Aditi Mirani, Brand Head – Urban Yoga, tells us what sets their brand apart – An Interview
Q What are the trends in sportswear / activewear / outdoor wear purchases that you have been noticing over the last few years? What are the changes?
People no longer just wear anything to work out – people now have dedicated workout wardrobes. Colourful bottoms for women have gained a lot of popularity. Technology driven fabrics have also started gaining importance as it adds value to the garment. From dry fit, to aroma scented, to cooling fabrics are all gaining popularity.
At Urban Yoga specifically, we have seen an increase in demand for cotton based clothes. Our cotton range is more in demand than our polyester line.
Q What are the primary social, cultural and economical factors that are driving these changes? Please elaborate on any one of them.
People are becoming increasingly conscious about their health- not only to feel good but also to look good. Investing in your body is now considered an important investment.
“Athleisure” as a concept has been gaining popularity in the last few year. Working out/Doing Yoga is now a fashionable activity and importance on “workout” wardrobe is increasing. Popular brands like H&M, Zara, Forever 21 have also embraced this new “athleisure” category and have adapted to it with adding athleisure products to their range. Celebrities are often seen wearing “athleisure” clothes on a daily basis thus adding to the growing popularity of this category.
There is a large chunk of people who would rather invest in themselves than in material goods like watches and jewelry. The idea of spending on experiences and self beneficial activities is driving more people to join gyms, try out new classes like zumba, pilates, hot yoga, aerial yoga, and this in turn results in people buying a lot more active wear apparel.
Q Among your own products, which particular product category is a runaway hit with buyers? Any particular reason?
Our cotton aroma scented t-shirts are our number 1 sellers – one because of its affordable price point (699-799) and two because of the aroma scents the tshirts give out. All our cotton bottoms are also doing really well because almost 95% of the activewear market sells polyester based clothes – so it is a refreshing change especially in a country like ours where it is hot in most parts throughout the year.
Q Tell us about the activewear market internationally Vs India? What are the challenges in this particular category?
Specifically the yoga apparel market is dominated by North America. People in the west have fully embraced active wear as a lifestyle category and not just for work out/ yoga classes etc. India is still on the way to wholly embrace it as a lifestyle.
Q Tell us about your retail presence? What are your expansion plans? What are your plans in terms to explore new markets in India?
We have exclusive brand stores in 4 cities. We are present in about 24 Central Department stores, and in 20 odd Brand Factories. We are also selling online through amazon and now myntra.
We are looking to expand to more Central department stores, creating kiosk stores in more malls across the country as well as exploring airport stores. In the next 2-3 year we see our revenue surpassing 50 crores.