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Making for a costly boudoir

business Updated: Mar 30, 2008 03:12 IST
Ruchi Hajela

Indian women are going to have a brush with uber expensive handbags and not-so-affordable innerwear with two global luxury brands announcing plans on Saturday to invest in New Delhi.

Italian innerwear brand La Perla will be sold through its first store expected to come up by the end of May at the upcoming DLF Emporio Mall in Vasant Kunj.

The other brand that will hit Indian shores in the months to come is Leiber from the United States.

La Perla had entered into a partnership with the Murjani Group in 2006 and the first store was expected to have been set up by 2007. However, the project got delayed as the DLF mall could not come up on time.

“Lingerie is seen in emerging markets as a status symbol and lifestyle product,” said Andrea Bonardi, MD at La Perla Asia. “Indian women are the natural customers for La Perla as they are strong and at the same time are not shy of their feminity.”

La Perla’s range would start upwards of Rs 15,000.

Commenting on whether selling an innerwear brand is a challenge in India, Bonardi said: “It isn’t easy to start a business in this category in India. There are social norms and one also needs to convince a buyer about paying a high price for something as functional as innerwear.”

Leiber will be bringing in its handbags priced between Rs 65,000 and Rs 2,65,000. That may seem expensive, but it’s just 10 per cent higher than the price you would pay in New York, despite the fact that the government levies about 45 per cent import duty when it enters India.

“India is a part of our global expansion,” said Frank Zambrelli, president & creative director of the company. “Indian women, whether modest or bold, celebrate their feminity.”