Gunjan Piplani(GP): Give us a small brief about the brand.
Nivedita S.M (NSM): Founded in 1860 and based in Milan, FRETTE is the leading international luxury bed, bath and home furnishing brand. World renowned for its luxury linens, FRETTE has a rich history supplying the finest linens to aristocratic families throughout Europe, as well as to the Vatican. FRETTE is not only a designated supplier for royal families in Italy and other countries of the world, but also the favoured choice for top Hollywood celebrities and eminent entrepreneurs. FRETTE products have also adorned the beds of the world's most prestigious trains and ocean liners, including the Orient Express and the Titanic. Today, their products can be found in Beverly Hills, New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong and Tokyo and other international luxury centres. FRETTE is present in more than 40 mono-brand stores in Italy and nearly 100 boutiques in the shopping centres across the world and in most prestigious departmental stores. Top hospitality establishments such as the Paris Ritz, London Savoy, Singapore Raffles, Peninsula Hong Kong and all of Ritz-Carlton's U.S. properties outfit their hotels with FRETTE linens.
FRETTE’s bed linen is made of 100 per cent Egyptian cotton and has a 1,000 thread count making it one of best quality bed linen in the world.
FRETTE’s philosophy is to maintain the leadership in style and comfort and provide its trademark quality to all its customers. With its launch in India, FRETTE aspires to be a haven for Indian decor fashionistas. The store is the new benchmark in the lavish décor shopping experience and India’s new destination for the decor conscious.
GP: What products are being offered by Frette? Do you look forward to bring in localised products according to the taste of the consumers?
NSM: FRETTE provides luxury products for the entire family in its collections that varies anything from a bed linen to accessories to home wear for men and women, beach and bath products and baby essentials. FRETTE provides a varied taste in comforters, bed sets, duvets, pillows, quilts and bed spreads in its bed collections. In its beach and bath collection, FRETTE brings you bath robes, beach accessories, soaps, spa essentials, candles and towels. The FRETTE to wear collection comprises of accessories, lingerie, nightwear, sweaters, robes, slippers and scarves for men and women. The Baby collection contains bibs, bathrobes, blankets and bedding.
Besides, the sumptuous linen, they also provide stylish wall decor, dining, living and bedroom furniture to throws and blankets. The world of FRETTE is made of precious fabrics that transmit warmth, valuable accessories that fascinate the eyes and seduce the senses.
FRETTE’s new Autumn Winter collection has been dedicated to and inspired by India. This collection will be available later in the year at our Mumbai store as well as all other FRETTE stores worldwide.
FRETTE prides itself on the customer service that it provides its clients. With FRETTE India, we intend to take this level of service a step further by providing our clients customised designs across our range of products from bed linen, bath linen, accessories and night wear to baby wear and bed linen. Clients will be offered the option to have our experienced and well (FRETTE) trained staff adorn their beds and baths the FRETTE way in order to provide the full FRETTE experience.
GP: What are the price range you are offering and targeting which segment of the society?
NSM: Prices Range is Rs 18,000 onwards for the Edmond Line and Rs 1 Lakh onwards for The Couture Line. Our target customers would be both the HNWIs and the hospitality segment. FRETTE already has an established Indian client base and is the favoured choice for top Bollywood celebrities as well as eminent entrepreneurs. In terms of hospitality, our main target segment is High End Luxury local and international hotels.
GP: The Indian market for home furnishing is very scattered with a lot of unorganised players, how do you deal with this phenomenon?
NSM: Many affluent Indians prefer to shop in New York, Dubai, Singapore or London because the variety is greater and newer and the store experience is better. With FRETTE, we provide the exact same collection as available in Harrods or Madison Avenue at similar prices and the store experience would be one of seamless luxury and service.
Moreover going forward, an improvement in the Indian retail environment and changed regulations is likely to make the Indian stores a great access point vis-a-via the Western outlets.
Several other luxury bed linen brands have or are expecting to make their foray into the Indian market. Competition from these brands such as Versace Home, Ralph Lauren, Fendi Casa and Armani is not a concern for us since for all these fashion brands, bed linen is a secondary line. With a brand history and heritage as old as 1860, FRETTE’s core product offering is and has always been bed linen and luxury home furnishings.
GP: What is the retail presence of Frette in India? What are your future plans for the same? Which are the target regions you are looking at in India?
NSM: Since opening its first store within Ravissant, Mumbai (Colaba) in March, we have expanded to have a presence within The Charcoal Project, Mumbai (Andheri) and also have our Frette to Wear and Baby collections available at Fizaa, Mumbai. Earlier this month, we have also introduced our accessories at Biliss Spa, Delhi. We plan to launch six to nine stores in the next three years primarily in the metros followed by Tier II markets.
GP: Who all are your institutional clients? Do you plan to expand this area?
NSM: We are currently in discussions with several luxury hotels across the country. Out main target segment is High End Luxury local and international hotels. It is important to note that we, the FRETTE Retail Division, is independent to the FRETTE’s Hospitality Division which has serviced several hotels such as the Paris Ritz, London Savoy, Singapore Raffles, Peninsula Hong Kong and all of Ritz-Carlton's U.S. The range of products offered by the Retail Division is of a much higher quality (for example 400 vs. 1,000 thread count) than the Hospitality Range. These Products would adorn the Exclusive Suites, Private Dining Rooms and other exclusive areas in the Hotels.
GP: What are the revenues being clocked by the brand and what are the plans for the coming years?
NSM: FRETTE is an expression of a luxury lifestyle, typical of people who know how to treat themselves the best and how to feel best about them. As the franchisees for the brand, we share the FRETTE vision of providing the consumers not just with the FRETTE products but sharing with them the FRETTE dream and experience.
Our revenues expectations from the Indian market are huge. We are anticipating revenues in the region of $20 million over the next three years.
GP: Are the products being sourced or manufactured in India?
NSM: All of FRETTE’s products are manufactured it Italy. Over the years FRETTE has been working on the improving the quality of its linens using only the best and high quality raw materials from all over the world. Such as Egyptian cotton, linen, Chinese and Japanese silk, satin, Asian cashmere, New Zealand Merino wool, taffeta, brocade and plush velvet. FRETTE ‘s next Spring Summer collection (2013) has a unique product, a bedspread which has been fully embroidered in India. FRETTE recognises the exceptional quality and finishing of the embroidery work in India and hence decided to source the works from India to get an exceptional quality product.