Perfect fit

Ambika Shaligram
Monday, 22 July 2019

Harssh Chheda, who founded Corporate Collars, tells us how his bespoke tailoring unit on wheels comes to the rescue of strapped-for-time corporates

Corporate Collars founded by Harssh Chheda is a one stop shop for all kinds of fabric and stitching needs. With one store in Mumbai, Corporate Collars launched its Corporate Collars on Wheels — a mobile van — in the metropolis and another one in Raipur, Chhatisgarh. Chhheda claims that with this initiative, the top company honchos have to no longer wait for weekends to shop for their corporate look. They will get their tailoring services right at their doorstep. More about this initiative...

Tell us the reasons for starting Corporate Collars.
Corporate Collars started off with the aim of providing quality and stylish clothing at the convenience of the strapped-for-time corporate mavens. When we studied the market, we realised that although several readymade stores were available that were catering to the corporate market, there was the issue of people not getting the perfect fit of garments. There weren’t many quality stores that provided custom tailored services and this was our chance of making our mark in the retail industry. 
We also understood that lack of time was one of the strongest reasons why people weren’t visiting the stores and this encouraged us to go ahead with our idea of Corporate Collars and our mobile van that doubles up as a store and tailoring unit on wheels. Today, we have two vans — one in Mumbai and one in Raipur and a Corporate Collars store in Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai.

If the corporates are too busy to come to a store, why would they invest their time in getting their clothes tailored?
Usually, the customer has to invest time and go to a store to choose from an array of ready-made clothing, where they might have to compromise on the fitting and the pattern as it may be mass made. Whereas, here, the customer has to head to the nearest parking lot (home or office) where the van will be present and select a fabric of their choice, give the measurements and get a perfectly fitting piece of clothing ready in close to 48 hours. Also, present in the van is a stylist who will help them pick the perfect outfit as per their needs. If you get unique garments that are classy, trendy and have an amazing fit coupled with great pricing, why won’t anyone choose tailored clothing?

What are the options for the youngsters who have joined the corporate firms? Do their tastes differ from those who occupy senior positions?
Actually, it’s not about young and old but what suits whom and the kind of occasion that they want to be dressed for. We offer a gamut of choices — over 1,400 fabrics to choose from different garments, be it shirts, suits, blazers, trousers or pants. Also, the stylists present at the van and the store can help the customer pick the right choice, be it checks, vertical stripes or bold colours.

Tell us about the market share of bespoke/custom tailoring versus ready to wear outfits?
The market is largely dominated by ready-to-wear outfits, but the bespoke segment has also seen a huge push than what it was five years ago. While the bespoke segment makes up for 20 per cent of the total apparel market, we envisage it to grow at a rate of seven per cent annually. 

Any reason why you chose to have presence in Mumbai and Raipur?
As part our start up plans, we started off in Mumbai, a tier-1 city and Raipur, a tier-2 city. As a substantial portion of the business community operates out of Raipur and it has been a prominent landmark in the Eastern part of India, we started here and I must say, we are not at all disappointed. The clients in this part of the country also have limited access to ready-made garments and that made our job a tad easier. With people used to the concept of bespoke apparel, it was only introducing them towards quality product, which was not a difficult task considering the money spent. 
As part of our expansion plan, we will soon cover other parts of the country namely Pune, Bengaluru and New Delhi, where many corporate companies operate.

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