Breaking Down ABOF’s Bold Entry In India’s Fashion Ecommerce Scene With Data Science

Indian conglomerate Aditya Birla Group launched ABOF on 16th of October’15 and entered a space that is dominated by category specialists Jabong and Myntra. When you consider the fact that Aditya Birla is the largest fashion player in India through Madura Fashion and Pantaloons, which were acquired by it in 1999 and 2012 respectively, its foray in fashion e-commerce seems natural. Plus, it’s hard not to be tempted by the traction ecommerce has been getting with a string of multi-million dollar mergers & acquisitions and VC funding activities over the past few years. According to various estimates for the year 2020 from sources like Goldman Sachs & PwC, the Indian ecommerce market is slated to be worth $60 to $100 billion.

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Retail trends and prospects in the world of luxury items

Luxury is relative, they say. By all definitions, luxury is also exclusive. In times when the West discovered new routes to the East, it was in search of this same luxury. The pepper trade, the silk trade, diamonds- they came with a huge price tag. And the ones who were capable of paying for it, flaunted it with pride.

There has always been a basic concept about luxury- from the traders’ point of view. Exchanging a high quality or rare piece of merchandise for the highest price. And for centuries, the high end retail market, that accounted for 390 USD in 2012 (BCG), has been following this system.
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Textile Tradition with a Twist! – A Fashion Trend Report

Today fashion is synonymous with bold prints, beautiful colors, and clothes tailored to suit the global citizen. Today, fashion is the first frontier one has to cross. As they say, ‘The first impression matters.’ And today, the first impression is based on clothes, individual style, etc.

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Of Art, Music, Awards & Style – Fashion industry evolving !


In order to be irreplaceable,

One must always be Different!

-Coco Chanel

 


 

We agree! Fashion may be evolutionary, but style, well, it never goes out of style! And NOW, today, this is becoming apparent. The precepts of fashion are evolving; no longer is it confined to the ‘hallowed’ runways. Now, fashion is created everywhere- and consumed with the same enthusiasm as on the ramp.

The fashion pundits don’t sit in workrooms sketching and stitching for hours. They travel, they celebrate, they party and they create. Be it the famous Coachella Music and Arts Festival or the MTV Movie Awards; style is a staple!

No longer do people wear what the jet set is wearing. Because they are ‘global’ citizens. The internet gives them access to ideas from all over the world. And they know that they can pick anything from anywhere and call it ‘their style.’

So anyway, whenever we hear music festivals, we think floral prints, or loose clothes, flower headbands, or punk afros; well you get the picture. And they are fun, colorful, energetic places to be in. Art and music always attracts an eclectic crowd- which is ready to try ‘hippie’ or ‘never before went together’ stuff.

And Coachella does not disappoint. The thing we love about Coachella and other such events is their live feed we get online. Especially their Snapchat feed- where Snapchat debuted new dynamic filters, just for the event! Adds a whole new dimension to “advertising” when all those people willingly share info about your coolness, non? In fact it changed our perception in some ways.

Anyway, what is style, but another art form, right?! And the street style at Coachella is worth tweeting about, instagraming, etc. So here’s what we liked, till now;

Floral headbands, give way to ‘Floral Hats!’


 

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We saw a lot of lace and a lot of fringe too. And we saw interesting hair- with music and arts- it was a given. But we liked the ‘just woken up to party’ look a LOT, anyway.


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Oh! and capes are in…


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And of course, since it is all about it’s about fashion and at Indio, California; we saw Kendall Jenner channeling her fashionable, inner hippie with the rest. We heart the accessories and the boots in her outfit though!


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And speaking of fashion, the MTV Movie Awards on 12th April managed to wow us some more. So MTV is not really a typical and conventional organization. And the awards were as whacky as could be. Award categories included – Best Kiss (Ansel Elgort+Shailene Woodley-The Fault in our Stars), Best WTF Moment (Rose Byrne- Neighbours), Best Shirtless Performance (Zac Efron- Neighbors), etc! A collection of sarcastic, witty, humorous episodes dotted the award night. And the ‘Blue’ Carpet saw some seriously different fashion.

Bold, beautiful, bling, bl-eh…! The Blue Carpet saw it all. Like Bae Ling with her ‘unique’ dragon garment.


