Apparel has always been one of the most sought out e-commerce categories. A number of players have fashioned their business around it (Jabong, Freecultr, Zovi, Myntra and Fashionandyou) while others have added it as a category on their sites (Flipkart). But while apparel on the whole is interesting, having your own private label is fast emerging as the new fad.
We had earlier written about two online private label companies, The Stiff Collar and Bombay Shirt Company, which offer users with readymade as well as customised men's shirts. Now, a sneak peek at the latest entrant in the space.
Roarandgrowl.com, a site owned and operated by Roar Lifestyle Pvt Ltd, is all set to go live next week. The startup, basically an online brand that offers men's apparel (will also add women and kid's wear later), was founded in June this year by Vishal Singh (CEO) and Rajvi Mohan.
Singh, who holds a bachelor's degree in international business administration from Alliant International University, San Diego, US, has earlier worked at Homes.com, a tech startup in the US, and is currently the MD of Dego International, a real estate service provider in New Delhi. Rajvi, a London College of Fashion and Parson's School of Design, New York, alumnus, is a fashion designer by profession and runs her own men's wear label, 'Rajvi Mohan'.
While the site is not live as of now, Techcircle.in managed to get a preview from the founders. Here's what we found out.
At the time of the launch, the site will offer both readymade as well as customisable shirts. Initially, it will only offer full sleeves shirts (considering the winter season) that are made with classic hand tailoring techniques, but half sleeves shirts and t-shirts will also be added to the mix going forward. The site will have 40 designs of readymade shirts, and users can also use the customisation module to create their own shirts.
The reason that only 40 designs are being added to the site is that the co does not want the visitors to get bored after a while. "We want to offer them something fresh at least on a fortnightly basis, and hence will keep adding products instead of adding all of them at once," said Singh.
Around 10 premium fabrics will be available on the site for creating new shirts, and users will be able to design every aspect of the shirt from the collar to cuffs to the length of the shirt. Also, since most of the users will not be familiar with technical jargon, the site will offer a 3D view of the shirts being designed, which changes in real-time to give the user an exact idea of what they are choosing/changing in the shirt.
Once designed, users can also share the shirts on a section called 'The Den', where other visitors can have a look them and also purchase them if they want. The idea is to turn every visitor into a potential designer. The site also has a loyalty programme where visitors get points for sharing their designs in The Den, as well as for referring friends to the site.
The shirts will be available for Rs 1,299-Rs 2,100 (not bad for a designer label), and the company will only offer limited pieces of each shirt.
"We follow the concept of 'For You' and 'By You'. While for you are the items designed by me for the customers, by you are basically the customers own creations," said Rajvi.
"Also, the idea is to make everything cost effective as well as exclusive. All the products are limited edition (they will in fact have a countdown timer showing the remaining number of shirts) so that users get the feel of exclusivity every time they wear the shirts," she added.
But if they are offering designer labels and that too in premium fabrics, how can they keep the costs low? The company is able to do this because it has infrastructure backing from Rajvi's own company, which has been manufacturing and designing her private label brand.
The startup is based in New Delhi and the team size in nine including the founders. For logistics, it has tied up with companies like Chotu.in, Blue Dart, DTDC and FedEx. As of now, it has raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding from family and friends, but it will look at raising a seed round next year.
The designs we found on the site were good, and the pricing is also not too high considering the level of customisation being offered. In comparison, The Stiff Collar offers shirts in the price range of Rs 749 (half sleeves) to Rs 1,100 (French cuffs), while for Bombay Shirt Company, it lies between Rs 1,700 to Rs 1,900.
We also like the concept of The Den that enables anyone to showcase their designs. Do give the site a try once it's live and share your thoughts on it. Once its live, you can find it here.
(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)