For nearly a decade, Tata Group has been Inditex SA’s partner running Zara stores in India. Now, the country’s largest conglomerate is building its own apparel empire as trend-focused as Zara – but at half the price.
Its retail arm, Trent Ltd., has fine tuned its local supply chain to deliver “extreme fast fashion” which can get runway styles to customers in just 12 days, the same compressed timeline that’s turned Inditex into a $90 billion empire.
Trent now plans to open 40 outlets of its flagship Westside chain every year and hundreds of its mass market Zudio stores, where nothing costs more than $15, across India, said chairman Noel Tata in an interview in Mumbai. The target audience: a consumer population that is newly trend-conscious and globalized, but whose low average incomes means that clothing from Zara itself is still mostly out of reach.
“The middle class is growing, incomes have grown, Indians are traveling more and they have more money to spend,” Tata said. “Now that we’ve built this capability and this model that’s working so well, it’s time to grow faster.”
Trent, part of the $111 billion salt-to-software Tata conglomerate, is hoping its quick and responsive supply chain will help it become as ubiquitous in Asia’s third-largest economy as Zara is in the West. But it’ll need to fend off competition from both local brick-and-mortar stores as well as e-commerce giants to do so.
Consumer interest growing
India’s total household spending will quadruple from $1.5 trillion now to $6 trillion by 2030, making it world’s third largest consumer market, according to a January report from the World Economic Forum.
The population’s “sense of fashion” has evolved, especially over the last three to four years due to smartphones and Internet data penetration, said Abhijeet Kundu, an analyst with Antique Stock Broking Ltd. “Every consumer wants to wear the latest fashion. Even if that consumer is from a smaller town, he will try to dress like a movie actor.”
That’s why Trent does sprints once a month: turning a trend spotted on Instagram or a foreign catwalk into a limited run in select stores in 12 days. If the product does well, it goes into a full run, which usually takes 60 days to go from designer’s sketches to store shelves.
Increasingly, the retailer is finding it can slash that time to 40 days, using Zara-inspired tricks like holding fabric stock itself, Tata said.
Income growth lagging
While India’s fashion consciousness has surged, its purchasing power hasn’t kept pace. Less than a quarter of Indian households had annual incomes of $8,500 or more in 2018, according to the WEF report, putting brands such as Zara or H&M beyond the reach of most consumers.
Trent’s lower prices are a better fit. “The value proposition we offer is much stronger than the international brands,” Tata said.
Trent is hiring employees who can pick the next trends and introduces 300 new styles across its stores each week, said Kundu. It spends 65% more on personnel per square foot than its Indian competitors.
All 11 analysts who track Trent’s stock recommend buying it. The stock has advanced 13% this year while comparable Indian fashion retail chains such as Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. and Shoppers Stop Ltd. have either lagged or declined.
That comes after five straight years of annual gains during which Trent’s stock appreciated 143% compared to a 31% rise in the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex. The company’s operating profit margin has nearly tripled since 2014.
Retail spaces lacking
Still, Trent’s ambition to be like Zara will be hampered by India-specific challenges. It’s faced difficulty finding space for new stores, because traditional high streets are a rarity in India’s chaotic, congested cities. Last year, Trent fell short of its goal of adding 100 new Zudio stores for lack of viable real estate options, Tata said.
It’ll also have to compete with local rivals who offer a similar mix of Western wear and ethnic Indian styles at even cheaper prices.
Trent views trendiness as its main advantage over these competitors. To that end, it’s working to make its fast fashion supply chain even faster, said Tata.
“It makes us more responsive to what that customer is looking for,” Tata said. “By looking at our sales and because we don’t have a long supply chain, we are able to respond to the trends much faster.”
Former Miss Malaika; Eirene Binabiba Launches ENB Foundation.
2014 Miss Malaika Queen, Eirene Binabiba has officially launched the ENB foundation, a non-profit organization that is focused on conducting sustainable development projects in deprived communities to promote development as well as tackle issues relating to women and children.
According to the 2015 Ghana Labor Force survey report, commissioned by the Ghana statistical service, revealed that about 1.2 million people in Ghana are unemployed and out of that number 714,916 are females.
The United Nations (UN) also revealed that, 57 million children remain out of school and majority school dropout cases are as a result of lack of funding thereby cutting short their dreams and aspirations. Another crucial issue deprived communities face, has to do with accessing basic clothing and social amenities.
The ENB Foundation seeks to tackle these issues by focusing on three (3) core projects annually; The (Learn a skill; Earn a living); a women’s economic empowerment project, where resource persons and volunteers would equip the women in deprived communities with entrepreneurial skills to encourage self dependency.
The Cloth and Comm Project (clothing and community); this project seeks to help provide clothing needs and basic amenities to deprived communities. Notre future (our future); this project will assist brilliant but needy children through school by offering them scholarships and creating mentorship programs which would serve as a step to help them realize their career goals and aspirations.
The ENB Foundation expresses its’ readiness to partner with companies, other NGO’s and sponsors that have similar concerns of conducting sustainable development projects in deprived communities, to enable the foundation to achieve their vision of being at the forefront of impact, empowerment, and development globally.
Ghanaian Designer, Jeremiah Obuobi gains recognition in Congo.
True is the saying that the prophet is never accepted or believed, in his home country. For about a fortight ago when Award winning Ghanaian product and footwear designer, Jeremiah Obuobi, released the 3D models for his sneaker line under the OBJClothing brand, the internet and a lot of people across the African sub redgion showed great interest and readiness to patrionize the shoes.
