India’s denim industry has evolved over years. Denim is a high growth casual wear category as consumers find it to versatile, fashionable and comfortable, with vast choices in fabrics, finish, looks, fits, colours and functionality. Talking about Numero Uno’s latest collection, Samresh Das, Design Manager, Numero Uno, highlights, “The current style trend focuses on high waist skinny as well as boyfriend jeans with damages and a bit of ripping off. Real denim has always been our style statement. We have created new fits to flaunt feminine curves.”
Fashion vs basic products
For the company, the ratio between fashion and basic lies at 2:1. The Numero Uno, women’s denim collection is a good mix of core and fashion products. Core is essentially basic denims and jeggings in variety of washes and colours and comprises about 30-40 per cent of the company’s collection. The fashion range includes stylised detailing, value addition and innovative washes based on latest fashion trends in jeans, skirts, shorts, dungarees etc constitutes the other 60 per cent.
Das says, comfort with fashion sells more. With changing lifestyles and fast evolving preferences, consumers look for both creativity/fashion and functionality in their purchases. India essentially being a young nation most of the growth in denimwear segment is driven by youth. “The new generation is more mobile, open to change and experimentation, so they are opting for trendy and comfortable clothing that suits their dynamic lifestyle. Emergence of jog-denim and athleisure trend is a great example, which signifies a cultural shift towards athletic inspired comfort wear that is sporty yet versatile and can be worn socially as well. In short, customers are demanding both utility as well as fashion all rolled into one,” says Das.
Choice between mid segment or premium
Rapidly growing urban population and changing lifestyles, increased disposable incomes, increased mobility and exposure to global fashion have led to an overall increase in demand for women’s denim and casualwear. The most important factor in women’s denim is fit. Indian body types are varied and it’s difficult to get the ideal fit that caters to different body types. “Achieving the perfect fit requires a lot of research, study and technical expertise, which very few brands, like ours, have been able to do. Numero Uno can boast of having achieved the right denim fit for the Indian women,” asserts Das.
In India, the mid and economy denim segments are much stronger than the premium and super-premium segments with former enjoying almost 67 per cent market share. Unbranded players operate in lower price segment where awareness about quality of fabric, washes and finishes is relatively low. On price parity, Das informs, “The combination of competitive price with a truly international level product is the gap. Our mantra is to find the strength and meet adoption curve.”
Numero Uno intends to grow by 5 per cent this year. It has a substantial growth in EBOs and a decent business partnership with MBOs. “Expansion has been a continuous process for us and we keep penetrating different regions and areas of retail business. We need to focus on ELPP and super premium denim,” sums up Das.