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Jun, 04 2015

Custom-fit or readymade, which category assures success?

Indian men are shopping for clothes more than ever before. They are the much bigger buyers of best clothing than women. With double income every passing year, men are becoming more brand conscious and are eager to splurge on ready to wear and bespoke clo

Man's closet is no longer dreary. If you get a chance to peep into it, you'll see branded jeans, trousers, chinos, shirts, shorts, funky tees of different colours, custom fit outfits with stylish designs. Men are more fashion conscious, they want to look dapper and now there's no stopping, as horde of brands catering to mid-premium, premium and luxury brands have started making a way into the menswear market in India. In fact, Indian brands are also in the race of winning the consumers' hearts by introducing new styles, bespoke clothing and focusing on hybrid models to assure sales and footfalls.

All thanks to the sudden surge in working younger class, disposable incomes, men's changing outlook towards buying trendiest clothing (casuals, formals and ethnic) and a greater brand consciousness, with all this menswear industry is growing with leaps and bounds as ready to wear and bespoke clothing is back in trend with a bang. 

According to last year's research report, “With a market size of Rs 97,000 crore, menswear is the largest segment in the Indian apparel market, accounting for 43% of the overall market. Men's formal wear is around Rs 15,000 crore, with five to six premium brands amounting to Rs 3,000 crore. On sharing his viewpoint about key trends in menswear market, Narinder Singh, CMD, Numero Uno Clothing Ltd, says: “Growing income capacity, brand consciousness and purchasing power of Indian men has increased and they are now more willing to experiment with different colours and styles. The man's wardrobe has a good share of casual wear of at least 5-10 denim wear. These positive trends are now giving boost to India's menswear industry.” On the other hand, Rajiv Nair, Chief Executive Officer, Celio Future Fashion Limited, believes that the larger part of this market is fragmented. Talking about the trends that he had observed, he says:  “International menswear brands offer a fashion alternative to India men who have thus far been “smart followers”. There are far more Indian men making a fashion statement of their own today rather than following a crowd. This trend is still small but will grow big with the advent of fashion brands especially from Europe.” He further adds: “There is more understanding of cuts and fits rather than one size fits all type of clothing. Customers are more conscious of their looks and prefer to wear products that fit them well. For example, Denim and Indigos are big trends internationally and we can see the same trends in stores in India.” On the contrary, Manish Mandhana, Managing Director, Mandhana Industries Ltd that retails Being Human Clothing, says: “The major new trend in Indian menswear market is an influence of sportswear across all segments be it casual wear or formal wear. Men have become more experimenting and hence there is a comeback of bright colors in bottoms such as chinos, also men have started preferring slimmer and body fits with newer silhouettes seeing a surge in this segment.”

Ready to wear versus custom-fit clothing

Ready-to-wear segment has the largest share in India's menswear market industry as it is popular among younger population and corporates while customised or bespoke tailoring is more about luxury and still mushrooming as only few organised brands (homegrown & foreign) are present in this segment. 

In fact, whether shopping from online portals or offline stores, customers seek perfect fit and the trend of customised clothing has now caught attention of top notch apparel brands in menswear market. Looking at the custom tailoring in India, the market is fragmented with a plenty of local tailors that are operating their stores in an unorganized way. Precision in custom tailoring is of outmost importance, which unorganised brands lack today. Be it's about luxury, premium and mid-segments, the trend of custom tailoring is reviving rapidly in India and is back with a bang once again. Bespoke tailoring is the new trend in the India's menswear industry which is catching up quickly as brands are realizing the worth for customised clothing besides selling ready to wear for consumers.

In this segment, The Raymond Shop pioneered the concept of custom tailoring for men in India. The brand has come up with Raymond Made to Measure exclusive stores that would be serving the customers' need for custom made tailoring. Besides this, its Siyaram's Fashion Avenue, Creyate, an online custom clothing brand by Arvind Group and Van Heusen's new venture MYFIT has introduced custom fit clothing for Indian men to revolutionise the customers' wardrobe. In fact, luxury brands like Armani, Versace, Zegna, Canali, Corneliani, Cadini, Brioni and several others now offer made-to-measure tailoring in India.

Choose best location!

Discovering a right location that assures good margins, RoI and footfalls is all that matters for a brand's success. Enlightening about the preferred location, Manish Mandhana adds: “Before we move into any new city or country, an assessment is made of the markets potential. After a thorough research on demographic structure, purchasing power, competitor analysis, infrastructure etc, the decision is made. We prefer to be present at malls as they provide an entertainment hub for a family day out and hence draw a larger crowd.” While, Narinder Singh, says: “We believe EBOs ensure better margins while MBOs give us a better reach. However, both formats are equally important for influencing the growth of our brand.”  Rajiv Nair, feels, “While growth is largely through malls, we are looking for franchise partners who can help us tap Cluster B Cities and High Streets in Cluster A and B.”

Growth achieved

Talking about their brand's growth, Manish Mandhana adds: This financial year, the brand is planning to open at least 20 more exclusive stores with most of them running on a franchise model.”  On the other side, Rajiv Nair informs: “We have a conservative plan on the franchise business. We plan to open 10 stores in 2015 through the franchise route. We will ensure a success of these stores and continue to expand on a conservative basis  10-15 stores an year through franchising. We are looking for franchisees who want to be genuine retailers and not just have investment capacity.”

Talking about the launch of MYFIT, Vinay Bhopatkar, COO, Van Heusen says: "Van Heusen is present across 120 cities through its EBOs, MYFIT has already reached 200+ cities due to online-offline integration. We are witnessing increased customer satisfaction as the net promoter score in our benchmark store has gone up since the launch of MYFIT with improvement in 'fit' related issues. We are also witnessing higher levels of conversions – 30 per cent of the people who buy MYFIT are becoming repeat shoppers.” Whereas, Siyaram's aim is to touch 250 plus franchise showrooms by the end of FY15-16.





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