Watch Market Review
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Our Vision - BaselWorld 2018

Time and Tide

FOSSIL

IN CONVERSATION WITH MR. JOHNSON VERGHESE, VP, MAN


What are your comments about the general mood at the Basel world this year?

Basel this year was more compact and accessible when compared to the last few years. This Fair is special for the Fossil Group; we enjoy leveraging the opportunity to
showcase the best of what we have across brands. It puts things into perspective for both our consumers and business partners as they see all our brands under one roof, understand their core offering, their values, journey, what they stand for and more. This year as well we introduced new lines, extensions, colours and materials across all our brands. The introduction of smartwatches has disrupted the industry in an exciting manner. We wrapped this year on a positive note and a firm commitment to grow the wrist!

With respect to watches, what are the key trends in terms of design and colour for the year?

Colour played a big part in this year’s fair. Blue was the preferred hue and was featured extensively across timepieces. This comes as no surprise as it is a colour associated with royalty, power and wealth. Bold colours also made an appearance with a promise to transform a classical time piece. Other trends which we noticed were watches with multiple straps, skeleton watches, neon colours, bold gold watches, candy colour gems on dials and more. This year also saw watchmakers reconnecting with its younger audiences and the emergence of ladies’ watches. In the wearable space, we saw brands adding new outdoor features, slimmer dials and more.

The Fossil group has many products under its umbrella. What percentage of your total sales in India can be attributed to watches?

India is one of the front runners for the Fossil Group. While we promote leather handbags & accessories, wrist watches continue to dominate our focus.

What is the retail model that you follow in India - do you retail primarily through boutiques or multi-brand stores?

India is a diverse market with a complex consumer portfolio. To craft a success story, we needed to ensure our brands are accessible in places where our consumers shopped. We built ourselves a robust distribution network in close to a decade. While we have expanded our presence rapidly we have been selective about our distribution network by being available in the right places. We currently have 15 exclusive stores in the country (we were the first brand to get FIPB license to set up single-brand stores in 2014). We are present across 600+ points of sale for our various brands across metros, Tier I & II cities. We are well represented across all leading ecommerce portals in the country as well. We will look at leveraging our ecommerce partners to build our presence and establish ourselves across the tier 2 markets.

What are some of the highlights of your spring summer collection?

Keeping in line with our positioning of fashion-first technology, our spring-summer collection this year reflects global fashion. The collection is inspired by the water, beaches, seashells and homes that sprawl across the East and West Coast of America. Minimalistic, smart, modern ornate, rose gold styles are the key highlights. The collections are also seen taking inspiration from nature; you will also see a clever use of colours and textures to create an exciting range. Blues, soft pastels and flirty florals combine with Marble, Mosaic, Mesh and the likes to create a statement on your wrist.

The complete interview is in Hours & Minutes on pg no. 6 in the BaselWorld 2018 - A Special Report.