UK brand, Cath Kidston sets up shop in India
With loyal customers such as the Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton) and pop idol Taylor Swift, British brand Cath Kidston needs no introduction. Famous the world over for their quintessentially English floral patterns the brand opened their first store at the popular Ambience Mall in Gurgaon in October last year. The international brand joins fashion retailers Coach, Longchamp and Massimo Dutti who launched in India earlier last year.
What started as an eponymous boutique in West London in 1993 by interior designer Cath Kidston is now a £250 million legacy with stores across the world. Partnering with company Planet Retail Holdings in India – whose other brands include Accessorize and Wacoal – CEO Sandeep Goenka is enthusiastic about the
response, “We noticed a growing number of online orders from India, which mirrors the country’s growing economy, so we think that India could potentially become a very successful market for us,” he says.
Sandeep sheds light on the British designer’s legacy and explains, “Originally inspired by taking traditional prints and using it in a fresh, surprising and modern way, Cath began to design her own unique printed textiles and used them to create simple practical everyday products.
One of the first ‘Cath Kidston’ products was a printed ironing board cover. Practical, quirky and with a distinctive floral print, it has come to epitomise the Cath Kidston look and remains an iconic item in the collection to this day.”
Sandeep gives us an insight into the design process. “Christine Hafsten (in London) is currently the design director for the brand and heads the 14-member design team. The designers find inspiration everywhere; from research trips and holidays, to books and the nature. They are always looking for subjects that capture iconic British traditions and scenery. ”
Expect cheeky white cats on a pastel blue background, peonies, pansies and magnolias adorning the latest Spring-Summer ’17 collection. They also have a collaboration with Disney which features Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Winnie-the-Pooh prints on kid’s clothing, bags, lunch boxes and water bottles.
The products available in India are the same collections available in stores across the world. Bestsellers include the retail star’s handbags, luggage and homeware comprising tea sets, coffee mugs and lunch boxes. We recommend the brand’s colourful PVC and cotton totes, as well as children’s school bags and luggage (also in the distinctive brightly-coloured PVC and inner cotton lining) which are virtually indestructible and easy to clean – another facet of Cath Kidston that makes the brand popular.We like the joyous prints (including terrier dogs and vibrant garden birds) on a gamut of useful household accessories like aprons, umbrellas, phone covers, spectacle cases, key chains and more. It is the brand’s unique combination of quality, accessible prices and vintage British prints that “…entice customers the world over. The brands’ ‘Britishness’, sense of humour and fun really engage our customers.” affirms the India business head.
“The original inspiration for the brand remains the same 23 years on; creating distinctive, vintage-inspired prints and applying them to modern products,” he adds. At present there are no plans to launch an Indian online boutique since their British site delivers across the globe.
— Shibi Kumaramangalam