 

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And Kelly Osbourne with her studded clutch and the purple Mohawk.


 

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We heart the striped pumps that Bea Miller wore.


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And this plaid raincoat dress worn by Charli XCX is, well, so MTV!


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We think JLo looked stunning in this Versace number, with all those gold accents!


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There are multiple perspectives on style being presented, when we see the style at Coachella and the Blue Carpet. But all of these have ONE common factor. They grab attention. Or interest. And you, dear retailer, have the ginormous task of translating this into trendy, hip, wearable apparel that people all over the world will want to grab.

We see the opportunity that these events present. Yes, we see the HUGE retail opportunity. Which means that we also know how you can unearth the best cues that will tell you the next play your consumer will use. Retail Analysis seems like a difficult task that you need huge resources ans especially, huge purses to operate.

But that is just a modern myth. Because you already have a great product, or at least an idea to get one out. Or ways to incorporate global trends. Get your consumers to like the international apparel. And yes, increase your revenue at the same time.

Every great product may not give you the returns you were hoping for, though. Unless the right strategy and right marketing is applied to ‘flaunt’ it. We say flaunt, because you need to tell people what an amazing product you have created. And about the work that went into it. The story and the authenticity that went into creating the perfect ‘dress’- people want to know it.

And retail analysis allows you to know exactly what area you need to focus on to provide the correct push- sales, margins, inventory, pricing, etc. Data can be deduced by anyone. But the right kind of data requires awareness, be it political, economical or even emotional. Because the right awareness- the right sense or direction will guide you, even with that data you possess.

In this ‘attention-challenged’ world, we need not only innovation, but the right kind of insights to add a little motivation. To nudge audiences so that they can see, feel, and comprehend that little extra. At IntelligenceNODE, we understand this intuitively. The right mix is never ‘generalized’. It is tailored for each one- according to his/her perspective. And all the more powerful because of that. We would like to sign off with a remark we know you resemble…


 

With my fellow Avengers, I advise you to dream big, work hard, keep your noses clean, be of service, and because you can, define your generation!

-Robert Downey Jr. On winning ‘Generation Award,’ @ the MTV Movie Awards 2015.

 


 

 

 

Glimpses- Fashion, Amazon Indian Fashion Week, Data Derivatives

Fantasy, fiction, flirty or flighty, The Amazon Indian Fashion Week in the capital was a delight! And compelling enough, that we have to talk about it!

There was a lot of reinvention at the Amazon Fashion Week. Amazon.in, the Indian portal by the International E tail giant, has been taking baby steps in terms of fashion and apparel in India. But the fashion week was not a baby step, it was a giant leap. And a huge success!

The opening show itself, by Rajesh Pratap Singh, was ‘dauntingly haunting.’ With models dressed in monochromes, the attention was on hospital beds and blood stain colors.

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All that glitter is gold at the Lakme India Fashion Week

The way to a man’s heart is through is stomach, they say. And the way to a woman’s heart? Why diamonds of course!

Bling has always been a part of popular culture. From princess to pauper; and princes too; have always loved jewels. These portraits of the Indian kings and queen, princes and princesses, of as recently as the 1800s, show just how important a status symbol, these stones have become!

Ever since man discovered mining and metallurgy, making ornamentation to adorn the person has been a pursuit in perfection. And many crafters of fine jewellery today are held in high regard. Names like Cartier, Tiffany’s, Van Cleef & Arpels, Christies, etc, are famous, simply for their association with luxury jewels.

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From Material to Mindsets – Ethnic Fashion @Lakme India Fashion Week

It’s that time of the year again. When the glitz and glam is all dolled up- and veterans and new comers alike celebrate fashion in all its glory! The Lakme India Fashion Week is back. And we are very excited! Because Fashion weeks mean endless ideas, reinvention, innovation, and lots of celeb spotting. Translation- trend spotting! This is the time when many trends are made and broken.

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Flawless Eyewear Trends for this summer!

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This iconic image from Breakfast at Tiffany’s has taken over the active imagination of people all over the world. It has, literally changed and broken many stereotypes about fashion.

Since we are a part of the fashion industry, at Intelligence Node, this image has three takeaways for us:

One, the lady herself!


