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    Raymond’s new store relies on
    foreign collaborations and
    technology to really complete a man

    At your service
    Raymond’s new store also sets a
    benchmark of sorts giving shoppers
    the option of choosing their
    garments through an iPad. “Only
    one size per style will be displayed
    in store. That’s where the iPad
    comes into play,” reveals Sumeet
    Soni, brand manager. Once the
    selection is made on the tablet,
    their back-end team will receive a
    notification on their system and
    locate the garment and place it in
    the trial rooms. Customers will
    then be escorted by staff to try out
    the outfit. There will also be no
    cash counters, because “our customers
    shouldn’t have to wait in
    line,” Soni says, so the staff will
    take the bills to where the
    customer is.

    AYMOND has been a household17BuyLead3
    name for decades, favoured by
    everyone and their grandfather for
    their ties, suits, pocket squares, fabrics
    and everything in between.
    Once simply a textile store, it’s
    growth over the years is marked by
    partnerships with UCO NV,
    Belgium, known for their high-end
    denim, Gruppo Zambaiti, an Italian
    textile major and Lanifico Fedora,
    the leading producer
    of woollen fabric in
    Italy. Their offerings
    have also extended to
    ready-to-wear over the years, with
    sub brands such as Park Avenue,
    Manzoni, Parx and ColorPlus, apart
    from the kids wear brand, Zapp!
    The Italian job
    Last year, Raymond appointed
    Italian designer Vito Dell’Erba as its
    creative head. Having worked with
    names like Helmut Lang, Ricardo
    Tisci and Givenchy in the past, it’s
    clear that his vision for the brand is
    focussed on luxe, premium fabrics
    and well-tailored garments. Proving
    this point is their acquisition of the
    Super 250 count Merino wool at an
    auction held in Australia in 2013.
    They are said to have outbid 10 mills
    from China, Italy and India. “We are
    the only brand in the world in possession
    of this wool which is of the
    highest quality,” says Kishor Bhatia,
    general manager.
    With tastes evolving to favour
    simple apparel well crafted with
    luxurious fabrics, Dell’Erba says
    his focus is on comfort. “Comfort is
    the new luxury, and I see Raymond’s
    designs becoming increasingly
    European with more attention to
    craftsmanship and fabrics,” he
    shares, hinting at their popular flexi
    jacket. “It’s a deconstructed jacket
    made with wool. What this means is
    that it has minimal lining and no
    shoulder pads. It’s almost like a
    shirt,” he tells us.
    Currently working on their winter
    collection, Dell’Erba says that it
    will include a host of new garments
    like a range of chambray trousers,
    wool shirts—so light, you’ll mistake
    them for cotton, says the Italian, and
    contemporary tweeds with suede
    patches and piping. They
    will also be launching products
    like waterproof suits
    made with anti bacterial
    fabric and fresco jackets, crafted
    from a textile that absorbs odours.
    Tech check
    Technology is currently their
    watchword, and Mumbai saw a new
    store last December at Viviana Mall,
    with a focus on technological integration,
    designed by Gensler, a San
    Francisco-based architectural firm.
    Its success has prompted them to
    create a similar concept in Bangalore
    with a 4,000 square feet store in
    Indiranagar’s 100 Feet Road. Set to
    launch on July 24, the ground floor
    will house the ready-to-wear collection
    while the first will be dedicated
    to fabrics. An inspiration wall will
    screen videos of international fashion
    trends. While another part of
    the same wall will have a diorama of
    seasonal looks.
    `2,499 upwards. Details: 25252878
    —Rashmi Rajagopal

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