Sleepwear constitutes about 20% of lingerie industry
Designer Suman Nathwani talks about her journey of opening a sleepwear label in India at a time when it was considered taboo, to current times when the brand has spread to all the major cities of India and diversified into resortwear as well, in an interview with Paulami Chatterjee.
Fibre2Fashion: From being someone who had no formal education in fashion to becoming a renowned designer in luxury nightwear, what has your journey been like?
Fibre2Fashion: What kind of market study did you carry out? What were your conclusions?
Fibre2Fashion: What is the brand’s retail presence today?
Fibre2Fashion: Do you manufacture through vendors?
Fibre2Fashion: Internationally, the sleepwear segment is diversifying keeping utility in mind, giving rise to categories such as bridal sleepwear—right from bachelorettes, his and her collections to lingerie-based sleepwear, travel sleepwear, restorative sleepwear, etc. Is lingerie sleepwear the only category that excites you, or do you want to diversify?
Fibre2Fashion: Tell us about the resortwear collection. Is it also under the Suman Nathwani label?
Fibre2Fashion: What is your design strategy? What is the staple in your collections?
Fibre2Fashion: From where do you source the fabrics and trims for your collections?
I get the fabrics custom woven, though the trims are procured from all over the world.
Fibre2Fashion: How big is your loyal customer base? What percentage of them are men / women / teens?
Fibre2Fashion: What are the priorities of customers while making decisions?
Fibre2Fashion: Which are your biggest markets in India? What about tier 2 and 3 towns?
Fibre2Fashion: What percentage of your sales is through brick and mortar and what through e-commerce?
Our maximum sale till date has been through brick and mortar. My nightwear is comparatively expensive for a simple reason—fit, finish and quality that I try to give in each piece. We don’t sell through our website, but that’s something that’s in the pipeline.
Fibre2Fashion: How easy is it to get to the point where you get to dress celebs or even design for a movie?
Fibre2Fashion: How much yearly budget do you earmark for advertising and promotions?
Fibre2Fashion: What are the upcoming trends in luxury sleepwear?
Fibre2Fashion: How is the sleepwear category expected to pan out as a lot of these wears are transcending / overlapping their role with the trend of day-to-night wear or supperto- dinner, and sleepwear is increasingly taking over?
Fibre2Fashion: What steps do you take in terms of sustainability?
First, all waste fabrics are converted into bags from our end for consumers. Not only that, but we also ensure that we maintain healthy working habits and not strain our employees. We try and reuse a lot of our materials too.
Fibre2Fashion: How do you divide your time as a designer and being a counsellor for women mastectomy patients at TATA Memorial Centre?
Fibre2Fashion: Which patterns and colours will dominate SS2020?
Fibre2Fashion: Tell us a bit about your latest collection.
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