Lhas mode of the node butterfly which does not continues to gain momentum in Europe and in the United States gives ideas elsewhere. In India, Ankit Saboo decided to make one of his passions his professional activity.
As a man who likes to be stylish, it's no wonder Ankit Saboo fell for bow ties. During his travels abroad, he noticed that more and more men are wearing them at work, for going out and even in everyday life. Compared to the place of the bow tie in India, there was a world of difference. In his country, we wear this alternative to the tie when we dress in a formal way, or even during events. He has been collecting bow ties for years. What had become a hobby became 4 years ago an idea for a professional activity.
In 2009, Saboo joined the family business, Saboo Engineers, which specializes in the manufacture and sale of cement and machinery that processes raw materials. Nevertheless, he wanted to create something more personal. "Initially, I did a lot of research on the agribusiness industry, but it required a very high initial investmente. With my company Indian Bow Tie Co., my savings allowed me to get into the deep end. But beyond that factor, the idea behind starting my own business went far beyond the mercantile side of things. I wanted to do something that gives me personal satisfaction, that allows me to indulge my passion for fashion," he said.
In 2015, he created Indian Bow Tie Co. which initially offered a line of bow ties in cotton and wool. He then enriched his product range with cufflinks. 12 stores scattered all over India sell its products, notably in Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Goa, Ahmedabad as well as in its city, Jodhpur.
Choosing the bow tie
Mis apart from the fact that the bow tie makes it stand out, according to Saboo there were too few options for the enthusiasts of Indian bow ties. “You can find them from international brands like Zara and Tom Ford, they usually cost between 40 and 70 euros and you can only find them in big cities. I have customers in very remote corners of India, in provincial towns, who buy directly from my website. » It offers much more democratic prices: between 15 and 30 euros. But also original designs. For example, he did not hesitate to use local fabrics, ikat prints and their colorful patterns, to create his pieces. It also draws inspiration from the best abroad. In particular, he offers his version of a wooden bow tie he discovered in the Two Guys Bow Ties store in New York. Since then, the mustache-shaped Moochwala has become a bestseller.
In order to guarantee the lowest possible prices, he has only 2 full-time employees. A dressmaker and an assistant who takes care of the orders and the administrative aspect. He has contracts that pay commissions to a carpenter and a blacksmith. He uses the premises of the family business for offices and storage of goods. “We produce the annual production at once and store it. If there are special requests, we take care of them on a contractual basis. For example, we made bespoke bow ties for the Simba beer brand." So it's almost a one-man business: he takes care of the bow ties creation, development and marketing of the business himself.
As he has no designer training, Saboo spent 8 months perfecting his models, developing his product range and packaging before putting his products into sale. “It was a trial and error process. After experimenting with around 40 models, we found the perfect formula in terms of style, fabrics and knots. »
The first two years were the hardest. “I was getting discouraged because sales were low. I then realized that I had to give visibility to his bow ties, " he said. In addition to asserting its presence on social networks, Saboo began to travel the country to visit fairs and markets. A strategy that paid off. "Of the 12 stores that sell our products, half have made the effort to come to us, " he said.
A learning curve
In a hot country like India, many men don't want to wear bow ties in the summer. " We tried to show that you don't have to wear a suit shirt to wear a bow tie, you can wear it with a simple short-sleeved shirt or even a polo shirt. »