New Delhi, Nov 26 Do you dream of owning a Rohit Bal or a Namrata Joshipura at an affordable price? Go right ahead and pick a designer label from Wills Lifestyle's Signature Line, which believes in delivering clothes from the ramp to the rack.
"We are not competing with designers but collaborating with them," Atul Chand, chief executive of ITC's lifestyle retail business division, said.
The range starts at Rs.2,000 and goes up to Rs.15,000.
"Our sole aim is to take this association beyond fashion. The idea was to give something to the consumers that they can appreciate and cherish. It is the biggest designer tie-up and the best part is that it is successful," said Chand.
Ever since 2006, Wills Lifestyle has been the title sponsor of business-to-business mega fashion event Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) and in 2007, the brand took this association a step further by launching Signature Line that offers designer wear created by the "grand finale" designer.
So you actually have affordable wear from designers like Rohit Bal, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Namrata Joshipura. Very soon, the brand will be adding names like Tarun Tahiliani, Varun Sardana and Nandita Basu as well.
"This line forms 20 percent of our sales, which is a huge number. It is also good for brand visibility as more people can come to our stores. It's about giving the ramp to rack experience to our consumers," he added.
Though Wills Lifestyle runs 70 stores in 40 cities across the country and plans to add 30 more in the next seven-eight months, Signature Line is available only in 25 stores.
The places are chosen on the basis of area, spending habits of people and brand consciousness among consumers.
With designer wear priced exorbitantly, how has Wills Lifestyle managed to keep this line decently priced?
"We wanted to make designer wear inspirational, wearable and affordable as well. These designers are known for their couture lines, and we make only pret, as we offer our consumers something they can wear every day. Fashion is getting into the mainstream and consumers are celebrating," said Chand.
"So the trick in this case is to keep their signature stamp intact in the line so that people can identify them instantly, like Rajesh Pratap Singh is known for his pleats and Rohit Bal for his motifs," he added.
Easy as it may sound, designers have to understand the sensibilities and likings of people before creating a line.
"There is a lot of hard work and research that goes in before we start for the next season. We sit with the designer, give him the feedback from people and accordingly things are planned," he said.
"Sometimes a few designers fail to understand consumer behaviour; hence we discontinue with them and try to get new people, who can connect with them," he added.
Chand also reveals that designer wear is just one part of the offering; there is another side to the story as well.
"Along with the designers, we are bringing corporate packaging and designer creativity together at very affordable prices. Like marketing is an important factor. The onus is on us; we make sure that our Signature Line is available in the right places and people are aware of its presence," he said.
"Another important factor is to give this line prime space in store and then train the staff to sell it. It is a lot of hard work. So their creativity and our backing is how this business works," he added.