Flipkart-owned online fashion retailer Myntra has launched a year-long Designer in Residence (DIR) program under the Myntra Fashion Incubator (MFI) initiative. The company had first announced its plans to set up a fashion incubator in June this year, and the first batch was expected to kick-off in the next month with 20 entrepreneurs onboard. This program is targeted towards existing early-stage and aspiring fashion entrepreneurs who don’t have access to capital, supply chain or distribution platforms. The objective is also to eventually showcase a host of independent brands on the Myntra portal.
Interested designers and fashion entrepreneurs need to apply for the program by visiting the MFI microsite before October 31, 2014. The shortlisted designers will have to present to the jury in December 2014. The jury will focus on identifying business ideas that have the potential to be scaled and can sustain itself in the competitive fashion and lifestyle market, the company said. Up to 10 entrepreneurs will be selected for the DIR program, expected to start in January 2015. They will be able to attend workshops and training sessions, besides receiving guidance from the mentors and financial support. The fashion portal said it would further invest close to $1 million for equity stakes in the best performing brands, after an initial review period after 6 months to a year.
Focus on original fashion brands: Myntra CEO Mukesh Bansal had said, earlier this year, that the fashion e-tailer plans to introduce 15-20 original brands on its platform in the long-run. The fashion incubator would be the perfect channel to identify original brands that are in-line with what Myntra has to offer. It will also give them greater control over customization. Essentially, this incubator will allow Myntra to provide exclusive brands to its customers. Myntra already has eight original fashion brands on its platform, including Roadster, Dressberry, and Kook n Keech among others.