The fashion accessory market has grown manifold over the past few years and is swarming with a vast range and variety of products. New and the existing brands have seen a tremendous spike in the demand. To know more about these accessory brands, meet them at 20th India Fashion Forum.
There has been a continuous and sustained shift in consumer demand pattern from basic necessities to spending on lifestyle products and services continues, largely due to higher income, increasing literacy levels, increasing exposure and awareness levels, higher adaptability of internet, increasing urbanisation, the changing role of women and children in the decision making process, increased demand for better shopping experience, impulsive purchase behavior among youngsters, changing fashion trends and increased consciousness.
“India’s fashion accessory space has seen tremendous change in the past one decade owing to entrance of multiple fashion brands in India. The fashion sensibilities of Indian customers have made headway while the fashion influencers market has evolved significantly resulting in rapid increase in demand for accessories,” shares Vijay Pal Singh Johal, Director, Truffle Collection.
Accessories, as an ‘investment’ add to the overall customer look and don’t break the bank, have become an integral part of the Indian wardrobe.
“They are no longer need-based purchases but give customers the opportunity to make a personal statement. The growing demand and exposure among young urban customers have set the stage for entry for many international as well as home-grown accessory brands into the evolving world of fashion. Increase in disposable incomes and widespread reach of social media has bridged the gap between affluent customers and premium brands in Tier- II and Tier-III cities. The e-commerce medium has offered a tremendous opportunity to the fashion accessory industry. E-commerce has also allowed for more widespread brand availability in Tier II and Tier III cities, where brands may not have yet opened stores,” states Sirish Kumar, CEO – India and Global Sourcing Director, AstorMueller Shoes Pvt. Ltd.
In a market that was still unorganised and dominated by cheap imports and dubious manufacturing practices, branded accessories, have started catering to discerning consumers, who value quality and ethical practices over everything else. “India’s accessories market is fragmented into the branded and unbranded segments. Our history is of unorganised, unbranded market. However, over the last few decades, the accessories segment has become increasingly organised, particularly in the premium and luxury segment. Every jewellery brand in India has its own retail network or at least stores in major cities.
As far as watches go, many of the big international brands have their own stores and so does an Indian brand like Titan. Many sell from multi-brand stores. Retail forms the backbone of the accessories market today, and it helps to have an on-ground presence so that existing and future clients can explore and understand the brand,” states Gaurav Mehta, Founder, Jaipur Watch Company.
Earlier, apparel was the only focus of people and they used to spend a lot of money on the same. But now the scenario has changed. People are spending more money on accessories than their outfits and this has opened many opportunities for the accessory market in India. In the past one decade, the accessory market has experienced an exceptional economic boom.
Growth Drivers of the Accessory Segment
The growth of the accessory segment is propelled by both the demand and supply side. Rising discretionary incomes, evolving social scenarios, overall exposure to cultures and trends and demographic advantages have evolved the needs and desires of consumers, whereas, on the other side, corporatisation of Indian fashion retail, emergence and acceptance of domestic brands, personalisation and emergence of new channels has fuelled confidence in retailers.
“The influence of western culture has triggered a growing demand of fashion accessories among the Indian women. Increased awareness about the latest fashion across the globe through technology has boosted the market for fashion accessories. The increasing desires of women to ‘look good, feel good’ and their rising disposable income contributes as easy and affordable option to alter their look and style. This has led the shopping calendar equally spread out over the year as women want to look and go shopping to meet their styling needs often have propelled demand for fashion accessories in the market,” shares Apeksha Patel, Founder, E2O Fashion.
Consumers from smaller towns and cities of urban and semi-urban India are increasingly becoming an integral part of the accessory business.
“Women have always been the bastion of the fashion accessory market. The young modern women of India have moved away from buying purely functional accessories to embrace the whole gamut of accessory possibilities. They wear mostly western apparel, which calls for a range of fashion accessories,” Jacqueline Kapur, Co-founder and President of Ayesha Accessories states.
E-commerce Catalysing Growth of Accessory Segment
The e-commerce platform provides a much needed boost for easy experimentation, driven by accessibility, brand choice and a price range.
