Page 1

April 2013



Last minute summer buys Brilliant British brands Modern customer surveys Retailing in Brighton

moore and moore made in england

astonishingly soft faux furs superb quality see our AW13 collection on our trade pages at tel: 01884 860 900

fashion accessories including hats head bands scarves collars muffs shrugs boleros slipper boots

EDITOR’S LETTER Editor Gemma Ward Publication Manager Julie Neill – Tel 01795 509112 Fax 01795 591065 Account Executive Susan Hendry – Catherine Ridings – Tel 01795 509106 Studio Manager Paula Smith – Design and Production Grant Waters – James Taylor – Tel 01795 509108 Credit Facilities Manager Vickie Crawford – Tel 01795 509103 Chief Executive John Denning – © 2013 CIM Online Limited, The Goods Shed, Jubilee Way, Whitstable Road, Faversham, Kent ME13 8GD. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form – electronic, mechanical or physical – without express prior permission and written consent of the publisher. Contributions are invited and when not accepted will be returned only if accompanied by a fully stamped and addressed envelope. Manuscripts should be type written. No responsibility can be taken for drawings, photographs or literary contributions during transmission or in the editor’s hands. In the absence of an agreement the copyright of all contributions, literary, photographic or artistic, belongs to CIM Online Limited. The publisher accepts no responsibility in respect of advertisements appearing in the magazine and the opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views of the Publisher. The Publisher cannot accept liability for any loss arising from the late appearance or non publication of any advertisement.

ON THE COVER: Image courtesy of Georgedé Tel: 07768 760 235 / 0207 636 9140 E:

On autopilot


ust when you thought the high street’s future prospects couldn’t get much worse, George Osborne delivers another devastating business rates blow to retailers. Despite campaigns by various retailer backers, next year will see another 2.7 per cent rise in addition to this year’s 5.6 per cent increase as outlined in the 2014 budget. The news has sparked outrage among industry insiders. And following the fanfare from last year’s Portas Review, it begs the question: how is the government fulfilling its pledge to help boost trade and reduce empty outlets in our town and city centres? The fact that it has raised the country’s overall bill by £550 million in just two years makes the money set aside for Portas Pilot towns seem all the more paltry. But at least the funding proved something was going to be done. And therein lies yet another issue infuriating retailers… Since the first 12 chosen towns were named last year, the Portas Pilot initiative has been fraught with controversy. We all read about Dartfort organisers spending £1,600 on a Peppa Pig costume and Wolverhampton spending almost a grand on postage.

But while these exposed a seemingly wasteful approach taken by the chosen few towns, the biggest concern now is the delay on the money getting spent at all. It has been exposed that the majority have yet to carry out the plans that they promised. The issue is that the longer they wait to pilot the schemes they said they would, the longer the rest of the nation has to hold fire on learning from their proposed ideas. And all the while, more and more nails are being put into the high street’s proverbial coffin. The government has so far only implemented one of Mary Portas’ 28 recommendations: town teams. And it announced last month that there will be a delay to the update it said it would unveil this spring. It isn’t good enough. Read the full news on the 2014 budget and how it will affect your business on page seven. Gemma Ward, Editor Follow me on Twitter @ gemmagemmaward

April 2013 | boutique. | 3

As Wizard Jeans are known for their benefits, take advantage of their exclusive offer and see them flying off the shelves: Buy 10 pairs and only pay for 9! Offer available throughout April. Free delivery with this offer.

Discover the Magic

Short order delivery options are available as well as any other buyer’s needs. For further information or to place an order please contact Sally Allen-Gerard on 07768 816420 or email her

Boutique page_ Ad.indd 1

19/3/13 17:06:46






April 2013






The latest news and views from inside the independent fashion retail sector

Footwear labels to complete your customers’ outfits

The indie retail scene in the coastal city of Brighton




Hot-off-the-press events and award wins

Boutique’s pick of home grown labels

Gemma Ward unveils the inside story behind two Brighton indies


Occasion wear labels in time for the wedding and racing season

The key labels and buys we’ve fallen for this month

15 TREASURE TROVE Trends and key pieces to invest in now




How customer surveys could hold the key to boosting your profits



Soft shades to give autumn dressing a modern twist for AW13

Eric Musgave unravels the story behind FAB member White Boutique


20 SUMMER SENSATIONS Red-hot short order styles for SS13

22 FASHION EXTRAS Covetable accessories to boost your brand mix April 2013 | boutique. | 5

ONE DIRECTION CLOTHING LTD 96 COMMERCIAL ROAD LONDON E1 1NU Retro & Vintage Clothing T : +44 ( 0 ) 207 702 3155• F : +44 ( 0 ) 207 702 3166 E: : • W: :


Essential news

Rise in business rates eclipses any other benefit in the government’s 2014 Budget, say industry insiders


etail industry experts have given the government’s 2014 Budget a “big thumbs down” after George Osborne outlined plans to increase business rates by a further 2.6 per cent. While it promised to waive the first £2,000 of the national insurance bill for all businesses in the country and will reduce corporation tax for those making profits over £300,000, Retail Champion Clare Rayner says any potential benefits for indies have been “completed eclipsed” by the rising costs of business rates that are already crippling the country. She comments: “It’s a bit of an insult really; the rise in rates will make the government an extra £175 million in tax – and that’s on top of this year’s 5.6 per cent rise. The total increase in just two years stands at around £550 million, which doesn’t correlate with their pledge to help save the high street.” The news came despite the British Retail Consortium and Retail Week launching a Fair Rates for Retail

campaign last year urging the government to enforce a business rates freeze. A backlash from retailers has however led to new inquiry into how costs are applied to businesses: at present high street retail premises are considered to be premium real estate and out-of-town retail park outlets and warehousing facilities used by etailers are charged up to 100 times less. “The current rating system doesn’t reflect the changing retail landscape and rise of ecommence,” says Rayner. “In addition, current business rates are based on a 2008 valuation, which was at the peak of property pricing. Things have changed dramatically since then.” She adds: “Rateable values were due to be reviewed again in 2015 but the government has pushed this back to 2017. However, it has been announced that there will be an inquiry into the retail sector, and one issue that I hope will be addressed is the business rating system.” The expert does warn, however, that

retailers shouldn’t be too optimistic about any changes as nothing is guaranteed. “Build a business plan that accommodates annual rates and rental increases and assume these costs will continue to grow year-on-year,” she recommends. “Focus on securing the loyalty of higher spending customers who understand your offer and are not as price sensitive. Buy product that delivers sufficient net margin to cover your cost base. Then if business rates are frozen or reduced it’ll be a bonus to your profits. This is the only sensible way to plan to survive in the current trading conditions.” But while at first glance the Budget news may seem bleak for retailers, a rise in personal allowance for income tax will mean heightened spending power for consumers. “Anything that boosts disposable income is a good thing for retailers,” says Rayner. “All employees will become better off as a result of this change and that boosts spending power. This ought to be a bonus to all retail businesses” April 2013 | boutique. | 7


Boutique magazine unveils new website Boutique magazine has unveiled a newly revamped website designed to make searching for the latest indie news and suppliers even easier. The site features a refreshed easy-tonavigate design where visitors will be able to read the industry’s latest news, web exclusive articles and interviews as well as digital back copies of the print magazine. Meanwhile, there’s also a dedicated suppliers’ directory section

offering information on a wide range of labels and their latest collections at the click of a button. “We’ve been working on the new website for the past six months and we think it will become an invaluable tool for our readers,” says publication manager Julie Neill. “Not only does it offer up-to-the-minute news, but it’s also a great resource for anyone looking for new labels and brands.”

