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Indeed a bestseller of casualwear too

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Vineet Gautam, Country Head, Bestseller India talks to Images Business of Fashion about the casualwear collection offered by his different brands – Only, Vero Moda and Jack & Jones. By Rosy Ngaihte Sharma

Renowned for fast affordable fashion, Bestseller might be present with just three brands in India Only, Vero Moda and Jack & Jones; whilst it has a multitude of brands like Adpt, First and I, Junarose, Jaqueline De Yong, Little Pieces, LP Boys, Mamalicious, Minimize, Name It, Name It Limited, Noisy May, Object Collectors Item, Only Play, Only & Sons, Outfitters Nation, Pieces, Produkt, Selected, Vila Ila Clothes, Y.A.S and Y.A.S Sport.

Founded in 1975 in Denmark, it market its products in 70 markets across Europe, the Middle East, Canada, India and globally via e-commerce. The company has more than 3,000 branded chain stores across 38 markets worldwide and their products are sold in approximately 15,000 multi-brand and department stores.
Images Business of Fashion talks to Vineet Gautam, Country Head, Bestseller India, about the casualwear collection offered by the different brands of the comapnay in India.

Excerpts from the interview:
What do each of the brands in the Bestseller portfolio (Only, Vero Moda, Jack & Jones) stand for?
Vineet Gautam (VG): Only: Only has a unique identity and is known for its garments that represent the core personality of feminine strength, self-confidence and style. Known for its remarkable high-street denim collection across the world, Only has transformed into a complete fashion brand offering a whole range of stylish apparel for the fashion forward young woman.

Vero Moda: Chic, modern and Danish, Vero Moda is all about rebooting your wardrobe with fresh basics and supped-up tailoring. It offers quality and classic fits for the young woman, mixing these basics with trendy styles and can’t-live-without pieces for an ever changing look. The garments created by the brand are relaxed, casual and represent perfectly the urban, cosmopolitan and sophisticated attitude of Vero Moda.

Jack & Jones: Jack & Jones is a democratic jeans brand that helps fashion conscious men to create their own personal style. The brand gives an opportunity to take the lifestyle of the Jack & Jones men to the limit and live life to the fullest.

What are the core categories in Vero Moda?

VG: Vero Moda and Vero Moda in Blue are the two lines that add a different dimension to the brand, ensuring every customer is catered to. The first focuses on the latest fashion and includes the leading trends in terms of eveningwear, casual wear and latest fashion-wear. Vero Moda in Blue is a raw and rustic take on Vero Moda’s main collection and has t-shirts with cool prints, funky denims and statement leather pants and jackets.

What are the core categories in Only?

VG: Despite the volatility of the retail market, Only has always been consistent in its ideology and has not wavered from being a youthful brand with denim as a key identity. Only has evolved as a brand over the years through careful and strategic planning. The brand has a remarkable panel of designers and fashion experts who keep innovating the product categories depending on the need of the market. Only has a wide collection of clothing across casual and formal wear, winter and beach wear, denims, playsuits and shorts, accessories and more. Sensing the pulse of the Indian audience, the brand has introduced Only Play, a stylish line of active wear which is the first of its kind in India by an International womenswear fashion brand.

Which consumer age group leads women’s casualwear consumption in your brands?
VG: Vero Moda and Only’s collection is popular among women of all age groups. While Only is targeted to a young audience between 18-26 years, Vero Moda is targeted to a slightly mature group aged between 25-35 years. The collection from both brands is extremely popular among both the segments.

What about Jack & Jones?
VG: Jack & Jones is divided into five sub brands. The first is Jack & Jones Vintage Clothing which celebrates craftsmanship and takes great pride in producing high quality products. By reviving authentic vintage items and reproduce washes, trims and fabrics with reference to specific periods in time, we aim to capture the true soul of jeanswear. The second is Originals by Jack & Jones which is inspired by the indie- and urban pop culture scene. The style is vibrant and easy going and references are drawn from everything that influences the current trends. The third sub-brand is Premium by Jack & Jones which is a brand focusing on high quality, attention to detail and style before fashion. The brand has its roots in classic styles and the collections are built on iconic pieces. The styles are put into modern and seasonal contexts – e.g. dressy shirts or blazers in new fabrics, new colours or with added details based on current trends. The fourth is Jack & Jones Tech which provides a range of highly functional garments and is dedicated to creating high quality products and providing supreme comfort for everyday life. The collections range from all-weather essentials like outdoor jackets made of functional fabrics to board shorts, sweats, shoes and graphic tees. The fifth and last sub-brand is Core by Jack & Jones is utility streetwear with a strong graphical concept and an eye for innovative details. Each style is made of high quality fabrics with a crisp and clean finish where details have strong work-wear references.

