Shashank Arya, Executive Director, DAR Group talks about his brands Heel and Buckle London and Berleigh.
Tell us about the journey of Heel and Buckle. Also, tell us about the store- Berleigh
Heel & Buckle London was launched in the year 2011 as a bespoke studio in London’s Hampstead, and since its inception, it had one overriding objective: to bring to its customers, footwear that is distinctive not just in terms of its style and look, but also with regards to quality. Heel & Buckle London is an exquisite line featuring shoes for men and women that offers suave, style and elegance incorporating superior craftsmanship with comfort.
Berleigh is a multi-designer store which houses the finest collection of luxury shoes and accessories for men & women from celebrated international brands. The team at Berleigh makes it a point to ensure that every brand carried by them has a history of using the finest materials while crafting their products. Berleigh houses Magnanni & Andres Sendra from Spain, Duke + Dexter from UK and Heel and Buckle London and Schutz from Brazil.
What according to you are the strengths of your brand?
Heel & Buckle London strives to provide the best quality footwear styles for men and women of today who are well travelled and aware about fine quality footwear. The brand offers exclusive services like shoe cleaning & Prive since it strives at giving an attentive customer service to enhance the customer’s shopping experience. Prive service is an exquisite and exclusive home shopping & styling service that is accompanied by a fashion styling expert at the consumers preferred location.
The brand curates the collection as per the markets they operate in which is based on an attentive trend forecast prevailing in those markets. An example of this would be, boots working well in markets like Delhi might not do well in Mumbai. Hence the brand launches great styles of boots exclusively for markets like Delhi. Another strength of the brand is the non repetition of styles barring bestsellers making each style exclusive.
What is your vision for the brand over the next five years?
Heel & Buckle London’s vision is to grow in the online space and make the brand available across India and internationally.
Tell us about your starting and exiting price points and Target Group (TG)
Starting price points of Heel & Buckle London for women is INR 2,990 - 9,990 and for men is INR 7,990 - 13,990. The brand caters to the quintessentially stylish man and woman of today who is, personality & trend-conscious, the collection boasts of timeless classic additions that are a must feature in everyone’s wardrobe.
What were the gaps in the present footwear market that inspired you to launch Heel and Buckle?
We are looking forward to bridging the gap for good quality trendy styles and make them easily available to the Indian market which currently is a very challenging task, but getting the right products and catering it to the right audience is the perfect key for our market. It is also important to have the research done well before curating the collection to the market we cater to. We work on making Heel & Buckle London consistent across majority marketing channels. That’s how we aim to develop an instinctive gut feeling in our customers.
How has the consumer behaviour evolved in the footwear segment?
Footwear market is predominantly dictated by consumer trends. The Indian Fashion Retail Market in India has witnessed several significant changes in recent years, which indicates the country's evolving fashion retail market. People in India are now well-travelled and familiar with the products available in the market. We have made the international brands readily available for the Indian customers who have gradually evolved in fashion and are more open to experimentation in fashion as the consumers today are well versed and acquainted on international trends and are rapidly adapting to international fashion statements. The surging demand for designer yet comfortable shoes among women and sportswear or athletic shoes among men have been bolstering opportunities for footwear sales.