After being a contract manufacturer for India’s big premium jeans brands for many years, Sabu Joseph launched his own brand of jeans under the name, Wert, which in German means valuable. Famous Fashion’s track-record of being an award-winning best vendor would stand as a testimony to how it could indirectly satisfy the customers of top class jeans brands in India straight for many years. That comes as quality and value assurance to the customers of its own brand also. By pricing in the range of Rs 1499 and Rs 1999, though Wert jeans is placed in the mid-premium class, the brand offers value equivalent of high premium product. This guarantees enough reasons for every customer to take home enough satisfaction.
That was at the turn into the new millennium, the previous centuries’ miners and cowboys jeans stormed the minds of open-minded youngsters around the world. That happened first in Europe and America, before the wind moved towards India. Globalised India picks up the trend from the fashion rich western world. Youngsters, who are usually more fun loving and adventurous, at the fascinating stage of their life go crazy about fashion wears moving beyond the formals and traditional wears. They just wait for their school days to be over to switch over to trendy jeans. That has led to a massive change in the dressing trend among youngsters, especially in urban areas. Thus, the new millennium has seen jeans heavily filling in one’s fashion cupboard, thanks to their passion for newer look, wearing comforts, gentler fittings and vibrant styles. In fact, jeans have now become the new generation’s staple outfit, seemingly giving them greater comfort, confidence and also an age-deserving recognition.
While ace entrepreneurs wanted to serve the market with right products and innovative ranges, unorganized players inundated the market with cheap stuff that was processed in hazardous ways. At one point in time, sub-standard jeans used to sell substantially, as the buyers were not adequately informed about quality aspects. Besides, a better fashion alternative was also not available in the middle class market. But the entry of new jeans manufacturers with modern technologies in hand for innovative washing and processing, and admirable fashion sense changed the market equation. The Indian market, by virtue of having the world’s largest population of youngsters, was waiting for a boom. By the time, Sabu Joseph gained considerable experience in fashion designing, developing patterns, production and processing through his works in a major apparel brand wherefrom he got resourceful exposure to designing, production and processing.
In the year 2000, Sabu Joseph debuted into an apparently risky and stiffly competent jeans manufacturing at the very time, the market was set to boom and redefine the jeans apparel an inevitable fashion. His decision to enter into jeans manufacturing was right-timed. Still, for nine years, he manufactured jeans for the top rated apparel brands. That enabled him to learn about best manufacturing practices maintained by premium brand manufacturers and he himself was compelled to set his facilities and operations in line with the practices espoused by top brands. All these experiences have been highly resourceful for him to launch his own brand.
He had enough confidence about succeeding his venture, as he knew his capability to deliver what the market wanted would ultimately succeed. While there is a favourable demographic scenario, on one side, there is a tough competition from unorganized players filling the local stores and showcases with pathetically poor products on the other side. This is where Sabu spotted his space, first as a contract manufacturer for India’s large and established brands like Raymond’s Pepe, Lee Cooper to name a few By the time, Sabu could acquire sound knowledge of the jeans production, its technical aspects, etc. Moreover, Sabu himself has been a pattern expert, the work still he does often amidst taking care of the overall management of the company.
As he kept watching the market closely he found a new market equation emerging in the jeans making business and branding was taking shape on the basis of fabric quality and fits. Jeans is not just the product made out of any kind of denim fabric or denim fabric processed in haphazard manner. Buyers began to be more conscious about the aspects of fabric quality, styles, fits and other specifications. It is no more an outfit that neglects precision fitting. A quality conscious buyers’ segment started emerging. Sabu could find huge opportunities in the market for own brand, which can offer quality, trendy styles and value for money. “Besides, we have established our designing capability and best processing skills,” he says. In the year 2009, hence, he launched a brand named Wert, a German word meaning “valuable” as suggested by a reverend German priest. With all in-house facilities and management expertise, Wert jeans could come up to the expectation of its customers.
Now Wert jeans is known for exemplary fits and high quality fabrics sourced from top class fabric manufacturers. The core variants under the brand include Luxury, Shine, Delux, Vegas and Superfast.which being the only comfort wear. rest being narrow fits. The constant design innovation based on the market feedback adds value to the brand. The brand, which offers various ranges, hence maintains the connotation of the meaning – valuable. The brand offers core , fashion and hi –fashion products.
