Les Petits, a pioneer in the kid’s luxury fashion industry, recently launched an exclusive collection of Rang and Stella Rossa for the ongoing festive season. Synonymous with luxury fashion apparel, accessories, and furniture for kids, Les Petits has onboard brands like Mayoral, Moschino, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi among others. In an email chat with Life & More, Swati Saraf, President, Les Petits, talks about her journey so far as also the expectations from the future. Excerpts:
When and how did you come up with Les Petits? How did you go about it?
It all began with one of my trips abroad when I realized the struggle of parents searching for luxury products for their children. It was at that moment, I was stricken with the idea of starting a kids’ luxury fashion brand and Les Petits came into existence in 20011.
Deciphering the rising consciousness for branded attires among the parents, it was quite evident that soon they would be seeking the same level of fineness for their children as well. The store was incepted with the aim to establish a kids’ fashion trend in the nation by filling the void in the market with top international brands. Being in the industry for many years, we have now established ourselves as a leader in the children’s fashion market where renowned international brands like Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Nuna and many others are offered under a single roof. Over time, we have emerged as a high-end fashion clothing, accessories, and furniture brand which caters to the age group of one-month to twelve years old kids.
How did you go about scouting the brands for children? What are your criteria for selecting brands?
The kids’ fashion market was quite unexplored in 2011. The adult fashion industry was the main focus at that time. Hence, we had a lot of opportunities as well as challenges waiting for us.
Keeping this in mind, before venturing into a new market, we started analyzing the purchasing patterns of Indian parents when it came to luxury brands. Based on the pattern and discerning the popular International brands in India, we decided to tap a couple of global brands and introduce the same in the Indian market. We strived to cater to the needs of Indian parents by bringing about the confluence of variety with a worthy/ aspirational/ suitable price proposition. As the market remained unexplored, we had plenty of prospects in store for us which helped in escalating our brand proposition.
We keep conducting comprehensive analyses by considering all the aspects before selecting a brand. We closely gauge whether a brand or style will make sense in India, the brand suits the taste of the parents and kids, and the pricing matches the expectation of the targeted customers. After a thorough study of the market, we offer a wide variety of options suiting the taste of Indian demography that ranges between 2K to 2 lakhs.
Back at the time when you started exclusive kids’ brands must have been a novel idea, not many were used to it. How did you market Les Petits and how was the sale?
For creating visibility amongst the potential consumer base, we started by opening our first store in DLF Emporio, Delhi. Our concept of providing International kids’ fashion brands in India, worked in our favour of grabbing the attention of the parents. It was the place where parents could find a wide collection of clothes with the latest trends for their kids, and being happy with our offering they eventually slipped a positive note about Les Petits amongst their groups through word of mouth. In the initial days, this networking method helped in increasing the footfall in our store.
Gradually, the luxury industry for children’s apparel and accessories has developed over time and is now among the most lucrative retail markets in India. In order to stand out from the competition in the market today, we are quite active on social media channels. To connect with our audience, we at Les Petits provide a lot of information related to fashion. In order to reach out to customers, we take an innovative approach where digital marketing has proved to be successful for us.
We have opened three stores in Delhi and Mumbai, at the Emporio in Delhi, the DLF Avenue in Saket, and the Phoenix Palladium in Mumbai, in response to the rising demand over time. Additionally, we have a website that enables us to connect with customers anywhere in the world and enhance the shopping experience for both parents and children.
Talking about the sale, it has been growing tremendously with time. Post covid, the focus shifted more towards e-commerce, our business has surpassed the pre-covid numbers as compared with the last year. Today, our website contributes the sale of 20% of the total revenue we make.
When did it actually pick up?
With time, as more fashion started coming to the country, the kids’ fashion segment was far from being untouched. As the style and taste of parents evolved with time, we eventually scaled our business with their desire to don their children with the same fineness. Where we started with a single store in Delhi DLF Emporio, observing a good customer response, we gradually expanded with two more stores in Palladium Mumbai and DLF Avenue Saket in Delhi.
A look of the Les Petits store at Delhi DLF Emporio, New Delhi
What is the market situation now? Looking back now, how do you feel the 11 years have been?
The market today is more aware as compared to when we had begun. Living in the digital age, we have become a part of global fashion. Today, along with parents, even kids have developed a sense of fashion. As a result, more and more brands today are coming to the Indian market, contributing to the recognition of kids fashion as an entirely different segment on a whole.
Who do you consider your biggest competitor and why?
Other than us, Little Tags Luxury is one of the aggressive brands which is onboarding a lot of fashion brands in the kids’ luxury segment.
How has the kid’s fashion changed in the last 11 years?
A lot has transformed in the kids’ fashion industry in the past decade. Keeping up with the global trend, kids today have no dearth of options. They are amping up their look with a conscious selection of cool colours, well complemented with unique attractive designs to make a statement even with their casual attires. In addition to this, kids twinning with their parents has emerged the most as a fashion trend in recent years.
What are your future plans?
We are observing more interest from the south and east. Therefore, we are planning to expand in the south first by opening stores in the next 6 to 12 months.
Which kind of outfits are picked up most for boys and for girls?
In achieving the vision of delighting the customer through luxury and elegance, Les Petits, offers a wide selection of styles, dresses, shorts, and jeans for both genders. The brand offers an assortment of clothes, baby necessities, toys, and jewellery. Irrespective of gender, we provide a wide range of accessories, end-to-end kid requirements like high chairs, strollers, prams, and comfortable, traditional shoes for travel. Over time, we have diversified beyond apparel where we constantly explore new trends to inspire delight in every child as part of our ambition to become a leader in the luxury kids’ product market.
Any fashion tips for kids?
I would like to say that fashion will keep evolving and sooner or later a new trend will be there to replace the previous one. It is not even a matter of a year before the trend changes. Irrespective of what is going on in the market, comfort, and ease of movement must be given the first priority when selecting any outfit for the kids.