Over 20 years for the reason that model was launched, Shantnu & Nikhil is lastly setting foot in namma ooru to develop their retail presence. The designers behind the eponymous model have simply launched S&N, a bridge-to-luxury label that has discovered its first Bengaluru house at Phoenix Market Metropolis. In September, one other retailer will open at Vittal Mallya Highway.
“S&N is nothing however a trickle-down impact of Shantnu & Nikhil,” says one-half of the designer duo, Shantnu Mehra, who was in Bengaluru just lately for the shop’s launch. Predominantly, S&N is a menswear model with 70% of the choices catering to males, with the remaining for womenswear and options by way of equipment, respectively.
If the mom model is all about ceremonial put on, S&N retains it celebratory. “There’s a way of up to date ethnicity assembly Indo-Western influences. Celebration put on is just not restricted to weddings. It could possibly be for something — a birthday, anniversary or board assembly,” says Shantnu of the brand new label, which was launched in 2020 in Delhi.
Identified to be famously anti-trend of their designs, the brothers undertake the identical coverage within the conceptualisation of S&N as a label as effectively. Calling the bridge-to-luxury phase unchartered territory in India, Shantnu believes that whereas most worldwide manufacturers have set a floor rule on what bridge-to-luxury is, no Indian designer has been capable of contact that candy spot, until date. “It’s both proper on the tip of the style meals chain with couture or it turns into too mass market. Nothing sits within the stomach,” he provides.
And that’s precisely what S&N goals to seize. As an example, the assertion shirts they retail, begin at ₹8,000. The costs could also be watered down in comparison with the mom model (worth on request) however the in-store expertise, Shantnu guarantees, is just not. “The Shantnu & Nikhil lineage nonetheless comes by way of the interiors with the gold, gray, darkish hues and matte color palette. Our gross sales frontrunners are extra like stylists supplying you with options — what brooch will go together with a shirt, footwear that works for you, which colors combine and match effectively, and so forth.”
Whereas the design ethos has stayed fixed, the enterprise aspect of issues has seen some change. In 2019, Aditya Birla Style & Retail (ABFRL) acquired a stake in Shantnu & Nikhil, which then gave the model “wings to fly” with a stronger provide chain for sourcing, manufacturing and distribution. The one factor the designers have been certain of on this partnership? Design earlier than commerce, at all times. “There is no such thing as a lack of artistic freedom, In truth, we acquired the chance to incubate higher concepts.”
To start with, S&N introduces a special market phase for the model to faucet into. Apart from brick-and-mortar shops, a direct-to-consumer digital channel exists too. Whereas the mom model focuses on ceremonial put on, S&N affords one thing to attendees — be it at weddings or events — with a set of assertion shirts, signature drape kurtas, night jackets, draped waistcoats, sherwanis, saree robes, corset tops and so forth.
The couture model too is present process a revamp in some shops, the place the mannequin is changing into extra hybrid, housing each S&N and the mom model below one roof. Additionally on the drafting board? Hybrid shops in Dubai, London and New York.
Inside India, S&N, which presently has eight retailers, will see one other 5 this yr, together with Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Raipur, Jodhpur and Delhi NCR. 2023 would see growth in tier-II cities as effectively. On-line, the model is seeking to begin worldwide delivery from August 15.
Over 20 years robust, the model is charging straight forward, already laying the seeds for the following crop of patrons — Gen Z. “Millennials are the most important spenders, however you’ll be able to’t ignore the Gen-Z vibe. A few of our shoots and campaigns give attention to them as a result of in some unspecified time in the future, they’ll grow to be millennials and the inclusion has to start out someplace.”
Maybe S&N launching in Bengaluru can also be part of this incubation to ask extra clients in the direction of the model. “In Delhi or Mumbai, trend is bigger than life, however Bengaluru provides you a cool vibe,” says Shantnu, explaining why they by no means opened their flagship couture retailer right here earlier than. “Costly product consumption, particularly trend and clothes, will not be the dynamics of this metropolis. Which is why S&N could make the correct noise right here. It’s minimalistic, simple to put on and it’s trend with out being fussy.”