 

Elegance is the Only Beauty that Never Fades.

-Audrey Hepburn


 

Two- BLACK is always IN.

And Three- Sunglasses go with ANY look!

It is the last one we want to talk about today. Sunglasses.

Today accessorizing is all about choosing the correct thing to go with your dress or look. And ‘sunglasses’ are the ultimate accessory. Not just because they look cool. No. But because they are so expensive- they are sure to grab eyeballs, even the ones hiding behind them!

There’s a lot of sizzle in the sun-glass business, reports predict. Luxottica, the leading manufacturer and, in most cases, owner of fashion eye-wear (they also make and own prescription opticals) earned a revenue of 2.02 Billion Euros in the 2nd quarter of 2013 alone.


 

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The profits and revenues are growing exponentially. And so is demand. It was not so long ago that glasses were considered ugly or geeky. And people did not wear them unless they had to. But this perception was subtly changed, by movie stars like Audrey Hepburn and Tom Cruise, among others.

The big fashion houses loved the trend too. And we had Versace, Prada, Ralph Lauren, etc., selling branded sunglasses. Today these sunglasses are mostly in the ‘premium’ range. Any branded and authentic pair of sunglasses costs anywhere upwards of 1000 Rupees.

In spite of the many debates going on about how and why quality eye-wear is so expensive, people are not deterred. They are happy to pay 6000 Rupees. for a ‘branded’ pair of sunglasses. There is a parallel market selling cheaper versions of the sunglasses, on the streets especially. And these make a good profit too. But that does not stop the originals from reaching high profit margins in any way.

This year, the various fashion weeks too used eye-wear to give their various collections a special zing. Fashion makers know that sunglasses are like the one accessory that determines a time or a place that a look was conceived in.

At Intelligence Node, we think that glares were, are and always will be cool.

As Posh Spice, Victoria Beckham wowed the crowds with this, ‘not too normal for her,’ ensemble, while marketing her own line of branded sunglasses.


 

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But, and this is our main concern, when it comes to e-commerce, and selling or buying sunglasses on-line, there is one big question that comes to mind- what shape or style will suit my face? As a retailer selling sunglasses, reaching perfection when it comes to individual sales is a big challenge.

When it comes to eTail, especially for websites selling a variety of apparel and accessories, betting on ‘the sunnies’ is a risky proposition. These are products that have a higher margin; and so may remain on the shelves longer. And trends don’t really affect the sunglasses. Sun-glass styles keep rotating from time to time.

Knowing all this, how to ensure that your customers buy sunglasses- repeatedly? How to ensure that your prices are not turning away customers? How to decide which brands to capitalize on? These are the questions that most etailers have to bet on.

We say, why bet- when you can be sure? You have a lot of info at your disposal; why not use it to understand the current climate and accordingly adjust your prices, processes, etc. Providing a virtual environment that complements the various face shapes and also fits specific budgets is not impossible any more. Your insights will give you the answers that you need.

At Intelligence Node we believe that when it comes to sunglasses- the two “P”s are perfectly applicable- ‘premium’ and ‘personalized.’ Utilizing the resources one has, and not digging for things that may or may not exist, is the way to success we think. And you dear retailers have been doing just that for ages. This is why we love working with you!

 

 

The “Fringe” fever and how a retailer can make the most of it?

Remember those Wild West movies where the cowgirls wore jackets and boots with fringes? Or go back to the Native Indian Americans- I remember watching even Disney’s Pocahontas dressed in a fringed skirt! And let’s not forget the old Bollywood flicks- where the villain would be dressed in a fringed shift jacket- and a head scarf or hat- so you cannot know his identity!

The “fringe” is back now- on the runways and the streets. Boots, jackets, dresses, clutches, sleeves, pants, everything seems fringed. The London and New York Fashion Weeks brought the “fringe” back into our lives this year.

The fringe has great potential, as the fashion makers have realized! We saw fringe all over the spring 2015 runways and now it has made an appearance at big shows like Ralph Lauren Polo and Mara Hoffman. While BCBG showed off the trend in a more dressed down way, Bibhu Mohapatra infused fringe on evening gowns, making it a great trend to try for a cocktail party or wedding.

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