Even though the models were released to the general public, the greatest attention has been all the way from Congo Brazaville, where the African News team, did a live interview on the motive and aspiraions behind the release of these 3D models, by Africa's ace footwear designer.
Below shoes excepts from the conversation between the hosts of the Sci-Tech TV from AfricaNews and Jeremiah Obuobi- whiles on campus at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi.
Naomi Campbell Will Officially Be Crowned An Icon At The Fashion Awards 2019
Naomi Campbell’s decades-spanning career and impact as a supermodel defies labels, but now the British Fashion Council is officially recognising her outstanding contribution to the industry. At the Fashion Awards 2019 on December 2, the Vogue contributing editor will take home the Fashion Icon Award – one of the special recognition accolades that acknowledges individuals who have used the platform lent to them to effect positive change.
“This is a very emotional award to me, I feel blessed and humble,” Campbell told Vogue of the honour. “I would say an icon is someone who has a special aura, but also a presence and wisdom. I have always strived to give people from all backgrounds, all colour and cultures, courage through my words and my actions.”
Since scoring her first shoot a month before her 16th birthday (she signed to Synchro modelling agency at 15 after being scouted after school in Covent Garden), Campbell has pushed for better representation and equality on and off the catwalks. “I used to have to fight for the same fee as my [white] counterparts doing the same job,” she told Vogue in April. Now 49, she conceded that “it’s still not balanced completely”, but her global activist efforts, including the 2013 campaign “Diversity Coalition”, which aims to eliminate racism in fashion, are far from over. On her last birthday, she signed to a new agency, Models1.
Campbell began her philanthropic work with Nelson Mandela in 1993, and in 1997 he named her an “honorary granddaughter” for her endless drive for social change. In 2005, the south Londoner founded the charity Fashion For Relief, which organises fund-raising catwalk shows to aid victims of disasters worldwide, including Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Haiti earthquake in 2010. After touring the globe, Fashion For Relief will return to its roots – it was one of the major organisations to help people affected by the UK’s 2007 floods – during London Fashion Week in September.
“Naomi has made an incredible contribution to the fashion industry throughout her career as a supermodel, as well as through her global philanthropist work with charities and incredible fundraising efforts for a more diverse and equal future, especially in Africa,” Caroline Rush, BFC chief executive, told Vogue of Campbell’s Fashion Icon Award, which she looks forward to celebrating in December. “Naomi is an incredible ambassador for Africa, building bridges between nations and putting African designers at the forefront of the global fashion community through events such as ARISE Fashion Week in Lagos. She is an inspiration to many of us and has contributed through her career to change for the better.”
Campbell’s mission to push the envelope has seen her sit down with power players in a variety of fields, including Sadiq Khan and Jony Ive, for Vogue, which she first covered in 1987. She was the first black model on the front of French Vogue in 1988 and American Vogue in 1989. “When I was younger, in the 1980s and the 1990s, there were certain designers who hadn’t used models of colour in their shows,” she recalled to Vogue. “Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista would say to them, ‘If you don’t take Naomi, then you don’t get us.’ My friends and comrades stuck up for me and I will never forget that. It is the reason why I’m always incredibly touched when young models of colour tell me that I have inspired them.” Nowadays, she counts exercise and her “healthy body for [her] healthy mind and healthy spirit”. “I know that what comes from within is projected outwards,” Campbell wrote via a personal essay in the July 2019 issue of Vogue.
“There has been so much written about her over the years, but I think many would be surprised to discover how loyal and generous she is,” wrote Edward Enninful in his March 2019 editor’s letter of Vogue, which Campbell covered. “As a friend, she is kind and very sensitive, yet at the same time she is a fighter – Jamaican, a buffalo soldier – who stands up for herself. To me, she will always be a legend, like the last of the silent movie stars: Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Naomi Campbell. With all the flashbulbs, the fashion, the entourages, the jets, the philanthropy, the red carpets and the world leaders on speed dial, she seems to live at twice the pace of the rest of us. All the clichés genuinely do apply to Naomi – you could not make her up and she really is larger than life.”
With a catalogue of campaigns – her portfolio is a veritable A-Z of household-name brands from Chanel to Louis Vuitton, Valentino and Versace – and list of industry accolades – including the Special Recognition Award at the British Fashion Awards 2010 and the CFDA 2018 Fashion Icon Award – already under her belt, Campbell doesn’t need another statuette. The world can see her icon status already radiates from the inside and out.
“I wouldn’t never change a thing,” she mused on the advice she would give her younger self. “I would say to young Naomi, ‘Don’t be afraid to speak out about issues, especially when you come across things like inequality and racism. Make sure your voice is always heard. At the same time, stay focused on whatever you’re doing and give the very best. However big or small the occasion, you never know who is out there.’”
Alicia Burke – Model Of The Week.
Alicia Burke is a Jamaican fashion model. Having aspired to become a model ever since she was a little girl, she is known for walking the ramp for big names such as Ralph Lauren, Dolce & Gabbana, and Stella McCartney. Alicia has a strongly growing fan base on social media with over 40k followers on Instagram.
She made her fashion show debut in the Bora Aksu F/W 16 Show. Alicia has done endorsement work for brands like –
• Polo Ralph Lauren
• Bobbi Brown
• Laura Mercier Beauty
• Tom Ford
• Nars Orgasm
• Lips To Style
She has also been featured on the covers of famous magazines like Italian Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. She has also been featured in French Vogue.
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