“Every emerging economy goes through a phase when people move towards customised clothing, the same is happening in India,” says Punit Chokhani, Co-founder of 16 stitches which recently set up its first offline store in Mumbai. “The concept of made to measure is catching up due to increased consciousness amongst people about what they wish to wear,” he adds. In Made to Measure clothes, fitting is of utmost importance. After this comes fashion and then exclusivity. “People prefer buying from global and established brands as they like the fabrics, patterns and designs of these brands,” notes Chokani.
Keeping up with established brands
However, these brands do not offer exact fits. 16 stitches aims to overcome this problem by offering fabrics and designs that are on par with established brands in the market. “We offer wide options in fabrics and designs. Our fabrics are sourced from best mills from across the world. Our prints are distinctively different from the other mass prints available across the country,” adds Chokani.
16 Stitches was started with an aim to bridge the gap between the fabric and fit. “We were advised against venturing into this business as many players are already operating. However, the strong belief in our capabilities led us set up this company. Over the years, the consistency of our products has helped us make a mark with our customers,” states Chokani.
Eye on the middle class
16 Stitches largely serves the middle class as high end customers mostly buy their clothes abroad. “Having an aspirational value, middle class consumers promote growth in this segment. People in smaller cities and town are ready to experiment and aspire for the same kind of clothes that their metro counterparts have. However, these people do not have enough resources to buy such clothes,” adds Chokani.
Chokani says, customisation is a brand building game and it takes time for brands to build it. “Though considered expensive, customisation is actually very economical. Our customised shirts are available at Rs 2,500 which is equal to the price points at which big brands sell. We are trying to minimise the gap in prices as we do not believe in over the top value and extra charging,” adds Chokani.
Besides delivering clothes across the country, 16 Stitches also serves the overseas market. “We mainly operate in Eastern Europe, Japan, South Africa, etc,. Majority of our sales are generated through online and social media channels. We also customise our products for corporates. In future, we plan to expand our store network in both big and small cities,” adds Chokani.