-3 years old. Babiano considers product quality as an essential part of their business. To ensure the best production practises and high quality products, they use only the finest material from high yarn count cotton to the best cotton blends. Hence, providing comfort and durability to their customers are their top priority.
Currently, infant wear market is experiencing a foray of notable high profile designers, interested in creating miniature versions of adult designs. Burberry, Armani, Ralph Lauren, and Jean Paul Gaultier are some of the leading brands in the global market.
International brands come with a hefty price tag, while similar clothing from Indian manufacturers is available at half the price, or even lesser. Local retailers are also joining the bandwagon.
Newborns have their own fashion, no more minimised fashion of kids wear. Fashion influence combined with attractive graphics and prints are illustrated in the collection. Organic baby clothing is much in trend at present. Not the 50 percent organic clothing, but 100 percent GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards) certified. Deepak Agarwal, CEO, Gron Stockholm India said, “When we entered India, there was hardly any awareness about organic wear. But the demand is growing significantly.” The European kidswear chain Gron Stockholm entered India through Agra-based partner Taj Needle Craft.
They offer a wide variety of organic cotton clothes for children. They proposes to make ‘organic’ popular among peoples by selling not only organic clothes but also organic concept, as the clothing is produced without harming nature and it is also good for huma skin because there is absolutely less use of chemicals. Their in-house brands include Geggamoja, Mijn, Bamboo Baby and Gron.
What are the hues in vogue for these little angels? Well, subtleness is the secret. Tiny stripes and bumblebee prints are much in style. Classic blue and pink for baby girls and boys will never fade away from the baby world, and muted beige shades will also add up to these hues. Along with these colors, a mix of cool greys can also be seen. A dash of bright shades are also used to make the clothes more attractive, but kept in a low profile.
Infant wear will become updated with fashionable prints, uneven stripes, and sketchy circles. Infant wear clothing also comes with co-ordinated accessories like caps, and socks. Though the price range for these clothing are extravagant, they are more preferred.
Cute, colourful, and fun to shop, market for infant wear is big and growing.