India is becoming a hot bed for international brands and over the past few years. The fact that India is now among the the fastest growing and highly competitive fashion markets in the world is fairly clear by the interest that the global brands have shown in the last few years. A legion of fabled international fashion brands entered the Indian soil in this fiscal — Armani Exchange, Muji, Innamorata, North Face, Massimo Dutti, Cath Kidston, etc., to name a few. On the other hand, a whole line of brands like like Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Jimmy Choo, Burberry, Dior, Bvlgari, etc., are expanding business rapidly, after having successfully established a stronghold in the yesteryears.
India is among the largest markets of the world in terms of its sheer size which account for an approximate 14.2 per cent of the overall global population. It also is one of the most promising and progressively growing economies in the world, and houses a huge populations with considerable spending power. So naturally, with increasing globalization and international trade, the nation has emerged as a land of opportunities for numerous global brands. Over the years, although, a large number of international brands have ventured into the Indian markets, not all were able to crack the success mantra for the mysterious, complex and a diversified market where the tastes and preferences of customers change after a few kilometers, need to adapt to the local market conditions in order to attract the customers towards their brands. Moreover, what poses as a serious obstacle in India is the wide rural and urban divide that creates another challenge in front of companies while establishing an effective distribution network.
On the other hand, there are success stories too. As reported in a feature by Fashion United, British fashion accessories retailer Accessorize’s store at Ambience Mall in Gurgaon is the company’s second biggest revenue earner. Two US Polo’s stores, one in Delhi and the other in Bangalore, rank among their top 10 stores globally. Women’s fashion brand Promod’s store in Delhi reports the highest sales per sq. ft. in Asia,
In the last couple of years, a new trend has also been witnessed. Several high fashion brands are taking the online only route to enter India, taking advantage of the absence of regulations around selling through third party portals and owing to factors like lack of quality infrastructure and high real estate costs. Under current regulations, the global brands do not require a licence to sell in India through online portals if they do not have operations here.
To sum up, the Indian market is becoming a major attraction for big brands. Those already present, are adopting newer strategies to grow while many others are considering entry. In the next few pages, we feature the latest list of new international fashion brands that entered India in 2016-17..
Founded by Etienne Aigner in 1965 in Munich, Aigner is a cult German brand known for its brilliant combination of German precision and Tuscan tradition. The leather handbag classics that were designed in the 70s made Aigner world famous and the brand has retained its claim to creating true classics to this day. The brand introduced its line of luxury leather handbags exclusively on Myntra in November 2016. At present the collection includes a variety of saddle bags, sling bags, wallets, shoulder bags, hand bags, hobo bags and clutches. The Munich label promises timeless design paired with well thought functionality and finished with high quality leather. The bags are available in black, beige, navy and chianti red. It is en-vogue and epitomizes modern lifestyle and elegance. Aigner is available on Myntra with 150 unique designs from a price point starting at Rs 19,000 to Rs 55,000. With the addition of Aigner, Myntra has further strengthened its portfolio of international brands which houses over 30 top global brands.
22 Armani Exchange
Thanks to Genesis Colors Private Limited, Italian apparels and accessories brand Armani Exchange has marked its foray into the Indian market with its first store in Select Citywalk, Saket, New Delhi. Targeted as the more accessible Armani brand, Armani Exchange was launched in 1991, the result of Giorgio Armani’s pioneering idea to target the new generation of fast-fashion consumers. Inspired by the laid-back, modern approach to dressing he observed in the downtown scenes of his favourite cities (Milan, New York, London, Tokyo), the designer created a collection of unbasic ‘basics’ that embodied the understated sophistication of a new generation. Its approach was refreshing, unexpected and in line with the energy of youth. A|X Armani Exchange offers a complete lifestyle wardrobe through an accessible, versatile range of youthful urban clothing and accessories. The label’s products are available exclusively in 270 stores in 31 countries and on the brand’s website.
33 Björn Borg
Björn Borg, a Swedish brand that has stores in seven European countries, has marked its India entry in an exclusive deal with Amazon. Björn Borg AB is a Swedish apparel fashion brand named after the former professional tennis player of the same name. The Björn Borg brand was established in the Swedish fashion market in the first half of the 1990s and today has a strong position in its established markets, particularly in the largest product group, underwear. The brand is distinguished by creative products with the brand’s typically sporty identity – products that make customers feel active and attractive. A passion for sports fashion and willingness to challenge the industry shine through in our marketing communications and product development. The brand has on offer a selective collection of undergarments and footwear, including the brand’s latest leather sneakers’ selection ranging from Rs 5,999 – Rs 7,999.
