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Apparel biggies on Indian trip

Over the last two weeks, at least three international brands debuted in the Capital, adding bling to the retail ramp in the run-up to the festival season, reports Madhusree Chatterjee.

business Updated: Sep 27, 2007 01:42 IST
Madhusree Chatterjee

The label is foreign in the Capital’s apparel stores. Delhi has finally hitched its wagon to the global apparel brand explosion in the country. Over the last two weeks, at least three international brands debuted in the Capital, adding bling to the retail ramp in the run-up to the festival season, barely a month away.

Australian ace golfer Greg Norman opened his first golf lifestyle apparel and accessories store, the Greg Norman Collection, in India at the DT City Centre in Gurgaon last Saturday. A subsidiary of the MacGregor Golf company, the Greg Norman Company clothes the world’s leading golfers and corporate honchos. “It is on the golf course where most of the mega business deals are struck. And Delhi has a big crowd which tees off in the weekends,” said Rahul Singh, CEO, Greg Norman Collection.

A week ago, Canadian fashion brand Groggy, which specialises in high-end casual wear, launched its Fall 2007 campaign with a cache of trendy casual wear with a fashion show in a South Delhi restobar. Groggy has tied up with the chain store Westside to hawk its line of skirts, tights, shirtdress and pants. The company, part of the Trio Group of Canada, launched its kidswear brand, The Simpsons, early this month. The target audience is the youth. “Groggy is for those between 18 and 25 years. The clothes are casual, but can be used as both office and informal partywear,” said Sanjiv Mehra, managing director of the Trio Group. He attributes the youth brand explosion in Delhi to the growing tribe of youngsters in India who have high disposables and the willingness to test new brands. The price does not matter any more. “Our studies have shown that 35 per cent of Indians will be young in the next 15 years and that’s a huge segment to tap,” Mehra said.

Greg Norman is also eyeing the young corporate lot on the greens. “The average age of the golfers has come down and the game is also played in schools. Most of the young men and women who play golf and the sporty kind love to dress well,” said Rahul Singh of Greg Norman.

The apparel-maker’s next destination is Saket, where they plan to set up their second standalone store.

One of the reasons for the explosion of brands in the Capital is the mall culture. “East and West Delhi have almost reached saturation point in terms of the number of malls. Gurgaon is full of them. What’s really going to change the scene are the two mega malls planned in Saket and Vasant Kunj. Just wait for the apparel deluge,” Singh said.

By January 2008, the average Delhiite will get a complete makeover, for a slew of new brands are on the cards. Trio will introduce three more brands, Covet for those aged between 22 and 35, Cream Soda for the youth and its exclusive lingerie and nightwear line Niteangels.

Shameel, a Pakistani designer, will debut with her traditional wear collection in January. Italian casual apparel-maker Diesel has tied up the Bangalore-based denim giant Arvind and Calvin Klein, and Gucci has collaborated with the Murjani group. “Delhiites have a penchant for brands. They love glamorous clothes that make them stand out in a crowd. Labels matter. All the big brands will have to come to the Capital,” said designer Sanjay Malhotra.

It’s party time for Delhi’s well-heeled and the best-dressed.