Feature

The ‘Leap’ year

In 2018, Raymond’s textile business shook itself free of a stupor, and started transforming its supply-chain and tailoring services using technology

Faisal Magray

Imagine if you have a way to see how you look in an outfit without having to actually try it out. So much time saved. So much agony saved waiting in long queues in front of the trial rooms. Especially during those mega sales! Well, you don’t need to imagine, you can actually do that now.

Except, it’s not for your convenience of trying out a ready-made garment, but to motivate you to buy fabric and get it tailored. Launched in 2018, the visualisation mirrors allow you to see yourself in 20 pre-loaded style of garments on a 42-inch or 55-inch screen. Called Style Me, these mirrors are a novel way to address a key problem why people are hesitant to buy fabric and get it stitched – the inability to see how one looked in the garment. 

This, by the way, is just one of the many armours Raymond has developed to fight the avalanche of ready-made garments that is threatening to make tailored clothing a thing of the past.  

Put it on the younger generation, or the emerging culture of informal workplaces or simply the economies of scale in manufacturing – the reality today is ‘ready-made in, stitched clothing out’ – well, almost. While this has pretty much signalled death knell for several Indian textile players, if there is any chance of a company surviving this storm, it’s probably the maker of The Complete Man — Raymond. For as long as one can remember, brands such as Park Avenue and the eponymous Raymond have been an integral part of the men’s wardrobe.

Sanjay Behl CEO, RaymondBut even a robust brand like Raymond, with great legacy and a degree of aspirational value for a large part of the country, pales in terms of growth compared with the trendy, fast fashion brands. Over the past three years, Raymond’s branded textiles, the single largest contributor to the company’s revenues, grew 16% closing FY19 at Rs.31.53 billion. Branded apparel grew 30% in the same period at Rs.16.47 billion. 

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