According to you, what is casualwear?
VG: Casuals or casualwear is a dress code that is personal, usually donned to wear on informal occasions. Also, known for its utilitarian nature, casual wear is about one’s personal expression and is a break from usual dress norms. We have a trendy collection of smart casuals ranging from party wear to beach wear under all our three brands.

What are the key elements that make a product be termed as casual?
VG: A product can be termed as a casual when it can be worn at informal occasions. Although there is another term in this category called ‘Smart Casuals’, a dress code that a lot of companies follow these days. It means an attire which is neat, professional like, chic ensemble but not board-room formal.

What is your opinion on how the term ‘casual wear’ contrasts with ‘sportswear’?
VG: Sportswear as a term has evolved over the years. While originally the term was referred to clothing for active sports or for clothing worn to watch sporting events, sportswear has now come under the broader category of casual wear that can be worn at any time of the day. The line between the two categories has blurred as sportswear is no longer considered athletic clothing but has made major contribution to clothing styles across the globe in various segments of casual, formal, evening, business-wear.

What are the top emerging categories types in men’s casualwear segment?
VG: Denims are the indisputable leader in this category. With various options of colours, looks, cuts, finish available in the market the denim category. Another category that has seen a remarkable increase in men’s casualwear category is active-wear, which mainly consists of sportswear and swimwear. The primary reason for this is the rise of health consciousness and men involving themselves in some kind of physical exercise. Denims are the backbone for Jack & Jones in terms of popularity and variety. We have a huge collection of denim wear which is extremely sough-after across markets.

What are the top emerging categories types in women’s casualwear segment?

VG: The casual segment spreads across multiple categories like casual shirts or tops, casual trousers, skirts, denims, t-shirts, active wear, and daily wear. Only and Vero Moda has a fabulous collection of smart casuals for women ranging from denims to skirts to chic tops, segregated under all the different categories.

What are the latest trends in casualwear for men this season in terms of popular designs, styles and cuts?
VG: Again, denims are the indisputable leader in this category. With various options of colours, looks, cuts, finish available in the market the denim category is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15 percent by 2017. Another category that has seen a remarkable increase in men’s casualwear category is active-wear, which mainly consists of sportswear and swimwear.

What are the latest trends in casualwear for women this season in terms of popular designs, styles and cuts?

VG: Understanding the latest trends in the fashion segment, Only’s latest spring-summer collection is all about an arty, sporty, rock-ish mix.

From cool dresses and skirts with nearly white washed chambray to statement jackets and coats, bold knits in indigo yarns and striped T’s in indigo stripes, the collection spells true innovation. Floral prints, pastel colors, African themed motifs, placement prints, Arizona spirited clothes and fashionable looks in blues and never seen before denim trends make Vero Moda, Jack & Jones’ and Only’s spring-summer collection edgy and extremely high on fashion.

What are the latest trends in casualwear for women this season in terms of popular fabrics and fabric properties?

VG: On account of the tropical climate, comfortable and light fabrics are popular Only’s spring-summer collection is an interesting mix of fabric structures juxtaposed with a sporty urban influence and feminine accents. The line is designed using a mix of fabrics like lace, sheer materials, cotton and more, complementing the season and international fashion trends.

The Vero Moda’s spring-summer 2015 collection is an easygoing and upbeat interpretation of the season’s most dominant trends. The vibrant collection is filled to the brim with style statements and must-have pieces. Florals, bohemian, stripes, funky prints are all the trends to look forward to.

What is the next big thing that will emerge in casualwear in the future?
VG: Considering the wide acceptance of sports in our country recently, with the Indian youth strongly motivated towards pursuing a serious career in this field, there will be a natural upward thrust in the active-wear market in India.