The Fashion and Textile Children’s Trust reports rise in disadvantaged claimants The Fashion and Textile Children’s Trust (FTCT) has seen a 34 per cent rise in the number of minors it has supported in the last year, according to its latest figures. Established in 1853, the charity supports disadvantaged children whose parents or carers work in the fashion industry. By providing grants to support a child’s wellbeing including sickness, disability, bereavement and issues arising from financial hardship, the FTCT has supported over 40 children in the last three months alone. Director Anna Pangbourne comments: “The recent increase in cases is a stark reminder of the ongoing need to support families in these tough economic times. With government cuts squeezing family budgets even tighter, our charity can provide practical support for families facing financial hardship and redundancy.” Grants start at £250 and can provide basic items such as clothing, bedding or bus fare through to therapies, counselling, respite breaks, learning support or school necessities. For more information please visit 8 | boutique. | April 2013

Black White Denim to take legal action against company “stealing its identity” Cheshire indie Black White Denim is preparing for a legal battle against a South African company that is allegedly planning to “steal” its name and concept. The Scottish Knitwear Group, which operates outlets for Ben Sherman and Pringle in South Africa, unveiled plans recently to open a store with the same brand name in Johannesburg. Material sent to potential partners of the new venture also included key phrases already coined by the UK company describing black and white as the ‘foundation colours’ and ‘building blocks’ of a woman’s wardrobe. The company has also been approaching labels stocked by the award-winning Wilmslow-based indie. Founder and managing director

Jo Davies is “outraged” and believes that it is “even worse coming from a company attached to a name like Pringle.” She says: “We’re a small independent who has carved a livelihood by establishing a clear niche through a well though-out hard-won concept. Now our whole business is under threat from a mass distributor cynically attempting to piggy-back on our concept.” Davies’ business partner David Bell has written to The Scottish Knitwear Group requesting it drop the Black White Denim name. He has since received a response stating that the project had been “initiated with absolutely no ill intent” and would go ahead. The indie now plans to pursue the matter in court.


Bath independents reap rewards of annual citywide fashion event Thousands of shoppers flocked to Bath earlier this month for the city’s annual Bath in Fashion. Key highlights at this year’s eight-day event included a series of ticket-only catwalk showcases – curated by LFW stylist Rebekah Roy – featuring clothing available from multiples and Bath’s boutiques. Meanwhile there was a live interview by Grazia’s Susannah Frankel with globally renowned designer Roland Mouret, a Centenary Norman Parkinson exhibition, a talk with LA designer Michael Bush – the man behind Michael Jackson’s stage

costumes – and a masterclass with fashion illustrator David Downtown and model Jade Parfitt. Visitors could also take advantage of in-store promotions held throughout the city, which helped increase footfall and customer spend. Bath in Fashion launched in 2010 and has since become a key highlight on the city’s retail calendar. Supported and co-ordinated through the Bath Improvement District, previous VIP guests have included the likes of Amanda Wakeley, Manolo Blahnik and Stephen Jones.

Shoppers show their support for Enjoy an Independent Easter Shoppers around the UK braved subzero temperatures earlier this month to support local retailers taking part in the nationwide Enjoy an Independent Easter campaign. Fifty-six towns and 1,100 retailers signed up for the inaugural two-week event – spearheaded by Support for Independent Retail – which helped engage consumers and their families with incentive-fuelled Easter egg hunts. Irena Lane, owner of womenswear store and label Lagom, was activation partner for London’s Southbank. She says the event was a success: “Our Easter egg hunt started with a fine dusting of snow but this didn’t put off shoppers. Despite the cold, retailers confirmed that participating visitors lingered in their shops and several made a purchase. The success of this activity is proof that communities do love their independents and are more than happy to support and engage with them.” The event was the brainchild of Clare Rayner, who is founder of Support for Independent Retailer. The towns and cities that took part included Blackburn, Cambridge, Colchester, Edinburgh, Louth, Rochdale and Tottenham.

Trinity Leeds opens with world’s longest designer dress created by Henry Holland Over 132,000 shoppers were present to see the unveiling of the world’s longest designer dress – created by Henry Holland – at the last month’s opening of Trinity Leeds. Measuring the equivalent height of three double decker buses, the silk yellow and pink polka dot Swarovski crystal embellished creation was worn by aerial acrobat Colette Morrow. The event marked the launch of 2013’s only major shopping centre. Boasting over 120 shops, restaurants, cafes and bars, the £350 million city centre mall brings a wealth of national and international brands together under one domed roof.

The new launch has also introduced a wealth of new retailers to Leeds – fondly known as the Knightsbridge of the north – including Apple, Mango and Superdry. Centre director David Laycock comments: “We wanted to create a memorable opening spectacle for the launch – something which celebrated fashion and shopping in a unique way to showcase what Trinity Leeds and the city itself has to offer. After years of hard work, we’re thrilled to be open to the public and can’t wait to offer visitors something new and exciting.” April 2013 | boutique. | 9


Fashion seen

This month’s best events and award wins


Mascara’s team was among the brand representatives picking up awards last month at the Bridal Buyer Awards 2013 in Harrogate. The British label, created by Frank Saul Fashions, won the Best Occasion Wear Collection accolade beating off stiff competition from the likes of Veromia, JLM, Ronald Joyce and Balbier Wyatt. MD Danny Saul (pictured) comments: “We’re all so excited about winning this highly sought-after award.”



The Dressing Room in St Albans celebrated the arrival of the new season recently with a spring launch event for its loyal customers. Attendees were the first to purchase the award winning store’s new collections while the first 50 received goodie bags filled with gifts from the likes of Twist and Tango, Tokyo Jane and Mokoko. A local salon team was also present on the shop floor offering guests spring beauty advice and they were also given the chance to take part in a charity raffle to win a range of desirable prizes. 10 | boutique. | April 2013

Pioneering Fair Trade hat company Pachacuti took home the Outstanding Fashion Design award last month in the Sustainable Fashion Category at this year’s Sustainable City Awards. Founded by Carry Somers (pictured with judge Livia Firth) the ethical brand specialises in hand-woven fedoras from South America created by artisans that use centuries-old skills. Since launching the company has continued to push for higher ethical and environmental standards as well as increased traceability within the fashion supply chain.

Exquisite ranges, original designs and the very finest of fabrics






Showroom Visits by appointment only.

JayLey Collection 2013 Shows:

01782 658947

Pulse Home & Gift Pure London Moda Autumn Fair Top Drawer

Earls Court (T44) Harrogate (C69) Olympia (K99) NEC (M29 / N31) NEC (4L66 / 4L70) Olympia (K31)

12-14 May 14-17 July 4-6 August 11-13 August 31 Aug - 4 Sept 15-17 September


This label… Specialising in faux fur accessories made from the finest materials, Boot Candy’s AW13 range features headbands, Cossack hats, scarves, boot toppers, muffs and coat cuffs made from 10 different synthetic furs. Tel: 01704 888 887 E:

This range… Famed for her statement handbags, Brit designer Helen Rochfort’s vintage style pop-art pieces are the perfect arm candy for trend seekers and classic fans alike. £POA; Tel: 01462 616 174

Boutique loves… The buys and finds that are setting us alight this month This accessory… The master of quirky accessories and home ware, Howkapow has come up trumps with this instantly eye-catching showgirl necklace. £12; E:

This trend… Oriental prints are hot for SS13 and this threequarter-sleeved shirtdress by Ruby Rocks offers a pretty-yet-cool take on the trend. £19; Tel: 07973 718 301 12 | boutique. | April 2013

This dress…

Set for sales success, this Hunter dress from Tempest’s high summer collection features a fully boned bodice and is available in cream or navy colourways. £72; Tel: 07881 941 512


FASHION FIX TURN OVER A NEW LEAF London-based fashion jewellery specialist Alexander Thurlow offers a range of purse-friendly pieces such as this pretty leaf and rhinestone pendant. £4.95; Tel: 0208 766 6466