44 Cath Kidston
Cath Kidston is a global lifestyle brand which has recently launched in India with Planet Retail Holdings Private Limited as its franchise partner. Founded in 1993 with a single shop in London’s Holland Park, Cath Kidston Ltd is today a fast-growing global lifestyle brand with stores in 18 countries including China, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan,Thailand and the UK. In India, the brand has presence in both the online and offline channels. The first Cath Kidston store was opened in Ambience Mall, Delhi on October 28, followed by Grand Galeria in Mumbai on November 14, and a third store opened at Select CityWalk, Delhi in December 2016. In line with its name ‘home of modern vintage’, the brand offers a range of products from accessories and women’s wear to kidswear and home furnishings. Bags and accessories being the brand’s strongest product line in India, it targets the female segment of the market.
Innamorata is a European fashion house founded by three close friends and fashion enthusiasts, Rahul, Rishi and Vivek. The brand, that launched its flagship store in Mumbai in October, is one of the first company in India to manufacture and import European fashion from EU hubs like Milan, Barcelona, Paris, London, Lisbon. The flagship store is located in one of the most fashion tangled areas, Linking Road in Bandra West. Innamorata embraces elegant and gentle colours with the aims to launch styles that completely embody feminine graceful figures and deliver unique and pure glamour like never before. Manufactured from France, UK, Italy, Turkey, Spain and Portuguese markets, the brand’s collections are bold, vivid distinctive, crazy, hot, sophisticated, dynamic, creative, amazing and ambitious. Innamorata plans to hange their collection every 15-20 days to always stay ahead in fashion and remain trend setters.
Founded in 1983 by Italian designer Franco Moschino, brand MOSCHINO is acclaimed internationally for their innovative and colorful designs that challenge contemporary conventions in fashion. LOVE MOSCHINO is the brand’s younger counterpart and features a line that reflects the stylistic philosophy and the iconic motifs. Different lines of accessories complete the label’s ready-to-wear collections including, bags, shoes, charms, eyewear, watches and small leather goods have become must-have items and details of style in the wardrobe of both men and women. In March 2014, the label debuted in the retail area with the opening of its first flagship store in Milan, at Corso Venezia. In India, Myntra houses a variety of handbags, backpacks, sling-bags, clutches and wallets from LOVE MOSCHINO. Merging pop culture with high fashion, the collection comprises a range of quilted bags and iconic patchwork tote to geometric cut and studded box clutch. The hot off the press collection is priced between Rs 7,999 and Rs 24,999. Shoppers on Myntra can choose from among shades of red, black, ivory and beige.
88 Massimo Dutti
Spanish premium fashion brand, Massimo Dutti opened doors to its first in India at New Delhi’s Select Citywalk mall in May 2016 in association with the Inditex Group. The store is spread across 5,027 sq.ft. of retail space and offers a vast collection across women’s wear, men’s wear, footwear, accessories and personal tailoring. While men’s t-shirts start at Rs 1,990, the highest priced jacket is Rs 24,990. Accessories like socks are at Rs 490, while women’s tops start from Rs 1,590. Massimo Dutti has been trying to come to India since 2012 but its initial investment proposal was rejected by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board on account of issues around the ownership of brand. The Indian law states that the investor should also be the owner of the brand. Apart from Select CityWalk, the brand has also launched a store globally. Massimo Dutti operates 755 stores across 73 countries between Europe, America and Asia.
Mexx, the iconic Dutch fashion brand launched entered India in association with fashion retailer Jabong. Mexx was started in 1986 by a Delhi born visionary named Rattan Chadha in Amsterdam. He took his two brands, Moustache, his men’s brand (M), and Emanuelle, his women’s brand (E), and joined them to create a Mexx. Since then the brand has been designing quality fashion and accessories that take inspiration from the energy and buzz of the city of Amsterdam. Apart from its collection for women, men, kids and accessories, the brand also licenses its name for fragrance, and eye wear. Over time, Mexx has grown to become an international brand with over 800 stores in 55 countries and more than 10,000 points of sales. It has grown rapidly and is now an internationally prominent company, employing over 6,000 people worldwide.
In April last year, Myntra announced the launch of yet another top global sportswear brand, Mizuno, on its platform. Founded in Osaka in 1906 by Rihanchi Mizuno, Mizuno is a Japanese sportswear brand that has established itself as one of the world’s top manufacturers of sportswear and sports equipment, especially golf clubs and accessories. Stag International serves as the distributor for Mizuno in India. Products of Mizuno available on Myntra include footwear and sports apparel with over 140 unique styles, to suit the requirements of men and women across age groups. Sports shoes from Mizuno’s patented ‘WAVE’ technology is core strength of the brand. It is a unique midsole technology that provides both, cushioning and stability on every step, resulting in a smoother and comfortable run. This state-of-the-art range of footwear is now available on Myntra and Flipkart from a price point starting at Rs 1,299 up to Rs 13,999.
