Les Petits founder feels kids’ luxury wear market is booming in India
Swati Saraf, President at Les Petits is an SME Icon who tapped a void in the Indian kids’ luxury wear market and made a brand out of it
Anushruti Singh May 19, 2023
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If you still dress your kids in ‘plain Jane’ clothes (frilly dresses, checked shirts), you are still living in the past. Now, there is a new breed of discerning parents in town, who want to dress their kids in not just brands but also want to turn them into little fashionistas and fashion icons.
Due to this, the traditional styles of kids’ fashion are going out of favour. In fact, already established (luxury) brands like D&G, Gucci, Versace, Givenchy, Fendi, Moschino and others have pushed further into the lifestyle space and are offering new aesthetic, minimal yet high-fashion designs for the small people in your life. After seeing how Indians are loving this blend of fashion and luxury labels, Les Petits is making luxury fashion convenient for them and their tiny ones by bringing renowned global luxury kids wear brands under one roof.
“Les Petits was born in 2011 with the aim to bring the best fashion from around the globe into the country,” says Swati Saraf, President of Les Petits.
Keeping in mind the rising demand for branded kids’ products today, along with its online D2C presence to serve consumers pan India, Les Petits also has four stores located in the top metro cities in India. “We have three stores in DLF Avenue Saket, DLF Emporio in Delhi and Palladium Mumbai. We recently launched our fourth store in Hyderabad, Banjara Hills. We offer products from more than 24 luxurious brands and have exclusive rights to sell the kids’ collections of 7 brands,” Saraf tells us.
No more hand-me-downs
But why is Les Petits only for kids we ask. “It is to fill the void in the market,” she answers, adding, “why should adults have all the fun with retail therapy.”
“For me, luxury is something that is the sheer personification of comfort and ease. It is much sought after for its impeccable quality that offers long-term durability for any product. Luxury echoes the magnificent craftsmanship which brings about the perfect confluence of opulence and functionality. And when adults seek and desire it, why should the kids be left behind?” she asserts.
Besides, gone are the days of hand-me-down clothes. Luxury is the new normal, even for kids. However, India lacked a luxurious kids wear segment until now, and the owner of Les Petits felt that this was a very good time to fill that gap.
“The idea of Les Petits germinated during one of my international trips where I witnessed parents struggling to get the right luxury products for their kids. Watching their difficulties, it soon struck me that even India was facing a dearth of luxury kids wear brands. As a result, Les Petits was born in 2011 with the aim to bring the best fashion from global trends and brands to the country,” Saraf reveals.
Then there are the business reasons.
Since the very beginning, the main idea behind founding Les Petits was to bring trending global kids’ fashion to the Indian market, she explains.
Offering a wide range of luxury kids wear from leading international brands under a single roof, Saraf and her team worked towards making Les Petits a one-stop destination for the end-to-end shopping requirements of children. “While addressing the dearth of luxury kids’ products in the Indian market, we also want to eliminate the hassles that parents have to face while going to different shops for purchasing different products for their kids,” she says.
Young ones, the consumers of tomorrow
If you look at the rising number of millionaires in the country, the luxury market seems very promising in India, says Saraf.
Also, the younger generation is significantly adding to the growing consumer base for luxury products, given their higher disposable incomes and their good knowledge about luxury brands.
Based on the rising UHNWI, and the emergence of a strong middle class, even a Bain and Company report expects the Indian luxury market to grow to 3.5 times its current size, making it a US$200 billion market by 2030.
“All the factors together are contributing to the maturing of the luxury market in India, making inroads for more and more international luxury brands to capture a major pie in the booming market,” she elaborates.
From the market perspective, it makes sense.
The luxury kids wear segment has also come a long way in recent years. From being a regular, need-based, functional market, the permeation of luxury has contributed to the recognition of this segment as a separate section in the overall apparel industry.
“Given the rate at which children are donning fashion with sheer confidence, more and more luxury brands are clamouring to enter the market. Due to the rising desire for haute couture among kids, the Indian luxury fashion segment is expected to grow by 1.67 per cent annually in the forecasted period of 2022-2027 as per the Statista report. That’s why we are also bullish,” Saraf points out.
Expansion is the ultimate goal
Over the years since its inception, Les Petits has onboarded leading international brands such as Versace, Moschino, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, and many others to offer their customers an assortment of premium products that include apparel, accessories, and furniture.
Meanwhile, taking cognizance of the fashion-forward parents’ demands, the brand gradually debuted with its books and toy offerings. “After clothes, we diversified into jewellery, and based on customer demand we recently launched the books and toys section as well, for catering to the ever-emerging needs of parents and their children,” Saraf elaborates.
After launching their fourth Les Petits store in Hyderabad, Banjara Hills, Saraf is taking her expansion plans even more seriously. Marching ahead, she wants to setup more Les Petits stores across India.
“We plan to open more new stores in the top-performing cities. In addition to this, we are also working towards forging strategic partnerships with other B2B players to expand and diversify our categories and offerings for our customers. We are striving to become an integrated shopping destination for luxury kids’ products, and we have plans to add more categories such as toiletries, diapers, bags, etc. to our offerings,” she reveals.
“After all my experience in this industry, I think that the propensity of children to outgrow their clothes poses a major challenge for the luxury kids wear industry. Keeping in mind the rapidly changing sizes of their kids, parents many times refrain from spending on luxury attire for their children,” Saraf points out as she talks about the one and only, although quirky, market challenge that this sector faces. And she can’t do anything about it!