About a year after Lacoste launched its Indian inspired kurta-pyjamas, the brand is expected to make further inroads into 'ethnic chic' apparel, reported the Hindu Business Line.

The new 'geographically-specific' product line is expected to hit the shops in 2002, according to Mr Jayant Raj Kochar, managing director, Sports and Leisure Apparel Ltd (SLA), marketer of the Lacoste brand in India.

Explaining why it would take approximately one year to create more ethnic styles, Mr Kochar said: "We need extensive inputs for creating the styles jointly by the company's French and Indian design teams. By 'Indianising' we do not mean reducing quality."
It took, for example, two-and-a-half years of research and development to create the Lacoste kurta-pyjama.

Despite a price point of Rs 2,700 for a set (the kurta alone is priced at Rs 1,700), the Lacoste kurta-pyjama has been a significant success among high profile customers, Mr Kochar claimed.

Refusing to divulge details of the new line, he said the R&D team was working on two or three different styles. "This is an indication of the importance of the Indian market to Lacoste worldwide. When the brand came in seven years back, India was thought to be a slow growth area. But in recent years, performance has been better than expected," Mr Kochar said.

He added that Korea and Spain have also been important growth markets for Lacoste in recent years.