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109° F puts ‘F’ back in fashion with its new S/S ’15 line

By Sujata Sachdeva

19 Feb 2015

Fashion

Targeting multi-faceted young women, 109° F, one of India’s leading women’s brands, launched its much-awaited Spring/Summer’15 collection in Mumbai on Tuesday.

S/S flirty, fab and more…

Managing Director Rahul Mehta dedicated the line to women who are funky, flirty, ferocious. As he says, “Our tag line is to put the ‘F’ back in fashion. We thought fashion as a concept which was viewed in isolation. There was no connection with different facets of women, the ultimate consumers. So we wanted to put the ‘F’ back in fashion. ‘F’ stands for flirty, fabulous, feminine, funky etc. We are saying our fashion is not operating in a vacuum. Our fashion represents the different facets of a woman, her personality and moods.”

The launch at the trendy Aquaba in South Mumbai was done through a glitzy fashion show. Mehta explained the brand believes women are at par, if not better than, men in most aspects. “It’s time men recognise this. In a small way our brand 109° F has tried to felicitate women especially young women achievers including Shipra Khanna, winner of Master Chef India, one of the youngest Indians to scale Mt Everest Krushnaa Patil, YouTube sensation Shraddha Sharma and philanthropist Aalia Furniturewala who have made remarkable contribution in their fields.” These achievers were felicitated by popular ghazals singer Pankaj Udhas, former Miss India and journalist Meher Castelino, fashion retailer Viren Shah, TV personality and columnist Pooja Bedi.

The brand’s target is women 25 to 35 years. But now it’s also looking at younger consumers. “You will see this in the styling of our products, the brand communication and positioning. We will take a younger stance but this will be as a form of expansion and extension. We were entirely into western wear and occasion wear with casual wear and party wear in between. Since Autumn/Wnter 2014, we have a range of party wear.”

Expanding brand presence

Available across the country, the brand is now aiming for 25 to 30 percent growth per annum, not purely driven by metros. Some constituents of its range focuses on metros and some on non-metros. “We are a fashion brand, not couture fashion nor are we basic wearable fashion,” stresses Mehta. As of now, major portion of the brand’s business (55 to 60 percent) comes from large formats followed by 37 EBOs and MBOs. By 2017 end we may have 75 EBOs, which will play a big role for us in future. We are also planning an exclusive line for MBOs. We will have a different brand for online sales. Online should give us 10 percent sales in the next few years,” he adds.

Confident about the brand’s success against global brands, Mehta says, “We are not worried about international brands. I don’t think they have understood the Indian consumer yet. They have to learn to address the consumer and can’t copy paste their strategy and designs. There are limitations on see-through, sleeveless, short skirts. Then there’s also the Indian woman’s body shape which is different from American or European woman’s. Our brand has an international flavour, reflects international fashion trends but incorporates Indian fits and sensibilities. Also the market for western wear is growing rapidly. So there’s space for all,” sums up Mehta.

109 F