Leading online fashion retailer Myntra, which is in the news these days for a likely merger with e-commerce major Flipkart, is set to launch designer collections by Rohit Bal, Manish Arora and Anita Dongre exclusively for the spring-summer collection along with many international brands like Desigual and Harvard Lifestyle. This is in addition to existing international brands it sells such as New Balance, Supra, Stanley Kane, 883 Police and Jansport.
Myntra talks of democratising designer clothing, and of bringing down the delay in adoption of fashion trends in India. To enable that, collections from over 200 young and budding designers will be launched on Myntra. "We are partnering with designers under the merchandising-design arrangement and providing young designers with backend expertise. The idea is to serve the young generation which is increasingly becoming fashion-conscious. With the arrival of these new brands selling online and designer wear available at affordable prices, we would no longer be behind the west in the latest trends by about a year," says Ganesh Subramanian, COO for Myntra. The designer wear will be available on the website from prices starting at about Rs 1,500.
Myntra is not alone in going the designer way. Another e-retailer Jabong has similar plans to rope in more international brands. "The brick and mortar formats of leading stores are not available in more than thirty cities in India, but the demand is huge across tier III and tier IV towns which are devoid of malls and hypermarkets. So, we are in the space to create an ecosystem for designer wear," says Praveen Sinha, CEO and co-founder, Jabong. It already sells the British fashion brand, Dorothy Perkins.
Similarly, Koovs, that recently went for public listing at AIM - a sub-market of London Stock Exchange - wants to be the ASOS of India, selling designer wear beyond their home markets. It already has international designer names like Patrick Cox and Melissa Odabash along with a team of twelve designers in London. Some major brands from Europe like Timberland and Glamorous from UK sell exclusively on Koovs.
There is action beyond designer wear as well. Small and medium retailers selling ethnic and local brands are also increasingly going online. In a recent interaction, Kunal Bahl, CEO and co-founder of Snapdeal, had said that fashion is now their largest category beating electronics. The marketplace player now wants to focus on increasing its seller base of small and medium retailers selling local, ethnic and affordable range of clothes.
American retailer eBay recently inked a memorandum of understanding with Confederation of All India traders (CAIT) - an association otherwise opposed to FDI - to get small retailers on board.