Pondicherry Paris Col­lec­tion

Shoes & Accessories - - Collaboration -

Started out in Cal­i­for­nia with about 6 stores sell­ing its bags on Cas­tro Street in the late 70s, Hidesign now is an es­tab­lished brand in over 24 coun­tries across Europe, Amer­ica, Aus­tralia and Asia. Its col­lec­tions are dis­tinct, and the brand en­sures that vi­tal val­ues are man­i­fested in the ev­ery col­lec­tion. It has re­cently tied up with José Lévy for Pondicherry Paris Col­lec­tion. José is an ac­com­plished artist, a de­signer who has led lux­ury brands in Paris and Lon­don as creative di­rec­tor. The col­lec­tion re­flects the re­fine­ment and sen­si­bil­i­ties of the mod­ern man and woman who is in­flu­enced by art and fash­ion, and by cul­tures beyond na­tional bound­aries

José and Hidesign are rooted in travel. The Pondicherry Paris Col­lec­tion is all about travel, about mak­ing travel easy, com­fort­able, and above all chic and cool. It has the range of chic prod­ucts that make travel a plea­sure: the soft­est shawl to wrap your­self in when you feel the chill; the big sun­glasses that pro­tect you from the desert sun; the range of pouches to or­gan­ise your travel needs; the in­cred­i­bly sim­ple yet el­e­gant Valise that jumps straight out of the Ori­ent Ex­press to 21st cen­tury cool­ness.

The col­lec­tion also speaks to the trav­eler, the no­mad in us. The sim­ple, easy to carry shapes and mod­ern styling should do well cus­tomers in In­dia and in­ter­na­tion­ally. The col­lec­tion com­pli­ments Hidesign’s cur­rent lines and brings fresh­ness to the prod­uct range.

S&A’S N Bobo Meitei re­cently in­ter­acted with the renowned de­signer and Hidesign’s founder Dilip Ka­pur to dis­cuss the col­lec­tion.

What mo­ti­vated you to col­lab­o­rate with Hidesign, and what did you no­tice in the brand in your ini­tial ob­ser­va­tion?

Jose Levy: I was very in­spired by the con­nec­tion between Pondicherry and Paris, by the art of both cities and the way it con­nects to my life­style of con­stant travel. Hidesign fol­lows a phi­los­o­phy of sim­ple and clean de­signs which I re­ally ad­mire and I knew I could in­cor­po­rate the essence of In­dia in the col­lec­tion with Hidesign.

What mo­ti­vated you to launch the col­lab­o­ra­tion with Jose Levy?

Dilip Ka­pur: Jose was in­tro­duced to me by a very dear friend. We au­to­mat­i­cally con­nected. He has tremen­dous ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing with lux­ury brands and he brought a wave of fresh­ness to Hidesign.

How would you de­scribe the unique­ness of the col­lec­tion and how dif­fer­ent is it in com­par­i­son with oth­ers?

Jose Levy: I wanted to cre­ate some prod­ucts that were very easy to live with, lux­u­ri­ous and cool, very sim­ple yet stylish. The In­dian cul­ture has also been a ma­jor in­flu­ence for this col­lec­tion.

Pondicherry Paris col­lec­tion prod­ucts are de­signed for an in­ter­na­tional trav­eller. It is a sim­ple but stylish col­lec­tion. It in­cludes all the lit­tle and nec­es­sary things that a trav­eller might re­quire to make his jour­ney com­fort­able and chic.

Kindly share your view or un­der­stand­ing of the In­dian hand­bag mar­ket.

Jose Levy: My ex­pe­ri­ence has largely been with lux­ury brands and de­sign teams in Europe and the Far East. This is my first at­tempt at work­ing in In­dia and I look for­ward to learn­ing a lot more about In­dia for my fu­ture col­lec­tions.

Given that Hidesign has pres­ence in Europe and the US, is the col­lec­tion aim­ing those mar­kets as well?

Dilip Ka­pur: Hidesign started out in Cal­i­for­nia with about 6 stores sell­ing our bags on Cas­tro Street in the late 70s and is now an es­tab­lished brand in over 24 coun­tries across Europe, Amer­ica, Aus­tralia and Asia. This col­lec­tion will be avail­able world­wide through www. hidesign.com. It will also be re­tailed in Por­tu­gal, Bos­nia, Sri Lanka, US, In­done­sia etc.

What is your growth pro­jec­tion in a back­drop where home­grown brands have geared up their op­er­a­tion with huge ad­ver­tis­ing bud­get?

Dilip Ka­pur: Hidesign has strong pres­ence and is avail­able on five plat­forms, (EBO) Ex­clu­sive Brand Out­lets, (MBO) Multi Brand Out­let with Shop­pers Stop, Cen­tral, life­style then E-com­merce part­ners like Ama­zon, Jabong, Tata Cliq, cor­po­rate sales part­ner and then our web­site- www.hidesign.com

The In­dian mar­ket goes through a gen­er­a­tion ev­ery five years! We have de­cided to treat ev­ery plat­form as equally im­por­tant and to al­ways speak the same lan­guage on ev­ery plat­form, tell the same sto­ries, run the same cam­paigns, and in the prod­ucts to al­ways use the same qual­ity of ma­te­ri­als and crafts­man­ship.

We also plan to ex­pand mar­ket in tier 2 and 3 through e-com­merce, fur­ther in­roads into air­ports, and in­ter­na­tion­ally into emerg­ing fast grow­ing economies. We are present in about 24 coun­tries and have just be­gun op­er­a­tions in In­done­sia. The to­tal turnover is hit­ting over 200 cr and the leather part around 150 cr. The In­dian con­sumer will be around 75-80% of our cus­tomer base and we have 84 stores in In­dia, we are get­ting an­other 16 which are in progress cur­rently.

How is Hidesign po­si­tioned in the US mar­ket to­day? Is the brand’s con­sol­i­da­tion tak­ing place more in for­eign mar­kets?

Dilip Ka­pur: Hidesign is an up­mar­ket brand sell­ing mainly on­line and in ex­clu­sive in­de­pen­dent stores. The range has more men’s prod­ucts than it would in In­dia, and the styling is a lit­tle dif­fer­ent. For in­stance, our best-sell­ing bags are can­vas and leather com­bi­na­tions. In In­dia the solid leather bags do bet­ter.

Give us an overview of the In­dian hand­bag mar­ket. What is the brand’s mar­ket share?

Dilip Ka­pur: Over the past years Hidesign has strength­ened its po­si­tion in In­dian mar­ket through com­pany run stores, multi-brand stores and on­line chan­nels. The brand has ex­panded its port­fo­lio to Sun­glasses, Shoes, Pens and Sta­tionery. New col­lab­o­ra­tions with Dis­ney, Kalki and de­sign led col­lec­tions such as Scan­dicci, Mar­ca­punto, Maa­sai, Pondicherry Paris and Her­itage col­lec­tions such as Icons and East In­dia are a few re­cent high­lights.

We grew a lit­tle slower last year than ex­pected both due to de­mon­e­ti­za­tion and GST. We grew about 15-16%. This year we hope to grow above 20%.

Dilip Ka­pur

Jose Levy

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