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July 2013

ISSUE 33

SITTING PRETTY

Smarter buying First look SS14 highlights Inside Kent’s La Belle Femme James Lakeland on indie retail


Always Innovative, Forever Glamorous

UK Customer Services T: 0141 204 0699 E: fashion@premierfashions.co.uk franklyman.com


EDITOR’S LETTER Editor Gemma Ward gemma.ward@boutique-magazine.co.uk Contributors Rachel Parkin, James Lakeland, Nick Leith-Smith Publication Manager Julie Neill – julieneill@cimltd.co.uk Tel 01795 509112 Fax 01795 591065 Account Executive Susan Hendry – susan@cimltd.co.uk Catherine Ridings – catherine@cimltd.co.uk Tel 01795 509106 Studio Manager Paula Smith – paula@cimltd.co.uk Design and Production Grant Waters – grant@cimltd.co.uk James Taylor – james@cimltd.co.uk Tel 01795 509108 Credit Facilities Manager Vickie Crawford – vickie@cimltd.co.uk Tel 01795 509103 Chief Executive John Denning – jdenning@cimltd.co.uk © 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 Nancy Dee Tel: 0207 1833 658/ 07719 379 248 Nancydee.co.uk/wholesale

Creating a buzz

A

s we’ve often written in this magazine, indies work better when they collaborate. Whether that’s with fellow independents, suppliers, artists, designers or local creatives, uniting to bring a fresh new spin on your usual offer is often the best way to entice more footfall. We’ve currently in the midst of Independent Retailer Month, which is the indie retail scene’s biggest collaborative effort of the entire year. The third to ever be held in the UK, it is really gaining momentum as a popular (and free) promotional drive to generate a buzz for indies. And if you haven’t taken part in this year’s proceedings, you’re definitely missing out on a chance to entice more people into your area. But if you aren’t in an area with lots of stores, or if it just isn’t possible to participate in such a national campaign, there are other ways to generate hype. And getting involved with various initiatives (or even masterminding your own) can be done all year round. A case in point was last month’s milliners’ pop-up shop inside London womenswear indie Browns. Held in support of the British Fashion Council’s Headonism initiative, the South Molton Street store transformed its first floor into a treasure trove of hats showcasing designs from up and coming milliners just in time for the racing season. The move generated

a buzz from bloggers, press and customers – not only encouraging them in to buy racing outfits, but effectively kick-starting the summer season too (read the full story on page nine). It’s also a sentiment echoed by womenswear designer James Lakeland, who features in our Shop talk section this month. He believes that boutique owners have become too cautious and is urging the industry to focus on creating a buzz and some excitement again (read the full story on page 62). Lastly this issue also features an interview with Coco Marie owner Jenny Garrity. Despite the late start to summer, her Amersham-based store has seen a rise in year-on-year figures. We find out how she’s making her business work with extra initiatives on page 64. Happy buying! Gemma Ward, Editor gemma.ward@boutique-magazine.co.uk

July 2013 | boutique. | 3


CONTENTS

16

41

20

boutique.

July 2013

NEWS

BUSINESS

09 FASHION FIX

41 THE BUYING GAME

64 ON THE FLOOR

This month’s biggest stories and industry news

Don’t place any SS14 orders until you’ve read our expert guide

14 TREASURE TROVE

52 GETTING ON THE MAP

Coco Marie owner Jenny Garrity talks business, the high street and the rise of ecommerce

Super hot trends, labels and collections for your store

Rachel Parkin reveals how collaborating with fellow indies has helped put her store on the map

16 BOUTIQUE LOVES… The fashion we’re falling for this month

SHOP TALK

BUYING

Architect Nick Leith-Smith on using interior design to your store’s advantage

20 MISS SCARLET Stock up on next season’s hottest hue: fiery red

24 FIRST LOOK COLLECTIONS A sneak peek at the latest forward and short order collections

68 FANTASTIC FASHION Eric Musgrave meets La Belle Femme owner Rosemary Edwards

62 INDUSTRY VOICE

63 OPINION Womenswear designer James Lakeland reveals how his brand helps independent businesses flourish

30 FASHION EXTRAS Victoria Watkins picks out the best bags, shoes, jewels and accessories

20 MISS SCARLET 6 | boutique. | July 2013


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FASHION FIX

Essential news

PHOTO BY SHAUN JAMES COX

London indie Browns hosts millinery pop-up shop in support of the British Fashion Council’s Headonism project

P

remium womenswear indie Browns supported the British Fashion Council’s (BFC) Headonism initiative last month by hosting a millinery pop-up shop featuring hats by five emerging designers. Held in conjunction with Royal Ascot, the South Molton Street store transformed its first floor into a treasure trove of unique hats from 5-16 June, giving its customers access to cutting edge designs. Browns’ buyers selected an edit of styles from five young designers involved in the Headonism project – including seasoned favourites Piers Atkinson and William Chambers alongside newcomers Aurora Ozma,

Emma Yeo and Moody and Farrell – who are all being mentored by the scheme’s curator Stephen Jones. Key pieces at the store included Piers Atkinson’s now-iconic Hyper Cherry headband, which has been worn by the likes of Rihanna and Anna Dello Russo, as well as tall, embellished turbans by Aurora Ozma and Moody and Farrell’s hand-woven and handstitched creations. Caroline Rush, CEO of the British Fashion Council, comments: “It’s great for all five milliners to have a presence at one of the world’s leading independent retailers in the run up to Royal Ascot. With the pop-up housing the biggest emerging names in British hat-making, it’s an incredibly exciting

opportunity for the capital’s racegoers and consumer audience alike to discover so many innovative and beautiful hats under one roof.” Simon Burstein, CEO of Browns, adds: “Browns is very proud of its long tradition of launching and supporting new talent, so we were delighted to work with the British Fashion Council and their Headonism scheme to offer customers our edit of the best emerging milliners in Britain.” Headonism launched in 2011 during the BFC’s 25 Year Celebrations by Mayor of London Boris Johnson. The scheme is curated by Stephen Jones and celebrates and supports up-andcoming millinery talent with special events, collaborations and advice. July 2013 | boutique. | 9


FASHION FIX

Indies unite throughout the month of July for footfall-boosting activities Boutique owner branches out into wholesale to offer fellow indies a tried and tested brand The eponymous footwear brand created by indie owner Nicola Sexton is reportedly going from strength to strength following its SS13 wholesale market debut. Sexton had her first foray into design when she introduced a new own-branded range to complement the other brands on offer in her store. “When I first opened my shoe shop in April 2010, I sourced Italian and Spanish designers unknown in the UK market,” she says. “However I felt it was necessary to source a collection of very wearable shoes for everyday use and found a manufacturer in Italy. The brand quickly became my best-selling collection.” After launching into wholesale “completely by accident,” the collection has already seen strong sell-through both in Sexton’s own Bury St Edmunds store as well as other stockists around the UK. This month the retailer-turned-designer will be back for SS14 showcasing her latest collection at Pure London. 10 | boutique. | July 2013

Independent retailers across all sectors have been joining together for the past three weeks to take part in footfallboosting activities. Independents’ Day, run by the National Skills Academy for Retail, kicked off the proceedings on 4 July with thousands of small businesses in 120 towns and cities across the UK hosting their own events and promotions. Backed by Ryman Stationary chairman Theo Paphitis, womenswear indies taking part included Pembrokeshire’s 6 The High Street, which offered a 20 per cent discount on all its brands on the day, as well as Chiswick’s Damsel Boutique, who tied the event in with Independence Day to offer customers a 10 per cent discount on American brands.

But the celebrations haven’t ended yet – Independent Retailer Month, which will continue until 31 July, is also giving indies around the country a chance to create a buzz in their town centres. And the initiative has garnered a huge response since it launched on the 1 July making the national news, which included an article in The Guardian. The Dressing Room in St Albans led the way for womenswear indies with a wide range of special offers, competitions and loyalty point opportunities taking place throughout the month. Meanwhile, Cambridge fashion retailers joined forces to put on a charity fashion show in aid of Maggie’s Wallace. Don’t miss next month’s issue for the full story on both campaigns.

British accessories brand Capiz turns 10 British accessories specialist Capiz is celebrating its tenth-year in business after supplying the wholesale market with its jewellery and handbags for a decade. Husband and wife team Paul and Angela Waldie first launched the business in collaboration with European brand Chartage. But in 2009 the pair decided to go it alone and began offering Capiz’s own collections designed in-house. Today the brand supplies over 600 accounts across the UK and Eire as well as exporting to countries such as Kenya, Brazil and the USA.

