With the onset of the pandemic, when most retail businesses went live and trends became more suited to incorporating a comfortable lifestyle into the WFH, brands signed up for a learning curve. GUESS, the global fashion brand with a legacy of almost four decades of providing cutting edge clothing and accessories, recently relaunched its first store at DLF Mall of India, Noida. The brand launched its wave of expansion with collections tailored to the post-pandemic landscape. To find out more about this, Financial Express spoke to Manoj Kumar Nair, CEO of Gaurik Lifestyle. Extracts:
What are the next fashion trends in accessories that will be big in 2021?
According to a report from Unicommerce, the online fashion industry grew 51% in this fiscal year. Accessories are becoming the favorites of the new age consumer. We should look for bold and daring pieces to accentuate more casual athletic wear. Chunky gold jewelry paired with pastel-colored sunglasses is something that balances the laid-back aesthetic. We take bags to the extreme once again – from mini crossbody bags to large tote bags, it all makes sense to Gen Z and Millennials.
Can you share the new product line from GUESS in India? What other new collections can we expect?
We are an iconic brand that caters to a wide age group ranging from teenagers to even retirees. We have relaunched ourselves to the market with the new Spring / Summer 2021 collection which offers consumers our trendy and timeless range of jeans, dresses, clothing, shoes and much more. The upcoming collection features vintage flowers, fun prints and classic pastels, and it represents the young, contemporary and timeless vibe of the brand that is renowned around the world. A key part of the collection will be accessories and a wide range of handbags – from satchels to tote bags and backpacks to luggage, there is something for everyone in the store.
The upcoming fall / winter 2021 collection will see exclusive sportswear enter Indian markets. This will feature chic, comfortable and playful designs designed to suit working from home, in a multitasking environment. The collection will provide consumers with the comfort they are looking for, without compromising on style.
We are seeing a shift in the trend towards more comfortable clothing after the pandemic. What other changes is the fashion industry likely to witness? What is the Guess Athleisure Collection USP?
Well, the fashion industry is definitely adjusting to the post-pandemic landscape. The current state of fashion is comfort. This means that comfortable and beautiful clothes are becoming the way of life of consumers. Working from home without any limitation has cultivated this environment suited to multitasking.
Even beyond that, the modern consumer has also become more health conscious, they want to take care of their well-being and fitness and athleisure makes it easier for them. They now have more designer fashion choices that are both comfortable and stylish.
We’re bringing our Athleisure collection this fall / winter season to meet the same change in trend. For too long there have been a few restricted options for sportswear in our country. What consumers need is a more on-trend, fashion-centric approach to sportswear that this collection will showcase. Guess’s Athleisure collection will be the bridge between comfort and style and sits right at the junction of exclusivity.
What will be the outlook for the fashion industry by 2025? What does this mean for brands entering India?
I believe that in the years to come, it will be essential for a brand to exploit all channels of communication with its consumers. We must note that while the digitization of shopping has increased during the pandemic, the brick and mortar is here to stay. It allows a brand to create an experiential environment for the consumer. So, one must complement each other for the brand to survive.
Another key element to observe in the following years is the lasting revolution that is coming. Generation Y and Generation Z, who account for more than half of the industry’s sales, are the flagships of this revolution and want to partner with brands that align their values ââwith manufacturing practices that respect the environment. environment and sustainable. In addition, being environmentally friendly and sustainable is more than just a business decision, it is a moral responsibility.
Even at Guess, we are completely transforming our production processes to make them more sustainable and environmentally friendly. We plan to recycle plastic waste to create yarn and use organic cotton for our denims, introducing the Indigo Flow process which reduces water consumption for washes by 70% while increasing dye penetration and by massively reducing the use of chemicals.
Can you share Guess India’s business expansion plans and retail strategy for fiscal years 21-22? What are the expectations?
According to the Retail Association of India, the retail sector achieved 93% of pre-covid sales in February 2021. The market size is expected to reach nearly US $ 1.3 trillion by 2024. Things s ‘bode well for the retail industry in India. At GUESS, we plan to hit the 300 crore mark over the next 5 years.
Guess is a global fashion brand with a heritage of almost four decades of creating fashion-forward clothing and accessories. As part of our expansion strategy, the brand plans to first expand the base to Tier 1 metropolitan cities and slowly enter Tier 2 subways, touching the most profitable malls for the convenience of our customers. consumers. Then we will gradually explore the possibility of approaching micro-markets and launching accessory stores in small towns that will offer our key categories like handbags, watches, etc.
We recently opened our first store at DLF Mall of India, Noida, and plan to open more in prime locations in Mumbai and Pune in the coming months. The goal is to launch more than 10 stores by the end of this fiscal year.
Market sentiment after the pandemic has been fairly strong in terms of retail. Consumer demand continued to improve after the second wave which paves the way for our entry into the Indian market.