In the 11 years since its inception, this digital-first brand has garnered a substantial following among girls and women nationwide, primarily due to its attractive yet budget-friendly range of handbags
Bengaluru: Think Lavie and what comes to your mind is a brand synonymous with high fashion and quality. Since it was born in 2011, the brand has found a huge following among cool, modern and independent girls and women across the country thanks to its glamorous yet affordable collection of bags, from handbags and clutches to totes and backpacks.
An exciting start
Lavie’s story started in 2009 when colourful handbags designed by Shobha Tainwala for guests attending her private family event became an instant hit. Nudged by her friends to continue creating these chic handbags, Shobha approached her brother to help her cope with the incoming orders. Finding a clear gap in the market for high-end bags, the brother-sister duo decided to establish a world-class brand. From 2010 to 2012, they travelled through vibrant locales of Europe and Asia to find design inspirations and source the finest materials. These travels inspired the birth of Lavie. The brand’s name is derived from the popular French phrase La Vie en Rose which means ‘life in pink hues’. “At Lavie, we continue to be inspired especially by the craftsmanship and designs found in Europe. We desire to make these available to the Indian audience. Always being true to our customers, being well aware of international trends and understanding what a great product is have helped us make Lavie into India’s leading handbag brand,” shares Ayush Tainwala, who is Shobha Tainwala’s son and the chief executive officer of Bagzone Lifestyles Pvt Ltd (Lavie).
Ayush views the category as magical—with a high ability to differentiate, a strong affinity towards brands and no sizes to simplify inventory management. “In the past few years, we have seen consumption in tier-2 and tier-3 cities growing exponentially as consumers demanded premium branded well-crafted products. We see the organised category doubling in size every three-four years, from the current 50 million units annually to over 200 million units in the coming future,” conveys Ayush.
Along the way
Lavie has disrupted the category with a digital-first approach to social media and ecommerce and with vertical integration through a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. The brand offers a huge product assortment for a variety of occasions, from work to weddings. “Our USP is to approach our category with two lenses: one of ‘design’ that is in line with the newest trends and the other of ‘product’ that must be handmade to scale. We deliver the best synergy of design, efficiency and craftsmanship,” says Ayush. At Lavie, every product goes through a unique five-stage design and development process, ensuring that every bag is not only fashionable but also of the highest quality. The brand has the best-in-class automated cutting, drying, embroidery, printing and pasting machines. Supporting the manufacturing aspect is Lavie’s strong network of logistics partners that
provide e-commerce-enabled scalable solutions.
“We are currently experimenting with and doing a cost-benefit analysis on running regional satellite warehouses,” says Ayush. Of course, the brand is going strong while tackling the challenges too. “Initially, finding the right channels to reach our customers was difficult for us. We debated a lot over retailers vs. departmental stores, and online trading vs. offline trading. However, over the years, we understood that every customer has a strong preference for a particular shop, therefore, we must go where our customer goes,” explains Ayush.
To stay close to customers, Lavie follows a multi-pronged approach. “Our design and marketing teams spend a lot of time observing and interacting with customers. Our in-house after-sales service team listens to all points of any dissatisfaction shared by customers to understand exceptional vs. systematic issues. And we believe in working with the best marketing and research companies that give us out-of-the-box insights,” shares Ayush. When it comes to marketing, Ayush believes that the method and tactics evolve very quickly. “What was great today might be obsolete in six months. Hence, attracting the best people that are highly motivated and can learn and adapt quickly is the best push for our brand,” explains Ayush.
Looking to the future
Lavie has had no external funding so far. The brand aims to double sales in the next three years while achieving 70% local sourcing. In the next three years, the plan is also to open 300 exclusive brand outlets.
- Lavie began its journey in 2011. The same year, the brand roped in Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor as its brand ambassador and launched its new campaign with her.
- The brand crossed Rs. 50 crore sales in 2015.
- In 2018, Lavie launched 30 exclusive brand outlets and signed Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma as its brand ambassador. The actress was featured in the brand’s new campaign in the same year.
- Lavie started manufacturing operations in Nashik in 2019.
- The brand achieved over two million units of annual sales in 2022.
First appeared in The India D2C Yearbook 2022.