Precious Weaves: The Story of Luxury Label Audelade
Audelade Store, Mumbai. Inset: Kripesh Sanghavi
The story of Audelade is written in fine weaves of silver and gold. The unique concept of turning precious metals into fabric was the brainchild of Mahendra Sanghavi. The Mumbai-based entrepreneur started his career in the textile industry. He eventually shifted his focus to the family's jewellery business. Audelade is essentially an ingenious amalgamation of the techniques acquired along the way. The luxury fashion and accessories label is now retailed at High Street Phoenix, Mumbai. In a conversation with Kripesh Sanghavi, director of the brand, we discovered what makes the brand truly exclusive
What distinguishes an Audelade product?
Each piece is handcrafted from leather of the finest quality. Our customisation process allows you to change the size and colour of the required product. Some of our customers also ask us to have their initials written. While the price tag may be premium, we make sure the product is truly worth it. The usage of 92.5% sterling silver or 18, 22 KT gold makes them assets.
Who do consider your competitors in the segment?
It’s safe to say that our product is unique eliminating direct competition. In fact, we’ve patented the weaving of silver and gold onto products. We are however in the same league as luxury labels like Gucci, Armani, LV, etc.
Are men as conscious about owning designer and branded goods as women?
The evolution of fashion has certainly affected men’s buying decisions. They’re particular about the brand they wear. They’ve also become conscious of the occasion and place they’re dressing for. We provide them with a wide range of products including formal wear, casual wear and office accessories.
Demographically speaking, who are you targeting?
An Audelade client is anybody with a flair for fashion a taste for uniqueness. We cater to both men and women across age groups. Geographically speaking, our customers come from all over the globe.
What are your price points?
The product ranges from Rs 12,000 upwards. For smaller accessories like key chains and office products of the Diplomat Collection, prices start from Rs 4,000 onwards.
Studies indicate the luxury market in retail is set to reach $15 bn by 2015. The same is juxtaposed by the view that the Indian spender is becoming more cautious. Is there a viable market for premium priced goods? Your thoughts.
Inflation has made the regular buyer slightly cautious. However, the importance fashion has gained ensures they continue to spend on premium priced products.
With FDI in retail paving the way for international brands, do you think there will be enough takers for the influx of premium goods?
The increase in the number of working men and women, better employment opportunities and higher per capita income has given rise to the trend of splurging on luxury products. With FDI bringing in different international brands the consumers will have a variety of products to choose from. However, the product range provided at Audelade the consumer will ensure that we they always have something different to choose from.