Interview with Animesh Maheshwari

Animesh Maheshwari
Animesh Maheshwari
Vice President-Retail
Riot Jeans
Riot Jeans

Traditional denim colours are taking centrestage again
The current strategy of Riot Jeans is to focus on innovation and quality of the output. It plans to ensure sales through large format stores and multi-brand outlets on a pan-India level which is supported through branding. It has big plans, and sees denim as one of the fastest-growing and promising markets. But as Animesh Maheshwari, Vice President Retail at Riot Jeans (Suditi), says to, the new practice of applying multi-functional fibres and finishes will eventually pave the way for the denim industry in satisfying the real needs and requirements of customers.

What do you think of growth of the Indian denim industry?

Denim has been one of the fastest-growing and promising markets. In last 10 years, the market has seen a huge change, with brands and customers adopting various styles and trends in denim. With increase in consumption of denim fabric, the market-worth Rs 13,500 crore in 2013-is expected to see a growth of 15 per cent CAGR to become approximately worth Rs 30,000 crore by 2018. When it comes to fabric, denim makes up to 35 per cent of the total textile exports from India. This figure is expected to rise to 45 per cent by 2020. The production capacity is also expected to increase to 1.5 billion metres by 2020. The reason for this is exposure to Western culture, trends, style icons, Hindi films, etc. Such trends have led to better standards of living, even in rural areas.

Apart from casuals, do you also deal in semi-formals and formals? How receptive is the Indian market towards jeans as a formal or casual wear?

We started with casualwear, and have been moving in the same direction. When it comes to jeans, those are usually considered casuals in a business environment. Due to their image, they (jeans) are not termed as formalwear. However, for the current generation that has grown up with digital and Western influences that see jeans in an office or semi-formal setting as a default attire, the challenge lies in dressing them up for a working week. They usually choose dark jeans with minimal or no wash, and team it up with formal shirts for work. You can say that jeans for many have become a staple, and the Indian market is ready to accept that change.

What colour trends have been observed in the Indian denim industry?

Denim is still the most popular in indigo blue. Now, the range has extended to dark indigo blue, indigo bottom sulphur shades with a combination of indigo and sulphur layer of dyeing, and various combination shades like tinting and over-dyeing in different colours. There was a phase of coloured skinny jeans that became popular. Today, denim trends are moving away from this and it's all about the true blue. Trade shows have definitely indicated a preference for traditional colours like deep indigo, grey and black denim, which are taking centrestage all over again.

What functional properties can be integrated to make denim fabrics more functional in nature for your target audience?

Denim has always been used for durable outdoor-work clothing. Because of its weight, rigidity and thickness, denim is chosen for casual jackets, skirts and jeans. Now that so many garment-finishing techniques are applied to denim, its use has broadened into different lifestyles. Denim is still mostly used for jackets and pants, with most attention focused on interesting varieties of jeans. Spandex yarn is added to denim to make the latter more elastic. Denim without spandex tends to hold the body. A 2-5 per cent spandex blend with cotton will stretch the fabric over the body for a more comfortable fit. Sustainable fibre tencel is used to increase absorbency and comfort. This fabric tends to soften with wear and washing. As denims are worn for an extended period of time, this attempt of applying multi-functional fibres and finishes will eventually pave the way for the denim industry in satisfying the needs and requirements of customers.
Published on: 25/05/2016

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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