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Myntra to increase focus on original fashion brands; Plans to have 15-20 of them

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Flipkart-owned online fashion store Myntra is increasing focus on its original fashion brands and introducing more such brands in the future.

The company currently has eight original fashion brands – Roadster, Dressberry, Mast & Harbour, Anouk, SherSingh, Kook n Keech, ETC and Hrithik Roshan’s casual wear brand HRX. In the long term, it plans to have around 15-20 such brands. These brands are also expected to be available on Flipkart shortly.

Myntra CEO Mukesh Bansal mentions that these brands are more like a fashion brand rather than private label, since he believes it has an unique & distinct identity in the respective segment & price point and it is currently in a position to compete with all the existing national brands.

Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal added that the big difference between a private label and fashion brand is that fashion brands command a price premium while private labels are more about value mostly. Note that Flipkart had also launched a private lifestyle label Flippd earlier in January this year.

“What Myntra is doing with its fashion brands is that they are creating mainstream brands which people will come to Myntra for and not just we will see as an alternative of what an existing brand with a cheaper price offers” Sachin Bansal adds.

Flipkart’s other co-founder Binny Bansal mentioned that Myntra would be investing deeply into cutting edge design and bringing new fashion to the Indian customers, whereas Flipkart’s private label will be more about value.

Myntra’s strategy for original brands

Mukesh Bansal said that they currently have a two-fold strategy for original brands: First, they’ve identified few brands which has been around for last 18 months and already has a fan base of its own for accelerated growth. These include brands like Roadster, Dressberry and Anouk.

Secondly, they are seeding other brands across various segments wherein they don’t have a “very strong play today”. Some of these will be developed by working with celebrities. For instance – a brand for men’s formal wear and a brand for kidswear among others.  “In the long term, I see somewhere between 15-20 brands, with some playing a niche role and some playing very large brands like Benetton.”

Opening offline stores

The company is also experimenting with some sort of offline presence by opening exclusive showrooms for original brands like Roadster. Myntra COO Ganesh Subramanian had earlier told The Economic Times that it will be opening one Roadster shop each in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. Bansal however said this is purely for brand building and not to increase sales.

“We will be opening some exclusive showrooms just to demonstrate what Roadster can do. Offline is definitely not a part of our strategy, we are an online business, our DNA is absolutely online and that’s where we are committed to”. “An offline presence creates a physical touch point where you can interact to consumers to do some experiments.”

Roadster biking collection

Myntra has also roped in an Italian designer Vanni Lenci who heads the boutique design studio Parabellum, to look after the design of its Roadster brand. Lenci and his team of 10-12 designers will apparently be using their international expertise to bring in an international flavour to the brand. As per Parabellum website, the studio has previously worked with several global brands like Puma, Flying Machine, Lee Jeans, Roy Rogers, Stone Island, Evisu, Lonsdale, Incotex Red and Liu Jo among others.

These designs are expected to be available by July-August 2014. Myntra is also looking to launch a separate premium biking collection called RDSTR within the Roadster brand. After Roadster, Parabellum is also expected to oversee the designs of other brands like Dressberry and Mast & Harbour among others.

Our coverage of Flipkart-Myntra acquisition:

– Live blog: Flipkart acquires Myntra
– Key Events In Myntra’s Journey : A Timeline
– Flipkart buys Myntra; Mukesh Bansal to join Flipkart board
Here’s what Indian e-commerce companies think of Flipkart’s acquisition of Myntra

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