New Delhi, June 15 (IANS) Like most new economies, India has seen a tremendous change in the consumer landscape in the past decade, says Dilip Kapur, President and founder of Hidesign India who also feels that Indian consumers’ increased awareness about global trends has become a boon for the retail industry.
“Like most new economies, India has seen a tremendous change in the consumer landscape in the past decade. With more access to lifestyle stores, newer brands, more fashion programmes and a burgeoning fashion industry, the average consumer has become a lot savvier.”
“They are well read and on-the-ball with global trends, expect great quality and service and want their money’s worth. The rising awareness has been a boon for the retail industry, with more and more consumers making the right decision of picking up an eco-friendly product, which may be less polluting, easily recyclable or promotes sustainability,” Kapur told IANS.
Kapur visited the capital on the occasion of the launch of the new Hidesign store at the DLF Mall of India.
He feels that when it comes to the product, Indians love colour far more than the Europeans, while seasonality is less important than a desire for constant “newness”.
“It is still not clear what role ‘heritage’ has to play. Their taste and self-confidence in ‘indian-ness’ is greater than in the Far East, led by the family oriented social occasions (especially the huge role the large and expensive marriages play) when even the most westernised become very Indian,” Kapur said.
“A fusion and mingling of Indian design and western themes is likely more than elsewhere. The soft power of India is greater — as seen through Indian movies, the ‘fusion’ with which young modern Indians dress in western clothes with Indian tops (kurtis is probably the single biggest item in Indian clothes),” he said.
According to Kapur, Hidesign does not cover its leathers with layers of pigments and paint or emboss it with artificial patterns to hide defects in low quality materials. Nor does Hidesign use electroplated steel or zinc fittings that do not age well.
Over the years, the brand has come up with some path-breaking designs but without trying too hard to be trendy.
“Hidesign was never trendy in terms of design and is of no interest to us, and we have never experienced a hitch along the design lines. Our aesthetic focus has been on a classic contemporary look, catering to the educated and sophisticated urban professional since the beginning,” said Kapur.
Talking about the brand’s expansion, Kapur says the big challenge is that the expansion within India is becoming harder as not many malls are coming up.
“No developer wants to do any real estate anymore. So, now expansion will happen through ecommerce and a lot of our energy will go in international expansion. In the next few years, we will have about seven stores coming up. But that’s about it. We will also look to increase the share of its sales through ecommerce platforms,” he said.
“We have plans of launching at least five collections this year. Atelier is the upcoming luxury collection from Hidesign,” added Kapur.
The brand is also coming up with a luxury collection called Atelier that is made of exotic Deer and Ostrich leathers. It is segregated under two categories, namely, the Champagne and Caviar Collections. The price range of the collection starts from Rs. 2,595 onwards and goes up to Rs. 25,900.
(Nivedita can be contacted at [email protected])