Its collections – largely made from unusual PU fabrics – are a favourite among independent boutiques thanks to their unique and practical designs. Visit Capiz.co.uk to view the AW13 collection.


FASHION FIX

Jewellery designer Jessica Flinn named one of Yorkshire’s Top Young Entrepreneurs Independent Sheffield-based jewellery designer Jessica Flinn has been recognised as one of Yorkshire’s Top Young Entrepreneurs by the Duke of York. The designer was presented with her award during the first ever ceremony for the newly launched Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Awards, which was held inside the University of Huddersfield’s 3M Buckley Innovation Centre. Twenty-four-year-old Flinn was nominated for the accolade by Sheffield Hallam University, where she studied for her degree in Metalwork and Jewellery. The awards are part of The Graduate Entrepreneurship Project, which brings together the ten Higher Education Institutions from Yorkshire and the Humber to focus specifically on enterprise and entrepreneurship. “It was an extraordinary day and one that I still can’t believe,” says the designer. “So much has happened in the past two years and this award proves to me that all the hard work has been worth it.” 12 | boutique. | July 2013

Off-Price Show organisers gear up for autumn’s discounted stock exhibition Following a successful spring season, the Off-Price Show is set to return to London’s Olympia on 22-23 September. The exhibition, which has become renowned in the industry for offering discounted stock lines of clothing, footwear and accessories, has become a great way for boutique owners to pick up bargains. Organisers say this season’s edition will feature even more brands and discounted lines than ever before. Past labels on offer have included designer brands such as Armani, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren as well as premium labels such as

Superdry, Abercrombie and Fitch, Fred Perry, Hollister, Tommy Hilfiger and Diesel. Meanwhile, there will be a range of own-branded and unbranded lines alongside past season high street collections. The Off-Price Show’s footwear section is also set for expansion while accessories will also be available with collections to suit all tastes and budgets. “We’re gearing up for an even bigger event this September that will give buyers access to some of the best fashion stock available on the market,” says head of operations Elena Vandini.

London PR agency unveils mentoring service for small fashion businesses A London-based PR agency has launched a new budget-friendly DIY service for small fashion businesses. Woodthorpe Comms is now offering affordable PR solutions with the launch of a new introduction to PR service and mentoring for those who want to manage PR themselves. Founder Adele Woodthorpe and her team will work with small fashion businesses to help them create a bespoke PR plan, discover their target audience and offer a step-by-step guide on how to pitch to press. Those that sign up will receive helpful templates and guided information sheets with detailed guides covering a range of topics – from how to create a press release to lead times to consider.

During a three-month period, brands will attend a one-to-one workshop and then receive regular coaching ensuring they have the right planning tools to go it alone. Anyone subscribing to the service will then receive regular catch-up sessions. “Our guided PR service will allow every brand to have some form of PR representation with the benefit of industry insider hints and tips,” says Woodthorpe. “All of these are spoon-fed to clients during workshops and backed up with our help sheets. With this package we will help brands identify their target audience and how to best reach them.” For more information Tel: 0207 871 5370.


R E TA I L D I S P L AY S Y S T E M S

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FASHION FIX

THINK PINK From make-up bags to over night holdalls and designer satchels to phone cases, Lesser and Pavey’s wax canvas range offers bold, high quality products that will help your store’s accessories offer stand out in style. Tel 01322 279223 Leonardo.co.uk

ESCAPE TO THE COUNTY Brit brand Tulchan has added some stylish and contemporary pieces to its short order collection for AW13. We love this trans-season blazer-style knitted jacket, available for immediate delivery now. From £11.75; Tel: 01524 274 025 Tulchanonline.co.uk

Treasure trove

The hottest trends and looks to instantly update your store SUPER SUMMER ME Introduce a final burst of summer into your stock with Sweet Liberty’s range of in-season dresses. Its ultra feminine pieces start from £12.50 and are available on immediate delivery now. The brand will also be showing at next month’s Pure London (stand G40). Tel: 0207 485 8633 E: office@arcagencies.co.uk

PARTY PERFECTION

THE BRAIDED BUNCH Available in charcoal, natural and rose, this soft shrunken leather braided shoulder bag by lifestyle brand Ceannis features inner pockets and a handy key ring holder. £POA; Tel: 07702 877 081 E: mandy@vanil.co.uk Ceannis.com 14 | boutique. | July 2013

British short order label Ruby Rocks is set to unveil a standout AW13 collection at next month’s Pure London boasting pretty shapes and striking prints. Perfect for the party season, we love its quirky dresses in luxe fabrics. Dress £24; Tel: 07973 718 301


FASHION FIX

This visual merchandising solution…

This collection…

If you’re looking for quirky visual merchandising options to showcase your Christmas products, Graham Sweet’s festive shelving units and characters will inject some fun into any window or in-store display. £POA; Tel: 0292 052 2510 Grahamsweet.com

Designed with the ‘forever 40’ woman in mind, Latte’s made-inItaly collection for SS14 combines a palette of muted metallics and rich creams with citrus hues and ocean blues for a classic take on some of the season’s biggest trends. Tel: 0141 204 0699 E: info@ latteclothing.com

This brand…

East London jewellery brand Kat and Bee creates eclectic and texture-heavy pieces like this Bleeker necklace, which will turn heads in any store. £122; Tel: 07968 173 344 Katandbee.co.uk

Boutique loves… The brands, collections and pieces we’re falling for this month This summer buy…

These shoes… Available in washed canvas, soft suede, textured nubuck and leather, these sneakers by British footwear brand Cara London are the ultimate off-duty choice for stylish customers. From £14; Tel: 01491 872 044 E: info@carawholesale.com 16 | boutique. | July 2013

Johnstons of Elgin nails perfect summer knits in its collection for SS14. With a colour palette featuring tropical and soft hues as well as the use of luxurious woollen blends, it’s the ideal choice for buying for the unpredictable British weather. From £22.50; Johnstonscashmere. com/wholesale


View our SS14 Collections at Pure Stand L102. Tel: 00302310514100 (ext.6)

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STOCK UP

What to buy now

She’s the one

T

his multi-coloured shift by eco-conscious brand Komodo will revolutionise your customers’ SS14 wardrobes. Perfect for both early spring and high summer, it’s the ideal versatile find. Team it with pointed courts for the office, an oversized clutch for dinner or with a statement hat to the races for their entire season sorted. Siri cotton voile dress £32, Tel: 0207 608 0593 Komodo.co.uk

July 2013 | boutique. | 19


STOCK UP

Lady in red Take your lead from the catwalk and invest in AW13’s boldest trend SILVER AND CORD BRACELET Gina Stewart Cox, £16.67; Tel: 0207 739 1414

SILVER HEART EARRINGS Fiorelli, £24; Tel: 01376 532 000

DEANNA DRESS Friday on my Mind, £25; Tel: 0207 740 6323

COIN PURSE Betty and Betts, £11.67; Tel: 07702 694 412

CROCHET DRESS PIT, £26; E: info@ pitfashion.com PEPLUM TOP Joseph Ribkoff, £POA; Tel: 0800 294 3373

FARRINGDON SHOE Cocorose London, £POA; Tel: 0208 829 8919

20 | boutique. | July 2013

SWAROVSKI NECKLACE Konplott, £87; Tel: 01304 224 288

CHRISTINA JACKET Friday on my Mind, £45; Tel: 0207 740 6323


Appointments are now being taken: Pure - M109, Moda - F21 Genese is a luxury designer fashion brand for women who desire to integrate elegance, style and panache into their dress code. Genese’s exclusive designs are synthetic to our well established, award-winning brand of 21 years. Our elegant high quality garments channel passion with sophistication, hand tailored by our in-house designers ensuring that only the highest standards are met. Genese has now arrived in the fashion capital London, our showroom which is open to wholesale is situated in Mortimer Street, offering first class service to prospective clients. 46 Mortimer Street, London, W1W 7RL Tel: 0203 583 2126


STOCK UP ROSE EARRINGS Vintage, £9.90; Tel: 0845 260 0925

MAJKA DRESS Semper, £49; Tel: 07989 739 019

CORAL JEANS Cover Version, £45; Tel: 01932 821 860

TIVERTON KNIT Joules, £25; Tel: 01858 435 261

SHERRINGHAM JEANS Joules, £25; Tel: 01858 435 261

PINNIE DRESS Ruby Rocks, £17; Tel: 07973 718 301

WATCH Olivia Burton, £27.20; Tel: 07734 903 452

SIDESTEP BOOT Rocket Dog, £31.25; Tel: 0208 207 7200

SHOPPER TOTE Missco Girl, £21.50; E: mduffyuk@ misscogirl.com

DRESS Marc Cain, £POA; Tel: 01704 82 3005

22 | boutique. | July 2013


NEW COLLECTIONS

The power preview Introducing some of the industry’s latest short and forward order collections

