Up Close With A Pioneer: Sweet Dreams

Business of Fashion - - Contents -

Sweet Dreams is among the first brands to en­ter the or­gan­ised sleep­wear mar­ket in In­dia. Di­rec­tor Hitesh Ru­par­e­lia opens up about the brand and the cur­rent mar­ket dy­nam­ics.

The rapid rise of the sleep­wear in­dus­try in In­dia is an in­ter­est­ing story in it­self. Un­til a few years back, In­di­ans were not even aware of a sep­a­rate fash­ion cat­e­gory called sleep­wear. Sleep­wear con­sisted of plain old, com­fort­able clothes, prefer­ably soft cot­tons. But the new­found pen­chant for fash­ion amongst In­dian con­sumers has bol­stered this ne­glected cat­e­gory into a boom­ing fash­ion seg­ment that is now con­sid­ered much more than a fad or a pass­ing trend. To­day, sleep­wear and lounge-wear are an in­te­gral part of ev­ery wardrobe around the coun­try. More­over, they are no longer lim­ited to be worn at night but are also seen be­ing flaunted as un­der­pin­nings, or as ca­sual wear dur­ing week­ends, travel or home.

But, one brand, with a stead­fast vi­sion and un­flinch­ing ded­i­ca­tion was shelling out sleep­wear in In­dia, long be­fore In­dian con­sumers were even aware of the term. The brand – Sweet Dreams – which was founded by Hitesh Bhai and Ut­pal Bhai Ru­par­e­lia, over 28 years back, is ar­guably the pioneer brand in In­dia as far as get­ting into or­ga­nized re­tail­ing of the sleep and loungewear cat­e­gory. And then, as ap­pre­ci­a­tion for health­ier life­styles ma­tured fur­ther, the cat­e­gories blended smoothly with the rise of ath­leisure, as

“Both lounge wear and sleep­wear def­i­nitely hold BIG scope in the next 5 years. But while the cat­e­gory is grow­ing mul­ti­folds, it still faces a slew of chal­lenges; the big­gest be­ing

the fact that about 80 per­cent of this mar­ket is un­or­ga­nized. All in all, we see a growth of about 15 per­cent

CAGR in this cat­e­gory”

-Hitesh Ru­par­e­lia,

Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Sweet Dreams

one holis­tic good-liv­ing con­cept. Be­fit­tingly, Hitesh Ru­par­e­lia is fondly ad­dressed in the in­dus­try to­day as the Fa­ther of Sleep­wear in In­dia. With about three decades of ex­pe­ri­ence, the brand is to­day a key con­trib­u­tor to the In­dian ca­sual and lounge wear in­dus­try. It also is one of the few brands in In­dia that pro­duces over 300+ bot­tom wear sep­a­rates for travel, leisure and work­out for men and women.

Tak­ing to IMAGES BoF about the driv­ers of this change, Hitesh Ru­par­e­lia rec­ol­lects, “Do you know what we had to com­pete with ini­tially — old clothes. In many ways, we In­di­ans were very laid-back about our at­ti­tude to rest. The most wel­come change that has now come about is a re­sult of the change in over­all life­style at­ti­tudes of the new con­sumer and how the in­dus­try has re­acted to that change. To­day’s dis­cern­ing con­sumer de­mands suit­able clothes for var­i­ous oc­ca­sions and ac­tiv­i­ties. Lounge wear-sleep­wear now even en­com­passes ac­tive wear, ath­leisure, travel wear, yoga wear, gym wear, etc. This has in­creased the cat­e­gory band­width. The loungesleep­wear seg­ment now pro­vides for the cloth­ing need of al­most 128 hours out of a to­tal of 168 hours per week.” Sweet Dreams has been the first or­ga­nized, pan-In­dia brand to iden­tify and act on this op­por­tu­nity.

The Prod­uct Range

As a fam­ily wear brand, Sweet Dreams tar­gets men, women, girls and boys. It is spe­cially fo­cus­ing on young In­dian cou­ples as they are a ma­jor con­sumer seg­ment to­day. Cur­rently, their prod­uct port­fo­lio com­prises sleep­wear sets, which are co­or­di­nated top and bot­tom in var­i­ous fab­rics and are in-tune with the lat­est trends of the in­ter­na­tional mar­kets.

They boast a col­lec­tion of 1,000 styles per sea­son only of sets, which could pos­si­bly be the largest col­lec­tion any In­dian brand would be of­fer­ing cur­rently. They also of­fer a range of tempt­ing in­ti­mate sleep­wear, which is re­tailed un­der the brand name of Sig­na­ture Col­lec­tion.

The Sig­na­ture Col­lec­tion ex­plores the sen­su­ous side of sleep­wear and of­fers an ex­quis­ite col­lec­tion — from lux robes in satin fab­ric to sleep sets in modal fab­ric with cuts and fits that ac­cen­tu­ate the right curves. Along with night­ies in dif­fer­ent styles, the col­lec­tion also en­com­passes a wide col­lec­tion of baby­dolls in short and long lengths, in a va­ri­ety of prints and bold col­ors. Also a part of the col­lec­tion are bridal sets; from 3 piece sets to 6 piece sets these are per­fect for a mod­ern woman’s trousseau. In ad­di­tion, the en­tire range comes in bright pink boxes mak­ing it a per­fect gift for ev­ery oc­ca­sion.

Sweet Dreams also boasts of an ex­haus­tive range of sep­a­rates in­clud­ing tops and track pants, across 15-20 dif­fer­ent fab­rics for myr­iad pur­poses like travel, lounge, etc. The brand also has the dis­tinc­tion of pro­duc­ing about 300 styles of track pants per sea­son across all gen­ders.

The brand is well known for its range of ex­quis­ite ath­leisure that is made with spe­cial­ized per­for­mance fab­rics for the pur­pose of gym, yoga, dance etc. “Ath­leisure has be­come a way of life, be it the “Air­port looks” that we spot celebri­ties in, or be it the youth wear­ing track pants and fash­ion py­ja­mas with al­most ev­ery­thing. This is a trend, which is go­ing far and wide. For our lat­est work­out col­lec­tion, we have fo­cussed on a plethora of curves and cuts,” says Hitesh Ru­par­e­lia.

This sea­son Sweet Dreams has in­tro­duced a va­ri­ety of meshes, nets with the right amount of ex­po­sure for the mod­ern con­sumer. De­signed with tech­ni­cal el­e­ments that make gar­ments both func­tional and adapt­able for any events, the brand’s ath­leisure col­lec­tion takes the form of a fash­ion-leisure line. In­spired by the fact that peo­ple were start­ing to want more out of their clothes Sweet Dreams makes ver­sa­tile pieces that would work with con­sumers’ busy lives, help­ing them make the tran­si­tion from home-com­mute-va­ca­tion-post work. Di­rec­tional colours, fab­ri­ca­tions and slim-fit shapes have been in­tro­duced, mak­ing them more ac­cept­able to wear out­side of gym as well.

More re­cently, the brand was also one of the first movers into a new cat­e­gory called Work Leisure. Hitesh Ru­par­e­lia

(L to R) Ut­pal Ru­par­e­lia & Hitesh Ru­par­e­lia,Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tors, Sweet Dreams

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