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How former Design Head of Van Heusen Woman started his own fashion label?

In an interaction with indianretailer.com, Sounak SenBarat, Designer and Owner, House of Three sheds light on the growth strategy of the company.

Tags: House of Three, Ogaan, Amethyst, Fuel, Elahe Urban, Vayu, Aveeha

BY Shipra Srivastava  |  September 24, 2018  |  comments ( 0 )  | 
How former Design Head of Van Heusen Woman started his own fashion label?
Sounak SenBarat

House of Three is a designer label based in Bangalore was launched in 2009 by Sounak Sen Bharat and Anu Shyamasunder. The brand is a one of kind experience in Bangalore that thoroughly focuses on making sustainability a vision for all and only defined to certain section of the audience. They want to educate and have more people connect with their overall ideology of making and selling ethical products. 

They have just launched their first store in Bangalore and currently retail at Ogaan, Amethyst, Fuel, Elahe Urban, Vayu, Aveeha and The Open Trunk. 

How did House of Three started? What was inspiration behind launching the brand? Also shed light on your entrepreneurial journey?

 House of Three was launched by Sounak Sen Barat in September 2008. At that juncture in life after almost a decade with Madura Garments and fresh after envisioning and successfully launching Van Heusen Woman, the question was, what next. With all the knowledge and data on design, design management, sourcing supply chain, finance and every aspect of the business of fashion as a Senior creative director, the idea then was to do something fresh and new accumulating all this know how. There was always a part that said whatever we do it has to be soulful. Clothes sure reflect the mind of the wearer but it has a deeper purpose beyond just the physicality of it all. Can it be a balance of being soulful as a narrative or as a design and making process while being sharp and trendy at the same time. Can clothes be a reflection of the mind, body and soul and not just merely the body or the mind.

At House of Three we draw inspiration from various spheres of modern lifestyle, new age music and graphics, modern art and architecture and combine simple and clean forms with emphasis on surface detailing.

In 2016, Anu Shyamsundar took on reins as our Business Director and we set up La Mere Designs , a multi-disciplinary agency specializing in business development across Fashion, Apparel, Product and Space Design, offering services in business planning and management, branding, digital, retail and creative direction.

How do you think Indian market is evolving as far as luxury product retailing is concerned? How do you think luxury market is evolved over last five years?

 The Indian idea of luxury has always been about the experience and the customization by your family jeweler tailor or embroiderer.In the modern day context esp over the past 5-10 yrs , luxury has found new love in the retail sector.

With rapid increase in disposable income, there has been a shift from value driven purchasing to aspirational high end quality driven buys. There is an upsurge of a purist, sophisticated, subtle aesthetic language of luxury, in line with the old philosophy that true luxury doesn’t scream for attention. The Indian consumer has become more appreciative of luxury and lifestyle experiences and are increasingly experimenting with newer young Indian luxury brands and experiences be in food, beverages ,furniture or fashion. This has created opportunities for many young brands to thrive in such a market.

What kind of distribution House of Three shares in online as well as offline  space? Do you retail via exclusive store? Going forward, what are the plans to scale up the distribution?

 House of Three has distinct lines of Pret, Diffusion and custom made Couture in Women swear ; Pret and bespoke made to measure in Menswear and home décor.

You can find all of our collections at our new lifestyle destination store in Indiranagar, Bangalore. We also sell these collections on our ecommerce sitewww.houseofthreestudio.com .

Additionally , we retail our Pret collections in multibrand designer stores across the country such as Elahe Urban, Amethyst, Ogaan, Ensemble and Vayu Bikaner House .

Our diffusion pieces are available on the designer platform in Amazon.in and we will soon be live on Jabong and NykaaDesignstudio.

Expansions plans are to increase our doors across multi-brand outlets and focus on building menswear pret as an independant category. The focus is also on collaborations and associations with corporate houses that give us the volumes to be able to enhance our handloom and sustainable fashion foot print.  In the mid term the focus would be to expand our own retail across cities of Hyderabad, Delhi and Bombay.

 What kind of categories are retailed via House of Three? Also shed light on your best performing categories and average selling price points?

We retail Womens Diffusion from 3000 to 7500 ; womens Pret from 6000 to 25000 ; womens couture - western and Indian at 25000 and above. We also retail pret menswear from 3500 to 7500 . The made to measure bespoke western and Indian formals for Men are priced depending on the customization. Our Pret womenswear and our MTM menswear are our best selling categories.

Kindly shed light on your current consumer base? Also, what kind of measures you have taken ensure the privacy of personal data such as credit cards?

 Our current customer base is that of HNI’s across the country. They are discerning,well travelled individuals who enjoy and respect our approach to fashion and share our love for sustainable design.

What kind of initiatives you have taken to ensure the last mile delivery? Also, how are you looking to extend the brand’s image in the online space?

We launched our online ecommerce site  www.houseofthreestudio.com last year. Ever since , we have also taken the brand online on the Amazon Designer Boutique. We will go live on the Nykaa’s new online design studio and on Jabong.com shorlty.

Our online shop is made on Shopify which in-turn is integrated with a leading e logistics solution. This helps ensure a smooth last mile delivery.

What would be your piece of advice who is looking to start the similar business?

 As in any business, one must know why one is looking to start an apparel business. Once that is clear, the story telling of the brand must be inspiring, creative and convincing.

This highly capital intensive  business requires a very keen eye and attention to detail on processes in every area of operation wether it be brand building, design , manufacturing , marketing or business development. One has to have the vision and the will to survive and succeed in this business.

The 2 most important elements are to

A) Have a solid 3 year projection business plan with a defined date of break even, before you start the business.

B) A structured back end for fabrics and garment manufacturing.

Are you boot strap or have raised any sorts of funds so far?

We have grown organically so far without any external capital.

How much investment you are looking to pump in to scale up the growth? Al last, kindly highlight your growth plans?

We are looking at raising 2.5 cr towards enhancing our retail foot print in Delhi NCR and Hyderabad and expansion of our online presence. We are happy to talk to companies, individuals who are willing to partner up with us and help influence this change at a higher scale to make an impact of real consequence.

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