Mondetta Clothing Company

Mondetta is a Canadian casual and sportswear design and manufacturing company. The brand is best known for its world-flag themed apparel. Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Mondetta has three main divisions: Mondetta, MPG and private label.

Mondetta
Type Privately held
Industry Fashion/Apparel/Clothing
Founded 1986
Headquarters Winnipeg, Canada
Key people Ash Modha, CEO, Head Designer
Raj Bahl, VP-Sales,
Prashant Modha, VP-Finance,
Kish Modha, VP-Human Resources
Products Casual sportswear, active wear
Divisions Mondetta, MPG, private label
Website www.mondetta.com

Contents

History

Founding

Mondetta Clothing was started in 1986 by two sets of brothers, Ash and Prashant Modha, Raj and Amit Bahl and the Modhas' cousin, Pratik Modha, who left shortly after its inception.[1] Both families, of Indian ancestry, had emigrated from East Africa to Canada in the early seventies but the four principals of the company only met while studying at the University of Winnipeg. Their first venture was selling business cards and stationary. Later, they delved into clothing, specifically beach-themed casual clothing for the 18-35 demographic.[1] The name of the company, Mondetta, combines the French word world, monde with the Latin suffix for small, etta to form 'small world'.[2] Based out of the basements of their parents’ houses, they initially sold their wares at Grand Beach, located on Lake Manitoba.[3] Early on, the Modhas' uncle, Kish Modha, offered some initial loans, advice and guidance to the company and years later became the general manager[3] and then, Vice President.[4]

In 1988, Ash Modha, president and CEO spotted a German flag on a Volkswagen Beetle and was inspired to transpose the flag to a sweatshirt.[5] The partners decided to opt for appliqué patches and embroidery to emblazon their sweatshirts with flags from different countries, which was more expensive but it meant their products were 'cut and constructed above the average' and this allowed them to sell their wares at a significantly higher price point than comparable product in the market at the time.[6] [7] The Flag Shirt, as it came to be known 'skyrocketed [the company] to the forefront of Canadian fashion'.[8] To accompany their sportswear with a global theme the phrase 'A Spirit of Unification' was coined and appeared on the first flag t-shirts. As the idea began to grow, the company adopted a corporate philosophy that promoted global unity.[8]

1992-1995 Expansion and Licensing

As Mondetta experienced exponential growth, soaring sales and increased exposure, the company diversified its product line by introducing more and more pieces each season whilst also engaging in licensing agreements to offer an even wider array of products. Examples include a women’s line,[3] denim, golf,[8] timepieces,[9] and a kids line.[10] Upon releasing the Mondetta golf line in 1994, a sponsorship agreement was reached with LPGA regular Vicki Goetze.[11] Licensing deals included agreements with the 1994 World Cup Soccer program and American Colleges program.[9] The company also made forays into foreign markets such as the US, Italy, Japan, Korea and Croatia.[12]

In 1995, Mondetta entered into a partnership with Dale Wallis and Aubrey Margolis to open a Mondetta-themed restaurant and retail store, respectively, at The Forks in Winnipeg. The former previously ran the Grapes chain of restaurants while the latter owned Danali, a clothing store that was one of the first to carry Mondetta Clothing. The Mondetta World Café was not unlike Planet Hollywood or Hard Rock Cafe differed in that it was based on a fashion label, not music or movies.[13] The restaurant eventually closed in late 1999.[citation needed]

1995-1998

In 1995, Amit Bahl left the company.[citation needed] A downturn in sales during the latter half of the 90s caused by waning market demand coupled with Mondetta's loss of focus resulted in a complete overhaul of the company business. In addition to withdrawing other licenses, Mondetta severed its agreement with an American distributor, stymied by the 'sprawling consumer marketplace'.[14]

The company sought assistance through a private equity investment from Crocus Investment Fund. The $800,000 injection allowed Mondetta to form a corporate division to create custom-made, high quality sportswear marketed directly to such companies and organizations as Sony, BMW, American Ballet Theatre, Cirque du Soleil, Earls,[15] as well as local firms such as Palliser Furniture, Manitoba Lotteries Corporation and the Winnipeg Airport Authority.[16] The foray into corporate wear was short-lived but allowed the company, in co-operation with their Hong Kong and China offices, to fine-tune production processes and systems to 'aggressively market the service to customers across the country'.[16]

2003-Present

From 2001 onwards, the company was focused on three main divisions: retail, private label and corporate. The corporate program grew 50% in one year, retail continued to represent 60% of total company revenue while the private label division generated sales of $1 million in revenue a year after its introduction.[16] The private label division creates branded products for retailers looking to offer their customers their own signature brand.[16] Returning to golf in 2003, Mondetta added wind shirts, rain gear and golf accessories such as bags to the apparel line of golf products. The return to golf was made possible, in part, by their Hong Kong office's development of technical fabrics.[17] Six months later, Mondetta announced a sponsorship agreement with Canadian pro golfer, Glen Hnatiuk, who is originally from Selkirk, Manitoba. Of the sponsorship, Hnatiuk said, "Being a Winnipeg-based company, it seems like a nice fit."[18]

In 2006, Mondetta bought back the stake of the company held by Crocus, regaining full control of the company.[19]

Since the company shifted focus to corporate accounts and then later, private label customers, Mondetta maintained retail ties with a select number of stores to carry its product.[16] The flag clothing was not being produced nor marketed for the general public but the company continually received calls asking if they would ever return.[20] In 2009, the flag-themed clothing was re-introduced. The product was primarily sold at Costco in two-week stints at two stores at a time. These limited engagement 'roadshows' were part of Costco's 'Show Your Pride in 2010' promotions and were held in the months leading up to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.[21] The following year, in an effort to capitalize on the World Cup held in South Africa, Mondetta introduced a line of World Cup-themed track jackets featuring the flags of some of the stronger teams in the tournament.[8]

