Hidesign to focus on airport stores, international markets for growth: Dilip Kapur
Oct 29, 2019
After 40 successful years in the market, home-grown luxury fashion accessories brand Hidesign is looking to explore new international territories for growth and also plans opening up to mid-market with stores in tier 2, 3 towns across India.
At present, Hidesign has 94 exclusive brand outlets (EBO) and 112 large format department store retail points with presence in over 25 countries.
The company is also betting big on e-commerce especially Amazon to enter new countries along with local partnerships for India growth. With the government banning single-use plastic, Hidesign, which has been anti-plastic since its inception, wishes to continue its usage of cloth bags to promote sustainability in the sector, as founder Dilip Kapur explains to Fashionnetwork.com in a discussion touching on the brand's expansion plans, travel retail and growth areas.
Fashionnetwork.com: Hidesign has completed four decades in the luxury retail space and managed to carve a niche for itself in the accessories segment. How’s the journey been so far?
Dilip Kapur: Hidesign began in a small shed with a two-man workshop in 1978 and has now turned into a company of over 2000 employees spread all over the world. The first bags were radically different from anything available at that time. They hit the counterculture stores of San Francisco, London, and Melbourne and immediately established an underground reputation for being radically different.
FNW: What is the international expansion plan for Hidesign? Which countries are you exploring for international growth?
DK: Hidesign has recently entered Kenya, Indonesia, Bosnia & Herzegovina. We continue to retail in the US, UK, UAE, Australia, and Russia among other countries. As the world goes increasingly online, Hidesign has also looked at growing its presence internationally through online sales with key partners in each geography. In the US, we retail through Bluefly, Amazon, Ebags, Modalyst, and Overstock. Sarajevo is looking to expand after the launch of our flagship store last year. Indonesia will grow its presence from 5 SIS (shop in shops) to 18 SIS by the end of 2020. The Middle East and Southeast Asia continue to be an area of interest. In partnership with Amazon, we are looking at accessing new countries as well.
FNW: How important is travel retail for Hidesign, what is the travel retail development strategy going forward?
DK: From the magic of the Orient Express, to the Scandicci collection inspired by Santa Croce, Maasai celebrating the trip to Kenya, Wild West born out of our partnership with Scully over decades in the mid-west, travel has been an integral part of product development and collection inspiration at Hidesign. Travel is an essential part of the successful professionals’ universe and airports are often where they find the time to pause and shop. Hidesign has opened over 30 stores at airports over the past 18 months. Today one-third of the brand’s exclusive presence is through airport retail.
FNW: What are the focus areas for Hidesign and plans for future growth?
DK: With the opening up of airports for retail, the focus has clearly been on airport stores over the past year and Hidesign has opened almost 20 new stores and at present has 94 EBO and 112 large format department store retail points. Hidesign also sells through our website and all major e-commerce partners. We will continue further expansion in tier 2, 3 cities as well as international market places.
FNW: Indian government plans to scrap the use of certain varieties of plastic by 2022. What is Hidesign’s take on this initiative and plans to stop plastic for packaging?
DK: Hidesign has been anti-plastic from its inception. Hidesign stopped using plastic for packaging almost 12 years ago. Today all bags by Hidesign sold in India go out in cloth bags. But earlier, both the cloth bag and the leather bag inside were packed in plastic and sent out. We got rid of both the plastic covers and instead began shipping out the leather bags directly in the cloth bags. That’s almost 38,000-40,000 plastic bags less every month. When a customer orders online, the leather bag is placed in the cloth bag and then placed in a carton and shipped out.
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