Treasure trove Uncovering this month’s biggest buys and tempting trends

SUNNY SIDE UP Available for immediate delivery now, this Savona sundress by Nomads will take customers effortlessly from beach to bar. Meanwhile its low cost will appeal to all holiday goers whatever their destination and budget. £14; Tel: 01566 777 338

KEEPING TRADITION British-made fashion label Out of Xile has unveiled a range of pieces for AW13 boasting flattering fits and tactile textures. Key garments include this chenille coat featuring a luxurious padded velvet collar and cuffs that customers will want to reach out and touch. £POA; Tel: 0208 348 2448


WHAT A LIBERTY Drawing inspiration from England’s vibrant capital, Sweet Liberty’s debut SS13 collection will inject a slice of London into any wardrobe with its fruity prints, bird motifs, pussy bow necklines and Peter Pan collars. Poppy blouse £14.50; Tel: 0207 485 8633

Available in blue for SS13 and wine for AW13, Ceannis’s vintage-style Doctor’s Bag features black leather detailing, a pretty clasp and handy inside zip pocket for everyday style on the go. £115; Tel: 0770 287 7081 April 2013 | boutique. | 15


& Tailor Dummies

Carrier Bags

SALE prices from

SALE prices from



sale now available in store & online Brackets & Wall Shelves

SALE prices from

£10.50 WWW.SHOPFITTINGS-BOUTIQUE.CO.UK Order online, or simply visit our store at 127-129 Commercial Road, London E1 1PX t:020 7247 3430


What to buy now

Instant update


e’ve fallen head over heels for this statement vintagestyle Stockholm Tie by British brand Rew. With its oversized design, on-trend polka dots and contrasting trim detailing, we’ll be teaming ours with block-colour separates, pastel dresses and chic spring knitwear. In other words, it’s the ultimate SS13 accessory. £18; Tel: 01827 50582 April 2013 | boutique. | 17


Soft shades Pretty pastels and muted tones offer a fresh spin on winter dressing for AW13

MILA KNIT Soaked in Luxury, £19.67; Tel: 0208 871 2155

LANA DRESS Nancy Dee, £37.20; Tel: 0207 183 3658 PAUL COSTELLOE

TOTE Ilex, £66; Tel: 0203 657 5680

FAUX FUR SLIPPERS Moore and Moore, £16.50; Tel: 01884 860 900 ROSE TOP Darling, £16; Tel: 0207 636 6868 LACE SKIRT Joseph Ribkoff, £POA; Tel: 0800 294 3373

MAYA HAT Pachacuti, £23.30; Tel: 01335 345 851

YURIKO TOP Hannah, £80; Tel: 0161 448 7204

18 | boutique. | April 2013

T: +44 (0) 1245 253420 • F: +44 (0) 1245 253421 E: • W:

Hangers & Display Products


High summer buys Short order picks in the season’s hottest hues

MINNIE DRESS Traffic People, £20.50; Tel: 0207 377 8803

CORAL SHORTS Miss Patina, £17.80; E:

SLOGAN TEE Des Artistes, €30; E:

IVY TOP Beloved, £17.50; Tel: 0207 636 6868

SWING DRESS Hedonia, £28; Tel: 0345 257 0057

NEON AZTEC SCARF Fraas, £8.95; Tel: 0207 486 8916

GYTHA DRESS Charming, £19.50; E:

FERNE TOP Beloved, £14; Tel: 0207 636 6868

GYTHA DRESS Charming, £19.50; E:

20 | boutique. | April 2013

An artistic line of contemporary printed womenswear. The prints encompass a large variety of styles such as floral, urban, abstract, vintage and animal. Colours range from bright to subdued.

Sales 079733 80007 / Enquiries 07733 226660 / Email

April 2013 | boutique. | 21


Fashion extras Cool accessories and quirky finds to add some extra pizzazz to your brand mix



Invest in striking jewellery like this statement Heart necklace by Danish label Second Female for fashion fans looking for instant new season pickme-ups that won’t break the bank. £14; Tel: 0207 384 6118

This butter soft Essie Tote by Makki has been created using luxurious cowhide for shoppers looking for a guilt-free indulgence they can partake in everyday. £128; Tel: 07855 277 159



Stocked by Matches, Aamaya by Priyanka specialises in highend fashion-forward accessories such as this super covetable black embellished knuckle ring. £110; E:

The perfect impulse purchase for style hungry shoppers, these leather bracelets by Markberg come with their own free counter display with every purchase of 48 mixed pieces. From £9 each; Tel: 0208 349 7287

VINTAGE GLAMOUR This super-soft asymmetric faux fur scarf from Moore and Moore’s AW13 line draws inspiration from the glamour and style of 1920’s fashion. £12.80; Tel: 01884 860 900




Cocorose London’s foldable ballet pumps are the ultimate suitcase-friendly summer holiday travel essential. We love the twotone Bayswater in sea green and blue. £POA; Tel: 0208 829 8919

Created by Scottish designer Karen Mabon, Howkapow’s eye-catching 100 per cent silk scarves are emblazoned with vibrant prints like this quirky blackbird and earthworm design. £17.50; E:

Newly launched British brand Poppy and Petal specialises in creating cosy homespun accessories like this unique wheat muff, which can be warmed up in the microwave to instantly relieve cold hands. From £10; Tel: 0114 245 6392

22 | boutique. | April 2013


THE INBETWEENER With its large size, chic design and practical carry handles, Florian’s bold City Saffiano Shopper Handbag makes the ideal trans-seasonal investment that will last for years to come. £110; Tel: 0844 414 8136

CATWALK COOL This Pretty Vivid necklace by Fiorelli has a high fashion edge that makes it look much more expensive than its actual budget-friendly price tag. £14; Tel:01376 532 000

SUITCASE SURVIVOR Help customers look chic on their travels with Pachacuti’s voyager hat, which can be rolled up and placed into a suitcase with no danger of it becoming damaged. £59; Tel: 01335 345 851

STAR BURST Featuring multicoloured enamel that creates an eye-catching rainbow effect, Miss Milly’s Starburst Necklace is just the thing to entice fashion magpies into your store. £3.95; Tel: 01905 622 509 E:

HORSING AROUND Animal lovers will find these Mylo pumps by Beyond Skin hard to resist: they not only feature a quirky horse print but are made from recycled faux suede making them 100 per cent vegan too. £45; Tel: 01273 778 837

BEACH BEAUTY Sold in a pack of four assorted colours, this chic sarong by Talbot Fashions is the ultimate purse-friendly bikini cover-up. £2.75 each; Tel: 01273 776 415

BIRDS OF A FEATHER Crafted with silver and adorned with onyx eyes, Lily Blanche’s Precious Feathers earrings come in a ribbontied gift box for customers looking for an extra special gift idea. £32; Tel: 0131 467 6534

HAVE A HEART Moore and Moore is a master of ultra cosy faux fur accessories and home ware such as this irresitably soft heartshaped cushion for AW13. Available in two sizes from £10; Tel: 01884 860 900

THE FUTURE’S BRIGHT Available in SS13’s hottest hue, Missco Girl’s animal-friendly Colour Block Satchel in Pheonix is just the thing to brighten up everyone’s day – whatever the weather. £24; Tel: 07957 638 220 E: April 2013 | boutique. | 23


Sole trader

Stock up on stylish footwear to maximise profits




Offering a range of footwear accessories that enable fashion fans to customise their favourite shoes. ShoeRedo’s clip-on embellishment products suit every style and occasion and come with excellent profit margins for retailers too. Tel: 01858 467 467

An established footwear brand designed to be sold through womenswear indies and shoe specialists alike, Capollini adopts high quality leather and suede to provide stockists with classic and comfortable shoes at affordable prices. Tel: 01889 561790

Emerging German footwear specialist Marco Tozzi offers a range of high quality shoes covering the latest fashion trends as well as classic styles and comfort. AW13 will see a strong line-up of leather boots that are both practical and on-trend. Tel: 0049 5231 60501




