| Allen Solly
Launched in India in 1993, Allen Solly brought about a completely new concept to menswear in India — Friday Dressing. In the years that followed, the brand, with its Anglo-American heritage, proved to be the most innovative of the Madura Fashion & Lifestyle's brands. Today it is one of India's most popular and easily recognised brands in the branded premium apparel segment. Consumers understand it as a vibrant and upbeat work wear brand. Allen Solly’s recall with Friday Dressing is clearly the strongest.
Convention is not a word that exists in the brand's vocabulary, and from the beginning the brand not only broke the rules of formal workplace dressing, but also re-wrote them. The dull world of business dressing with its greys and whites was shaken up by Allen Solly, which unapologetically added vibrant dashes of colour to its formal wear lines. The approach paid off, spawning many imitators. Nevertheless, the unconventional, yet unmistakable Allen Solly Man never lost his place in the spotlight.
The work casuals category is growing strongly due to several key trends:
- Work culture is more relaxed and hence organisations do not impose strict dressing norms.
- New age workforce is keen to look stylish, fashionable and most importantly express their distinct individuality. This is obviously best expressed through apparel and accessories.
- Entrepreneurship/off-beat professions are gaining ground thereby providing a promising opportunity for work casuals.
Allen Solly is keen to tap into this large opportunity by strengthening what its best known for – Friday Dressing. Going forward, the brand’s core positioning will broaden the meaning of Fridays by emphasising its spirit defined as upbeat, relaxed and effortless.
The brand has ensured that its range of products is stylish, fashionable and sufficiently casual – i.e. work appropriate. This is clearly aimed at young professionals/entrepreneurs who are ahead of the curve, open to experiments and believe in looking distinct.
Emphasis will clearly be on a segmented approach with respect to distribution – large format exclusive stores and key accounts for top metros and cities and smaller-sized stores for the next level of cities. Allen Solly plans to have 150 exclusive stores by FY13 and double that number by FY16.
Allen Solly was the first brand in India to introduce Western wear for the working women in 2002. Ten years later, it launched Friday Dressing for the young woman professional. It is a range of work-casuals that will redefine work-wear for women in India. The range exudes sophistication, is chic, fashionable and sufficiently casual while being work appropriate.
Women’s work-wear in India has gone through a definite and significant transition over the past few years. Today, office-wear for women in India has evolved from classic formals and blues and creams to a more casual and fashionable look. Women are experimenting through mix-n-match i.e. coordinating two disparate pieces of garment to create a completely new look. Allen Solly has captured this spirit very well through its range of Friday Dressing. It includes Dresses, Tops, Tunics, Trousers, Shirts, Skirts, Shorts, Suits and Blazers.
The brand is engaging consumers through its digital initiatives and plans to spend significantly on it over the next few years. Its in-house and experienced design and product teams are encouraged to travel extensively and create products that are benchmarked with some of the most well-known international brands/trends.
Today with the rise of the ‘creative economy’, stress and uncertainty have become a daily challenge to deal with at the workplace. It is in this context that Allen Solly makes a bold statement yet again, firmly believing that no breakthrough work happens when you are stressing out.
The brand’s vision is to lighten up the workplace through a whole new range of preppy work casuals in bold colours, innovative fabric and young fits. Not only do these garments individually brighten up the work environment, but they also lend themselves to lateral coordination with each other, and the impact of the sum is greater than the individual parts.
Allen Solly, in keeping with the spirit of the brand’s core and legendary ‘Friday Dressing’ tagline, has worked on a new Retail Identity that can be seen across all leading stores. The new identity takes inspiration from the brand’s strong Nottingham heritage, which has been rendered in a very modern and contemporary manner. Nottingham is Allen Solly’s birthplace and a city of stags.
The new identity for Allen Solly features the logo with a very prominent mnemonic (Stag) and a fresh new retail identity. The product has also been made more sophisticated, vibrant and upbeat. The new retail identity has been created keeping in mind the brand’s British roots.
The Coat of Arms featured elements such as the Allen Solly Monogram, the Ram and the Stag, elements that represented the culture of the company and its products. The Ram was symbolic of the English wool industry and Allen Solly’s place within it, while the Stag was representative of the city of Nottingham, wherein lays the brand’s roots.
The brief for the new identity was painstakingly created to ensure absolute clarity and arrive at a wholesome view of the experience that had to be created. The endeavour was to infuse the new retail identity with the brand’s casual British personality giving it a tangible form while keeping in mind the customer’s personal life and its attributes.