Edgy designs to rule this A/W season

Retailers emphasize ATL promotions for customer engagement
Edgy designs to rule this A/W season

It is that time of the year again. The end of season sales (EOSS) are giving way to new designs and must-haves at every store. Yes, the Autumn/Winter collections are here and retailers give us a scoop of what’s in store.

Unlike last year, when the collection was more focused on gentle, darker tones, A/W 2013 will see an immense amount of innovation in the use of new textures and decorative embellishments. Fashion has taken a turn this season, and mix and match colours, fabrics, prints and decorative details into one single silhouette will rule the ramps. Shoppers should expect multicolored artworks with tie dye, graphic designs and animal prints.

Stressing that the power of animal is here to stay, Vineet Gautam, Country Head, Bestseller India, says, “This year’s  A/W collection sports a lot of zebra, tiger and leopard prints. In terms of jackets the sleeveless vest and the PU jacket are season winners that add a feminine/masculine play, which is becoming the new way women dress."

What’s in store?
Designer Ranna Gill stresses that this year the collection will be edgier and graphic and a hit with young fashionistas. Deepak Agarwal, MD, Kazo, says, “Last year army influence dominated the collection along with inspiration drawn from wildlife, while this year will have metallic details for punk chic look and hints of baroque elements.”  While Armani Jeans offers a biker look in clean, contemporary blue colours with heavy jackets and denim jackets as season must-haves.

Couture designer Ritu Kumar will also offer a line of jackets and coats as layered co-ordinates which is a trend worldwide this year. While designers have always chosen to showcase the best of their collections at numerous fashion shows, Ritu Kumar has also added two new stores in Bandra, Mumbai and Greater Kaliash, New Delhi for added exposure of the brand.

Promotional strategies
While EOSS and offers have proven to drive footfalls, new collections require a different promotional strategy altogether. Here, retailers need to showcase the designs and novelties of the new collection while ensuring that it is value for money for the customer. To this effect, designer Krishna Mehta shares that customers should expect collections at varied price points, over and above the unique quality products designed for this season.

Kazo plans a lot of below the line (BTL) activities and live mannequin and fashion shows along with collection-specific radio and newspaper advertisements.

For Pepe Jeans, billboards, print advertising in national and regional newspapers and lifestyle magazines constitute its above the line strategy. Says Neha Shah, Marketing Manager, Pepe Jeans India, “All these aim at creating the visibility, top of the mind recall with the end consumers. These activities are strongly backed by point of sales material, innovative window displays and larger than life visual images in the Pepe Jeans stores reinforcing the communication received by the consumers through above the line initiatives.” Similarly Peppermint Diva gained a lot from a Jhalak Dikhlaja episode in which Madhuri Dixit wore a Peppermint Diva outfit. The brand is always looking for more such celeb associations as it gives them quite a boost.

Sales forecasts

Even though it is still too soon to judge how this year’s collections will pan out, retailers are confident that their collection would see better sales than last year. Deepak Agarwal says Kazo expects Rs 25 crore sales this season and targets to achieve Rs 50 crore this fiscal with 20-30 percent growth year-on-year. Krishna Mehta too hopes to get a 20 percent growth on last year’s sale this season. Clearly, retailers are well prepared with new looks and designs for this year.

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