Ducati goes the extra mile in India with apparel, accessories

Italian bike brand sends out a strong style statement to woo buyers

Speed and adrenaline mixed with the smell of high octane fuel and the freedom of the road — there is nothing quite like riding a motorcycle. It’s an addiction.

The best part about any obsession — after the rush of epinephrine coursing through your veins — is the gear. Over the years, style in the motorcycle scene has not undergone much change. There are leather, denim, boots, gloves, and helmets to play around with, and fashion trends are at the most functional.

The fluorescent green, high-visibility jackets and bulky, waterproof pants might keep you safe, but they are not stylish. Given that motorcycle culture is also about self-expression, Italian superbike-maker Ducati decided to bring on their supremely crafted clothes with character and personality that aim to protect motorcyclists during wild rides.

All apparel items are directly imported from Ducati Italy and the range and quality are the same worldwide.

Significant aspect

“The apparel and accessory business is a significant part of our strategy in India,” says Sergi Canovas, Managing Director of Ducati India, “especially riding gear as safety is one of the biggest priorities for Ducati.”

Accessories are one of the most important elements when it comes to high-end luxury motorcycles, he adds. Noting that superbike accessory sales are on the rise, Canovas says buyers of these machines want their motorcycle to stand out from the crowd and are big fans of personalisation.

According to him, modern riders want clothing made with sustainable materials by “manufacturers with integrity”. Increasing demand for motorcycle apparel and gear with Ducati branding and logo patches has enthusiastic bikers gathering at bike shops, seeking what the brand represents — authenticity, freedom and a form of self-expression.

Both the Ducati and Scrambler brands come with a wide range of apparel and accessories for men and women. Even kids can step into branded gear.

Full range of gear

All the showrooms across nine markets in India sell the full range of Ducati and Scrambler apparel and accessories along with, of course, the motorcycles. Canovas says the brand has tied up with Flipkart to distribute Ducati’s lifestyle apparel. This is at a global level to officially sell its licensed products.

The collaboration is in sync with the Italian brand’s long-term strategy of building next generation riders through lifestyle apparel. Its emphasis on livery was also brought forth at the recent launch of the Multistrada 1260 Enduro in India, priced at 19.99 lakh.

A wide range of apparel comprising T-shirts, shirts, jeans, caps, casual shoes, sunglasses and riding gear like jackets, riding pants, full leather racing suits, gloves, boots, helmets, etc, were part of the bouquet.

“We also have a vast range of motorcycle accessories for each Ducati model, which are further defined into categories like performance, protection, safety, comfort and style,” says Canovas. The superbike-maker also has a website where one can design a handmade leather motorcycle suit and look completely different from everyone else on the track. Ducati SuMisura (Italian for custom made) is a project launched to allow consumers to customise their gear, suit or helmet.

Canovas says, except for Ducati Sumisura products, everything that gets launched in the international market is available to buyers here. In India, Ducati pushes apparel and accessory content heavily on its social media channels which “reaches more than two lakh people”.

Celebrity engagement

“The Ducati family has a lot of celebrities who own Ducati motorcycles and love to wear the apparel. Leading celebrity stylists also reach out to us to feature our bikes and apparel in Bollywood,” says Canovas. “Moreover, we engage with leading fashion and lifestyle influencers to showcase our range of casual apparel and merchandise, who tend to act as organic brand ambassadors for us,” he adds.

The brand has seen a growth in demand for motorcycle accessories over the past few years. “Customers understand the importance of riding gear and it is our responsibility to provide the maximum available options for apparel and accessories,” says its India chief.

Ducati was in the news till recently when reports began doing the rounds of its owner, Volkswagen, contemplating selling it. There were some big ticket Indian bike makers who expressed their interest and it looked as if a change in hands was imminent. However, VW changed its mind since and Ducati continues to be part of its brand portfolio.