Van Heusen is a workwear brand for both men and women which was founded in 1921. The US based brand entered the Indian market in 1990 and Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. (ABFRL), a division of the Aditya Birla Group holds the license to perpetually operate the brand in India. ABFRL’s portfolio also includes other brands such as Louis Philippe, Allen Solly, Pantaloons, American Eagle, Forever 21 and Peter England.
Van Heusen branched into the athleisure, active and loungewear ranges which are a versatile combination of comfort, style and functional features that cater to the ever-changing lifestyle demands of today’s consumers.
The brand is owned by Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation, commonly known to as PVH Corp, an American clothing company which also owns brands such as Arrow, Tommy Hilfiger, and Calvin Klein.
In India, Vishak Kumar is the CEO of Madura Fashion & Lifestyle (MF&L), a business unit of Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. (ABFRL). He spearheads Van Heusen, Louis Philippe, Allen Solly and Peter England.
Moses Phillips and his son Isaac sold woolen shirts to local coal miners from a wooden handcart.
Moses and Isaac aspired to expand their product line and extend their reach, so they moved business operations to New York City. A Dutch immigrant named John Manning Van Heusen looked for a partner or buyer when he met with Issac Phillips.
The Phillips-Van Heusen alliance was born in 1919, the same year Van Heusen’s collar was patented in the United States.
Van Heusen collars were introduced to the public in 1921 and backed by “the World’s Smartest Collar,” the company’s first advertising campaign.
By 1950, Van Heusen and ‘Power Dressing’ became synonymous. None less than the future president of the United States, Ronald Reagan, endorsed the Van Heusen shirts.
In 1974, Queen Elizabeth issued a Royal Warrant to John Van Heusen, whereby Van Heusen was appointed the official clothier of Buckingham Palace.
By 2005, Van Heusen had become the world’s largest selling dress shirt brand.
Today, the Van Heusen brand, with more than 300 standalone stores is worth more than a billion in retail sales, and is available in over 70 countries, across five continents.
With a rich heritage of 128 years, the brand entered India in 1990. Today, Van Heusen is India’s No. 1 premium lifestyle brand for men, women and youth.
As of April 18, 2023, there are 97 Van Heusen retail stores in India. Uttar Pradesh, in India, is the state with the highest number of Van Heusen stores. It consists of 21 retail stores, which is about 22% of all Van Heusen retail stores in India.
Delhi and Rajasthan respectively, are the next two Indian states with the most number of Van Heusen stores. While Delhi makes up for 18% of the total number of stores in India, Rajasthan stands at 11% on the same chart.
Van Heusen can also be found in other Indian states like – Bihar, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Gujarat, Chandigarh, Punjab and Odisha.
Growth & Achievements
- The brand was initially positioned as a premium office wear brand for young professionals
- In 2002, it launched Worldwear, the definitive formal wear for the international traveller.
- Van Heusen launched a new sub brand for women called ‘Van Heusen Woman’ in the year 2006.
- Van Heusen India launched a new sub brand targeting men below 25 years of age called VDot in 2006.
- The brand launched a new casual wear sub-brand Van Heusen Sport in 2011
- The brand planned to increase its revenues to Rs.8.5 billion for the fiscal year ending March 2012.
- ABFRL’s ecommerce platform, Van Heusen Intimates, caters exclusively to women’s lingerie, lounge wear, athleisure, and activewear needs.
- In 2021, it received IFA’s IMAGES Most Admired Fashion Brand of the Year for Innerwear category.
- In 2022, it received the IMAGES Most Admired Fashion Brand of the Year of Indian Origin – Men’s Innerwear at India Fashion Forum.
- In 2023, it opened the flagship ‘Women’s Exclusive Intimates Store’ In Jayanagar, Bengaluru.
Awards and Accolades
- Lifestyle Event of the Year’12 (Gold) by Event FAQs
- Launch Event of the Year’12 (Silver) by Event FAQs
- Licensee of the Year’12 by Franchise India
- Power Brand 2011-2012 by Planman Marcom
- Best Loyalty Programme in the Retail Sector, 4th Loyalty Summit
- IMAGES Most Admired Women’s Westernwear Brand, Images Fashion Awards 2011
Van Heusen is typically known to be the best selling dress brand in the world, and is often associated with clothing that is stylish and affordable.
