Launching a brand in the middle of the pandemic is not an easy task, but trust Nykaa to make this move, and to do it right. While tapping into the intimate wear category was always in the pipeline for the e-retailer the pandemic did cause a delay in those plans. After two years of research, redos and trials, Nykaa launches NYKD, an intimate wear label under the growing umbrella of brands by Nykaa.
Nearly seven months of staying in to curb the spread of COVID-19 has made even the most ardent dressers amongst us succumb to cosycore. At Nykaa, they noticed a near double demand in the categories of lingerie, sleepwear and athleisure. Despite the delay in the launch schedule, NYKD hits the market at an opportune time. Vogue spoke to Adwaita Nayar about what went into the making of an inclusive, relatable intimate wear label, backed by tech.What made you want to focus on lingerie particularly as a vertical?
About two and a half years ago, our focus has shifted from being just a beauty retailer to being a lifestyle retailer. When we were looking at the fashion space, there were two opportunities that really stuck out. One is a pure retailer play, which is kind of what Nykaafashion.com is, where we list 600 brands. The second opportunity we identified was trying to build a very compelling, stand alone brand in the lingerie, sleep and athleisure space. And so, NYKD is sort of our second response to that opportunity. Why did we identify lingerie? There are a couple of reasons. One from like a consumer standpoint, I think lingerie is really confusing. I don’t know how you feel about it but I have always been a little bit confused by lingerie and it's not that I've been shy to speak about it. But it's also one of those topics that is kind of really complicated and you don't bother to really decipher it.
I was always a little overwhelmed by the space and if you think about it, about just the number of classifications, right? I mean, for like a person who doesn’t work in fashion or doesn’t work in lingerie, the number of classifications is just insanely overwhelming. Now I’ve not understood why a brand needs to have a thousand options in lingerie. So, I just felt like there was a real opportunity to just totally simplify this space while still catering to the complexity of it. So, can we talk about it in a simple manner even though the topic is not simple.Lingerie is often advertised as something you wear to please your partner and not necessarily for yourself. From the perspective of women and their complicated relationships with their bodies, what was your thought process in the marketing and in the overall making of the product?
Honestly, I think that question is so relevant for so much of beauty, fashion, and lingerie that we currently are served. It’s not just lingerie, it’s like a dilemma that I think about even with beauty. Eight years ago, mom [Falguni Nayar] and I were really trying to hone in on the answer to, “What are we really doing with beauty?” Are we just selling beauty products to women so that, you know, they can fit into this society’s image of being perfect? Absolutely not. Our whole philosophy has sort of been like zero judgement. We want you to live your life on the terms and where you are in your journey at this point and so that’s really been our philosophy across all our brands and that holds for NYKD as well.
I mean, it comes down to things like visuals of what the product actually is. So, for lingerie for example, obviously there is a decent amount of coverage for different sizes and different types of women at launch. I think that you’ll see a much stronger collection in six to eight months from now. It’s all in the pipeline, it’s being worked on. But definitely, that’s core to the brand. Every woman should be able to find something here that she likes and it works for her. And then even in terms of the image reel, I’m sure you know that Nykaa across the board is always using women of all types. We want to celebrate diversity in all our images. So, you’ll see that as well.In terms of the aesthetic, will we be seeing a lot of clean shapes and nudes and or very dramatic lingerie? Which spectrum are you leaning more towards?
I think more on the classic, more on the minimal, more on nudes, I would say. Then again, it’s because we are really trying to simplify it. Like, we’re not going to be a brand that’s going to come out with a new print every season. Our focus is more on form, function, technology quality.
I feel like one thing I want you to know is just the amount of energy we’ve put in, into crafting education and content around these products. We created the Bra Finder, which is not your typical fit finder where you put in your, you know, Jockey size and it picks up your NYKD size. It’s more like, tell us your problem, is your band too tight? Are your straps sagging? What is your problem and then we’re trying to tell you, not only these are the products, but these are also the solutions that you could see.What are your projections for NYKD this year?
I will say that we want this to be a top three brand in India, market size wise in the next five years or so.How are you feeling about the big launch?
I haven’t been this excited at Nkyaa since we launched nail polishes for beauty. A top five milestone, for sure. I’ve really poured my heart into it for two years, so has the team. The physical products, the warehousing, the ops, they’re in Bangalore and they’re up and about everyday. But the rest of support, which is design, webcom, technology, operations, everything is happening virtually and it’s pretty flawless. I think distance makes you a lot more efficient and a lot more productive.Has sustainability been a focal point for you while creating this brand?
In terms of packaging, we’ve gone with muslin bags, we’re not using fillers, we’re not using plastic. We’re using a much lower content of paper in our boxes, so, I think, generally as a company we’re trying to focus a lot more on sustainable packaging. NYKD is definitely one of the first experiments in that.Also read:
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