Sun­seeker: Tap­ping The Emerg­ing Op­por­tu­ni­ties In the In­dian Beach­wear Mar­ket

Business of Fashion - - Contents The Innerwear Study 2018 - -By Rosy N Sharma

Karen Lou, Global Brand Man­ager, Sun­seeker, sheds light on the emerg­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in the seg­ment and pro­vides in­sights on the glob­ally trend­ing de­signs and styles.

IMAGES Busi­ness of Fash­ion talks to Karen Lou, Global Brand Man­ager, Sun­seeker, which en­tered the In­dian mar­ket re­cently and aims to dom­i­nate the beach­wear wear mar­ket. Lou sheds light on the emerg­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in the seg­ment and in­sights on the glob­ally trend­ing de­signs and style.

Es­tab­lished in Australia in 1970, Sun­seeker is a chic, af­ford­able and high qual­ity swimwear brand. The brand has been known for its high qual­ity fab­rics which give a ‘sec­ond skin’ feel to the wearer. It launches 2 col­lec­tions in a year and of­fers about 130 styles in each col­lec­tion, in­clud­ing men, women and kids.

With over 500 points-of-sale in more than 30 coun­tries, the brand caters to a wide tar­get mar­ket. It has re­cently en­tered the In­dian mar­ket and aims to dom­i­nate the beach­wear mar­ket through its young, fresh and trendy de­signs.

IBoF: Tell us about the emerg­ing beach­wear mar­ket in In­dia.

Karen Lou (KL): In­dia is ex­pected to be the sec­ond largest mar­ket for this cat­e­gory. Al­though the mar­ket is still at its nascent stage but it is def­i­nitely show­ing a great po­ten­tial for the growth of beach­wear in the coun­try.

IBoF: Do de­mo­graphic and so­cioe­co­nomic fac­tors in­flu­ence beach­wear con­sump­tion in In­dia?

KL: The fast grow­ing econ­omy, large young con­sum­ing pop­u­la­tion in the coun­try has made In­dia a highly lu­cra­tive mar­ket. In­dia has the world’s largest youth pop­u­la­tion. This has opened un­prece­dented re­tail mar­ket op­por­tu­ni­ties.

IBoF: How are con­sumers ac­cept­ing this emerg­ing ap­parel seg­ment in In­dia? Is it a pop­u­lar sec­tion in any re­tail space to­day?

KL: Cur­rent In­dian mar­ket trends have more of core and ba­sic styles. See­ing the progress of the coun­try, we can ex­pect that In­dia will trend it­self to­wards these in­ter­na­tional styles soon in years to come.

IBoF: Is beach­wear only pop­u­lar among women in In­dia or it does en­joy pop­u­lar­ity among men too?

KL: The growth of the In­dia men’s beach­wear mar­ket es­pe­cially the swimwear mar­ket has been par­tic­u­larly strong as peo­ple have be­gun to take both health and re­cre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties far more se­ri­ously.

IBoF: Tell us about the chal­lenges, if any, faced by the In­dian beach­wear mar­ket now.

KL: The chal­lenge is how we can dif­fer­en­ti­ate our brand from oth­ers. The fast fash­ion brands are also fore­see­ing rapid growth of fash­ion­able swim/re­sort/ beach­wear mar­ket. So they have started to re­lease swimwear and beach­wear too. But I be­lieve with our per­sis­tence on qual­ity and de­sign de­tails, con­sumers will stay loyal with our brand. Swimwear is still a func­tional item after all.

IBoF: What are the op­por­tu­ni­ties in this seg­ment?

KL: Grow­ing in­ter­est in aquatic ac­tiv­i­ties, the in­creas­ing ac­ces­si­bil­ity to week­end get­aways, beaches and over­seas va­ca­tions are the fac­tors that drive the growth of this seg­ment. Peo­ple are get­ting more and more used to pub­licly car­ry­ing their bod­ies at beaches and pools in In­dia. There­fore, I ex­pect there is a con­sid­er­able growth in the seg­ment.

IBoF: Ac­cord­ing to you, which are the fastest sell­ing prod­ucts in beach­wear?

KL: Cross front or tie front swim­suits, monoki­nis, high-waisted biki­nis, high neck biki­nis and beach dresses.

IBoF: What are some of the pop­u­lar fab­ric op­tions in beach­wear?

