Different Stroke

November 4, 2016 written by
Different Stroke

The brands who set the trend for the new in the lingerie industry

 There are some who follow the trend and then there are those who build trends, who mould the change and the rest follows them. With us turning 18, we decided to explores the rebels of the intimate apparel industry. 18 is certainly the age when you get the license to do, feel, understand and ponder over things which till now was just a notion reserved for the adults. The ones who are born with a rebellious streak at this age are those who lay heavy footsteps. Marks their path, such that the world can count their glories and in the time to come can refer to what they have done too. Being the rebel, foreseeing trends much before time and walking the new path that they want to set for the future fetches them the tag ‘rebels with a cause’. The brands who have broken the shackles of ordinary and thereby have tried their hands to bring about a change, when no one was convinced or did not foresee the possibilities makes up for the youthful lot of the Intimate apparel industry. Here’s to the change makers!


Zonac Knitting Machines Pvt. Ltd., country’s leading manufacturer & supplier of Socks under the brand name BONJOUR was started in 1988 with the vision of becoming the first Indian multinational socks brand. Today, more than two and a half decades later, BONJOUR is a success story with presence in more than 10,000 premium stores, multi giants across India, growing at a healthy rate of 25%. The brand has also opened 13 exclusive stores in North India, 11 in Delhi/NCR, 1 in Ambala& 1 in Dehradun. Each brand store is a testimony of the growing market and BONJOUR’s attitude of developing and converting a staid product category into a fashion accessory displayed and sold in a world class ambience. U.K, USA, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Turkey and other European countries are the key international markets for BONJOUR.

BONJOUR manufactures socks (formal/ dress/ sports/ fashion), stockings, tights and hankies for men, ladies and kids. Design, versatility and innovation have been the key words behind the success of BONJOUR. A product which started as a mere necessity but a fresh approach coupled with novelty and a strong desire to offer world class experience has seen BONJOUR reap rich dividends.

BONJOUR is the only brand using patented technologies producing hygienic products matching the most stringent global quality norms.  The raw material is procured from the country’s best spinning mills ensuring top quality spinning and dyeing. Each batch of product is tested by BONJOUR’s in-house lab before finally going into production. Known as the manufacturer of the most versatile and the largest range of socks, BONJOUR is the most trusted vendor for some of the most reputed and well known garment brands and large format stores all across the globe.

BONJOUR’s vast production facilities in Surajpur, Greater Noida spread across 2,30,000 sq. Ft., boasts of a total capacity of approximately 16.5 million pairs of socks per annum along with 4 million and 2 million hankies and leggings/tights respectively. Realizing the different preferences and requirements of their clients, BONJOUR has developed its expertise to offer effective customized solutions on their range of products.

“The market is growing steadily and we are geared up for bigger businesses. In last decade, we have seen a growth of 22-25% and for 2016, we aim to achieve 40% growth. We are increasing manufacturing capacity by about 60% this year. And for this, we have opened up a third plant for an additional capacity of 10-11 million. We are soon launching wellness-hosiery products. We have also created a separate plant for processing and dying various yarns,” informed Mr. Raj Kumar Jain, MD, BONJOUR.

As the market leader, BONJOUR realizes the importance of being instrumental in growing the market through marketing, opening up categories and mining existing categories to grow them to a sizable volume. A case in point is the kids category which has witnessed a growth of 70% in the last 5 years. As consumer demand grows here, they want to have mono-brand stores for bigger presence, business and visibility. “The market is growing steadily and we geared up for bigger businesses. We launched DOREMON under BONJOUR for kids in 2013.  In 2014/ 2015 Ben10, Barbie, Hello Kitty and Hot Wheels were launched.

Headed by Mr. Raj Kumar Jain (MD), a qualified engineer from Delhi, having mastered the art of knitting at various European and Asian machine manufacturing facilities. He is ably supported by his younger brother Mr. Sanjay Jain (director) who is managing the production facilities and involved in new design concepts and innovations. Mr. Raj Kumar Jain thrives on providing world’s latest technology and fresh design ideas to remain the trend setter and leader in the big Indian market. BONJOUR’s staff stays abreast with technical advancements with continuous training through bi-annual visits from the technical partners of BONJOUR to the plants. Similar tours are organized for the senior technical people of BONJOUR visiting the plants (of their technical partners) for learning and updating their skills.

