Hidesign plans footwear foray in makeover as lifestyle fashion brand

NEW DELHI: Hidesign, the homegrown leather brand known for high-end handmade handbags, plans to roll out footwear products starting February next year, as it aims to position itself as a lifestyle fashion brand.

The company is set to launch its men's collection in February, followed by footwear for women a month later. Since September, it has been retailing leather jackets as well.

Initially, it will showcase footwear products in 30 stores in markets like Delhi Mumbai, Bangalore and double the number later, said Dilip Kapur, the company's president.

The company, which is growing 25% year-over-year, expects the new businesses to double the speed of revenue expansion. Currently, bags and wallets contribute 88% to sales while 12% comes from accessories. "We want to position Hidesign as the lifestyle fashion brand," Kapur said. "When we started the brand around 35 years ago, we not only made bags, footwear but also leather jackets. So, jackets was an important part of our business but slowly they became out of fashion. In India, leather jacket have never been that hit, however they were in big fashion statement internationally. This September we have launched them for Indian audience," he said.

Hidesign plans to open 10-12 stores next year, mostly in small cities. All the stores would be company-owned and involve investment of Rs 50-60 lakh each. On why it doesn't want to choose the franchise model, Kapur said: "We want to keep the sanctity of the brand and not just make it a number game of sales." The brand also sells products via online marketplaces such as Amazon, Jabong and Flipkart and gets 20% of its turnover through those channels. It plans to maintain the same percentage over the next year as well.


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