Islamic Apparel brand ties up with Snapdeal to open its open flagship store

Global clothing brand East Essence is all set to venture in indian online space by partnering with Snapdeal to open its online flagship store.
Islamic Apparel brand ties up with Snapdeal to open its open flagship store
Global clothing brand East Essence is all set to venture in indian online space by partnering with Snapdeal to open its online flagship store.
Besides, the leading Islamic clothing company will make its India debut next month by opening an online store at e-commerce marketplace Snapdeal and plans to make the country a manufacturing hub for international markets.
"The idea is to turn Islamic clothing from a drab black or white clothing mainly used to cloak the body into colourful fashionable attire while maintaining enough modesty," said Sunny Kilam, co-founder of East Essence, established in 2007 in the Silicon Valley of California.
The US firm has presence in 68 countries and has annual sales of $40 million, or about Rs 256 crore. Amit Maheshwari, vice-president for fashion at Snapdeal, said, "Their team has carefully chosen target market with niche product lines and we are supporting them. This is going to drive more consumers to our existing base."
India is the world's second largest Muslim-majority country, with the community representing 14.2% of total population. That's nearly 170 million potential consumers, completely catered by unorganised players at present.
But it won't be easy for an international brand to establish a significant presence in the modest clothing market where a substantial chunk is in affordable range. East Essence is aware of this issue and has already opened a manufacturing facility in Noida, which will cater to the Indian market and also become a hub to meet global demand.
"We wanted to become as fashionable as a Zara or Forever 21 but at an affordable pricing," said Kilam. "Most of the ethnic Muslim population in the US either got their clothes tailor-made or bulk purchased when they visited their home countries such as India, Pakistan or Bangladesh. We have changed this buying habit in most European and US markets and would replicate this in India as well," he added.
Kilam, who has his origin in Kashmir, said East Essence's offerings will range from funky abayas, jilbabs and burqa to hoodies and even swim-wear. It won't be restricted to women's clothing. Menswear contributes nearly 20% of the firm's overall sales. Like the print on one of its hoodies reads 'Just duaa it', the company in India wants to do almost everything - from partnering Amazon and other online marketplaces to selling its wares at department stores across the country.
Experts feel the Islamic fashion industry remains largely untapped in India and has potential. "It is like having Chandni Chowk, Jama Masjid and Mohammad Ali Road on the same platform," said Manisha Rao, an independent luxury and fashion consultant. "It is just not about buying clothes. It is now more about being in sync with the latest fashion," she said.
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