The Meters/bonwe group has established itself as a premium high street fashion retailer, full of vitality and vigor to meet the style requirements of today’s youth. Founded in 1995, the Chinese brand has over 24 branch offices and has more than 4,000 stores and over 13,000 employees nationwide. It focuses on dressing young men and women in clothes that are fashion forward, elegant and chic. In, India the group came in with an exclusive partnership with Myntra and has on offer a stylish collection of men’s polo t-shirts, t-shirts, blazers, sweatshirts, sweaters, denim and shirts. For women, it brings trendy and chic jeans, dresses, skirts, winterwear, coats and t-shirts that are sewn to perfection. In addition, a range of handbags and bags are also available. Myntra’s business experts believe that it will be a preferred brand for their customer base, which is dominated by mass-premium across town categories.
1313 Neil Barrett
Italian fashion brand Neil Barrett forayed into the Indian market with an exclusive partnership with Fervour, a multi-brand boutique that stocks international designer brands such as Dsquared2, Marc Jacobs, Nina Ricci, Missoni, and Jil Sander. The eponymous label was established in 1999 by designer Neil Barrett, who has previously worked as creative director for luxury houses such as Gucci and Prada. The designer was instrumental in establishing a blueprint of minimal men’s wear in Prada that combined luxurious fabrics and unparalleled Italian craftsmanship with high-tech sportswear and a forward-thinking approach to the modern man’s wardrobe. Neil Barret collections are exclusively made in Italy, which has further helped the company to maintain its presence as an international brand in the fashion market. Since the inception of the company, its products are endorsed by famous celebrities across the globe including Ewan McGregor, Mark Ruffalo, Orlando Bloom, Colin Firth, Jake Gyllenhaal and Justin Timberlake.
Replay’s parent company, Fashion Box S.p.A. is now one of the leading international companies in the denim sector. The Italian Group which is based in Asolo (Treviso) creates, promotes and distributes men’s, women’s and children’s casual wear, accessories and footwear. Other brand extension projects like eyewear and the Replay perfume lines are assigned to license partners. At present, Fashion Box operates in all European markets and in the Middle East, Asia America and Africa in over 50 countries, with the wholesale distribution network having 5,000 sales outlets and 220 retail stores. Replay forayed into the Indian soil in an exclusive deal with Amazon. The brand’s product basket in India concentrates on denims, footwear and casual wear for both men and women.
Myntra has announced the launch of Toms on its platform in August 2016. The US brand is known internationally for its One for One® promise, where for every pair of shoes you purchase, Toms will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. Launched in 2006 with the iconic canvas slip-on called the Alpargata, Tom’s has rapidly expanded into new shoe silhouettes and product categories. Today, the brand is present in more than 500 stores nationwide and internationally. In addition to its classic Alpargata, Toms offers a variety of footwear styles for men and women, from everyday wear Paseo sneakers to fun and flirty strappy wedges, in unique textiles and patterns often inspired by the countries around the globe where it gives. Toms also launched other products including Toms Eyewear in 2011, Toms Roasting Co. in 2014, and Toms Bags and Toms High Road Backpack Collection in 2015. The Indian collection, as of now, encompasses only footwear within the price bracket of Rs 2,000 – Rs 6,000.
1717 Under Armour
America’s second largest sportswear brand, Under Armour, entered India through Amazon Fashion. Specializing in men’s, women’s and youth apparel, footwear and equipment, the Under Armour brand has launched a range of products for running and training on Amazon Fashion for Indian consumers. Under Armour signature products on Amazon Fashion include premium apparel technology, such as Threadborne and Charged Cotton, designed to keep athletes cooler, dryer and lighter throughout the course of a game, practice or workout. Premium footwear innovations include UA SpeedForm for precision fit, Charged Cushioning for responsiveness, durability, optimal cushioning and energy return, and Micro G for increased protection and stabilization. Price range for Under Armour apparel starts from Rs 1,299 to Rs 3,999, footwear from Rs 4,499 to Rs 12,999 and accessories from Rs 499 to Rs 4, 999. The products are targeted at people aged between 25 to 34 pursuing active sports and fitness regimes.
Vismaya was established by a multi-talented and committed brother-sister duo of Yatin Narula and Shivani Mehrotra, out of a sheer desire to offer to the world something unique and creative. Based in Los Angeles, Vismaya is popular in various parts of Europe, Japan and North America for its seasonal collections of gorgeous accessories in vibrant colors, rhythmic patterns, and sumptuous fabrics including silk, linen, wool, cotton, cashmere, modal and a variety of blends. It also has had experience working with some of the big names in the fashion industry including Neiman Marcus, Gap, Lucky Brand Jeans, BCBG and Calypso St Barth. In India, Vismaya will offer a collection of genuine cashmere and pashmina embroidered stoles as well as elegantly crafted heirloom shawls including antique jamvars, kalamkaari, kaanis, soznis, and papier mache. The collection is retailed on the brand’s own site.