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Bespoke Tailor Kachins Chief On Expansion Plans

Bespoke Tailor Kachins Chief On Expansion Plans

Kachins Group managing partner Ravi Ramchandani talks about why stand alone stores click in the mall rich Dubai.

As I enter Kachins’ flagship 44 Street store in bustling Bur Dubai, I cannot help but feel something is different from the usual local shopping experience.

For one, unlike most high-end clothes retailers in the emirate these days, I have not had to venture through a mall or shopping centre to get here. As I take time to admire the various suits, blazers, overcoats and accessories on display, managing partner Ravi Ramchandani appears, greeting me with a handshake before leading the way, past some well-dressed mannequins, to his office.

“Malls are very different from our concept, we want to be a stand-alone store,” he explains.

“In a mall, you tend to get a bit lost in the middle of all the other brands. Also, people shop off the rack there. They go in, they pick up things and they leave at the same time. We sometimes need multiple fittings and people have to come back to us. So it is more convenient to have a high street location.”

Much has changed in Dubai since Kachins started operations in 1981, but like a well-tailored suit, the company’s high street focus has endured.

As has its appreciation for quality materials, with the bespoke tailor now offering some European fabrics on an exclusive basis in the UAE as part of a large selection that includes Holland and Sherry, Thomas Mason and Valentino. “The fabrics that we have definitely differentiate us from our competitors. We have a huge range. We can cater to customers looking for a suit for Dhs1,500 to those who want a Cerruti, Holland and Sherry or Valentino for Dhs20,000 to Dhs30,000, “ he says.

Its buyers vary from individuals to large corporations; all attracted by the lure of bespoke clothing, and have included the likes of Hilton Hotels, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Singapore Airlines and Mercedes Benz.

Despite Kachins’ more traditional approach to tailoring, the company’s managing partner has his finger on the pulse of the suit market when it comes to the latest trends.

While the same self-stripes, stripes and plain styles remain, the greys, blacks and navy blues of old are now giving way to brighter colours, he asserts.

“There is a gradual shift to being more bold, more colourful, as opposed to the typical dark colours that people have been wearing.”

This boldness appears to be brushing off on Kachins, with the company looking to expand this year. Two more stores are planned by October, adding to the current two in Bur Dubai and one in Dubai Marina.

“DIFC, Business Bay and maybe some far out residential communities. We have those in mind,” reveals Ramchandani. The first is confirmed for Business Bay with the location of the second still “under discussion,” he says, adding that expansion to other nearby emirates is also on the cards. But Kachins’ approach, like its suits, is made to measure, and the UAE remains its most important customer for now.

“We feel that we need to grow a lot more within the UAE before we step out,” he says. “Before October, we’ll have two more stores and then we will proceed to plan for more and more as we move forward.”

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