Celebrities across the world are launching their own fashion brands. From Justin Timberlake to the Kardashian sisters, these icons are vying for a space in the lives of their audience. However, in India, only a few celebrities have realised the full potential of being a brand custodian rather than a brand ambassador. And some have launched their own fashion lines. For example, Salman Khan launched the famous ‘Being Human’ brand while Deepika Padukone in collaboration with French design agency Carlin and Myntra’s in-house design came up with ‘All About You’, cricketer Yuvraj Singh introduced ‘YouWeCan’, a sports lifestyle brand, Virat Kohli has ‘Wrogn’ and Hrithik Roshan has his athileisure brand HRX. Indeed celebrities are buildings fashion brands to boost their popularity.
Being Human, the casual wear brand launched by Salman Khan in 2012, currently has over 600 points-of-sale globally. As per Manish Mandhana, CEO, The Mandhana Retail Ventures, they started with Rs 45 crore, and moved to Rs 132 crore and today the brand is worth Rs 220 crore. The brand has been growing at good pace and looking at clocking in 20 per cent year-on-year growth for the next three to four years.
Social media a business booster
One good reason why celebs today choose to launch a brand rather than merely endorsing one is the emergence of social media and the way it helps them reach out to their fans personally. A glaring example of this is the Just F brand being launched by Jacqueline Fernandez in collaboration with Mojostar- a celebrity-driven house of brands. Jiggy George, Founding Partner feels there is no one else who has curated such a phenomenal social media following. It really is about Jacqueline the person and what she stands for and it is not created by any agency. It has an authentic voice. Indeed, digital plays an important part when it comes to celebrity-led brands.
For many celebrity-led brands, launching collections first on the digital platform enables them to reach the audience in Tier I and II cities. Being Human spends about 3-4 per cent of its turnover on marketing.
Bonding with the brand
Having a large fan-base and captive audience is not enough. It is important for the celebrity to be extremely involved with the brand they launch. Mandhana agrees there has to be a bond between the brand and the celebrity which has to reflect in the design and the product too. Being Human does a lot of casual wear because Salman is mostly casually dressed. He also almost exclusively wears Being Human products and therefore, people relate with the brand when they see him and it helps in visibility.
Emphasis on quality
Celebrity-led brands don’t just have to compete with other celebrity-led brands but also with already established fashion labels. While a celebrity can boost brand sales in initial days, in the long run, only quality products sustain competition. While having a celebrity gives quick attention to a brand which for any other would have taken longer but it does not substitute for being focused on the product. It has to meet customer standards.