“Casual wear has revamped itself and become bolder,” affirms Aditya Agarwal, Co-Founder, Campus Sutra, a youth brand for apparels and accessories. “This year, we have seen a lot of trends making a big comeback. From flared denims to bell sleeves, from polka dots floral, it is all about nostalgia in fashion in 2018. Casual wear has revamped and become bolder, fashion has become a medium of expression for an individual and we can see that change.” About the trends that have made a comeback says, 70’inspired fashion is back. “Jeans are a staple of every wardrobe. You can also expect to see patchwork styles and darker shades of denim because 2018 is the year to be creative with denim.” Nerd chic will continue to assert itself beyond the realm of graphic tees. Striped polos, aviators, varsity sweaters, all in a classic primary color palette will make a comeback. “Stark shapes will influence fashion, especially when it comes to accessories. Hexagon and kite shapes will be finding their way into fashion, fine jewelry, and home decor.
Increased size and shape gives floral prints a more modern and fashion forward touch. Though, the French girl chic is always in, 2018 focuses on the French Riviera and nautical looks. Velvet the luxe fabric is usually reserved for fall and holiday seasons, but now velvet is available all year-round.
E-commerce players focus on casual wear
Agarwal points out, “The online casual wear market is growing by leaps and bounds and has become the major focus of all ecommerce players.” With a shift towards profitability, fashion has become the de facto category that focus on drawing in online players of every shape and size. “With nearly 50 per cent of all e-commerce transactions in India happening in the fashion category, it is one of the most interesting sectors to watch,” he adds.
New athleisure collection
Campus Sutra has launched an athleisure collection that focuses on functional properties like odour-free, sun protection, vent mesh for fast sweat absorption, stretchable and light weight. “These make the garment intelligent and our life easier,” notes Agarwal. The past few years have witnessed the growth of the athleisure category. “The category is likely to evolve in and diverse itself into different product categories,” he opines. But Agarwal does not insist all brands to enter this category. “This is not the only growing category,” he states. “People are experimenting with different styles leading to the growth of many other categories also.”
Sales driven by e-retailing
“Being an online brand, our sales are driven by e-retailing,” views Agarwal. “We have shifted our focus towards offline retailing and would like it to constitute around 50 per cent of our sales. Our online catalogue, on the other hand, is likely to generate 40 per cent sales,” he states.
Customers in smaller cities do not have access to multiple brands and resort to online shopping, “We started this category in our brand with 40 products two years ago. It now constitutes to about 10 per cent of our catalogue,” he adds.
The brand designs a separate catalogue for online and offline retail. Customers are offered the option of endless aisle which enables them to see the online collection and make their decision easier. With the rise of omni-channel retail, concepts like visual trial rooms and endless aisle are likely to be adopted in a major way, feels Agarwal. These will reduce the number of returned items and logistical conveniences. “We have successfully experimented with endless aisle. We plan to further expand our offline retail presence and aim to generate a turnover of Rs 200 crore in 2019.