BADOO FASHION

Established 20 years ago, Greek womenswear label Badoo Fashion celebrates the female form with its stylish and contemporary clothing. Launching this month, its SS14 collection blends elegance with comfort to create practical solutions for every aspect of the modern woman’s lifestyle. Smart and chic dresses are ideal for professional engagements while looser silhouettes and easy-wear separates are the perfect alternative for dressing off-duty. Meanwhile its bright tonal colour palette – which includes yellow, royal blue, bright green and bold prints – works together in perfect harmony. AVERAGE PRICE: Dresses from €65 SHOWING: Stuttgart Fashion Week and Pure London (stand L102) CONTACT: Tel: 0030 2310 514 100 Badoo-fashion.gr

SCARLETT

Prom and eveningwear specialist Scarlett combines high quality occasion wear pieces with a value for money pricing structure. Its core collection for SS14 nods towards red carpet glamour with slinky jersey, sequin and chiffon dresses that can be worn again. Hero pieces include its two-tone chiffon dresses with encrusted beadwork as well as a fairytale fishtail gown. The brand is also delving into the Mother of the Bride market with a new capsule range. Launching at Moda, it combines lace dresses with bolero jackets and pretty spring prints. AVERAGE PRICE: £70 – £120 per dress SHOWING AT: Moda (stand E20) CONTACT: Tel: 01942 492 492 Scarlettevenings.co.uk

YAYA

A contemporary womenswear label with a feminine twist, Yaya prides itself on offering high quality garments at very competitive prices. Targeted at the 30plus market, its signature pieces include unique knitwear designs. For SS14, the brand’s design team has drawn influences from all over the world offering four key themes. These include On the Prairie, which features embroidered ethnic knits and tuned up denims; the bohemian-style Road Trip line with feather prints, washed bleached denims and maxi skirts; and Desert Rose boasting luxe details alongside cool oversized linens. Key garments include a dip-dye leather jacket, embroidered ethnic knitted jumper and feather print skinny trousers. AVERAGE PRICE: €21 SHOWING AT: Pure London (stand P19/ Q20) and Dephne House, Arcadia Avenue, London until 16 August. CONTACT: Tel: 0208 349 5234/ 07585 800 894 Yaya.nl 24 | boutique. | July 2013


NEW COLLECTIONS

AT LONDON

Created by fashion jeweller Alexander Thurlow, fine fashion label AT London targets the mid to premium market offering high quality design for the modern woman. For the AW13 season, the spin-off line is presenting Art Deco inspired pieces that hark back to the elegance of the ‘20s. The brand will also be showcasing more new designs from its successful textured finished range, which includes combined two-toned pieces boasting brushed and matt metal effects. AVERAGE PRICE: From £5 per piece SHOWING AT: Autumn Fair (stand 4F96) CONTACT: Tel: 0208 766 6466 Alexanderthurlow.com

MIRACLESUIT

Since launching in 2005 with its super-slimming swim and shapewear, US brand Miraclesuit has gone from strength-tostrength with rising sales figures and sell-out styles. A must for every woman’s wardrobe, the brand’s pieces are inspired by current trends while staying true to its ethos of offering classic form-flattering products. For SS14 its swim range has been inspired by nature mixing imperfection-concealing layers with water, reptile and palm prints. Meanwhile, the brand’s new shapewear line features vintage shapes and flashes of lace. AVERAGE PRICE: Shapewear from £10/ swimwear from £39 retail SHOWING AT: London Swimwear Show, Pure London (stand PB80), Moda (stand B14) and AIS. CONTACT: Tel: 01423 885 374 Patricia-eve-co.uk

CONDITIONS APPLY

Specialising in bold digital prints on silk, Conditions Apply creates unique casual pieces for fashion-forward women. For SS14 the label has unveiled a collection containing two themes. The first is centred on bold patchwork prints on high end fabrics while the second is based on American Indian patterns with ethnic embroidery and a beige, black and red colour palette. Key styles include patchwork quilted silk bomber jackets, an ethnic embroidered cotton shirt and a geometric tunic. AVERAGE PRICE: £50 SHOWING AT: Pure London (stand M32) and D&A New York CONTACT: Tel: 0207 739 6510 E: info@conditionsapply.co.uk Conditionsapply.co.uk July 2013 | boutique. | 25


NEW COLLECTIONS

NANCY DEE

Ethical label Nancy Dee specialises in day-to-night jersey pieces that are designed and manufactured in Britain. Going forward the label is introducing the use of even more natural and sustainable material options such as a modal/silk blended jersey. It will also delve into the concept of up-cycling with the use of specially selected end-of-line fabrics in its designs. New additions include a bolero jacket in printed and plain bemberg modal and a perfect party dress that uses clever draping to create an unusual and universally flattering shape. Colours range from delicately feminine antique rose and silver blue through to jewel tones and contemporary prints. AVERAGE PRICE: From £32 SHOWING AT: 50 Melgund Road, London N5 1PT (by appointment only) CONTACT: Tel: 0207 1833 658/ 07719 379 248 Nancydee.co.uk/ wholesale

TULCHAN

Celebrating its thirtieth year, British brand Tulchan is set to unveil a quintessentially English collection featuring natural fibres and easy-wear styles for SS14. Segmented into three stories, punchy colours set the tone for the Retro Brights collection, which evokes a distinct nostalgic feel with some styles heavily influenced by the ‘50s. Meanwhile, the Alfresco range incorporates a mix of bold pink and green tones applied to romantic floral patterns whereas subtle and mellow hues of pink, blue and grey can be found in the Beach Hut line. Key styles include a cotton PU coated mac with a stylish abstract print, a classic striped jersey blazer and a tweedy knit jacket. AVERAGE COST: Prices range from £5 to £29 SHOWING AT: Pure London (stand H87) and Moda (stand K15) CONTACT: Tel: 015242 74025 Tulchanonline.co.uk

BRODIE CASHMERE

Knitwear specialist Brodie Cashmere uses the finest quality Mongolian yarns to create machine-washable and contemporary styles for the modern and price conscious woman. Perfect for British summers, its SS14 collection features 12 new colours inspired by Californian living. Look out for bold stripes and contrast trims, lace detailing and diverse palettes ranging from emerald green to empire yellow. Notable pieces include the Ode jumper dress with contrast coloured stars, the Gezzy knit slouchy v-neck jumper with bold stripes and the easy-wear Sansara knit slash-neck sweater. AVERAGE PRICE: From £45 SHOWING AT: Pure London (stand H56) and Stitch Las Vegas CONTACT: Tel: 01332 508 680 E: info@brodiecashmere.co.uk

26 | boutique. | July 2013


NEW COLLECTIONS

D.E.C.K BY DECOLLAGE

Offering in-season separates and outerwear, D.E.C.K by Decollage strives to beat buyers’ expectations with its on-trend silhouettes, colours and styles. The starter price label specialises in basics to provide women with the seasonal staples they need to create their ideal look. Flexible enough to wear from day to night, winning pieces in its AW13 collection include a pull-up bengaline stretch trouser – available in 12 colours and six sizes – as well as a range of ’18-hour dresses’ that will take the wearer from the boardroom to bar. Meanwhile, the collection also boasts a line of chic Alpine Warmth outerwear duvet jackets and coats, which are the perfect choice for when the cold snap arrives. AVERAGE PRICE: From £10 SHOWING AT: Pure London (stand P70) and Moda (stand I41) CONTACT: Tel: 00353 1429 6985 E: myles@decollage.ie

AMARO

Jewellery label Amaro supplies hand-made and bespoke pieces from Israel featuring semi-precious stones and Swarovski crystals. Every collection has its own story, which is reflected in the small features of every piece, while the brand’s combination of cutting-edge design and classic style makes for a distinctive signature. Launching at Pure, Amaro’s latest short order collection includes four distinct stories that feature a range of stones such as pearl, black onyx, snowflake obsidian, mother of pearl, white opal and moonstone. Key looks are in the Primitive Collection, which features coin-like elements and authentic Bedouin weaves, as well as soft colours of pearl and glow of crystal in the Pearl Jam Collection. AVERAGE PRICE: From £11 SHOWING AT: Pure London (stand T266) and IJL (stand C12) CONTACT: Tel: 07787 562 741 Amaro-jewellery.co.uk