“Along with apparel, fashion accessories has emerged to be most purchased category online. Growing preference for convenience, along with rising popularity of online retail stores, is driving the demand for fashion accessories across the globe. E-commerce offers promising opportunity to this category. Overall many fashion accessories brand have ventured into e-commerce, allowing brand presence at widespread in Tier II & Tier III cities where brands retail shop may not be present,” reveals Patel.
Adding to this, Johal says, “E-commerce has certainly emerged as a trailblazing medium for driving sales owing to fast-paced lives being led by Indian consumers. Through online sales, we are able to analyze the changing spending pattern of Indian consumers and their varied fl airs in accessories. This aids us in offering the best to our customers in every aspect for e.g. product, design and shopping experience on the website.”
Looking at the increased competitive intensity going forward and impatient fashion-conscious brands must create an efficient supply chain system because as fast as new trends emerge old one dies.
There is a need for both offline and online consumer reach. Offline presence helps to build consumer confidence in the brand. This instills trust on the brand to order at convenience through online mediums.
“Online and Offline offer two different sets of customers. Catering to offline is tried and tested. The offline customers experience the service, touch and feel the product and feel a tangible connect with the brand. E-commerce helps us to reach out to large number of customers and to connect with Millennials, value seekers and is a great first step in interacting with the brand. It also allows us to connect with very large base with delivery to almost 100 percent of pin codes,” states Dilip Kapur, Chairman & Founder, Hidesign.
Men’s Accessory Segment – Growing Strong
Due the impact of global fashion trends and blurring lines between well-defined styles for men and women, accessories are no longer just limited to women. Indian men too have embraced world fashion and have begun to wear more colourful clothes and prints in different styles and have started demonstrating higher fashion consciousness and awareness. The category of men’s accessories needs product range diversification in the urban areas with further propagation and acceptance in semi-urban areas
With grooming and signature styles becoming the buzzword for men across demographics, there is tremendous potential in developing new product lines for accessories, while catering to the traditional market as well.
“We see more branded players create new categories, working with niche and popular segments for men’s accessories. With Voylla’s men’s line, we have witnessed tremendous demand and growth and ideas for working with a dynamic and demanding clientele that is keeping us on our toes,” says Vishwas Shringi, Founder, Voylla.
Inclusion of celebrities in promotional activities and online retailing contribute to growing desire to look trendy and fashionable could be another factor stoking the growth in the men’s accessory segment in India.
“The accessory market for men has seen some good penetration on the back of evolving fashion sensibilities among the Indian male, watches and shoes are seeing a major push driven by a growing need for personalization and customisation which reflect the personality of the individual and at the same time making a fashion statement of their own. Men’s accessories are not seen just as add-ons anymore. The e-commerce boom has given the much-needed boost for easy experimentation with social media making the India male brand conscious,” share Abhishek Chopra and Sagar Sarin, Founders, Churchill & Company.
“Status and Tech are two drivers in the men’s accessory segment. Products which support our growing tech based products such as laptop bags and sleeves; tablet and phone covers etc. are driving growth,” says Dilip Kapur.
The market for accessories such as cufflinks, bags, wallets, belts is also quite large. Accessories today are at the centerstage of men’s wardrobe and the mid-segment of the men’s accessories market will continue to grow. On the luxury end of the market, interesting changes are visible. There is a growing demand for personalized and bespoke watches and accessories.
“Nowadays, Indian male consumers’ fashion sensibilities are evolving. They think that whatever they wear should reflect their personality and can turn into a fashion statement,” says Anupam Bansal, MD Retail, Liberty Shoes.
With fashion accessory purchases being mostly impulse buy oriented, high footfall retail spaces are required. High rentals for these type of retail spaces make it difficult to meet the necessary turnovers. This is one of the main challenges in the offline market.
“Key challenges this industry is facing diversity and heterogeneity of its consumers, evolving customer needs demanding innovation and beautification in products, rising real estate rentals, tax regime and infrastructural bottlenecks offline scenario. Online environment has stemmed online sellers to inflate prices and give attention seeking discounts, leading to boost of sales utilizing coupons and off er the erosion of margins of retailers,” Patel states.
