Shorty Capone launched there footwear range for India

Known for offering a wide range of print-styles, Shorty Capone, an America-originated brand is planning to add 12 styles of Godfather T-shirts and 16 styles of semi-formal shirts to its existing range. The brand is also looking at ramping up its MBO presence. Explains Shahnawaz Sheikh, Chairman & Managing Director, Shorty Capone Fashion Corporation, “We have been retailing our shoe-range through MBOs and have signed up with 15 stores of Reliance Footprint. Each store is giving us some 50 sq. ft space, where we will display 35 styles. Gradually we will introduce denims and T-shirts in MBOs. And the focus for expansion would be north Indian cities like Ludhiana, Chandigarh. We are also considering large format stores apart from widening our international reach. Currently, we are selling in Holland, Canada and Spain and exploring opportunities in London and Serbia.”

Commenting on the brand’s USP of offering so many styles, he says, “Making 45 styles is extremely difficult. And the more the consumer sees, the more they want. So we keep updating our styles as fast as possible. Ultimately we want to reach a cycle of 20 to 25 days from the current 40 to 45 day cycle. More than designing, manufacturing is the difficult part. You have to get everything connected to the basic theme and in India. Its difficult to build a brand solely on the strength of knits.”

Shorty Capone’s journey started about five years back in Chicago with a hip-hop producer in his name. “I was a supplier to them then for originally I was into exports. Gradually, we saw a lot of scope for these products in India. There was a big void in the market of an international brand having a direct connection to the youth. So that’s how two years back we started acquiring the rights for the brand worldwide. We are involved from the designing to selling except for the American market, where we work on a partnership basis,” Sheikh elaborates.

Talking about the initial hiccups in spreading their footprint, Sheikh says, “There was a lot of resistance towards the products because there is a difference in the thinking of youth and the trade. There was resistance at the visualization stage in terms of what it was going to look like. We had a reference brand in India, a colorful brand, that didn’t gel well with the youth for some reason. We wanted to give our collection a designer feel without going overboard. Gradually, we got it right and now we are getting a lot of acceptance in the market.”

The product range includes everything from shoes to caps. “We have some 15 products in denim, which include skirts, three-fourths, shorts, jeans, denim shirts and jackets. There are some 20 product categories. Our intention was to fill the gap between the domestic brands and the hardcore international brands. We are avoiding the unisex concept and making it a distinct brand for men and women. The women’s products can’t be worn by a man and vice a versa in terms of styling,” Sheikh highlights. Right now, Shorty Capone has one brand store in Mumbai spread over 1,050 sq. ft. area, moving ahead, it is looking at bigger stores through the franchise route.

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