Manufactured in Italy, Nicola Sexton delivers functional and stylish footwear collections season after season. With colour combinations to suit buyers’ requirements, key styles include ballet pumps, low heel pumps, wedges, brogues and ankle boots. Tel: 01284 760 011

A 2013 finalist in the Footwear Industry Awards, Oliveira is fully committed to both style and comfort when it comes to its shoes. This season’s collection features the brand’s signature toe-post design in a range of styles and colours that are perfect for summer days and balmy nights. Tel: 0845 199 1918

Worn by celebrities including Darcey Bussell and Dannii Minogue, the WedgeWelly is a sophisticated wellington boot that will add glamour to any wardrobe. Elevating the foot by 1.5 inches, it gives the illusion of a higher looking heel making it a real hit with women of all ages. Tel: 01482 820 654

24 | boutique. | April 2013 Boutique Magazine 3.indd 1

20.03.13 13:14


There’s no place like home Introducing some of the industry’s best British brands


Created 30 years ago by founder Cathy Hewlett, Out of Xile manufactures almost every garment in the UK from factories in Kent, London, Nottingham and Leicester. The home grown label began as a young business start-up offering unique British-made fashion for independents. Today its easy-to-wear styles boast flattering lines and interesting detailing with colours and materials that nod to classic British traditions. For AW13 buyers can expect tactile textures with fabrics including jacquards, devoré, velvet and lace. Standout styles include a double-layered silk dress with lace trim and a jacquard peplum jacket. CONTACT: Tel: 0208 348 2448


Originally inspired by a backpacking trip around India in 1989, Fair Trade label Nomads creates versatile mix and match styles that give boutiques a real point of difference. Specialising in tunics, soft fit jersey dresses and striking winter outerwear, the brand’s designer sources exotic fabrics and embellishments and re-works them for the European market. For SS13 its spring line draws influences from the pretty British countryside while summer heats up with a spicy colour palette that’s perfect for holidays. Key pieces include its signature tunic – available in an array of prints – alongside this cotton rosemary 50’s style shirtdress (pictured) and a line of breezy loosefitting shirts. CONTACT: Tel: 01566 777 338


Nancy Dee specialises in day-to-night jersey dresses with all pieces designed and made in Britain using high quality eco-friendly fabrics. As an ethical label, its focus is on the use of natural and sustainable materials such as organic cotton and bamboo while ensuring that all business processes – from the production of yarn to the manufacture of each garment – is as fair and ethical as possible. For AW13 its collection draws inspiration from classic vintage shapes reworking them with modern interpretations creating pencil-skirted dresses and fitted jackets in soft structured jersey, flowing tea dresses and a mix of easy-wear woven separates. Print-wise buyers can expect exclusive designs with strong vintage influences while there’s also a new machine washable bemberg modal fabric made from beech wood that looks and feels like silk. CONTACT: Tel: 07719 379 248 26 | boutique. | April 2013



With global travel and adventure at the heart of the label, textile designer Suzy Coppersmith-Heaven founded the Sahara brand in 1992. Its relaxed, contemporary silhouettes come in luxurious fabrics with interesting surface detail. Designed in London’s Primrose Hill, up to half of each collection is now manufactured on British soil and the label is very focused on bringing production back to the UK. For SS13 in-season buyers can opt for printed jersey maxi dresses, summer knits and lightweight tunics in linen, bamboo and cotton blends. Key styles this season include the Lake Print Maxi Dress (picutured), the elegant Paisley Georgette Nehru Shirt and Sahara’s best-selling Linen Asymmetric Tunic. CONTACT: Tel: 0207 483 8438


Combining a passion for British manufacturing with 20 years’ experience in the fashion industry, Jayley Collection founder Jean has created a sought-after accessories label that prides itself in unique designs. The brand has been established for over five years and offers trend-setting designs created by British designers that are high quality and affordably priced. For the SS13 season the team has created a range of delicate pastel scarves featuring lace and chiffon alongside pretty prints. Buyers can also opt for lightweight gilets that are suitable for spring as well as hand beaded silk devore ponchos. CONTACT: Tel: 01782 658 947


Offering bespoke one-off garments all designed and manufactured in the UK, Kunat London’s special occasion dresses and accessories are inspired by creations from the world’s best haute couture fashion houses. Empowering femininity, the label’s signature look epitomises elegance and glamour. Its limited edition collections are original, luxurious and made with meticulous attention to detail. For AW13 its design team has created a bold collection accented with soft detailing in lace, tulle and feathers. Body-con shapes, vibrant colours and luxurious materials merge to create a striking collection. Buyers can expect a range of standout show-stopping styles including a red satin dress with contrasting black lace motive and a gold crushed satin gown with an on-trend fishtail that’s ideal for red carpet and black tie events. CONTACT: Tel: 0208 549 9484

April 2013 | boutique. | 27

• Reading Glasses • Tinted Readers • Sunglasses • Accessories T: 01635 297911 E: W:

The Oliveira ‘Toe Post’ Collection Gorgeous holiday and occasions shoes, each unique style as individual as you are. Tel: 0845 199 1918

BIRMINGHAM Showroom OPEN Mon - Fri 9:00am to 6:00pm

WE ARE OPENING A BRAND NEW SHOWROOM IN MANCHESTER please see our website for details

Earrings Necklaces Bracelets Rings Toe Rings Nose Studs Hats Purses Clutch bags Nail Wraps Eyelashes Beauty Products

Scarves Belts Hair Accessories BIRMINGHAM

14-18 Buckingham Street, Hockley, Birmingham, B19 3HT, Tel: 0121 212 2294 Email:

28 | boutique. | April 2013


Fax: 0121 236 2160

Hangers_Layout 1 25/03/2011 15:36 Page 1

One of the World’s Largest Hanger Manufactures and Custom Designed Hanger Specialists


• • • • • • •

1,000,000 Units Produced Daily Global Distribution Quality Standards Bespoke Designs 100% Recycled Options Online Account Ordering Dedicated Account Managers

| 020-8885-3055 |

15-19 Garman Road, London, N17 0UR


Best dressed

Special occasion labels for when customers want to turn up the glamour

CLAUDIA C The sister collection of Barcelona brand Luis Civit, Claudia C offers a rang of extra special dresses made from high-end fabrics. Whether they’re attending a wedding, black tie event or a day at the races, the label offers the ideal outfit to take customers effortlessly from day to evening. Tel: 0207 323 2012



After 50 years’ in the business, Luis Civit is well regarded as the premier label for mothers of the bride, special occasions and cruise wear. Its collections move forward each season offering great quality, superb fit and innovative styling with a repeat service and sensible prices. Tel: 0207 323 2012

Offering a large range of occasion wear accessories, The Lexus Collection’s shoes and bag feature all the latest trend-led colours and styles to complement any outfit. The company holds stock and offers a speedy delivery service. Tel: 01902 456 800



Designed and created in the UK, Kunat’s striking special occasion dresses and accessories are inspired by haute couture fashion. Focused on elegance and glamour, its limited edition collections feature bold colour and luxurious material for customers looking for instant wow factor. Tel: 0208 549 9484

Inspired by the latest trends fresh from high fashion catwalks, Zeila is one of the most widely recognised brands in the celebration fashion sector. With supreme style, elegance and flattering shape as its constant objectives, it strives to help customers look their best on the most special days of their lives. Tel: 0141 204 0699

30 | boutique. | April 2013

OLVIS Combining modern and classic wedding wear, Olvis enlists fine stretch French lace mixed with high-end fabrics and innovative techniques for its elegant designs. Buyers can expect silhouette enhancing shapes that flatter the female form. Tel: 01625 529 529

General Enquiries 01392 876390 | Customer Service 0800 294 3373 | Official sponsor of

SP13_Drapers220x285mm_AprilMayJune.indd 1

13-03-08 11:10 AM


DOWN TO BUSINESS A helping hand for fashion indies

Cool customers


f the customer is always right, how do you ensure that your store goes above and beyond to give them what they want? With so much competition in the retail sector, ensuring your business is relevant to your target market’s needs has never been more important. With that in mind this month we delve into the many benefits of customer surveys and uncover how to make feedback a profitable part of your ongoing strategy‌

April 2013 | boutique. | 33


And our survey says… Customer feedback is imperative for a retailer’s survival. Boutique reveals how some of the UK’s best fashion indies are making the most of consumer insight


t’s the biggest quandary every boutique owner faces today. With so much competition from the high street and online, how do you create an irresistible edit of labels, mastermind awe-inspiring visual merchandising and – ultimately – secure customer spend? According to figures from the British Retail Consortium, UK retail sales totalled over £311 billion in 2012. More than a third went through bricks-and-mortar stores but with the value of internet sales on the rise (last year it was 9 per cent), battling for custom has never been harder. Now, more than ever, giving your customers what they want is imperative to business survival. And customer feedback is critical to any 34 | boutique. | April 2013

business strategy.