ONE WISH

One Wish is a delicate sterling silver collection that captures sentimental moments and messages of love and humour. Each piece of jewellery is displayed on a retail-friendly card with its own whimsical message and unique envelope packaging. Options include a cupcake necklace featuring the message ‘You’re a beautiful cupcake in a world full of muffins’ and a tiny Bakelite coral rose pendant that reads: ‘Don’t forget to smell the flowers along the way.’ With its signature pretty, delicate and quirky style, the collection is perfect for the gift and boutique market. AVERAGE PRICE: £9.90 each SHOWING AT: Autumn Fair (stand F50/G51) and Top Drawer (stand G4) CONTACT: Tel: 08452 600 925 Balagan.co.uk July 2013 | boutique. | 27


NEW COLLECTIONS

KATE AND PIPPA JEANS Promising to offer a style to suit every shape and age, new denim label Kate and Pippa Jeans is an ideal staple brand for indies. Its short order AW13 collection offers a variety of cuts in indigo, navy and black while its forward order line for SS14 features an array of styles in summer bright hues. All its jeans come in sizes 34-42 or 8-16 while it offers low minimum orders, small pack sizes and fill-ins throughout the season. Key styles include the Pippa highwaist boot cut, Charli push-up straight leg and Jenny high-waist skinny. AVERAGE PRICE: £21 SHOWING AT: Pure London (stand J68) CONTACT: Tel: 00353 01429 5974 E: infokateandpippa@gmail.com

MISSCO GIRL

Directional handbag label Missco Girl is renowned for its fun-loving animal-friendly accessories that combine style, quality and functionality. Aimed at the young at heart, its signature styles include its best-selling colour block satchel and cross-body bags, which have been updated in new trend-led colour combinations. Meanwhile, look out for its range of multi-compartment clutches and refined holdalls in navy, berry shades, mustard and classic neutrals. AVERAGE PRICE: Small bags from £15, larger from £20 SHOWING AT: Pure London (stand Q74) CONTACT: Tel: 07957 638 220 E: mduffyuk@misscogirl.com Misscogirl.com

BELLE AND FLO

Featuring bang-on-trend colours and designs as highlighted in American Vogue’s recent AW13 preview, Belle and Flo’s Autumn collection of costume jewellery boasts statement necklaces and cocktail rings in smoky taupe, hot red, navy blue, grey and emerald green. The brand’s range includes striking and cost effective pieces that are perfect for boutiques and gift shops around the country. Its fashion-forward pieces are created for the trend-setting New York crowd so buyers can rest assured that its designs will be right on the money when the new season arrives. AVERAGE PRICE: £5.50 SHOWING AT: Pure London (stand T185) CONTACT: Tel: 01732 864 527 Belleandflo.co.uk 28 | boutique. | July 2013


Spring/Summer 2014 Collection View the collection at Pure London Stand R647 (4th – 6th August) and Platform Las Vegas (19th – 21st August) Beautiful shoes hand made in Italy 01284 760011 wholesale@nicolasexton.co.uk www.nicolasexton.co.uk

Spring/Summer 2014 Hilton London Olympia (By appointments) MODA Birmingham Stand H59 – Ledor Stand I58 – Maxim, Semper

Dress shown: Semper

Tel: 07989739019 info@kc-agency.com www.kc-agency.com July 2013 | boutique. | 29


ACCESSORIES

Fashion extras This month’s must-have jewellery, bags and accessories By VICtORIA WAtkInS

BEE ON TIME

GLASWEGIAN GLAMOUR

Inspired by the English countryside, Olivia Burton’s Woodland collection offers quirky, high quality timekeepers featuring outdoorsy designs. £31.20 Tel: 0773 490 3452; E: lesa@oliviaburton.com

Scottish designer Georgia Wiseman creates bold, wearable jewellery in her own UK workshop. We love this pair of blue art deco-inspired Swarovski crystal earrings. £73; Tel: 07970 712 425 Georgiawiseman.com

FLEXIBLE FRIEND

COLOUR BLOCK

CRYSTAL CRUSH

Cocorose London’s Farringdon in black patent leather and chic red trim are the perfect foldable flats for a smooth transition into the autumn months. £POA; Tel: 0208 829 8919 Cocoroselondon.com

With a customer list that includes the Duchess of Cambridge, Makki produces stylish and responsibly-made handbags like this vibrant, multicoloured, eel skin satchel. £147; Tel: 0203 005 4875 Makki.co.uk

Fiorelli’s Costume collection features dramatic-yet-affordable pieces like this punk-inspired gold plated crystal necklace, which is guaranteed to get noticed in store. £15.20; Tel: 01376 532 000 Geckojewellery.com

ROCK OUT

THINK PINK

EFFORTLESS GLAMOUR

Slovakian-based brand Novesta offers trainers that are practical, stylish and entirely hand-made. As well as bubble gum pink, these high tops are also available in striking neon shades. £12.63; Tel: 0845 812 0120 E: sales@gumleaf.com

With a strong focus on producing quality fashion jewellery, Alexander Thurlow’s recent collection brings ‘20s glamour up-to-date with eye-catching and intricate art deco-inspired designs. £4.60; Tel: 0208 766 6466 Alexanderthurlow.com

Belle and Flo’s AW13 collection features eye-catching stones in high fashion colours such as the ones used in its statement cocktail rings, which are adjustable to fit any finger. £5.50; Tel: 01732 864 527 Belleandflo.co.uk 30 | boutique. | July 2013


ACCESSORIES

TOTES AMAZE

PUMPED UP

SPORTING STYLE

Help customers instantly update their everyday look with an Ilex London tote. Made from the softest leather, they come in fresh shades like cobalt blue and this pretty pastel pink. £66; Tel: 0203 657 5680 Ilexbags.com

Brighten up basics with this pair of Nicola Sexton python pumps, which have been made from the finest quality leather with a flash of acid green. £42; Tel: 01284 760 011 E: wholesale@nicolasexton.co.uk

This canary yellow bag, made from tarpaulin with cotton handles, is just one example of the eco-friendly accessories that cool new French brand SKIMP is creating. £18.50; Tel: 07890 822 183 Stufmarketing.com

LIKE A GLOVE

ALL BRIGHT NOW

Ready for when the weather turns cold, help customers brave the elements by getting your hands on Soaked in Luxury’s range of understated, studded leather gloves. £14; Tel: 0208 871 2155 Soakedinluxury.com

This bold floral print scarf by Powder will inject bold colour into any autumn wardrobe. From lightweight threads to cosier knits, the brand offers a range of designs in uplifting prints. £6.25; Tel: 0131 331 2908 E: info@powder-uk.com

Betty and Betts’ range of quality, fair trade leather accessories features organic cotton-lined iPad cases like this stylish silver version, which is also available in electric blue and tan. £29; Tel: 0770 269 4412 E: tanya@bettyandbetts.com

SILVER SOLUTION

MATCH POINT

CHAIN REACTION

METAL MATTERS

Launching this month for SS14, Lizianne’s mix of matching shoes and clutch bags are guaranteed to help customers stand out on sunny, summer evenings. From £34; Tel: 0771 509 5017 E: lucy@lizianne.co.uk

For classic, elegant jewellery that is perfect for everyday wear, look no further than new brand Green and Lister – we love this silver chain with spinning top pendants. £24.40; Tel: 0114 276 0185 Greenandlister.com

Juben’s original handbag design is made with luxurious leather disks and unusual aluminium detailing. Each is manufactured in the UK and the design comes in six different colours. £80; Tel: 01455 293 100 July 2013 | boutique. | 31


Pure Olympia London, 4-6th August, Stand T244 For further details please contact – Sigal Distribution Tel: 01784482888 Email: sigal@sigaldistribution.com

WOMENSWEAR \ SPIRIT \ FOOTWEAR ACCESSORIES \ BODY \ JUNIOR FREE BUYER TICKETS AT WWW.PURELONDON.COM QUOTE BOUTIQUE AND SAVE THE £20 ENTRANCE FEE

sales@WISConline.co.uk Tel: 01842 819464 Pure London August - Stand P96

32 | boutique. | July 2013


Handmade – Short Order – Sizes 8-24

Contact Maine Trading: 01625 529529 info@mainetrading.co.uk SHOWING IN LONDON & MANCHESTER www.olvistrend.com


ADVERTORIAL

Not just a pretty face Komodo is a real trailblazer for trend-led fashion created in an ethical way

