The tee-shirt has long been standard youth apparel, worldover. Over the years, its fan base has extended outward and most people can claim to own at least a tee-shirt or two.
How do you wear your tee-shirt? Plain or prints? Bold colours, stark white or neutrals? On the front, the back or both? With a slogan, a picture, a photograph or a brand? Collared or round-necked? Half sleeves, short sleeves, the sleeveless ganji version or a ustad-ishtyle roll up? The tee-shirt is a personalized style statement that says something about the kind of person you are.
I’m afraid the women have been left rather behind in the tee-shirt movement. If like me, you don’t enjoy being a hoarding for a brand, you rule out the standard Levis, Nike, Reebok and so on. Then you end up being limited to extra-cutesy teddy-bear prints and Powerpuff Girl chic. Tantra may have brought in tongue-in-chic humour to tee-shirts but they’re quite clearly targeted at men.
That’s as far as the print and designs go. In terms of the fit, you have to shell out a high sum to pick up a well-fitting tee-shirt at one of the higher-end department stores. Some of my friends and I would scout the children’s section for tee-shirts that didn’t make us look like poles inside tent sacking. Unfortunately the best of those would still end up stretched wide across the bust and hanging out loose near the waist.
I daresay women’s wear in tee-shirts is so severely restricted that the concept of a well-fitted, smart tee-shirt is foreign to us. We either wear the badly fitted ones that invariably develop cracks in the rubber prints to too much stretching or we hobble about in tents that look like dad’s hand-me-downs. Since the latter is more common, a woman in a tee-shirt can almost safely be assumed to be unconcerned about her looks or lounging about at home. Tee-shirts aren’t really the well-dressed woman’s attire which is a pity, considering just how versatile they are.
So all in all, the concept of a tee-shirt, especially one that promotes a brand, doesn’t generally excite me. Which is why I was pleasantly surprised at the *launch of the Zoozoo merchandise line, a few weeks ago.
You may love them or you may detest the little bald white characters playing out different mini-scenarios in the ads while shrewdly alluding to the Vodafone services. But you’d be hard pressed to find anyone in this city who doesn’t know the Zoozoos or more importantly, have an opinion on them.
As a brand icon, the Zoozoo has probably been the classiest offering from Vodafone. Someone in there is sure doing their job well as they’ve picked up on the popularity to extend the range further. The Zoozoos are the first ever Indian-grown brand ambassadors for Vodafone to be considered for merchandising.
There are separate lines for men and women, both in unusual colours. The print shows Zoozoos in various actions and poses with a witty caption. I like the fact that the focus is on the cheeky humour element of the Zoozoo and not on the Vodafone brand itself. There are no marketing messages, nothing at all in fact about the brand.
I was particularly impressed by the cut and style of the tee-shirt. These aren’t the mass-produced square-cut tee-shirts with factory-stamped prints on them. These are tee-shirts tailored for the female body, designed to flatter the form. The colours are pretty attractive too, ranging from fuchsia pink, slate grey, sky blue, lemon yellow, white and black. The men’s range has the regular navy, black, white but also a striking chilli-green and a rust-orange. The women’s range is available in S, M and L while men’s wear is in M, L and XL.
I’m rather partial to the Zoozoo prints on the men’s line (“Zoozoo rockstar” depicting a Zoozoo bending over a microphone) but the women’s range is fairly good too.
And finally the best part of the line is how affordable it is. The standard thick cotton versions are available at Rs.299 while the more slender, softer fabric is for Rs.399. I’ve only mine for a couple of weeks but the fabric looks like it’s durable.
The Zoozoo merchandise is retailed at all Shoppers Stop outlets.
Inexpensive, well-fitted, nicely coloured and with a fun print – I’d say that’s a perfect tee-shirt! Vodafone certainly got it right (for once) with their Zoozoo merchandise.
*The launch was brought to me by The Social Media Catalyst.