Questions and answers While some may view presenting shoppers with a list of tick-box questions as a somewhat primitive marketing move, the humble customer survey offers retailers a positive method of reconnecting with fans. And with advancements in communications and technology, there’s no reason why adopting such a strategy should infringe on the daily running of your store. The fact is that surveys not only allow customers to express likes and dislikes, they also help cement the idea that their opinions – and custom – are valued. A good customer survey will help

your business become more profitable. There’s little point investing in time and resources to gain information that isn’t going to benefit the business. So before you decide to carry out a survey, ensure you have a careful structure in place to maximise any results. When Deryane Tadd, owner of The Dressing Room in St Albans, wanted to boost the turnover at her store’s customer events, she decided to carry out an email survey. “We only asked shoppers around 10 questions and they were all fairly straightforward,” she says. “Things like ‘when would you like us to hold new season events’ and ‘what would you like us to include.’ The results were very insightful and they changed the way we ran our

DOWN TO BUSINESS events, resulting in a substantial rise in turnover.” To encourage customers to take part, the store offered a prize draw incentive where all participants were given the chance to win a gift voucher. The opportunity went out to The Dressing Room’s entire mailing list; and while only 100 replied, Tadd says that was all they needed. She adds: “The whole exercise meant customers felt valued as we showed that we were interested in what they had to say. We then acted on the results of the survey so they could see that they had been listened to.”

Making a change Many boutique owners enlist a customer survey before they make any fundamental changes to their business. Jan Clift, owner of Cheltenham’s Feva, wanted feedback from customers as the store approached its tenth year in business. “We wanted informed ideas on how we were doing and what we needed to change,” she says. “We also wanted opinions on some new ideas we had for the business.” Feva selected 1,000 customers at random from its database and pledged £1 to a children’s cancer charity for every completed questionnaire. Customers were emailed a series of questions using online tool Survey Monkey covering a range of subjects including how and where they like to make their purchases and their thoughts on online shopping. The survey also covered more targeted topics about Feva asking customers their views on its choice of styles, brands and sizing as well as their most common fashion dilemmas. All the responses were analysed and shared with staff to solicit everyone’s views. The team ended up with a list of possible actions categorised in changes they must make, should make and would consider. “The survey told us we were doing many things right, but quite a few things needed improvement, including some helpful tips on shop layout and the changing rooms,” says Clift. “We found out how customers like to be communicated with and how often, plus the fact that 40 per cent didn’t know we opened on

Sundays and 25 per cent thought we were on one floor only (we’re actually on three!). Plus, we dumped some unpopular new ideas and accelerated the introduction of others, which got positive feedback.”

The personal touch But the email survey isn’t the only way to gather information from customers. Before launching into ecommerce, Pippa Sandison, owner of Boudoir Femme in Cambridge, organised a focus group session to help ensure the new venture was a success. Selecting a key group of 20 customers, the guests were taken out to an intimate dinner setting before they were asked a series of questions. Rather than conducting it herself, a third party chaired the event so customers were able to be honest about their views. “We hoped to understand our customers’ shopping behaviour – for example, did they prefer to shop in store, online or a mixture of both,” says Sandison. “But we also wanted to identify any areas from their perspective that we may not have covered.” Following the event, the store was able to make the move online confidently and introduce areas on its website where customers could preview new arrivals. “It was good to listen to customers and getting feedback ensures that you’re in touch with your target audience,” says the owner. So it’s unanimous: customer feedback can only be a good thing for moving your business forward. In today’s competitive retail landscape, ensuring that you remain in tune with your customers’ expectations is an essential part of running a boutique. However, do beware of the pitfalls that can crop up when conducting surveys – the biggest being that you may not always like what you hear: “If you’re asking customers for their opinion you must be prepared to act on it,” says Tadd. While Clift adds: “You must be confident and brave asking questions about the important and sometimes sensitive issues, like staff and service, dismissing any concerns about receiving bad news.”

INFORMATION GATHERERS Customer survey Whether you ask shoppers to fill out questionnaires in store or by email, the traditional customer survey is a great way to gather information to help improve your service. Best of all, there’s a plethora of companies on the market today offering online services that take the headache out of collating the information.

Focus groups Offering a more intimate affair, focus groups are used by most major corporations and help uncover real customer insight into everything from products to services. By selecting a cross section of customers as well as locals that don’t shop in your store, the strategy can uncover new ideas to boost your business.

Pre-selected fans Choosing a cross section of loyal customers to help you with business decisions can be a shrewd move for boutique owners. These ‘brand fans’ can be offered an incentive in return – such as an ongoing discount – for their honest opinions about collections, new strategies and changes to the business. April 2013 | boutique. | 35


Pretty in print Cornwall-based label Amari specialises in unique prints and fashionable shapes


reated in 2007 by design duo Amelia Haywood and Hari Bhatta, Amari has evolved from a niche surf-style brand into a sought-after womenswear label that appeals to a diverse market. Sold through 250 UK stockists, the Cornish brand’s signature pieces feature bold colours and exclusive prints that are all designed in-house. Amari’s ethos is about offering women affordable, stylish and unique fashion to help them “look and feel fantastic with minimum effort.” Primarily a forward order brand but with top-up options available all year round, Amari’s latest collection for AW13 consists of knits, jersey dresses,

Autumn Winter 2013 Collection 36 | boutique. | April 2013

tops and skirts in soft florals and striking geometric prints. Key pieces include its brushed lace Josaphine dress and jersey knit Layla high-neck dress. With a strong focus on customer service, the fast growing familyrun business operates a showroom in Gloucestershire while its agents travel the length and breadth of the UK. “Our emphasis is on providing a friendly service while offering good quality at extremely low prices,” says Haywood. “We work closely with our customers, listen to their feedback and adapt our collections to suit their needs.” Wholesale prices start from £5 while the initial minimum order

requirement is £500. CONTACT: Tel: 01566 772 121/ 01566 779 477

Tel: 01566 779477 / 01566 772121 Email:


The white stuff S

Indie owner Sally White left the multiples behind when she opened White Boutique in the Welsh town of Narberth. By Eric Musgrave

ally White had been a fashion buyer for Liberty of London, Oasis and River Island before deciding that she wanted to open her own store. Not one to hang around, she and husband Lee bought the premises she has now occupied for 12 years just five weeks after deciding to take the plunge. Part of this life-changing strategy was to return to her childhood home of South West Wales. And White chose the small market town of Narberth largely because of its distinct lack of fashion stores in ‘01. But her long-term vision was remarkable because during the past decade the town has become, in the words of the local tourist website, ‘the arts and crafts capital of Pembrokeshire and a very happening place to be.’ With the nearest major retail centre located a 30-minute drive away, it’s easy to see why Narberth has made a name for itself with fashionable locals. “My customers are aged from 35 to 70-ish,” says White. “I have a lot of yummy mummies, but also middleaged ladies who don’t want to dress like their mothers – or their daughters!