Similarly, Jacqueline Kapur shares, “On-line the biggest challenge we face is that thousands of vendors off er goods, hike up the prices, give massive discounts and the customer becomes confused. The only way to face both those challenges is to become an aspirational yet affordable fashion brand whose name resonates with all the fashionable youngsters.”
Shringi brings in a different perspective. “The challenge comes from comparison with commercial street pricing when products sold on commercial street are not only poor in quality but also indulges with unfair labor practices by employing underage/child labor to keep costs low. In the industry that is driven by design, it is only fair to ensure that artisans get their due share and hence fair compensation practise is important for long term sustainability of art and art driven categories,” he shares.
“I feel managing fashion inventory with a blend of old and new designs is a major challenge as it is a costly process. Another hardship most e-commerce fashion brands face is to drive sales without deep discounting on new designs and reduction of returns due to size or color mismatch,” reveals Johal.
With the launch of numerous international and even local brands, the challenges have only been rising. The only way through is to keep evolving and experimenting to give nothing but the best to the customers.
Future of the Accessory Segment
The accessory category is going to see a major expansion and range diversification with this category no longer being seen just as add-ons.
“Evolution of the accessories market from being just functional to becoming a prime attraction, which adds style and colour to the wardrobe will gain more traction,” say Chopra and Sarin.
The average per capita income of the country is expected to continue rise in the coming years, the middle-class is expected to become more elaborate and diversified, with different levels of income-groups, the luxury end of Indian fashion accessories market is expected to grow at a higher rate than other segments as the affluent consumer group will increasingly consider fashion accessories as a means to reaffirm its identity and to distinguish itself from the masses.
“With the advent of online shopping, India has witnessed a considerable change in the buying behaviour of consumers over the years. This has caused a shift in the market dynamics for fashion-based businesses. The market will be defined by emerging technologies that change the way consumers interact with their favourite brands and there will be a shift in preferences. E-commerce will continue to become the most popular shopping medium across the board. The physical stores may turnaround as experiential zones for the respective brands, equipped with next-level technological advancements,” Kumar states.
With rapid urbanisation and rise in attraction towards social media the fashion accessories category is gaining immense popularity unprecedented momentum. Accessorising is becoming an essential part of fashion, owing to this the demand in this market has grown manifold and is swarming to lead in retail sector.
“Trends of fusion and mingling of Indian and western theme will rule the industry. According to the current scenario growth of individualistic accessories that really act like a statement,” says Patel.
With the globalisation of India and the Millennial being the biggest spenders, the accessory market has a huge potential. This target customer is more and more aware of fashion trends and accessories are an easy method to express a personal style. At the moment most of the brands still target the ethnic customer. However, the market for contemporary western fashion styles is expected to grow tremendously. “In today’s world, what we wear becomes a manner of our expression, our attitude and our personality. The accessories which were used in the 90s are coming back into the trend and will become the hottest trend of the upcoming decade but only with a touch of innovation and immense creativity,” concludes Bansal.
“Anyone with a keen sense of fashion and desirous of creating a personal style. The age and gender boundaries are diminishing as the category accentuates the look and boost confidence, but the contemporary version of various art forms gets wider attention from customers across all age,” says Vishwas Shringi, Founder of Voylla.
CHURCHILL & COMPANY
“The brand is inspired by Indian ‘Gentlemen’ who walk a different beat and are looking for deconstructed styles with softer finishes. We define our core target audience as Gentlemen – they celebrate life, they know anything worth having is worth working smarter for, they know the difference between confidence and arrogance, they are always well-presented and their choices are heavily contingent on their moods and occasions,” say Churchill & Company, Founders, Abhishek Chopra and Sagar Sarin.
“E2O Accessories caters to women in the age group of 18 to 36 years who are free-spirited, fashionable and sophisticated having an experimenting taste towards trendy fashion. Women today want to flaunt everything perfectly styled and for us giving them that perfection through our offering is of utmost importance. We are definitely looking forward to bring that grace to every woman who shops for our handbags to style her festive look,” narrates Apeksha Patel, Founder, E2O Fashion.