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wenty-five-year-old independent womenswear label Komodo successfully combines trend-led fashion with eco-friendly practise. The original vision of founder Joe Komodo was to offer ethically-sourced products and a fair deal for the entire supply chain, which still remains true to this day. The brand combines environmentally friendly fabrics such as organic cotton, rayon, soya, bamboo and tencel with dressmaking techniques used by local craftsman from around the globe. Launching this month at trade shows across Europe, Komodo’s forward order SS14 collection draws inspiration from ‘50s Americana and Monet’s Giverny Gardens. A sunny colour palette of pale yellow, tangerine, sky blue and

crocus pink hints at a colourful sunset in tropical climes. Meanwhile, classic black, optic white, ivory and rose nudes act as a neutral base for the collection’s bolder hues. Vintage-style prints and vibrant colours appear alongside classic Breton tops, relaxed linen trousers and tencel denim dresses. Silhouettes have been inspired by the feminine shapes of the late ‘50s with gathered waist details, pleats and tulip skirts that flatter and create curves. Lastly, for high summer, large tropical blooms in a muted colour palette and Japanese flowers flow over fitted shirts, peplum tops and loose-fitting shirts and dresses. Wholesale prices range from £9 to £40. CONTACT: Tel: 0207 722 3523 Komodo.co.uk

Scandi style Cool Danish label White is the go-to brand for easy-chic fashion

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anish label White launched in 2003 for fashion conscious and time poor women wanting clothes that could be “dressed up or down at the drop of a hat.” Led by design director Frederikke Hyiid, its classic-yet-contemporary signature combines wearable pieces that make a high fashion statement. Showing at Garguz Studio in Central London and Copenhagen Fashion Week, White’s SS14 collection is split into three drops with each featuring its own unique styles, colours and prints. Drawing inspiration from Scandinavian summers, ‘20s nautical, Coco Chanel and mermaids, it delivers a palette 34 | boutique. | July 2013

inspired by nature with sky-blue, dark water navy, desert sand and red sky at night. Prints continue the same theme with one featuring bare branches before the first spring blooms, another with waves and sand on a beach and lastly, a graphic print of a mermaid’s scales. Silhouettes have been reworked from the ‘20s and ‘50s with flapper dresses and loungewear-style pyjamas. Meanwhile, side seams have been moved forward to create a delicate shape and lengths at the back are longer to emphasise the female form. Wholesale prices are around £45 per piece. CONTACT: Tel: 0207 487 3070 E: info@garguz.net


ADVERTORIAL

Quality control Stalwart label Frank Walder helps boutiques keep their stock fresh with its ever-changing collections that arrive throughout the year

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ith a heritage that spans over six decades, German womenswear label Frank Walder offers quality fashion for all occasions. Focused on appealing to the modern woman, the brand’s design team combines high quality fabrics and details with cutting-edge workmanship to ensure the best fit for customers. The brand was originally a blouse specialist run by a team of eight. However, over the years it has grown into a complete collection of separates, dresses and outerwear, which has cemented its position as an international brand with

400 members of staff worldwide shipping millions of pieces to a network of 2,000 stockists. Offering boutique owners an ever-changing collection of fresh and exciting pieces for their customers, Frank Walder delivers six collections each year via 12 seasonal drops. Its best sellers are also available in-season so stockists can rest assured that they’ll be able to replenish key lines. Meanwhile, with such a vast choice of options on offer, its forward order collections are ideal for indies that want to inject fresh stock into their store all through the season. CONTACT: Tel: 0207 636 4207 Partnersinfashion.com

16a Newman Street – London W1T 1PB T: + 44 (0)20 7636 4207 E: sales@partnersinfashion.co.uk www.partnersinfashion.com

July 2013 | boutique. | 35


See our stunning new collection at the NEC, Birmingham this season. MODA Accessories (11-13 August) - Stand N18 Autumn Fair (1-4 September) - Stand 4G70

www.suziebluejewellery.co.uk

Discover the Magic We have been busy developing the new collection, so we will not be at PURE this August. You can still view the exciting new styles, all with our unique body-shaping technology, by contacting Sally Allen-Gerard on 07768 816420 or email sally@wizardjeans.com

Short order delivery options are available as well as any other buyer’s needs. We’re now on TV too! Check us out on ITV3, Sky Living, More4, Really and the Style Network.

www.wizardjeans.com Boutique page_ Ad.indd 2

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21/6/13 13:34:31


BRAND PROFILE

Forever in style Brit brand Sahara combines unstructured silhouettes with unique and luxurious fabrics

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thically responsible womenswear label Sahara appeals to the 40-plus woman who wants to look feminine, stylish and individual. The brand’s unique signature, created by Suzy Coppersmith-Heaven when the label launched in 1992, combines unstructured dressing with high-end fabrics that aren’t easily found on the high street. “We create chic, wearable collections for the real woman, no matter her dress size,” says the founder. “Our customers are more style conscious than fashion conscious and our focus is on longevity – Sahara’s pieces are designed to last far beyond just one season.” The concept is becoming increasingly popular: like-for-like sales for SS13 have seen a 71 per cent increase on the year before while the brand is currently stocked by more than 120 indies in the UK. “It’s rare that a stockist fails to return to buy the collection once they’ve tried it,” says 38 | boutique. | July 2013

Coppersmith-Heaven. “Our customers are extremely loyal to the brand.” Launching this month, Sahara’s SS14 collection will hit boutiques in three waves, with the first drop arriving in December. The line will see the introduction of luxe fabrics such as colourful printed silks, chiffons and textural jacquards. Lightweight knits and jerseys as well as tonal layering are key across the season. Meanwhile, pretty neutrals are accented with highlights of bright corals and citrus tones, which inject a youthful colour story throughout the season. Despite being previously very linendriven for summer, the brand has introduced a wider variety of fabrics for SS14 in response to the changing weather patterns. New materials for SS14 include textural tweeds, cashmere jerseys, nautical stripe jerseys and pretty seersucker linen blends in addition to Sahara’s signature linen groups. There’s also an emphasis on special occasionwear for early spring, which

sees playful, fluid pieces in pastel shades, cornelli embroidery on crepes, antique floral washed jacquards and vintage printed linens. But the brand isn’t solely focused on its clothes. Coppersmith-Heaven says the team is dedicated to working alongside its stockists to help them create viable businesses. “We believe in working together with our stockists to achieve their target sell-throughs and nurture long-term relationships,” she says. “Our indie stockists report consistently high sell throughs, supported by our sales manager Kim Barlow, who fulfils repeat orders wherever she can. She will always try to swap out anything that isn’t working for a stockist, so independents are fully supported throughout the season.” So if you’re looking for an independent-friendly brand with an edge for the over 40s market, British eco-brand Sahara could be your perfect partner. CONTACT: Tel: 0207 483 8438 Saharalondon.com


Top Drawer London See over 700 leaders in UK and international design at Top Drawer, the final dedicated design-led trade event of 2013.

15–17 September 2013, Olympia, London

An Edited

Choice Olympia, London, 15-17 September 2013

We select only the best suppliers, the ones combining great design with commercial appeal for easy buying. Find products that sell, from 6 edited product sectors, to give your store a point of difference and be at the forefront of retail in time for the busiest trading period. Beat the high street in 2013 and visit Top Drawer in London, the design capital.

Register today for free & save £20 www.topdrawer.co.uk Gift | Fashion | Home | Stationery & Greetings | Children’s | Wellbeing


DOWN TO BUSINESS A helping hand for fashion indies

Decision time

S

SCOOP LONDON

ummer buying is becoming an even harder task for UK indies as they’re not only competing with the high street and online, but trying and to decipher the unpredictable British weather too. That’s why this month we’ve enlisted some of the industry’s best buyers and experts to create a definitive guide on choosing a winning edit for SS14. Don’t place any orders until you’ve read it – you have been warned… July 2013 | boutique. | 41


DOWN TO BUSINESS

How to buy better Don’t place any orders for SS14 until you’ve read our expert guide GET THE RATIOS RIGHT Failing to correctly analyse sales figures is one of the biggest mistakes a boutique owner can make when buying. “Buyers should be considering statistical information and mathematical data to fine-tune their sales forecast for SS14,” says Thierry Bayle of Global Fashion Management, a company that works with retailers of all sizes to help them plan better buys. “Boutique owners need to make sure that they don’t buy too much stock as discounting later will reduce profit. They also need to ensure that they don’t have too little so they don’t lose business; there should always be around two to three times more stock than sales. It’s a fine line but getting it right while ensure maximum profit.”