What is common to them all is that they’re conscious of quality. That’s what they look to me for.” White Boutique’s brand line-up includes Nougat, Fee G, James Jeans, Odd Molly, Avoca Anthology and, new for this spring season, Havren. The average price for dresses is around £149 while tops range from £99 to £139. But White has had to re-examine her offer in recent times in line with the current economic climate. “There is no doubt that even my loyal core customers have been buying less since the credit crisis has hit,” she says. “Their purchases are now much more considered. They want something to wear with what’s already in the wardrobe.” The review has resulted in White buying collections tighter and taking fewer risks. The process is ongoing and she admits she’s grateful for the training that working with major fashion retailers gave her. “The big thing I took from my days with Oasis and River Island is range planning,” she explains. “As buyer for a major multiple you are taught to consider every single thing you buy: why are you buying it, what will it work with, do you really need it? These days those principles mean I don’t end up with four different brands of grey trousers.” Cost control is another obsession for the owner, which is why she has been a member of the Fashion Association of Britain (FAB) and its predecessors for the entire time she’s been in business.

“FAB’s preferential rates for card transactions cannot be beaten and it’s good to have the benefit of the free advice at the end of the phone,” she says. “Its new arrangement for playing music in shops has just saved me £130 a year.” The owner is so passionate about the benefits of FAB in fact that she sits on the association’s committee. Five years ago, having seen several businesses come and go in the unit next door to her original store, the retailer opened wedding dress shop White Bride. “I can thank my husband for the perfect name,” she says. Today she runs the two stores with the help of a team of five part-timers. This includes her mother, who has always worked in fashion retail. So, given the tradition, maybe it isn’t such a surprise that she wanted to own her own store. Sally White is a committee member of the Fashion Association of Britain April 2013 | boutique. | 37


Long hot summer E

French label Georgedé creates ultra feminine garments featuring powerful prints and flattering shapes

stablished for over 40 years, family-run Parisian fashion house Georgedé is a master of feminine fashion. Its designers harness beautiful patterns, quality fabrics and flattering cuts to enhance the figure. The label’s signature is its striking prints, which are used across everything from dresses to separates and outerwear that can be worn from day-to-night. Its beautifully cut chiffon dresses in striking abstract designs and animal prints are the pièce de résistance of every collection and perfectly reflect the Georgedé style. Meanwhile, answering its customers’ requests, the label has recently branched out by introducing a line of plain-dyed basics that will be available throughout the year – marking a new departure for the brand. Sold by around 100 indies throughout the UK, Georgedé stockists are those looking for “French flair” while its target wearers are women that “appreciate flattering shapes and quality.” For SS13 – which is available on short order – the label has unveiled a collection featuring colours and prints inspired by the Cote d’Azur. Blue sky and green sea inspired shades are blended with sandy gold tones to produce dazzling abstract prints. Some use warmer colours reminiscent of balmy summer evenings on the French Riviera while others adopt near psychedelic pinks and greens for a striking high summer look. Georgedé’s sizes come in 10 to 28 while its prices range from £31 for trousers to £76 for jackets and there’s no minimum order requirement. CONTACT: Tel: 0207 636 9140/ 07768 760 235 E: Paulleeharrison@coranit. 38 | boutique. | April 2013


Paul Harrison 88, Great Portland St London W1W 7NS Tel: 0207 6369140 Mobile: 07768 760235 Email: www.


Bright idea Rew Clothing is changing the way women accessorise with its quirky and unique statement collars and scarves


ffering a chic and contemporary modern alternative to a traditional scarf, Rew’s quirky collars are versatile fashion accessories that can be used to instantly update any look. Each piece is handmade and individually designed by founder Rachel Emma Wright to offer boutiques a real point of difference to high street competitors. The label creates quirky and directional pieces that are really easy to wear. Using a variety of textured and weighted fabrics in a range of colours and styles, the brand uses the same concept each season to deliver fresh ideas to its stockists. The

concept has been such a success that it supplies over 150 indies in the UK and exports to seven countries worldwide including Germany, France and Australia. For SS13, Rew is offering a range of laser cut PVC draped collars in a palette of fresh on-trend shades to add a feminine touch to silhouettes. Meanwhile, buyers can also opt for its signature tassel versions alongside designs in bold prints and woven fabrics. Pieces cost £16 to £40 each while minimum order value is 14 units in multiple styles. CONTACT: Tel: 01827 50582

Introducing the all new Visit our newly revamped site for all the latest supplier information at your fingertips Contact the team on 01795 509106 to list your brand today 40 | boutique. | April 2013


The retail scene spotlight




traddled between the South Downs and English Channel, the UK’s coolest coastal city is a melting pot of shopping, culture and some very interesting architecture…

April 2013 | boutique. | 41



Brighton rocks

Take a trip down to the UK’s most famous seaside city for unique shops and fun


amed for its pebbled beaches, striking pier, thriving nightlife and diverse retail landscape, south England’s Brighton is one of the UK’s bestknown seaside resorts. Its path to popularity dates back to the 1770s when it was a small fishing village known as Brighthelmston. The area’s seawater was celebrated for its health benefits and it began to attract a rich and famous fan club, which included the Duke of Cumberland and his nephew George IV. The Prince’s subsequent love affair with the town is said to have been integral to its evolution into the vibrant city we know it as today. Brighton’s popularity continued into the next century and a number of imposing seafront hotels – including the Grand and Metropole – were built to cater for an influx of affluent visitors. But its status was really cemented after the introduction of its own railway works in 1840, which made it instantly accessible to London 42 | boutique. | April 2013

day-trippers. During the twentieth and twentyfirst centuries, Brighton has continued to develop with a popular university alongside the construction of many new buildings. And despite various setbacks in its growth (including the Brighton Blitz, dilapidation of the town’s seafront in the ‘70s and ‘80s as well as damage caused by the Great Storm in 1987), it remains a thriving area with a strong economy today. According to locals, its diverse high street (among its vast array of fun-friendly establishments and landmarks) is vital to drawing in the crowds. While the residents and visitors of many other UK cities have to put up with bland offerings of the same banal store line-up, Brightongoers find themselves spoilt for choice for quirky boutiques and vintage clothing specialists as well as those selling retro music, antique jewellery, artisan-chocolates and other treats. Meanwhile, for those looking for Britain’s best high street stores, there’s

a generous smattering of multiples too. The famous Lanes – which were once home to rows of antique dealers – have been replaced by upmarket chain stores and indies. North Laine, meanwhile, is home to the city’s more bohemian boutiques, which can be found dotted around Bond Street, Gardner Street, Kensington Gardens and Sydney Street. The revamp of New Road and Jubilee Square has also given the shopping quarter a boost. But in addition to its retailers, Brighton’s army of fans are drawn in by a number of other factors too. With its southern position, the area enjoys some of the best weather – and longest hours – in the UK. Meanwhile, when the sun does eventually go down, its thriving nightlife is a magnet for revellers while it is one of the country’s most popular destinations for gay and lesbian partygoers. So whoever you are and whatever you’re looking for, Brighton is just the place for discovering new things and having fun.


The Royal Pavilion

The Lanes

The Artist Quarter

Brighton Marina

The exotic Royal Pavilion, originally constructed for George IV’s mistress Mrs Fizherbert (and later occupied by his daughter Queen Victoria), is still one of Brighton’s most instantly recognisable landmarks.

Having taken over former fishermen’s arches, over a dozen artists produce and sell unique paintings, photographs and pieces from their Brighton studios situated on the seafront just west of the Pier.

Once the heart of the old fishing town and home to a plethora of antique jewellery, art and furniture dealers, Brighton’s historic quarter The Lanes is now occupied by rows of high-end indies and multiples.

