Sunseeker: Tapping The Emerging Opportunities In the Indian Beachwear Market
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.