Myntra co-founder & CEO Mukesh Bansal told the publication that Myntra’s London office will focus on the company’s partnerships with brands in the United Kingdom and Europe, liaison with European design studios and also generate fashion content.
Gautam Kotamraju, vice president of fashion brands at Myntra is leading the company’s efforts of setting up the London office while the former Net-A-Porter CEO Mark Sebba has apparently been roped in as an advisor for this launch. Sebba had retired from Net-A-Porter in August this year.
Myntra plans to release new designs from its London studio for its original fashion brands every 15 days. This ties-in with the company’s increased focus on its own fashion brands like Roadster, Dressberry, Mast & Harbour and Kook n Keech among others. In May this year, Myntra had stated plans of having around 15-20 such brands from the existing eight brands.
Bansal had 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.” More on that here.
Myntra also launched its fashion incubator earlier this month, through which it was planning to shortlist 10 designers who would able to attend workshops and training sessions, apart from receiving guidance from the mentors. Myntra had mentioned that it would further invest close to $1 million in return for equity stake in the best performing brands, after an initial review period of 6 months to a year.
Myntra Innovation Labs: It’s worth noting that this is not Myntra’s first International foray. The company had earlier setup Innovation Labs in San Francisco which was headed by former Fitiquette CEO Andy Pandharikar after Myntra acquired Fitiquette in April last year. It seems like Pandharikar has quit Myntra in June this year and is starting up again, as indicated by his LinkedIn profile.
Myntra competes with Rocket Internet-backed Jabong which is also inking similar tie-ups with International brands, Koovs which IPO’d at the London’s AIM exchange in March this year.
Last week, Kishore Biyani’s Future Group had also signed a strategic alliance with Amazon to sell products from its portfolio of 40 fashion brands that includes brands like Lee Cooper, Converse, Indigo Nation, Scullers and Jealous 21 among others. This was strangely just a week after he had dissed online marketplaces of undercutting offline retailers by selling products below manufacturing costs to destroy competition.