- Meenakshi Kumar |
With prints being already exhausted by the industry, Blackberrys is now focusing on linen for the upcoming collection, termed as ‘Linen House’. Sensing that there is not much to explore in any other segment, the company experimented with linen to give a unique experience to customers. The collection is mostly about linen cotton and line jacquards. There is an exclusive range of linen cotton wrinkle free shirts. The brand says this collection is innovative and one of its kind.
Innovative linen collection in focus
Highlighting the collections collection, Sachin Kishore, Senior Category Manager, Blackberrys, says, “Blackberrys has been the top most brand in white shirts category in India. Our white shirts range this time has the level of brightness 160 plus as measured. The best in India until now has been 160. We are giving the highest white retention capability to our shirts. Moreover, we are doing 4 BP travel trending shirts. The brand is working on technical aspects shirts. For us, shirt has become a serious business.” Another unique feature of their shirts is SPI (stitches per inch). It stands at 22 stitches per inch. He says, technically, linen shirts in their collection are going against the character of linen fabrics as, they are making it as wrinkle-resistant as possible.
The company is known for structures, prints and dobbies. “We are continuously doing jacquards. Prints on structure are still in trend. As we see it, 2017 is going to be about structural prints whether it is casual, formal or evening wear. We realised people want something different, other than prints, so we introduced linen in different silhouettes. The collection of shirts this time is a mix of various types of styles, different kind of treatments all across linen,” adds Kishore.
The brand has introduces soft as well as bright tones. Colours like green, mustard, aqua are important and the company has incorporated them in the collection. As far as linen is concerned, it is good with any colour, so linen range consists of every colour the company has.
Talking about the price points, he says, “Linen is expensive, we are using linen blends largely, offering a range in affordable prices, so pricing is not an issue for consumers. Our linen blend shirts are available in Rs 1,000 range also. If you want a premium linen shirt, it is available at Rs 6,000. We may not have expensive range in our store but we make it and it is accepted well. Linen in its new avatar is going to be acceptable. Since the market is flooded with prints, the industry is about to witness a sea change in upcoming years, if stripes come in linen, the market for casual will be replaced by formals for sure.”
Economic changes are posing a big challenge, opines Kishore. The major challenge is economical upheaval and underdeveloped retail sector compared to global markets. There is no time for end of season sale (EOSS). Some brands are running sales early, some late, therefore, the advantage goes to customer, which is fine but there should be a defined timeline. “Some brands, are launching spring/summer season in February and start running sales by April and May. Discounting trend is a big challenge. The situation is such that brands are ready to launch their spring/summer collection in winter. Customers have become smart, they don’t buy products at the actual prices but wait for correction in pricing, this trend is killing brands,” he sums up.