BUY BY CATEGORY, NOT BRAND While many buyers divide their budgets by brand, Bayle says that analysing previous sales by category and buying to reflect those figures is a far more superior method. “Buyers need to look at their business not as one operation, but as a series of micro businesses,” he says. “There isn’t just one profit centre to manage, there are many: in fact, you have one for each and every category you stock. Too many boutique owners analyse their sales according to brand. Buyers should actually be looking at how well dresses, skirts or accessories sell and then divide their budgets accordingly. This amount can then be spread across each brand. No label is strong in absolutely every category.”

STICK TO A BUDGET And this should help indies stick to a budget. Bayle says: “When you allocate one budget to a particular brand, it’s very easy to get carried away because there isn’t a clear structure of exactly what you should be buying. However, 42 | boutique. | July 2013

if you know you have a certain amount to spend on that brand’s dresses, it gives the process a more structured approach.”

KEEP STOCK FRESH Apparel has a sell-by date so presenting customers with the same stock from January to June will lead to stagnant sales. That’s why the experts recommend staggering stock injections over the season. “Indies must bring freshness into their stores regularly,” says Bayle. “Look at your stock levels and if you have more than three or four months’ worth at any one time you’re going to have potential problems. Customers want to see something new every time they visit your store. Therefore, it’s important to work with brands that can offer a series of drops throughout the season.”

OPT FOR COORDINATING LABELS The items you choose for every season should all work in harmony – this will not only make the store look more appealing but also aid sales. Jo Davies, owner of Black White Denim, says this concept has helps her store stand out. “We choose collections that all work together in an effortless fashion for the customer,” she says. Hauber’s Diane Sykes, meanwhile, recommends boutique owners cherry-pick each label’s strengths. “When choosing a label, the brand has to sit along side your existing collections – not only in style, but also price,” she says. “The key is not to cross over too much: all collections have their strengths and weaknesses so capitalise on that.”

INTRODUCE SUMMER EARLY With the high street entering the sales period increasingly earlier, one way to lengthen the time you can sell at fullprice is by introducing your summer stock early. “Spring/summer was

always known as the fail-safe season with six months to retail merchandise at full price,” says Sykes. “However our unpredictable weather has shown us that this is no longer a given and therefore certain changes have to be made in order to adapt. Retailers now should be seriously considering an earlier delivery. Many assume that they would not sell new merchandise early, but research has shown us that transitional collections are key with the highest sell-through percentage coming from these early programmes. Get this right in terms of colour and weights and these small capsules should give you a full seven months of selling at full price. With our seasons morphing into each other, this new way of buying should be embraced.”

HOLD SOME BUDGET FOR SHORT ORDERING Buying in-season is becoming more necessary for retailers that need to react quickly. “It’s impossible to be able to forecast what customers will want to buy next year 100 per cent accurately,” says Bayle. “So we advise retailers to hold back around 20 per cent of their budgets for short ordering. This will give them more flexibility and also help manage their cash flow.” Davis meanwhile reserves 30 per cent for in-season buys: “The climate is so unpredictable that we need to manage cash effectively and forward ordering can be painful from a cash perspective if ranges aren’t selling,” she explains.

EXCITE YOUR CUSTOMERS Involving your regular fans with your buying decisions can be a great way to gain insight into what will excite them and what won’t. “I always speak to customers when choosing new brands,” says Davis. “I even buy pieces from other retailers to show them and get feedback. They love to be involved


DOWN TO BUSINESS in the selection process and it makes us all feel like we’re on the same page style-wise.”

BUY TRANS-SEASONAL With unpredictable weather and the multiples going into sale seemingly earlier and earlier every year, buying trans-seasonal and classic styles for summer has never been more important for indies. “Buyers should be looking for more transitional weights such as fine gauge knits, light weight jerseys and season-less colours that can morph summer into winter and vice versa,” says Sykes.

INVEST IN SOMETHING NEW While most boutiques offer a range of core labels season after season, intriguing customers with something new can be a great way to keep them interested. What’s more, finding new brands that complement what your

store already offers – and what your customers want – will cement your position as a fashion authority. “I tend to introduce new labels every season,” says The Dressing Room’s Deryane Tadd. “It’s important to have newness and excitement in the store. However, this is only if I find something that I know my customers will love.”

FIND UNKNOWN BRANDS Increasing your mark-up as much as possible will ultimately yield more return. However, with so much competition from online shopping, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to command higher prices. However, according to Bayle, travelling further a field to bring in unknown labels is a great way to pull in a higher price point. “Boutique owners must be innovative and go out and find brands that will still make them money,” he says. “I’m not saying it’s an easy task

and there are pitfalls to look out for but finding something completely new will excite your customers and help you make more money – even if you go into an early sale.”

BE RUTHLESS If a label isn’t selling, don’t be afraid to drop it to make room for something new and exciting. “If all avenues are exhausted and still the sell-through percentage is poor, it is a clear indication that the product is not right for your customers and something has to change,” says Sykes. “The deciding factor on keeping a label is ultimately a good sell-through.” Tadd adds: “There’s no real reason to keep a brand that isn’t selling well – at the end of the day you need to sell what’s in store.”

PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS The high street may have many advantages over indies when it comes to buying – but don’t forget that boutique owners have a secret weapon of their own: the personal touch. “Successful buying is all about knowing your customer and tailoring your choices towards them,” says Tadd. “A multiple can’t do this as they don’t have that personal knowledge of their customer base.”

CALL IN THE EXPERTS But if you do feel that you’re struggling when it comes to buying for today’s climate, enlisting help from experts could help you unlock your business’s real potential. Global Fashion Management’s Open to Buy plan is affordable for most retailers (costing from £250 per month) and offers guidance on all aspects of the science behind buying including ordering the correct amount of stock for the right time (Globalfashionmanagement.com). “What our clients value the most is that they have somebody who can give them a clear direction and force them to focus on key priorities of the business with numbers,” says Bayle. “The issue for many small business owners is remaining focused on the most important issues and this offers them a real way to achieve their goals.” July 2013 | boutique. | 43


ADVERTORIAL

Summer style D.by Swing nails daytime chic with its SS14 dress collection

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erman label D.by Swing has unveiled a trendled collection for SS14 featuring a range of pretty daytime dresses. Ideal for wearing to the races, weddings and garden parties, the line offers customers a range of options for every event and occasion. Boutiques buying into the collection will receive five drops that will be staggered from January up until the end of April. Each boasts its own colour palette that has been designed to run from early spring through to high summer with tones ranging from white, black

and red through to navy, white and aqua. Key pieces within the collection include a tomato red wrap dress with a flounced neckline and half sleeve (also available in black, brown, navy and aqua colourways), a chic jacquard shift dress, and a bright cotton summer dress in a geometric print. Wholesale prices start from £30 per item while minimum order is three pieces. CONTACT: Tel: 0049 2853 86160 Swing-modelle.de. Buchanan Agencies Tel: 0289 048 7770 E: Buchananagencies@ btconnect.com

The neck’s best thing Rew Clothing puts a new spin on accessorising with its luxe collection for AW13

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ome grown accessories brand Rew Clothing offers women a quirky way to update any outfit in an instant. Its chic and contemporary collars are a modern alternative to the traditional scarf and stocking them helps give boutique owners an edge over the high street. Using varying textured and weighted fabrics in a range of colours and styles, the brand adapts the same concept each season to delivers fresh ideas for its stockists. The concept has been such a success that it supplies over 150 indies in the UK and exports to seven countries around the world. 44 | boutique. | July 2013

For AW13, the short order brand is moving forward into the premium sector with the use of luxurious wools and metallic materials. Drawing influences from the glamour of a night out in Paris, the collection features a reworked version of Rew’s popular Francoise scarf, laser-cut and drape versions that can be adapted by the wearer to create bespoke looks as well as a new chevron-print design featuring flashes of gold or silver. Pieces cost from £18 each and the full collection will be launching at next month’s Pure London (stand T63). CONTACT: Tel: 01827 58006 Rewclothing.co.uk


pomodoro Spring 2014

Showing at: Who’s Next, Paris Hall 7.1 Stand G58/H59 Pure,Olympia London, Stand L101 Moda UK, NEC, Birmingham, Stand I15 SIMM, Madrid, Hall 12, Stand 12E08 Tel: +44 20 8961 4000 Email: info@pomodoroclothing.com www.pomodoroclothing.com


ADVERTORIAL

Sensational summer Feminine colours and easy-wear silhouettes reign supreme in Amari’s SS14 collection

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ith a focus on easy-chic pieces in vibrant fabrics, Amari’s ethos is to help “women look great with minimum effort.” With this in mind, its design team creates flattering styles and comfortable fits with fabrics that are easy-care, good quality and affordable. The brand’s collection for SS14 centres on a bold and fresh colour palette mixed with super-girlie floral and micro-ditsy prints. Colours include chalky shades of green, blue, sherbet lemon and pink lemonade that sit alongside bolder high summer hues such as vibrant scarlet and popsicle pinks.