Set out across 126 acres, Brighton’s Marina is one of the largest in Europe. More than just a mere place for people to dock their boats, it is a lifestyle destination offering shops, eateries, pubs and casinos. April 2013 | boutique. | 43


THE INSIDE STORY Boutique heads down to Brighton to discover the journey behind two of the city’s unique womenswear indies

Lavender Room 16 Bond Street, North Laine, Brighton, BN1 1RD


estled among vintage thrift stores, retro record shops and a clutch of fashion indies, Bond Street’s Lavender Room offers a mixture of old and new fashion, pretty gifts and unique homewares. Opened in March ‘03, founders Jenny Atherton and Nicky Sanderson wanted to fill a gap in the market for a “lifestyle concept store with a boutique feel.” Both owners had the advantage of several years’ experience in retail, having worked as a fashion buyer for high street retailers and a product developer respectively. And their decade of success is testimony to their product selection knowledge and thorough understanding of their target market. “Our customers like shopping in an environment that feels more special and caring than the high street,” says Atherton. “They want something interesting and different.” Rather than being led by labels, the owners search for unique products and brands, ultimately buying in what they love. Customers can currently pick up an eclectic line-up of fashion and gifts by niche labels including clothing by Hush, Feather and Bone and Charli and Bobi. Meanwhile, the store also sells Hudson and Ash shoes as well as underwear by Princesse Tam Tam and jewellery by Estella Barlett. But the store’s product line-up changes all the time so customers can always find something new whether they visit once a week or an annual trip to Brighton. “We have lots of new sellers this season as we’ve worked hard to find fresh products,” says Atherton. “Best sellers include our own scented candles, paper flow garlands, boho-style 44 | boutique. | April 2013

painted crockery, paper pom poms, ceramic tea light holders, bracelets by Hipanema, gold leather bags and purses and our famous scented roses.” The pair heads the buying side of the business and regularly attends trade shoes, showrooms and antique fairs to find unique brands. They also employ “a strong team of girls” including a full-time manager to help run the store. “They generally stay with us a long time so we feel like a little family,” says Atherton. Lavender Room operates a bricksand-clicks strategy having launched into e-commerce several years ago. Tapping into Brighton’s large tourist fan base, the indie offers a smaller range of gifts and jewellery online,

which it sends out across the UK. However, with the growing trend for online shopping, Atherton admits that they are keen to expand in this area even further still. So for 2013, as the store celebrates its 10-year anniversary, its owners are working to improve its online presence through social media. Meanwhile, in terms of the bricks-and-mortar store, they will continue to strive to “be the best” at what they do by sourcing new products to keep Lavender Room looking fresh. Atherton concludes: “Finding new things and keeping our customers happy is our number one priority. We talk about expanding but our work-life balance is good – maybe one day we will open another store.” 01843 299689

Fashion Closet Wholesale Spring/Summer 2013 Visit our website for our Crochet Collection, Bodycon Midi Dresses and Italian made collection. Beautiful pieces made of pure silk and vintage look layering knit pieces.

Units 225 & Rear of 229-231 Lakey Lane Hall Green B28 8QT - West Midlands A stunning addition for your boutique. Sizes 8 to 16 or Free size Tel 0121 243 9683 April 2013 | boutique. | 45


Milla Grace 24 Dukes Lane, Brighton, BN1 1BG


righton’s newest womenswear indie Milla Grace opened its doors last month down the city’s trendy Dukes Lane. Flanked by high-end independent boutiques and luxury branded stores, it is well placed to attract the city’s stream of affluent shoppers. The venture is the brainchild of Brighton born and bred childhood friends Vashikeh Miller and Lydia Colasurdo-Standing. Both aged in their mid ‘20s, the idea for their business accumulated in London while they were studying make-up artistry and textiles respectively. “We wanted to bring something new to our home town,” says Miller. “Brighton was definitely lacking something when it came to fashion: you’d often go on a night out and seeing multiple people wearing the same thing.” So with business acumen learned from both sets of parents as well as Colasurdo-Standing’s stint in buying for Donna Ida and Miller’s experience in property, they masterminded a fresh boutique concept for their hometown. And just one year later, Milla Grace (a title derived from the girls’ nicknames and middle name) was born. Just a few weeks into its journey and the store is already experiencing success. And although the pair had to “buy blind” both for SS13 and AW13, their carefully selected collections have attracted both their target market and some more surprising fans. “We wanted to appeal to a particular age group but we’ve had teenagers buying from us as well as women aged well into their 60s,” says Miller. “We’ve also had mother of the brides and customers looking for dresses for their civil ceremonies – we never expected that.” Key labels at the store include Almost Famous, Virginie Castaway and Bombshell and Pyrus while popular accessories have come from jewellery line Blowing in the Wind and handmade Sussex brand Parkminister. 46 | boutique. | April 2013

But a big hit for the store has been affordable skinny jeans by Dr Denim, which Miller says “are very skinny, come in amazing colours and offer a proper fit.” She adds: “People have been going crazy for them. They suit all ages as they’re high-rise and hold you in. We’ve even had a street dancer in saying they’re the only jeans that actually stay on during performances. They’ve been very popular.” But it isn’t just stock alone that’s making a name for Milla Grace: the owners are also dedicated to offering a personal service that is distinctly lacking in the majority of their multiple rivals. “We are really focused on providing our customers with one-

to-one customer service,” says Miller. “We want everyone that shops here to feel special; it isn’t just about taking their money.” To boost awareness of their store the owners have been making full use of social media as well as offering private shopping evenings for customers and bloggers. They also plan to launch online in the near future to cater for growing interest from customers elsewhere in the UK who’ve been inundating them with enquiries through Facebook. But for the immediate future, the pair’s focus will be on increasing word-of-mouth recommendations, which they hope will help their new venture grow.

Interested in advertising within future issues of Boutique? Please call...

01795 509106 or email

SUPPLIER DIRECTORY Alice Hannah Accessories Ltd Brand - Alice Hannah 7 Plough Lane, Teddington, Middlesex, TW1 9HX T: 020 8349 9383 W:

Amari Designs Ltd Brands: Amari, Lily & Me 12A Newport Industrial Estate, Launceston, Cornwall, PL15 8EX T: 01566 779477 / 01566 772121 E: W: /

anneodowd agency Brand: Ronen Chen T: 020 7402 5292 E: W:

Apollo Accessories T: 0121 236 3955 E: W:

Arianna Clothing Contact: Jenny Mullan T: 02890 781195 E: W:

Bestseller Wholesale UK Brands: Vero Moda, Vero Moda Very, VILA, ONLY, Selected Femme and Pieces T: 020 3205 03112. E: W:

Boutique Agency UK Memento for you jewellery – www. Deriva Jewels – www. YAYA – T: 0208 349 5234 E: W:

Capri Clothing T: 0203 490 8361 E: W:

Caro London Exclusive Loungewear and Accessories Studio 65, 65a Southgate Road, London, N1 3JS T: 0207 6880596 E: W:

Chi Chi T: 0208 880 1211 E: W:

48 | boutique. | April 2013

Clamor Fashion Agency Brands: Eva Tralala, Krinès Berlin, Senas (for North of England, Scotland and Wales) and Simclan Contact: Clare Morgan T: 07770 66 49 77 W:

Crea Concept Contact: Paulette Cohen and Jade Hofmayer T: 020 7436 0631 E: W:

Dante T: 01260 226 588 E: W:

Dragon Display Systems Ltd Specialists in wall and centre shop display systems for clothing T: 01952 290055 E: W:

Dynasty Dynasty is one of the UK’s leading occasionwear labels. Using only the finest fabrics and most beautiful embellishments and prints, their talented team of designers and suppliers create stunning designs each season. T: 0208 736 0200 E: W:

Easton Design Studio Handbags, Travel Bags, Business Accessories, Wallets & Purses, Cosmetic Bags T: 01483 272309 E: W:

Essay Collections Limited Brand: ART Contact: Momi / Ijaz T: 0207 636 2828 E: W:

Essential Collections Ltd Brands: Pause Café, Les Fées Du Vent, Epicéa, Un Point C’est Tout, Gantebs T: 0161 238 8570 E: W:

Eucalyptus Clothing T: 0207 740 6323 E: W:

Eurostop Limited Contact: Phillip Moylan T: 020 8991 2700, E: W:

Extravagance Limted T/A Sarah Pacini Brand: Sarah Pacini Contact: Nazma T: 020 7636 1280 E: W:

Fashion Closet West Midlands Range of Womenswear. Plus Size. Stock Clearance. T: 0121 243 9683

Funky Jewellery Ogmore Vale T: 01656842102 E:

Gift Warehouse Scarves, Handbags and Jewellery Supplier Contact: Kewel Athwal T: 0115 946 1173 W:

Ingenue London T: 0207 247 7424 E: W:

Jayley Collection Offers superior quality faux fur coats, gilets and accessories including huffs, cuffs, collars and ponchos. We also carry a range of ethically sourced real furs. With stock available and Immediate delivery. Showroom visits by appointment only. T: 01782 658947 E: W:

Kamuflage Brand: German Brand E: W:

Komodo 77C King Henrys Road, London Womenswear T: 02077223523 E: W:

Kutuu Kutuu is a brand created by Hannah Salomon. The range of jewellery and gifts combines messages, words and symbols to create inspiring designs holding special meanings. All products are made in the UK and assembled by hand. Unit 2 Long Barn, Pistyll Farm, Nercwys, Mold, CH7 4EW T: 01352 756797 E: W:

SUPPLIER DIRECTORY Laceys Footwear T: 0207 7390 398 E: W:

Leap N Link Ltd Brands: Leslie Monte-Carlo, Aventures Des Toiles Contact: Pierre and Bhavna T: 0161 713 1803 E: W:

Lesser & Pavey Ltd Suppliers of Quality and Original Products V&A Bags, Travel Mugs, Keep Calm products, Trendy Quality Reading Glasses, Fashion Eye Lashes, Foil Nails and Sparkle Lips, Social Stationery. T: 01233 279225 E: W:

Madam Rage Update your Boutique with the hottest women’s fashion of the season from Madam Rage’s fantastic collection of women’s formal, going out dresses, tops and knitwear. Carries stock and short order T: 01977 551907 E: W:

Mali Lacia Mali Lacias offers an exquisite range of precious and semi precious jewellery. All products are handmade in the UK. T: 01923 750 333 E: W:

Maple Leaf Clothing Brand: Mo boutique T: 0191 2715588 E: W:

MDA International Brands: Lauren Vidal, Myrine & Me, Indi and Cold, Angels Never Die and Pure by M. Contact: Martin, Jacq, Hannah or Kate T: 01234 782900 E: W:

Michael Dawson Fashion Agency Brands: KJ Brand, Mona Lisa, Reichart Blusen, LauRie, See You by Biggi M Contact: Michael Dawson T: 0161 236 1976 E: W:


Discovering AW12 Trends – Global Traveller meets Moorland Mist. Contact: Shallon and Jo T: 01566 777 338 E: W:

Olsen UK Ltd 3rd Floor Moray House, 23-31 Gt. Titchfield Street, W1W 7PA T: 0207 290 0890 / 078414 53 444 W:

Partners In Fashion Brands: Erfo, Frank Walder, Diktons, Just White, Kirsten, Michele, Monari, Schneiders, Seda, Tendenza 2010 T: 020 7636 4207 E: W:

Paraspar eCommerce Solutions Brands: Firetrap, White Stuff, Crew Clothing, Sweaty Betty, New Era Caps and Foot Asylum T: 0845 2305665 E: W:

Pearla Blanca S/S13 Collection Interesting, individual clothes at high street prices. £100 POS voucher with every order. No minimum order. Free UK delivery. Studio 16, Island House, 200 Wandle Road, Wimbledon, SM4 6AU Contact: Ozlem Moss T: 020 3286 9357 E: W:

Pia Rossini Womenswear & Accessories T: 02891 467999 E: W:

Poshtotti Clothing Contact: Amanda Burwell T: 01548 858881 W:

Purlfrost Ltd Purlees is an online store supplying seasonal and festive themed shop window stickers. Brand: Purlees T: 020 8992 4024 E: W:

Robert Ross International Brands: Luis Civit, Aldo Martin Barcelona, Lewis Henry London Contact: Stanley or Amanda T: 0207 323 2012 E:

Ruby Rocks Footwear Beautiful shoes inside and out! Contact: Nadene Stevenson T: 07758 591995 E: W:

Sally Dawes Agency Brands: CANNISSE Elegant Casualwear, ET DIEU CREA LA FEMME, Contemporary Outerwear, CATHERINE ANDRE, Premium Knitwear, EVA & CLAUDI, Knitwear and Prints, A.B, Italian Soft Dressing T: 0116 279 01 51 E: W:

Stock Wanted – Earn £££’s Merino Fashions Ltd Unit 10, Beech Avenue Business Park, Beech Avenue, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK, HG2 8DS T: 01423 872 868 / 07971 898 477 E:

TCA Showroom One of the UK’s largest fashion wholesale agencies with a large selection of brands for men and women Brands: Sinequanone, Sealkay, Klaya, New man, Gaudi, Les lumiere de la pluie Contact: Kinsie Sidolle and Carl Easton T: 0203 432 6385 E: W:

The Absolute Group Luxury and E-Commerce Packaging – Gift and Product Boxes, Carrier Bags, Woven Labels, Swing Tickets and Garment Trims. Unit 7 Dorma Trading Park, Staffa Road, Leyton, London, E10 7QX T: 0208 988 5220 E: W:

Top To Toe 2 Graham Road, London Software Systems T: 0845 130 3535

Voyage Paris Brands: Absolu, Amazone, Calzonie, Eden Rock, Etincelle, Evaline, Exetera, Extenso, Faust, Gregg-Alexess, Jeff Gallano, Jus d’ Orange, Maille Demoiselle, Rendevouz, Sagaie, Tensione T: 020 7636 1892 E: W:

Wembley Collections Brands: Core, Follow me, King, Unit 15, Lockwood Industrial Park, Mill Mead Road, London N17 9QP Contact: Ash Shah T: 0208 808 0550 E: W:

YM Fashion Co (UK) Ltd Brand: Yaccomaricard Contact: Pauline Wickens T: 0207 436 8576 W:

April 2013 | boutique. | 49




100% Cloud Based

ePOS, Inventory and Loyalty in a neat, managed month-by-month, multi-branch solution.





A L L L E AT H E R S , N U B U C K & S U E D E S

Online Demo: Tel: 0800 7 10 10 35 or 077 437 035 74 Boutique Showcase_Layout 1 02/02/2012 12:30 Page 1

For more leather care tips please visit: tel: 01604 881097

Advert 60mm wide x 80mm deep

Dragon Display Systems

We produce 3 different systems for fashion, plus gondolas and island units.

The one stop for ALL your retail needs Freefone 0800 45 11 22 4 regional stores

Interested in advertising within future issues of Boutique? Please call...

01795 509106 or email JULIENEILL@CIMLTD.CO.UK SUSAN@CIMLTD.CO.UK CATHERINE@CIMLTD.CO.UK We look forward to working with you... 50 | boutique. | April 2013

Designed and Manufactured in the UK Tel 01952 290055 •

Display Systems Ltd

Boutique Feb 13_Layout 1 28/01/2013 10:06 Page 1

display solutions ● mannequins ma annequins ● pedestals ● props ● and more!

The one stop for ALL your retail needs Freefone 0800 451122 Visit our 4 regional stores

Boutique april 2013  

Boutique april 2013

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you