Werts jeans hi-fashion caters to the needs of the segment who likes mediocre fashion, but not exclusive for the lovers of high-end fashion. The brand umbrella constitutes 60 per cent basics and 40 per cent fashion. Ultimately, every class of buyers must feel taking home some value for the money he spends. Sabu wants to ensure along lasting value to his customers. The brand clout grew systematically. A buyer returns to buy more. A Wert buyer cannot be as comfortable with other jeans as he is with Wert, thanks to the fabric quality, textures, fittings and the pricing. The processing quality ensures of lasting freshness. “Each production batch is checked by me personally right from fabric ordering to final shipment of jeans,” he says. Not for any other reason than this, Wert’s rejection rate of virtually zero. “We never had a sales season to dispose stocks, since our entire shipments are usually absorbed by the market,” he adds. Retailers are happy as the buyers are assuredly happy with the always defect free Wert jeans.
Wert jeans targets customers in the age group of 18 and 45. Besides denim wear, he also spotted a big space for launching cotton trousers in the same market. After consolidating his position in the jeans market, he launched cotton trousers deploying his company’s skills in fashion talent, human resources and network that the company has already built across the country, especially in the southern region. The brand has found foothold in Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra. At present, the company has 18 distributors of its own all over the country. “The number will up in the coming years as we aim to expand our footprint,” Sabu says. “Our next aim is to expand our presence in the northern market through an exclusive distribution network,” he adds. All ranges of Wert jeans are available through more than 1500 multi-brand retailers, besides large format stores like Globus. At any given point of time, as many as 51 core items are made available under the brand, besides the fashion variants.
A decade long contract work for premium brand enabled his company to build in itself premium quality compliant facility with capability to meet the call of any quality conscious market. A completely integrated denim processing unit, in house designing capability and stitching shop boosted his complacence to be a player in the fast growing jeans business. While Sabu looks after the processing, production and overall management, his wife, Lali Sabu looks after the accounts and administration. Now Famous Fashion is at the 20th year of its existence. By the time it celebrates its silver jubilee five years down the line, it will have a broader product portfolio basket, more innovative brand marketing model and a well-balanced pan India presence, besides finding customers in South Africa and Middle East.
“We know youngsters are fond of shopping online. Youngsters constitute our major customer base. As we understand the necessity of going online, we have started our works by which a buyer from anywhere in India can shop Wert jeans ranges and other products of Famous Fashion, including cotton trousers and soon-to-launch semi-formal shirts,” he says. The semi-formal shirts also will be positioned in the mid-premium segment in terms of pricing between Rs 799 and Rs 1299, but with quality assurance of high premium segment.
The company is reworking its online business strategies setting a new shopping standard that would be admired by quality conscious buyers, who are not concerned about deep discounts, but defect-free product with value for money. Already, the brand’s sales through conventional platforms have been growing at the rate of 20 per cent. With newer products and more ranges, its sales can grow by 30 per cent in the coming years. In the southern market, our products are available in all leading retailers and retail chains. More retailers are now knocking at its doors. Currently, the company uses its entire manufacturing capacity to make its own brand that sells on an average 40,000 pieces a month. “As our brand becomes popular, we foresee the necessity of adding to the existing production capacity,” he says.
Except the fabric that comes from Raymond’s and Arvind, everything from washing to packing is done in-house under a highly sophisticated technology atmosphere. The company’s processing unit that is equipped with high level of sophistication shows the greatness of the brand and management consciousness about maintaining the brand’s eminence. An award winning vendor from India’s premium apparel brand owner, Raymond’s, Famous Fashion does not need to speak much about its product quality and talent of making premium quality product.
While expanding the distribution and planning to reach out to more retailers, Famous Fashion is also planning to set up what it calls EBO - exclusive brand outlet. This calls for higher product value chain to be introduced, for which the company is getting ready. Sabu Joseph, who always thinks of new plans when the market is passing through a cooling period, and his team have more ambitious plans. With a range of jeans, cotton trousers and the forthcoming semi-formal shirts, besides the plans of launching jeans for Ladies Wert brand will open a bigger basket in all its trendy EBOs, a concept that is now at the early stage of designing.
For almost a decade, Sabu Joseph ran his factory for manufacturing jeans for top brands like Raymond’s, Pepe, Lee Cooper, etc, as a contract manufacturer. As he understood that the same quality of jeans can be made for his own company under a by deploying his own infrastructure, pattern making talent and processing facilities, he launched a brand. Just by clinging on the USP of attractive fits, fabric quality washing, and aggressive pricing.Wert jeans could carve a position for itself in the market without any aggressive marketing blitzkrieg. Today Sabu is happy with what the brand Wert jeans is known for. “Today, I use the entire capacity of my production unit for manufacturing Wert jeans, the market for which is growing steadily,” he says.