Arati Menon Carroll spoke to Alessandro Ferreri, general manager (Asia) for Aeffe, and Charu Sachdev, CEO, TSG Marketing - the company responsible for bringing the brand to India.
Is the Indian market ready for luxury fashion?
Charu: India, along with China, is the fastest growing market in the world right now. As the country's economic power grows, consumers in India will start to demand the very best in global products and services, and in their own backyards.
Alessandro: Asia has been a hugely successful market for us, especially the Middle East and the Far East. Moschino has arrived in India to create a desire (if it doesn't already exist) and then satisfy it.
How does the value proposition of Moschino fit into local customer demands?
Charu: India has been ready for Moschino for quite a while. Urban India has become very fashion and label conscious.
If we can ensure that customer care service is at international standards and not indigenous standards, we'll be successful.
What kind of price points are we looking at?
Alessandro: The entry level pricing will be at about Rs 7,000 for some of the accessories, but a dress can cost you as much as Rs 1 lakh. Moschino Cheap 'n' Chic, which will form the bulk of the collection, will be priced approximately 25 per cent lower than Moschino mainline.
I always like to say that with every purchase you make at Moschino, you're not just buying a product, you're buying into the lifestyle suggested by the brand.
How will you build the brand in the minds of the Indian luxury shopper?
Alessandro: A customer who is well travelled knows our brand very well. So we don't need to spend time building a name for ourselves locally. What we do need to do is teach Indians to shop for luxury locally.
And on our part, we will create the same fashion environment in our stores that we have anywhere in the world. Mumbai and Milan should be indistinguishable in that respect.
What do you think of the luxury market in India?
Charu: In India, luxury has always been more of a service industry. We like our jewellers to come home; our sari suppliers come home and so do our carpet sellers.
Maybe this is because we don't have a luxury shopping environment ready for us. The civic amenities on the high street are just not there. There is no Bond Street in India.
What led to the association with TSG?
Alessandro: In TSG and Charu, we have found the perfect partnership. Not only do they have in-depth knowledge of the consumer market in India, but Charu understands our brands. We have waited a long time to find the right partner.
It will now be a long-term partnership, but we are clear that we want to test the waters with this first project, before jumping right in with all our brands.
Charu: We have expertise of red-tape management (laughs) over and above our understanding of retail processes in India.
What are some of the Aeffe owned brands that will enter India?
Alessandro: Aeffe intends to develop the whole portfolio of brands in the Aeffe group in India. Aeffe owns the Alberta Feretti, Jean Paul Gaultier and Pollini brands.
What are your plans for expansion for Moschino?Alessandro: Moschino is committed to the Indian market, and post the launch of womenswear and accessories in Mumbai, through our partnership with TSG Marketing, New Delhi will see the next Moschino launch next year.