“Evolved and quality-conscious customers who look for designs that set global trends and are willing to pay a premium for superior quality,” reveals Sirish Kumar, CEO – India and Global Sourcing Director, AstorMueller Shoes Pvt. Ltd.
“The main target customers are the Millennials. Also known as Generation Y, – between the age of 18 and 35 – are our largest demographic segment. They are the chief wage earners and spend a far greater percentage of their income on consumer products, according to reports. India is well ahead of the global average percentage of population within the Millennial bracket, and this demographic is now shaping the retail market in India. The effects of globalisation have influenced the tastes and consumption patterns of Millennials, through international television shows and films, as well as the all-encompassing hold of social media. With their higher disposable income and need to redefine themselves, Millennials have championed the rise of fashion accessories into the organised retail market and assured their diversity,” shares Jacqueline Kapur, Co-founder and President of Ayesha Accessories.
“Millennials (between the ages of 18 and 35 years), being India’s largest demographic segment, belong to our target audience. Our offerings in terms of price and product are well in sync with their fashion preferences and spending habits,” Vijay Pal Singh Johal, Director, Truffle Collection states.
“25-35-year olds tend to be the largest and fastest growing group followed by 35-45 years. 18-25 year old consumers are showing a keen interest. The well-educated, frequent traveler seen as a sign of successful professional and entrepreneurs. They connect best with the values of the brand of being natural, handcrafted and eco-friendly. They also appreciate quality and are open to original designs,” says Dilip Kapur, Chairman & Founder, Hidesign.
JAIPUR WATCH COMPANY
“Our target customer is anyone who is looking for a unique timepiece, which carries a bit of Indian aesthetics in its design and craftsmanship,” states Gaurav Mehta, Founder, Jaipur Watch Company.
“We are constantly tapping the potential market and are targeting at tier II and tier III audience along with the Hindi speaking belt right now to establish the connect with our audience. Whether it’s men, women or children, Liberty caters to all category of people as it’s mass brand,” reveals Anupam Bansal, MD Retail, Liberty Shoes.
The brand offers variety of designs across various categories such as necklaces, earrings, rings, bangles, etc. Voylla retail through both online and offline channels.
E2O’s product portfolio is diverse ranging from wallets, clutches, sling, satchel, backpack, hobo and tote to dangler, drop, hoop, stud and tassel earrings. Also, they have recently added watches and sunglasses to their kitty.
Their collection is very holistic. There’s a shoe for every occasion with the exception of professional sports. The collection includes – Casual, Semi-Casual and Formal shoes.
“Ayesha offers a wide selection of products for young women in the teen to young adult age range that reflect both the international trends and the unique styles of India, with bold colors and funky designs. These products include jewellery, scarves, sunglasses, bags, and other essentials for the modern girl. Since 2013, Ayesha Accessories has also developed several off -shoot sub-brands to cater to other demographics. Unknown is the male counterpart to Ayesha, offering a rugged masculine collection of accessories ranging from eyewear to leather jewellery, hats and scarves or young Indian men. Lil’ Star provides cute accessories for kids, with jewellery, hats, bags, eyewear and hair accessories.
JQ targets the established modern women with a collection of designer accessories, with jewellery handcrafted in Jaipur and scarves woven in Varanasi.
The brand offers a wide range of products like handbags, evening bags and clutches, wallets and belts for women and men, briefcases, messengers, backpacks, laptop bags and sleeves, travel bags and accessories, footwear – niche range of luxury deer shoes, jackets, pens, stationery and acetate sunglasses.
JAIPUR WATCH COMPANY
There are several unique pieces that the brand has made till date. Some of them are:
Imperial Wristwear: This is one of the earliest watches made using King George VI (1939-45 era) one-rupee half silver coin. The limited-edition stainless-steel watch has an antique one rupee coin embedded on the dial. It houses a Citizen 1L32 Slim Quartz Movement. The other design flourishes include a sapphire crystal and a sapphire stone winder.
