Men in India don’t have as many options for formal wear: they either go to one of the handful of brand stores to get a ready-made outfit or end up having to purchase fabric and get it stitched.
The UrbanClad, a Maharashtra-based D2C startup, is trying to disrupt this largely unorganized market by offering quality designer blazers and suits at a starting price of Rs 2,000. The price is the differentiator as most of the branded premium blazers and suits start at around Rs 7,000.
The UrbanClad aims to tap into the lower-tier price range – Rs 2,000 to Rs 7,000 – to reach customers, especially in smaller cities, who want to buy premium quality apparel at affordable prices. The company also has items priced up to Rs 30,000 to cover a wider spectrum of customers.
The UrbanClad recently raised seed funding of Rs 15 lakh at a valuation of Rs 1 crore from Kapil Purushottam Maindarkar.
Founder Ankur Gajanan Salunke tells Entrackr that the company has its own manufacturing unit and sells directly to end customers. It also houses an inventory of fabrics and ready products.
The UrbanClad joins a small league of D2C firms that are catering to men’s apparel. Firms like Snitch, DaMENCH, Bombay Shirt Company, Rare Rabbit, and many more are already looking to tap into this space. India’s overall online fashion market is poised to be worth $43.2 billion by 2025.
Besides the new-age D2C startups, The UrbanClad also competes with legacy brands such as Louis Phillippe.
“Most of the D2C apparel brands provide white-label products. They’re just marketing companies. In our case, we only outsource the fabric to manufacture, and the rest of the assembly is done by us in-house,” Salunke added.
While some of the abovementioned companies provide ready-made clothing, the likes of Bombay Shirt Company allow customers to personalize clothes on the basis of material, size, design, and more. The UrbanClad too gives personalization features such as on-demand fitting customization and a selection of fabrics for pants.
The UrbanClad currently has eight tailors in-house and will be onboarding 12 more by the end of this year. The company plans to scale this to 150 to 180 by the end of the next year.
That said, The UrbanClad is Salunke’s second entrepreneurial foray into the apparel industry.
In February 2020, Salunke launched an ethnic wear-focused Prarambh Clothing wherein customers can get personalized designer clothes.
Initially, Salunke took orders from friends and family and promoted them through Instagram. Soon, the platform took off with word of mouth. Salunke said the profit margins and ticket size also grew eventually.
Prarambh deployed a unique model of taking select orders from larger groups. Think of this like a family buying designer clothes from an outlet before an event.
“On average a family spends around Rs 50,000,” Salunke said.
Prarambh competes with unorganized ethnic wear stores as well as the likes of Manyavar. Soon, the brand will be offered as Prarambh by The UrbanClad as part of brand integration.