Here are a few factors that have over time created a strong customer base and are the brand’s biggest selling points –
- First introduced in 1921, Van Heusen’s patented soft-folding collar is now frequently sought after by its customers.
- The brand in India is the face of modern, comfortable and trusted workwear.
- Designed with an appreciation for fabric, finish and silhouette, Van Heusen continually provides consumers with better quality, innovative and timely fashion at prices that are more affordable than most designer or luxury brands.
- Their clothing is available for men, women and youth.
- Van Heusen effortlessly straddles the entire spectrum of occasions – from casual to ceremonial and work to partywear.
- By having a style palette as wide as this, it manages to consistently stay ahead of the curve in understanding the evolving fashion needs of the Indian professional and fashion enthusiasts alike.
- Van Heusen has set itself apart as the premium lifestyle brand by creating a large, in-house style range, sold at affordable prices.
These factors have now attributed to Van Heusen emerging as a fashion authority, where men and women look up to it for expert advice on what to wear and how to wear it. Around the country and world, Van Heusen is becoming the go-to source for the latest fashion trends, colours and style.
A premium lifestyle brand, Van Heusen assiduously follows the company mandate; ‘fashion for the professional.’ Their core philosophy is that style and substance are synonymous, with neither occupying more importance than the other.
The brand’s target audience is successful and sophisticated professionals who want to indulge themselves in good quality and fashionable workwear. Van Heusen, with its distinctive and fashionable range of products helps the ambitious young professionals create their best impact, as much for their style as their substance.
A Van Heusen customer values the company philosophy of elegant style that is particularly distinguished by its high quality fabric, while also being relevant to today’s time.
Through their Sub-brand V Dot, Van Heusen also addresses the needs of a younger consumer who has an ever-changing lifestyle and disposable income. VDot offers a range of clothing that is edgy, youthful and fashionable. These aspects add more sophistication to the brand’s existing philosophy.
Van Heusen Woman
In spite of being launched as a men’s brand, it did not take long for Van Heusen to expand its creative reach in understanding and delivering a range of style for modern women.
The company believes that today’s women is as much a stakeholder as her male counterpart within the Indian society and beyond.
Van Heusen envisions its women to be dynamic, well-educated, ambitious and intelligent. Their style for women is smart and chic but also feminine and poised.
The ‘Everyday Couture’ collection in womenswear is designed to give a working woman the flexibility of looking stylish while being at ease. The line consists of clothing that is classy, fashionable and unique.
Today, all prominent fashion brands recognize the need to become more sustainable, and Van Heusen is not far behind in the race.
In 2010, the brand marked its entry into sustainability by announcing the launch of their ECO line of shirts. The ECO collection makes use of 100% organic substances that are nature-friendly.
The main material used in this line is organic cotton, made from untreated cotton seeds and natural dyes. This cotton is grown in the most natural conditions and every possible care has been taken to ensure that no artificial or chemical substances are used in the process.
This also ensures the protection of the soil by keeping its condition intact for a longer period of time, instead of letting degrade quicker due to harsh chemical uses. This process helps out not only on an ecological level but also on a humanitarian one at large.
Diving into the smaller aspects of the production cycle, Van Heusen has also employed a physical technique of weed removal, without relying on any chemically based weed-killers. This method also helps create a balance among the insect population by allowing them to have as much of a natural life-cycle as possible.
For every eco shirt purchased, Van Heusen is committed to donating 1% of its sales to ‘Trees for Free’ organization that is committed to increasing the green cover on this planet. The sole aim of their initiative is to plant and nurture trees in public spaces for the benefit of all.
Till date, they have planted over 17,000 saplings in the city of Bangalore. In essence, every eco shirt purchased means more trees planted.
Van Heusen’s team working on sustainability, are also committed to charting out a future plan for introducing and using paper bags and reusable jute bags across all their stores.