Imperial Wristwear II: This is the second iteration of the Imperial Wristwear Collection. The watch is 46mm in size, houses an Automatic Movement (Miyota 8215) and is available in four colour variants in a limited edition of 50 pieces. Each colour has a complementing precious stone on the crown. The Imperial Wristwear II is sheathed in a doublesapphire glass and boasts a Butterfly Clasp Strap mechanism.
King’s Wristwear: This has an interesting innovation in the form of a unique moving disc mechanism. It houses a Swiss Machine (ISA Cal 2334:1035), is 43mm in size and sports a one paisa coin (the lowest denomination of British India coinage) at the disc movement, which makes it look rather unusual. The collection is serial numbered from 1-500, and each watch has its unique identity. The choice of the strap includes a black strap with steel finish case and a brown strap with a gold polished case.
India’s first 3D watch: The country’s first 3D printed watch, in stainless steel, is sheathed in a sapphire crystal. The dial of the watch is 3D printed with motifs; the numbers jump out because they are embossed on a high polished surface. The watch is powered by a premium Japanese Miyota mechanical movement of 9015.
The stamp watch: This is their newest innovation. In the limited-edition stamp watch, they have used three paisa denominations postal stamps from the King George VI era, which they bought at an exhibition of antique coins and stamps in Mumbai.
JWC Polo: This is a very special made to measure collection that the brand created for His Highness Maharaja Gaj Singh. It references his love for polo and the Jodhpur Polo Team.
Liberty off ers shoes for every man, woman and kid – whatever be the need or the occasion, whatever be the budget. It has multiple sub-brands that caters to the length and breadth of the nation providing fashionable, trendy, modish styles pertaining to latest styles and market trends at aff ordable prices.
With 150+ retail footprints, Voylla is India’s largest fashion jewellery brand and leads the category. The brand is eyeing to open 300 retail stores in next 2 years.
CHURCHILL & COMPANY
“We have clearly laid the roadmap for the Churchill brand whereby it builds a strong connection with its core target audience by harnessing the power of social-savvy brand advocates who are inspired by a shared sense of purpose. At the moment we have released limited edition line extensions – leather belts and bags which we intend to make a part of our portfolio going forward.
The strategy is to build the core brand and once we build a critical mass among our core target audience over the next 18 months we will have full-fl edged line extensions which will support the core product offering. We are also planning to triple our presence in MBOs by the end of this year. We aim to maintain the 4X growth we have been seeing year-on-year and hope to invest into offline distribution expansion backed by the right mix of marketing spends. We will not be splashing money on lavish campaigns but will pick up on relevant themes which strike a chord among our target audience,” shares Abhishek Chopra and Sagar Sarin, Founders, Churchill & Company.
E2O Fashion is eyeing to expand its product offerings by launching belts and shoes.
“Shop-in-shops in departmental stores and multi-brand shoe stores, e-commerce with the marketplace model, and a few select exclusive brand stores are already in the plan and much of it is underway. There are no plans to restrict the brand geographically, but the brand catering to the young and middle-aged alike, given their range.
JAIPUR WATCH COMPANY
It has been 6 years since the inception of Jaipur Watch Company, and it has recently launched its first boutique. So far, it has collaborated with some renowned hotel chains and watch dealers. The plan is to get some more hotel chains and retailers on board and open four more boutiques in the next two years.
For next 5 years, the brand plans to add 10 outlets annually. It is alsolooking forward to expanding its online presence. Ayesha Accessories is looking for a strategic partner to take the brand to the next level.
Jacqueline Kapur envisions an offline presence with more than 300 point of sales and a bigger product range available online and offline.
Airport expansion has been huge in last 18th months. The brand is already present in all leading metro cities and leading airports in Tier II cities. It will continue to expand further in Tier II and III cities along with international markets.
“Liberty will be opening about 100+ stores in Tier II and Tier III cities every year to strengthen the distribution for a wider reach in multi-brand stores. It will be looking for deeper penetration in the existing states instead of venturing into new ones. Currently, the target is to reach a turnover of around Rs 1,000 crore by 2022