CE­LIO: AT THE VAN­GUARD OF FASH­ION IN­NO­VA­TION

Over the years, Ce­lio has in­no­vated in sev­eral di­verse as­pects. While some of those in­no­va­tions were di­rected at build­ing a bet­ter busi­ness, oth­ers were meant to cre­ate a more so­cially-ac­count­able or­gan­i­sa­tion…

Business of Fashion - - Innovation Special - IM­AGES Busi­ness of Fash­ion

Founded in 1985 by Marc and Lau­rent Gros­man, Euro­pean men’s wear ma­jor Ce­lio is a fore­run­ner when it comes to in­no­va­tion – both prod­uct wise and so­cially. In an ex­clu­sive fea­ture, IM­AGES Busi­ness of Fash­ion gets into a free­wheel­ing chat with Satyen Mo­maya, CEO, Ce­lio Fash­ion Pvt. Ltd., to un­der­stand the brand’s take on in­no­va­tion and its re­cent out­comes...

How does your brand de­fine in­no­va­tion?

Over the years, Ce­lio has in­no­vated in sev­eral di­verse as­pects. While some of those in­no­va­tions were di­rected at build­ing a bet­ter busi­ness, oth­ers were meant to cre­ate a more so­cially-ac­count­able or­gan­i­sa­tion. For ex­am­ple, we en­sure eth­i­cal sourc­ing; we have tied up with re­spon­si­ble ven­dors who are so­cially ac­count­able with SA8000 and Oeko com­pli­ance. Re­cently, we have launched the Go Green Den­ims range, which are en­vi­ron­ment-friendly and uses less water and elec­tric­ity.

On the mar­ket­ing front, we adopted en­gag­ing gam­i­fi­ca­tion tech­niques to en­gage with cus­tomers. In a re­cent cam­paign,

Ce­lio launched the Fan­tas­tic Foot­ball League, an in­ter­ac­tive pro­gram that crossed 70 lakh+ im­pres­sions and broke all pre­vi­ous en­gage­ment records.

What are the key in­no­va­tions that have given a new di­men­sion to your prod­ucts?

The key in­no­va­tions this sea­son are Soft Touch and Pow­er­flex range of den­ims along with our range of re­versible shirts and light jack­ets. With a unique blend of fab­ric made in Italy, the Soft Touch Ce­lio Den­ims are as com­fort­able as they are chic. The spe­cial twill weave con­fers a very soft feel. The yarn qual­ity, T400, mixed with Ly­cra brings com­fort and good re­cov­ery to the gar­ment. The Ce­lio Soft Touch range ex­tends to t- shirts, sweaters and shirts cre­at­ing an en­tire range of re­laxed, com­fort wear keep­ing the fash­ion quo­tient in­tact.

The Pow­er­flex range of den­ims is yet an­other su­per com­fort­able denim with a unique fab­ric blend that en­sures high stretch abil­ity with com­fort. This in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy by Ce­lio with its ex­treme elas­tic­ity Power Flex gives you great free­dom of move­ment.

Throw light on your de­sign ca­pa­bil­i­ties. What are key de­sign fac­tors which stand out as your USP?

Ce­lio’s head of­fice is in Paris, one of the fash­ion capi­tals of the world. The de­sign team based out Paris en­sures that the col­lec­tions in every sea­son re­flects the key fash­ion trends. The team also trav­els to key fash­ion mar­kets across the globe like New York, Ja­pan and Italy to adapt the key trends within the brand.

How many col­lec­tions do you plan in a year and how is this worked in, in cor­re­la­tion with the cus­tomers de­mand?

The year largely is di­vided into two sea­sons - Sum­mer and Win­ter. The sea­son is launched with an early sum­mer col­lec­tion which is around Feb­ru­ary, also a tran­si­tion from win­ter to sum­mer. The early sum­mer col­lec­tion is fol­lowed by a full/peak sum­mer col­lec­tion, that fea­tures com­par­a­tively vi­brant col­ors, fresher styles as the sum­mer sets in full swing.

Again, the tran­si­tion from sum­mer to win­ter is fol­lowed by a bridge col­lec­tion which is also the hol­i­day sea­son. By Au­gust, we launch the sea­son with a fresh col­lec­tion of early win­ter range which is also the on­set of the fes­tive pe­riod in In­dia. Fi­nally, it is fol­lowed by the full/peak win­ter col­lec­tion com­pris­ing of com­plete win­ter wear range be it jack­ets, out­wear, sweaters or sweat­shirts.

How do you de­fine af­ford­abil­ity with great prod­ucts in your col­lec­tion?

Our col­lec­tions are very rea­son­ably priced. We have launched a range of washed fash­ion denim at just `1,999 cater­ing to ev­ery­day need of the con­sumer. We also have the im­mensely pop­u­lar Ce­lio biker jack­ets start­ing from only `3,999.

Tech­nol­ogy is be­com­ing the big­gest en­forcer to­day. Tell us, in de­tails, how you em­ploy tech­nol­ogy at the pro­duc­tion stage?

Tech­nol­ogy is aid­ing in the re­tail pro­duc­tion process and help­ing var­i­ous or­ga­ni­za­tions to not only churn out bet­ter fash­ion but also be­come more so­cially ac­count­able. For ex­am­ple, novel ways to use less water and elec­tric­ity dur­ing pro­duc­tion of var­i­ous denim prod­ucts. We are also in­creas­ingly look­ing at part­ners and ven­dors who can re­duce lead time and in­crease profitabil­ity by us­ing in­no­va­tive meth­ods of con­struc­tion and tech­nol­ogy. There is a lot of other tech­nolo­gies that we lever­age such as ro­botic stream stress ma­chines, laser cut­ting ma­chines, etc.

Is your brand work­ing on smart cloth­ing?

Hon­estly, while we are fol­low­ing and look­ing at the cat­e­gory se­ri­ously on a global level, we feel that in In­dia, this trend is yet to catch up as the back-end tech­nol­ogy to sup­port smart cloth­ing needs to de­velop first. What I can tell you is that, we would surely be ready to ride the wave when it takes off across the world.

How do you de­fine trans­parency be­hind the mak­ing of the prod­uct and the raw ma­te­rial used?

Like I told you, eth­i­cal sourc­ing is a pri­or­ity at Ce­lio. We have tied up with re­spon­si­ble ven­dors who are so­cially ac­count­able with SA8000 and Oeko com­pli­ance. The brand au­dits these ven­dors an­nu­ally and ranks them through a rat­ing sys­tem en­sur­ing that the right kind of raw ma­te­rial is used while cre­at­ing our prod­ucts.

In this eco-friendly age, how well are Ce­lio’s prod­uct ideas linked to sus­tain­abil­ity?

We put im­mense im­por­tance to leave a pos­i­tive and sus­tain­able im­print and hence, we are con­stantly look­ing out for tech­nol­ogy to make gar­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing eco-friendlier. We also give value to re­cy­cling prod­ucts.

De­code your fu­ture work­ing on prod­uct de­vel­op­ment and the new ini­tia­tives be­ing taken Ce­lio for us.

Re­tail is an ex­tremely dy­namic sec­tor and the new age con­sumers are con­stantly chang­ing pur­chas­ing tastes, so set­ting up a work­flow that makes pro­duc­tion adapt to these chang­ing needs will be the key to suc­cess for brands. We are work­ing closely with part­ners to build a much nim­bler pro­duc­tion and sup­ply chain net­work which will help us imag­ine, cus­tom­ize, prod­uct and re­peat.

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