Tales & Stories: Rocking the Kids Denim Market
Alin Shah, Brand Strategist, Tales & Stories, opens up about the emerging kids denim market and the latest trends and styles.
According to the latest Technopak report on denim, kids denim is the smallest segment in the domestic denim market, but is expected to grow at an impressive rate of 12 percent over the next decade, primarily due to the relatively higher fashion awareness among parents and kids, product innovations, design choices and higher spending on kids in nuclear middle class families. Images BoF talks to Alin Shah, Brand Strategist, Tales & Stories to understand the kids denim market. Shah who is optimistic about the emerging kids denim market shares his opinion on the current styles, designs, washes and effects in kids denim.
Tales & Stories is a premium kids apparel retail chain with 19 stores in 11 cities, an online sales portal and shop-in-shop presence in premium MBOs. The brand is from the house of Artex Apparels, who have been into kids fashion denim manufacturing for more than 30 years, Tales & Stories offers more than 250 designs every season for 0 to 14 year olds. The range includes everything from jeans, shorts, shirts, knit tees, dungarees, dresses, jackets, skirts and a lot more.
...EXCERPTS FROM THE INTERVIEW
What are some of major factors that influence trends in kids denims?
Alin Shah (AS): Due to massive influence from the western culture parents these days want their kids to dress like the way celebrities and famous people dress their kids. Indians are moving from the local flashy taste to soberer looking garments. Young parents dress themselves in a very stylish way and this fashion sense comes down to their kids as well.
Elaborate on the current three top selling denim styles for the kids.
AS: Distressed, Surface Embellishments and Tints! When I see our sale through reports of our EBOs and marketplaces all the denim styles with one of these techniques are selling well. When we analyse the customer requirements, distressed is always topping the list.
Are there some new most prefered denim styles that parents are asking for nowadays?
AS: When you talk about fabrics, parents want the softest possible denim to protect the sensitive skin of their kids, and when it comes to styles they ask for heavy tearing, slim fit, ankle length and breathable light weight denims.
What are the most popular washes?
AS: Towel wash is very popular in the market along with tearing with attractive patch on the back.
What are the most popular effects?
AS: I can see tie-and-dye is becoming popular. A new technology of laser wash is capable of creating wonders. Any kind of design or shape can be washed by using these precise laser washing machines.
What are the popular elements/ embellishments used for the kids?
AS: Sequence, tassels and foil printing are the most liked surface embellishments amongst kids denim. Of course, the bright embroidery is still liked by the customers.
What are the top selling colours?
AS: Mid blue denim with dark blue tint, dark blue with orange on the back, brown tinted denim, ink blue and coloured denim like red, orange, yellow, olive, green, etc.
How has the growth been in the sales of kid’s denim?
AS: Last financial year we saw considerable growth in the kids denim category but past quarter has been tough. I still feel very positive about the kids denim market because India still has a huge population of young adults, whose spending power is increasing day by day.
Predict the top trends that will emerge in the future in kid’s denim.
AS: Use of lot of man-made fibres like PVC will play a major role in kids denim. The old school patch work is again coming into the picture. A cut and sew of different coloured denim is something I see coming to kids wear.
How important are organic and hygienic fabrics for kids? Do parents ask for it?
AS: It takes up to 5,000 litres of water to make one denim, which is a very serious statistic to note. The solution seems simple by using organic fabrics, dyes, zero discharge washing units, etc., but by incorporating all this the cost of the garment goes up so high that it becomes impossible to compete in the value driven market like India. This can be only solved if government offers heavy subsidies and helps the denim industry become an eco-friendly industry.