Canadian Curling Association/Vancouver Olympics

Mondetta has, since 2005, supplied the Canadian Curling Association with uniforms for both and men and women. The men's gold winning and women's silver winning teams at the Vancouver Olympics were outfitted with custom-made uniforms, designed and manufactured with the specific needs of curlers in mind. Replica lines of the official uniform was simultaneously sold across the country.[22]

MPG

Mondetta Performance Gear is a line of activewear that aims to bridge function and fashion for athletes and dancers. DNR described the clothing as 'fashion-forward but technical'[23] sportswear constructed from specialized fabric. It is 'inspired by the determination and drive of high-performance athletes and dancers...[It] has some fabulous fashion detailing and unique lines that take the gear from functional to fashionable.'[24]

Mondetta Charity Foundation

The Mondetta Charity Foundation (MCF), a completely separate entity from the Mondetta Clothing Company, was established in 2006 to provide aid, education and support to a school in Uganada and in Kenya, children who have lost their parents to AIDS find shelter at an MCF-sponsored orphanage. The four main principals of the company were born and raised in East Africa, which inspired them to start the foundation. The charity has pledged $100,000 over 5 years in addition to 1% of all sales from the MPG line of men's sportswear.[4] In addition to its charitable work with the MCF, Mondetta has, for the last 18 years, hosted an annual golf tournament in Winnipeg called the Mondetta Charity Classic, with proceeds going to the MCF and to the Health Sciences Centre (Winnipeg) Foundation.[25] The company has also raised money for UNICEF, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Canada, the Manitoba Historical Society and the University of Manitoba's International Students Association.[2]

References

  1. ^ a b Love, Myron (1990-03-03). "U of Mondetta". Style: p. 55. 
  2. ^ a b Edwards, Ian (Aug./Sept. 1993). "Mondetta: The Revolution". Mehfil Magazine: 28–31, 41. 
  3. ^ a b c Cash (1992-11-16). "World flags fashion Mondetta success". Winnipeg Free Press. 
  4. ^ a b Sanders, Carol (2008-05-23). "Going forward by giving back". Winnipeg Free Press. 
  5. ^ http://www.mondetta.com/history Mondetta website
  6. ^ Sabbadini, Annarosa (Fall 1991). "Mondetta: Small world with big plans". Montreal Tribune. 
  7. ^ Ryan, Bramwell (September 1996). "The New Capitalists". Manitoba Business: 28–31, 41. 
  8. ^ a b c d Alexander, Renée (October 2, 2009) “Mondetta flying high?” http://www.brandchannel.com/features_profile.asp?pr_id=459
  9. ^ a b Taylor, Kelly (1993-03-03). "A perfect fit for Mondetta". Winnipeg Free Press: p. A9. 
  10. ^ McNeill, Murray (1995-09-15). "Winnipeg clothier sews up Asian client". Winnipeg Free Press: p. B8. 
  11. ^ McNeiff, Murray (1994-10-26). "Mondetta hooks star on LPGA". Winnipeg Free Press: p. D6. 
  12. ^ Square, David (1997-10-18). "Capitalists find their Eden". Winnipeg Free Press: p. B13. 
  13. ^ Taylor, Kelly (1995-02-08). "Café with a Retail Twist". Winnipeg Free Press: p. B5. 
  14. ^ Cash, Martin (1998-06-18). "Fashion phenom wiser now". Winnipeg Free Press: p. B8. 
  15. ^ Cash, Martin (1999-06-17). "Mondetta dresses up other companies". Winnipeg Free Press. 
  16. ^ a b c d e Kirbyson, Geoff (2002-03-01 Found at http://www.crocusfund.com/about/news.asp?action=45). "'Fine-tuned' Mondetta set to sign $1.3-M pact, Transformed firm adapts to changing market". Winnipeg Free Press. 
  17. ^ Campbell, Tim (2003-07-24). "Fashionable Fairways". Winnipeg Free Press: p. C4. 
  18. ^ Campbell, Tim (2004-01-18). "Hnatiuk donning local duds for PGA teeoff [sic]". Winnipeg Free Press: p. C3. 
  19. ^ Kirbyson, Geoff (2006-10-21 Found at http://findarticles.com/p/news-articles/winnipeg-free-press/mi_8029/is_20061021/mondetta-buys-crocus-stake/ai_n42565451/). "Mondetta buys back Crocus stake". Winnipeg Free Press. 
  20. ^ Kirbyson, Geoff (2009-07-31 Online at http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/mondetta-revisits-its-old-global-theme-52166832.html). "Mondetta revisits its old global theme". Winnipeg Free Press. 
  21. ^ "Mondetta's relaunch of flag line a smash". Winnipeg Free Press. 2009-09-26 Online at http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/mondettas-relaunch-of-flag-line-a-smash-61727447.html. 
  22. ^ Kelly, Deirdre (2010-02-06). "Curling's chic new uniforms sweep fustiness aside". The Globe and Mail. 
  23. ^ Lloyd, Brenda (2008-02-11). "The Great Outdoors". DNR. 
  24. ^ Tamoto, Connie (2010-03-27). "Flying the fitness flag". Winnipeg Free Press. 
  25. ^ http://www.mondetta.com/article;story,1;17th-ANNUAL-MONDETTA-CHARITY-CLASSIC Mondetta website

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