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Silhouettes are flowing and wearable with the use of jersey and viscose blends through to woven rayons and textured knits. Meanwhile, trans-seasonal styles such as relaxed tunics that can be worn through the seasons make a sound investment for indies. The average wholesale price for the collection is around £14 per piece while the minimum order is £500. Amari will present the collection at next month’s Pure London (stand J50) and Moda (stand J31). CONTACT: Tel: 01566 779 477 E: sales@amaridesigns.co.uk Amariuk.com


brand profile

Bella Italia R

Bring the spirit of Italy to your store with contemporary womenswear label Elisa Cavaletti

egularly featured by Vogue Italia, global fashion brand Elisa Cavaletti offers totallook collections with a continental and cosmopolitan style. The label launched in 1989 by Giuliano Cavaletti and, with the creative vision of his wife and head designer Daniela Dallavalle, it has developed into a highly sought-after collection in 35 countries worldwide. Its ethos is “a way of being and not only dressing” – which it says has led to it develop as a lifestyle brand rather than a pure fashion label. “Our corporate idea is not tied to only selling a product, but rather to attempt to offer a sensorial experience,” says Cavaletti. “This is not restricted only to purchasing due to need, but also for the pleasure and desire to feel at ease with oneself and in the world.” Rather than following trends, Dallavalle creates classic pieces that customers can use to create timeless wardrobes they can add to each season. All made in Italy, the brand uses several luxurious fabrics in one garment alongside a seasonal colour palette that gives buyers the option of up to 15 shades per style. The addition of hand-sewn and handcrafted buttons, Swarovski crystals and quirky trinkets creates a striking and individual look for women of all ages. Showing at this month’s Moda, Elisa Cavaletti’s SS14 collection evokes Italy’s warm summer sun and laidback lifestyle. The line is split into five themes including Ciao Amore and Senza Fine while its colour palette includes warm corals and red against turquoise, beige and lilac. CONTACT: Tel: 07876 333 397 E: joyredfern@me.com. Ireland Tel: 00353 1429 5440 E: sales@ bellinacreations.ie Elisacavaletti.com 48 | boutique. | July 2013


July 2013 | boutique. | 49


ADVERTORIAL

Denim dreams Denim specialist JQ delivers the perfect jeans for every customer

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nternational denim specialist JQ has reworked key styles from its archives that span over the past three decades to create a bold jean line for SS14. Founded in 1978, the premium brand’s Italian-made garments are famous for their quality fabrics and flattering fits that come in both high and mid-rise options. Its signature Cosmetic Sculpting technology provides a feminine fit that shapes and sculpts the body while remaining comfortable and wearable for everyday. Reinventing fabrics from the past is a key highlight for SS14, with standout styles including an all-over daisy print, stretch denim jacquards and coloured denims featuring delicate wovenin details. All of the materials

used are super stretch and feature innovative production techniques to guarantee maximum elasticity and continuous shape. Silhouettes and fits include skinny, slim, super slim, straight and cropped – meaning there’s a shape to suit all. Meanwhile, the colour palette includes vibrant summer shades of lime, aqua and lemonade as well as basic tones of black, blue marine and dark grey. In addition to its 200 stockists in Italy, JQ is available in more than 800 stores throughout the UK, Austria, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Switzerland. CONTACT: Tel: 01932 821 860 E: info@cover-version.co.uk Cover-version.co.uk Jqjeans.com

Fashioning art Fine art meets fine fashion in French collection Aventures des Toiles

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rench womenswear label Aventures des Toiles marries fashion with art to create striking and unique garments for each of its unique collections. Born a decade ago in Le Creusot, France, creator François Gadrey wanted to give life to the works of contemporary art he had fallen in love with. Today he still visits galleries around the world in search of new artists, choosing a total of seven paintings each season that will help inspire the label’s next collection. Stylists and technicians turn these original art pieces into threedimensional creations that women can wear everyday. Selecting a range of fabrics – such as cotton or velvet – to 50 | boutique. | July 2013

create varying finishes from the same painting, Aventures des Toiles’ design team uses the artwork as inspiration to produce beautiful garments that are completely unique. Wholesale prices for the collection range from £21.50 for tops and t-shirts up to £99 for outerwear. The new SS14 line will be showing at the Leap N Link fashion showroom on 151 Great Titchfield Street, London, from 1-8 August. CONTACT: Tel: 0161 713 1803 E: info@leapnlink.co.uk Leapnlink.co.uk


INDUSTRY VOICE

All mapped out Rachel Parkin reveals how collaborating with other small business owners has helped put indies back on the map in the multiple-dominated city of Peterborough

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hen I penned my first column on collaboration back in early May, Mary Portas was being projected on the small screen every week and the demise of the high street was big news. While I don’t think that Portas got a fair crack of the whip, at least she kept our high streets in the media spotlight – which

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can only be a good thing for the entire industry. “Throughout my previous article I advocated collaboration – but what does that mean in reality? Just to recap, our Local Indie Retailers group in Peterborough came up with a threephase plan to inject some excitement into the town centre again. We decided to join forces and instigate this in a bid to combat the wavering footfall figures

we’ve been experiencing in our town centre for the past few years. “The first phase of the plan was to raise awareness of the issues on the high street and what we’re doing to target them. This meant starting a website and Facebook group as well as talking to all the local media and interested parties – of which there were a surprising number. “Phase two was to create a map of the city centre including all the independents in Peterborough. This was to promote our mix of independent retailers: the coffee shops that serve great coffee (and pay taxes), the local butchers that don’t allow horsemeat into the supply chain, the local boutiques that have something different so that we don’t all look the same, and the niche food retailers that have us thinking about what we’re actually preparing to eat. “The idea for the map was there from the very start of our group. We wanted a way to encourage tourism into the city centre, so that local people – who might once have chosen to go to another city – could easily see that there’s enough to do in Peterborough for them to choose it over another destination. We wanted to highlight to local people exactly what was on their doorstep. But most of all, we of course wanted to promote the local independent retailers who are often not in A1 locations. “Creating the map has been, to coin a much-used phrase, a journey. We underestimated the amount of time involved in the project; not just the physical matter of drawing the map, but also the meetings involved to keep everyone involved updated and to ensure we had the right information. “But despite the hard work, the launch of the map has lead to a lot of


INDUSTRY VOICE

positives. First and foremost, it gave us credibility as a group. We were asked to present our ideas at a local breakfast meeting in front of 130 local business owners. Later we were also invited to pitch to the council – plus we’ve had further meetings with other parties. “From the perspective of anyone charged with the growth and development of the city, it’s much easier for them to deal with a spokesperson of a group rather than a plethora of individual business owners. “We also had fantastic news last month when the council confirmed that it would print 10,000 of our Local Indie Retailer maps. These are set to go into local hotels, the tourist office, the passport office, bus and train stations and of course – to each of the businesses on the map. We’re hoping that this will reach as many local people – and visitors – as possible to not only promote our individual stores, but Peterborough as a great town to come and visit. “So what did we learn along the way? I’m sure you’re all desperate to

know… • It takes a lot more work than you’re expecting • The local media wants to support you – if you give them a good story • A can-do attitude can accomplish surprising results – even on a zero budget • Establishing credibility takes time – it’s not an overnight job • Relationships are really important – both within the group and with the wider stakeholders and the community. • The best is yet to come “For now we are planning a press launch for the map, which is going to include a photo opportunity and of course cake (preferably the map printed onto a cake). We hope this will bring us coverage in the local media and really drum up some interest in our town centre once again. “Mary Portas might be the ‘Queen of shops’ but she can’t save the British high street on her own – it’s up to all of us.”