BONJOUR started in 1988, launching cotton socks, in a market which was totally into nylon & PP yarns. Today the market is dominated by Cotton socks. BONJOUR actually changed the way socks are bought & sold in India. “After being a forerunner in launching cotton Socks, we introduced spandex, upgrading to Lycra, in socks. This was the path breaking revolution in the Indian socks industry. Giving stretch to cotton socks, we made sure that every consumer shifts to the most comfortable, soft, stretchable socks that we are used to wearing today. Later, we were pioneers in adding the category of Wool blended socks, which were soft, neat and comfortable, followed by a huge range of girls designer socks, partywear socks and Kids range from infants to teen. Followed by Licenses of the most popular characters of kids, ” Mr. Jain further added.

When asked as to how the brand has created its niche and how difficult the path has been for them, he further mentioned, “Initially, we were ridiculed, laughed at, and experts of the industry wrote us off several times. We raised our sales team and trained them to spread awareness of the innovations, seeking support from retailers and convincing the consumers. Leading to being successful & followed by other players in the industry, thus, making us the market leaders of the socks industry in India”.

Private Lives

Since the inception of Private Lives in 1980, the brand found its forte in sleepwear and lingerie Products, which helps women look and feel fabulous. The nerve center of the company is in New Delhi and its nerves spreads over Paschim Vihar, Bawana as well as Mundka.  These two manufacturing units came in picture in 1995 and 2000 respectively.

Being a rebel, doing the good. The brand Private Lives has always been a path breaker for the industry. When the brand was started in 1987, Mr Vikram Kapoor and Mrs Seema kapoor had a vision to fulfill the need of a common Indian  woman who once used to sleep in suits and sarees. That is not sleepwear, people all over the world were wearing nighties and nightgown sets. They saw a gap in the market and felt the need to fulfill it. Though there were people who were selling nighties but there was not any brand that you could rely on for fabrics and comfort. Thus the inception of Private Lives. It was being rebellious but with a cause.

“The soft and sexy satin nighties. Something which is now an essential for every girl. It is the perfect combination of comfort and class. This is one of a kind range that we have perfected in over the years and we continue to do so,” commented Ankit Kapoor, Chief Creative Officer, Private Lives  while speaking about the classical products or rebellious trends that the brand has set so far.

“There have been a lot of boundaries along the way. In the beginning people were not even very comfortable coming in our stores, specially men. They were terrified somehow of the stuff we made. But over the years as people have got more exposure we have started getting a much more humble response from both female as well as our male clientele. There was once an incident when a couple walked in our showroom in Pashim Vihar and started shouting “WHAT ARE YOU GUYS PROMOTING? WHAT IS THIS PRIVATE LIFE.. PRIVATE LIFE? STOP DOING THIS RUBBISH BUSINESS”. All the staff members first got scared and called the management in our head office and a team was sent to look into the matter. It was just another story of a man NOT  minding his own business. But that’s not a surprise. Till the time there will be people with stereotypes there will be brands like us to break them apart,” added Ankit Kapoor, while reminiscing the past.




Headquartered in Beverly Hills, California, Playboy consumer products are sold in more than 180 countries. The iconic Rabbit Head Logo, one of the top 20 brands in the world, continues to fuel the future of Playboy and their global expansion. Founded by Hugh M. Hefner in 1953, Playboy has been a tastemaker, an arbiter of style and a vanguard for political, sexual and economic freedom for almost 60 years. If you delve into the history of Playboy you will see that it has always been a brand associated with social activism. Be it fighting against racial segregation or standing up for gay rights and political activism for First Amendment rights, pro-choice, and social justice. Playboy has always been for individual freedom and equality.

“It was our fascination with, and a burning passion for the Rabbit Head that drove us to get iconic logo to India. The result was creation of a premium and chic innerwear range for men with inherent subtle impishness of the Playboy brand, bringing men’s underwear out of the closet and changing it from a staid and boring wardrobe necessity to a high-fashion accessory. It is our continuous endeavour to create products with unbeatable quality, and fresh, innovative concepts that have enthralled our fans over the last 60-years,” elaborated Praveen Reddy,  Managing Partner, Sri SR Mill.

