Hailing India’s unique signature in the world of denim culture, Amir Akhtar, CEO – Denim for Arvind Ltd., India’s leading textile to retail and brands conglomerate, thinks though international brands are way ahead in creativity when it comes to denim, the Indian market is in a position that influences global brands.
He believes that Indian market is riding on the ever-evolving fashion while citing the leading global fashion brands like Zara and H&M taking shape in the Indian denim market which is bigger than US and Europe in terms of consumption. Also, he emphasizes that co-branding is in the brand's domain and it depends upon brands personality and its sort of consumers. Thus, talking more about further innovations, Arvind Denim Lab, and other aspects, Aamir Akhtar spoke during the showcase of its exclusive ‘Gravity’ denim collection in Mumbai.
What is your view on denim culture worldwide versus in India?
India has its unique signature and I am very excited about that. Globally people have been making denim creatively, but it is fact that Indian market influences global brands. So you can’t force down anything on the Indian market.
The Indian market has its own mind following there is such a large consumption of denim in India. India’s denim consumption market is bigger than that of the US and Europe. It is growing and riding on ever-evolving fashion and this is just a beginning. Annually India is approximately producing about 800 million meters of denim fabric and consuming about 600 million meters.
What is your view on denim brands taking shape in India?
You can see the way Zara, H&M, and GAP have grown in India. So, clearly they are driving the market and they will continue to sort of influence Indian denim retail.
Many brands are joining forces with character brands to launch merchandise. What is your take on such deals?
Co-branding is in the brand's domain; it depends upon brand’s personality and its set of consumers. They have to decide who to be associated with. But certainly, it is the fact that global brand and global retail drive the Indian market.
According to you what are the innovations that are altering the denim wear segment?
The denim itself is continuously evolving. It is no longer that one thinks that denim is heavyweight, or hardworking stuff; now there is so much of fashion quotient evolving in denim. With changing trends, denim is also coming up with linen, modal and new generation fibers.
Which new innovations are in the pipeline at Arvind’s denim division?
We have partnered with latest wash technology with which one pair of jeans can be washed with just one glass of water. There are many such partnerships that we are coming up with.
Tell us something about your Arvind Denim Lab?
Arvind Denim Lab is a sort of facility that we offer to our key customers. We bring in the latest technology and latest designs; both put together and co-create innovative products. We showcase these innovations to the customers at an early stage. We work with our customer along with our design team and wash team and then we work on the production and deliver it to the customers. We are also helping visualize what we can do with Indigo. Nowhere in the world indigo has evolved much and there is so much we can do with indigo.
Have you added new markets globally?
We work with the select group of customers and rather we have actually cut down customers. So we go deeply and widely with these customers and those customers are growing globally. B2B supply of our denim fabric in India to the international and Indian brands stands for 40 to 50 percent of the total denim fabric supply.
What is your capacity for production of denim fabric?
Denim constitutes 30 to 35 percent of Arvind’s total fabric business. We produce 140 million meters of denim fabric annually.