KL: High shine fab­ric, mesh, vel­vet and lace are go­ing to be the trend in com­ing sea­sons. Tex­tured fab­rics like dobby or jacquard with prints are pop­u­lar too. Other fab­rics like polyester has been the lead­ing fab­ric in the swimwear mar­ket for sev­eral years, some­times blended

“In­dia is ex­pected to be the sec­ond largest mar­ket for beach­wear. Al­though, the mar­ket is still at its nascent stage but it is def­i­nitely show­ing a great po­ten­tial for growth es­pe­cially the swimwear mar­ket has been par­tic­u­larly strong as peo­ple have be­gun to take both health and re­cre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties far more se­ri­ously.”

– Karen Lou,

Global Brand Man­ager, Sun­seeker

with Ly­cra. Polyester fab­ric usu­ally has high per­for­mance in wa­ter, it dries quick, has ex­cep­tional breatha­bil­ity, and gives a com­fort­able fit.

IBoF: What are the pop­u­lar em­bel­lish­ments in trend in beach­wear?

KL: Hand wo­ven em­bel­lish­ments, bead­ings, em­broi­deries, dec­o­ra­tive stitches and tas­sels.

IBoF: What are the lat­est trends and de­signs that are in vogue right now? Also, shed some light on the new tech­nolo­gies, styles and fab­rics used.

KL: New fab­rics like lace and vel­vet are play­ing a im­por­tant role, cre­at­ing ef­fort­less beach looks for cus­tomers. Sports in­spired de­signs are also loved by the mar­ket, to­gether with strong colours like orange and yel­low.

Apart from these, mi­cro fiber is a rel­a­tively new tech­nol­ogy for swimwear. It gives the prod­uct a soft and smooth hand feel, pro­vid­ing a more com­fort­able wear­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for con­sumers. We are get­ting lots of pos­i­tive feed­back on it.

IBoF: What are the top trends in beach­wear for both men and women now?

KL: Crop shapes, lin­gerie-in­spi­ra­tions, off-shoul­ders, frills and retro styles are the trends for women. Ca­sual wear de­tails like buck­les, stripe tapes for men, shorter board shorts for men are go­ing to be loved as well.

IBoF: Ac­cord­ing to you what is beach­wear?

KL: Great fit­ting with stun­ning fab­rics and con­tem­po­rary de­signs, all guar­an­teed to make you feel ter­rific, in and out of the wa­ter is what it is.

“STRAPPY SWIM­SUITS, GYM-TOSWIM STYLES, RETRO HAL­TER, HARD­WARE BIKINI AND TEENY SWIMWEAR ARE GO­ING TO BE THE TRENDS FOR WOMEN.”

IBoF: What are the main defin­ing prod­ucts of beach­wear?

KL: The bikini has a large share of the global swimwear mar­ket, but we can’t ig­nore the one-piece swim­suit and are ex­pect­ing it to con­tinue to grow.

IBoF: Tell us about your lat­est beach­wear col­lec­tion.

KL: We are fea­tur­ing a lot of trendy el­e­ments in our col­lec­tion like print-on­print, ruf­fles and frills, laser cut pat­terns, sporty looks, etc. We be­lieve cus­tomers will find what they favour in our large range.

IBoF: Pre­dict top trends that will emerge in the fu­ture in innerwear for both men and women.

KL: Strappy swim­suits, gym-to-swim styles, retro hal­ter, hard­ware bikini and teeny swimwear are go­ing to be the trends for women. De­tails like eye­lets, jacquard elas­tics, colour block­ing, geo­met­ric prints and sport in­spired em­bel­lish­ments are go­ing to be pop­u­lar for men’s beach wear de­signs.

IBoF: Tell us about your re­tail model and its cur­rent map­ping across In­dia.

KL: We are now work­ing with dif­fer­ent agen­cies all over the world to ex­plore op­por­tu­ni­ties in dif­fer­ent re­gions. We are also plan­ning to do more on­line cam­paigns, so that more con­sumers all over the world can know about our brand. We also do re­tail li­censed mer­chan­dise for many years. We have col­lab­o­ra­tions with buy­ers from Europe, US, Sin­ga­pore, etc. and try­ing to de­velop the same in In­dia.

IBoF: What are your re­tail ex­pan­sion plans?

KL: We will keep ob­serv­ing our cos­tumers’ needs on swimwear, and will ex­pand our swimwear cat­e­gory ac­cord­ingly. We aim to ex­pand into the Asia Pa­cific mar­ket in the com­ing few years, as there is still a large scope to ex­pand in that re­gion.

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