There are a number of firsts that Playboy introduced in Men’s Underwear in India that caught on the imagination of our fans as well as competitors. Few of these include

  • Playboy was the first to incorporate funky prints and slogans on the underwear.
  • It was the first to introduce the hugely popular thongs for men in India.
  • The brand’s R&D in fabric led to evolution of the first jeans briefs and boxers in India.
  • Playboy for the first time conceptualized and creates a star studded honeymoon set of seam-free brief and upper for men made from premium lycra-rich fabric.

Experimentation was not much heard of especially in the men’s underwear segment when Playboy made entry in India. “The best in the name of innovation one could find was printed or patterned brief. To break away from convention and unshackle the traditional outlook of the industry had its usual difficulties and took some time but the reception that we got from our end consumers was simply incredible.  Today we have the satisfaction of seeing our efforts being paid off as we witness an incremental openness in the brands and consumer alike to offer and accept innovative concepts,” further mentioned Praveen Reddy,  Managing Partner, Sri SR Mill.

Sweet Dreams 

Sweet Dreams

In 1989, Bhavnagar, Gujarat, the Ruparelia Brothers of Grace Group of Companies were the drivers of change, who actually understood the need for wearing comfortable apparel to sleep and stitched the beginning of the brand, Sweet Dreams. What began keeping happiness as the state of mind, today holds, four state-of-the-art manufacturing units.

Powered by a strong presence in over 900 prominent retail addresses in India, Sweet Dreams is currently the leading loungewear brand in the country. Its network includes some of the best known names like Shopper’s Stop, Lifestyle etc and it also boasts of a striking brand visibility in UAE and East Africa as well.
Sweet Dreams has a brand philosophy of “Relaxed Clothing – Off Work”. All the collections are designed in-house by a competent team of designers. This is backed up further by an even stronger Marketing team, assisted with merchandising, production, quality control, sourcing and logistics departments. Sweet Dreams has bagged numerous awards for Product Innovation, Quality and Value Pricing. “With a motto to deliver happiness in every stitch, Sweet Dreams had set the stage for sleepwear as a category. Synonymous with its name, the brand over the last 25 years has been known to set trends for this category and as a bigger expansion plan, the brand has then branched out into other categories of Intimate apparel, ” explained Mr. Hitesh Ruparelia, MD, Sweet Dreams. When the world was fast adapting to the changes and setting the trends for knitted loungewear, Sweet Dreams In India was the first brand to bring the trend home.



Acquired from US Principal, Lovable World Trading Co. in 2000, Lovable is One of India’s foremost branded lingerie company with robust brands.  The brand operates in the super Premium & Premium Segment and was the first International Lingerie Brand to successfully launch in India, way back in time when the trend for International to touch our shore was not quite out of question.  Lovable today has a commanding market share over the Premium Lingerie segment in the country.

Lovable has recently entered into a  distributorship agreement with Hanes Italy S.r.L(An Overseas Company Of Hanes Brands Group) & acquired non-exclusive third party right to import , distribute and sell some of it’s products under the “Lovable” trademark within the territory of India for a period of 3yrs . These products belong to the super premium segment of the innerwear category. Apart from these, the brand today has the highest Brand Recall amongst the customers and has the strongest and largest distribution network among all intimate-wear brands in India.

To mention some of the most path breaking products of the brand, that have not only been the first of its kind, but have also created a lot of buzz, to make other brands follow in Lovable’s shoes in the time to come. The two products that truly deserve a special mention for Brand Lovable and their rebellious streak is: ENCIRCLE BRA– Set your curves right, without the discomfort of underwire. Scientifically designed unique encircle bands contain the bust tissues from all sides and transfers the weight to the straps

CONFIDANTE– T-shirt bras for modern day women in supersoft fabrics. ‘Loaded with Attitude’ looks boost up the confidence with soft padded cups.


“No lingerie market existed in India when we introduced this range hence a lot of efforts went into customer education on creating product awareness, the initial years went into sowing the concept of lingerie in India. Had to deal with properly addressing the sensitivities of Indian consumers mind set without digressing away from the core strength of the brand,” mentioned Mr. Sharad Prasad, Vice President Lovable.

“To promote this category we undertook a direct marketing program taping corporate offices at Nariman Point .In the first 30 days we got turned down by almost every offices for approval of promotion citing reasons from social to people perceiving  it as a pornographic product in this way we had to dedicate the 1st few years of our journey addressing the sensitivities of Indian consumers and their mindset,” Spoke Mr. Prasad, while describing the rebellious streak of the brand.


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