Fashion brands now have a new task: Clothing the Indian tween – Economic Times

By on June 18, 2019
BENGALURU: For 13-year-old Raina Pradhan, shopping is an ordeal as she listlessly scans the racks hoping to find something aligned with global youth fashion. What she mostly gets are routine childlike collections, often with cartoon prints. Unable to find hip styles, the tween shops at Forever21, the American fast fashion brand for slightly older people.

“Clothes with Disney characters are kiddish. It is hard to find trendy clothes as sizing is either too small or big. So I shop for the smallest size or whatever fits in the adult sections of brands,” Pradhan said.

T-shirts featuring Disney characters or bubble-gum coloured eye frames don’t cut it for India’s tweens and high-schoolers; neither kids nor adults. Aged between 9-15 years and practically born with smartphones and social media accounts, they are the new target segment for brands geared towards these young consumers who are beginning to make their own style choices.

“Increasing access, double-income households, brand consciousness and independent mindset shift in kids have contributed to the growth of this category. This age bracket has also nudged out hand-me-downs and cheaper export-reject options,” said Vineet Gautam, CEO of Bestseller India, referring to high-schoolers as fashion influencers and opinion-makers of the future.

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Source: Euromonitor

Jack and Jones, a menswear brand by Danish company Bestseller, extended its product portfolio to kidswear division by launching a junior range aimed at boys from 8-15 years. The apparel line comprises scaled-down sized garments of adult designs like slim-fit distressed jeans, mandarin collar and corduroy shirts to sweat pants that mirror mature colour stories.

Tweaking merchandise mix, introducing fashion that imitate adult clothing and accessories and having a smaller size within adult range is what several brands like US Polo, Flying Machine, Titan and Lifestyle are doing to woo this demographic segment.

“It is an important segment for us and a bridge between children and adults. It is also a starting point in exploring kids as an opportunity,” said J Suresh, chief executive officer of Arvind Fashions that started ‘dress like father’ campaign for US Polo. “For Flying Machine, we introduced an S size that fits young teens,” he added.

Retailers are aware of this. Tata Group-owned Titan Company’s optical retail brand Titan Eyeplus is expanding its styles in prescription eyewear range. “The target age has dropped from 18-24 years to 15-year-olds. We have been seeing the shift for last couple of years but manifestation is happening now,” said Shalini Gupta, marketing head for Titan Eyeplus.

“High-schoolers across Tier 1, 2 and 3 cities are driven and behaving like adults now. Timelines have collapsed for this selfie-generation who want to be aligned with global trends,” added Gupta. Retail experts also note that a large portion of the kidswear market is unorganised sector, that is gradually shifting towards branded segment helped by rising aspiration, frequent socialising, international travel and children’s fashion on social media.

Dubai-based Landmark Group that owns Lifestyle International is clearly delinking highschool segment from younger children. They have recently started stocking dedicated lines from brands such as Bossini and Kappa that offer sized-down versions of adult apparel for children aged between 9-15 years.

“With no brands specifically targeting this segment, a highschooler currently remains underserved in the market. By the time children reach this stage, they have their own fashion preference and constantly seek to establish identity,” said Vasanth Kumar, MD of Lifestyle International.

Source Article from https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/services/retail/fashion-brands-now-have-a-new-task-clothing-the-indian-tween/articleshow/69818758.cms
Fashion brands now have a new task: Clothing the Indian tween – Economic Times
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/services/retail/fashion-brands-now-have-a-new-task-clothing-the-indian-tween/articleshow/69818758.cms
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