25 September 2015
With brands like Zara and Forever 21 gaining acceptance and rapidly
growing their businesses in India, Kishore Biyani-led Future Lifestyle
Fashions Ltd has set up a design studio in London to tap into
the vibrant fast fashion market. The studio will launch its first
fast fashion brand with global design sensibilities in spring-summer
Located in Victoria, London, Future Style Lab houses an international
team of designers and merchandising experts. It will infuse the
brands Future Lifestyle sells such as Lee Cooper, Indigo Nation,
Scullers, Urbana, John Miller, Jealous 21, UMM and RIG with a
global design ethic, besides curating the new fast fashion brand.
Indian fashion is evolving at a rapid pace and incorporating
global trends and sensibilities. Women in India today shop for
fresh fashion 8-10 times a year. Our design studio in London will
develop a fast fashion brand that responds to these needs and
infuses our brands with global sensibilities and innovation in
design and sourcing, said Kishore Biyani, managing director,
Future Lifestyle Fashions.
Londons Victoria district has emerged as the new fashion
hub. While the likes of designer Tom Ford and luxury label Burberry
have their headquarters in the neighbourhood, offices of lingerie
brand Victorias Secret, fashion label Dolce and Gabbana,
luxury behemoth Richemont and shoemaker Jimmy Choo are in close
The company has hired Manjula Tiwari from fashion and lifestyle
e-tailer Jabong to lead Future Style Lab. Tiwari has over two
decades experience in the fashion industry and was invol-ved
in introducing global brands such as Espirit and United Colors
of Benetton in India.
The design team will be led by Ainsley Dart, who has directed
large design teams of multi-product, fast fashion brands and worked
with textile suppliers such as Courtalds and Dewhirst.
Biyanis plan to launch a fast fashion brand comes at a
time when Swedish fashion retailer Hennes and Mauritz AB (H&M)
is ready to launch its first store in India in October. UK-based
Arcadia Groups fashion brands Topshop and Topman made their
debut in the Indian market with fashion e-tailer Jabong in the
past week. Topshop has about 400 new styles hitting its 300 stores
in the UK every week. These are then available at all its global
stores and geographies within a week of launch.
The plan is to make these available in India as well,
said Jacqui Markham, global design director, Topshop.
Moreover, existing global retailers like Zara, Forever 21 and
Gap are also expanding in India. Since its launch five years ago,
Spanish fast-fashion brand Zara, which has 16 stores in the country,
has clocked revenue of Rs.721 crore for the financial year ended
2015a growth of 24% over the year ago period.
Los Angeles-based Forever 21 has nine stores in India and plans
to add five to six every year. On average, each Forever
21 store does Rs.35 crore of business per year, said Deepak
Agarwal, CEO, DLF Brands Ltd, the brands joint venture partner
in India in an earlier interview.
Likewise, US-based Gap Inc., which launched its first store in
May in a franchise agreement with Arvind Brands, will have nine
stores by the end of the fiscal, said J. Suresh, CEO, Arvind Brands.
The fast fashion business model is different from that of department
stores or traditional retailers. It takes global fashion trends
and makes them available within a very short time spanwhich
could be a week or soin stores. It involves continuous refreshes
that keeps interest levels high among consumers who are fashion
Analysts believe Biyani will benefit by making the transition.
For Future Group, the fact that it is entrepreneurial and
has its manufacturing base located here will allow it to do the
continuous refreshes in good speed. It could work to its advantage,
said Devangshu Dutta, CEO at consulting company Third Eyesight.
(Published in Mint.)