Rachel Parkin is a jewellery designer and accessories wholesaler for the Balagan Group as well as the owner of Peterborough independent Reba boutique. July 2013 | boutique. | 53


ADVERTORIAL

Wanderlust Inspired by the British coast and exotic destinations, Nomads’ SS14 collection is the ideal holiday collection for both home and abroad

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ith its signature ethnic-inspired style, fair trade label Nomads is a high summer favourite for boutiques and consumers alike. Focused on versatile and easywear pieces with a unique twist, its one-off prints, attention to detail and flattering cuts are a recipe for success among women of all ages. Building on its reputation for ethically sourcing natural fabrics, the Cornwall-based brand’s SS14 collection features a ‘50s vintage feel with flickers of ‘70s bohemia. Floral and patchwork prints are key across its signature dresses, laidback tunics and flowing beach

54 | boutique. | July 2013

kaftans. Meanwhile, coordinating jersey tops and shrugs alongside organic cotton basics complete the holiday-perfect range. Showing at Pure, Moda and Autumn Fair, standout pieces include a ‘50s full-skirted cotton statement dress featuring layers of netting in soft grey with splashes of pink; a blue, white and grey tie-dye jersey sundress that’s perfect for the beach; and a flared pocket dress with an Eastern-inspired lucky hand print. Average wholesale prices are around £25 per garment while minimum order is £500. CONTACT: Tel: 01566 777 338 Nomadsclothing.co.uk


Crea Concept UK Ltd 34/35 Eastcastle Street 1st Floor, London, W1W 8DW Tel: 020 7 436 0631 Fax: 020 7323 1004 paulette@creaconcept.co.uk jade@creaconcept.co.uk www.creaconcept.com

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T: +49 2131 4019694 E: info@kamuflage.de www.kamuflage.fashion123.de July 2013 | boutique. | 55


ADVERTORIAL

Welcome to the fold Cocorose London mixes style and practicality in its SS14 collection

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ward-winning boutique footwear brand Cocorose London specialises in elegant, foldable ballet pumps. Its luxurious footwear is perfect for women on the go and offers a chic and stylish alternative to high heels.

Founded in 2007 by Janan Leo, the label began in the markets of East London and has since grown into a luxury lifestyle brand stocked by boutiques and department stores in over 40 countries worldwide. Cocorose London’s core philosophy of ‘modern luxury’ incorporates elements of style, comfort and functionality. The brand has become renowned for its revolutionary and signature foldable ballet pumps, and more recently for its pioneering ‘Made in Britain’ initiative. Showing at Pure London (stand KFO163) and various other European trade shows, Cocorose London’s SS14 collection marks a new departure for the brand exploring new territories and trends in design

Cashmere * Cotton Wool * Jersey * Velvet

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and colour. Look out for sequinned blue smoking slipper Bond Street, which features Liberty Art Fabric and a contrasting suede trim, the woven effect Clapham and the leopard print Balham with a pink trim and bow. Styles cost around £35 each while the minimum order is 20 pairs. CONTACT: Tel: 0208 829 8919 Cocoroselondon.com


One of the UK’s largest suppliers of wholesale handbags, fashion and evening bags, available in array of colours and styles. Plus the latest wallets, purses, jewellery, accessories, womenswear and occasion wear. Minimum order: £100. Guaranteed next day delivery Visit us at: JLE Unit 1, 54 Derby Street, Manchester, Lancashire M8 8HF www.jadelandenterprises.co.uk jon@jadelandenterprises.co.uk 0161 833 1166


ADVERTORIAL

Natural beauty Out of Xile enables buyers to create their own unique stories with its flexible made-to-order collections

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ffering feminine silhouettes, soft layering and tactile finishes for everyday luxury and special occasions, Brit label Out of Xile manufactures and garment dyes its collections to order so boutiques can create their own unique stories. The label, which was founded by Cathy Hewlett around 30 years ago, designs all of its pieces in Kent and London. The majority is then created in small local factories based in the South Midlands, exclusively using natural fabrics such as silk, cotton and fine linen that are dyed to each stockist’s requirements. Showing at Pure London, Out of Xile’s SS14 collection features over 80 easy-to-wear styles in textured

fabrics and intricate detailing. Buyers can select from a complete collection of dresses, separates and outerwear in their choice of colours from the brand’s palette of black, cream, heather, ice, ink, light pink, pebble, raspberry, white and willow. Standout pieces for SS14 include a bow-tie coat, a banded silk dress and an organza version with its own slip for added luxury. Prices range from £20 for simple tops to £150 for its detailed outerwear while there is no minimum order requirement and buyers can cherry-pick their own choice of styles, sizes and colourways. CONTACT: Tel: 0208 348 2448 Outofxile.co.uk

Designed and made in London – With so much love!! A brand new excitement!!!! See you at Pure on stand D5. For showroom appointments please call 0208 994 0242 58 | boutique. | July 2013


Handmade in england

Uniquely British brand Out of Xile launches its new Spring 2014 collections.

O

ut of Xile’s signature look is classically English, with timeless, understated elegance. And whether customers are looking for a gorgeous outfit for a special occasion, or simply for stylish everyday wear, the new Spring range offers hundreds of unique possibilities. The ten collections have the subtle palette of an English watercolour, bringing out the luxurious textures of the all-natural fabrics. There are over 80 styles, including coats, jackets, tops, dresses, skirts, trousers, knitwear and accessories, and each one is made in any of the season’s colours.

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Out of Xile is designed in London and Kent, then manufactured and finished in small factories around England. The brand only sells through local, independent retailers who know their customers one-to-one. Every stockist can choose their own individual story, and is assured of exclusivity. With no minimum order, and no restriction on styles, colours or sizes (every garment is made in sizes 10-20), Spring 2014 is showing at Who’s Next, Paris (6-9 July), and at Pure, London Olympia (4-6 August) – or call us for a personal, in-store appointment.

Out of Xile H a n dma de in e ng l a nd

enquiries@outofxile.co.uk www.outofxile.co.uk Cathy Hewlett or Anthony Packer 020 8348 2448

01/07/2013 22:24


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www.fcwholesale.com eaonplus presents our new arrivals of lovely Batik Prints and Embroidered Tie-Dye Sundresses and Airy Tunics in many styles and contrast colours. 3 Sizes to fit 14-to-20, 22-to-28, 28-to-34 Sold in small packs of 3 pieces per style per colour

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60 | boutique. | July 2013


SHOP TALK

Industry opinion

The beauty of independents HOOKS OF BRIDGWATER

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e all know the benefits of shopping with independent retailers, but do your potential customers? If you weren’t involved in July’s Independents’ Day and Independent Retailer Month, both campaigns are great way to unite with local indies to create hype and attract footfall. It’s time to pull out all the stops, inject some excitement into shopping again, and give consumers a reason not to shop online. Because if we don’t shout about the value of indies, who will?

July 2013 | boutique. | 61


SHOP TALK

Fresh thinking Two designers deliberate the ever changing needs of today’s consumers

“I think we’re currently in the most exciting time ever for retail. Anything is possible and the sky is the limit” Nick Leith-Smith is creative director for Data Nature Associates and has designed unique boutique interiors for luxury brands including Manolo Blahnik

“A

great retail interior design space should convey the message of the brand in a fundamental way. But it shouldn’t do this obviously – it should be multilayered to make it an intriguing concept for the consumer. “People today are spending much less time shopping in physical stores. A lot are opting for the convenience of online shopping – so when they do experience a bricks-and-mortar retail environment, it’s a real opportunity to capture their imagination and the spirit of the brand in a very fundamental way. For me that’s the most important part of retail interior design right now: it’s all about telling a story. In fact it is almost theatrical.

MANOLO BLAHNIK, HARRODS

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“The depth of boutique design has evolved so much that it’s no longer enough for retailers to have a minimalist interior and clothes displayed well. There’s so much competition out there that brands really have to compete with each other to capture the customer’s imagination. One of the ways they can do is with great design and by creating an engaging in-store experience. “One of the biggest fashion retail trends we’ve seen recently has been collaborations and pop-up shops. These in-store activities have injected some excitement back into shopping. Artists working with fashion designers can enable stores to communicate with another audience, which is all very interesting.

“I think we’re currently in the most exciting time ever for retail in terms of interior design. Anything is possible and the sky is the limit. “Creating unique stores is a slowly emerging trend for luxury brands. I’ve worked on the interior spaces for many Manolo Blahnik stores internationally, and each one has been completely different. I think that’s quite brave move for a brand – but I think this unique approach may be something we’ll see more of in the near future. “I’m not concerned about the demise of retail as we know it. I think there will always been a need to go out and see products. However I think the industry will probably evolve into fewer shops and more culturally diverse retail spaces. We are already seeing more experiential shops – and for me, that’s where the entire industry is heading.”


shop talk

“It’s time boutique owners pulled their socks up, opened a bottle of Prosecco and had some fun!” James Lakeland is the founder of his 13-year-old eponymous womenswear label

“T

here’s no doubt that it has been a tough time for the entire industry – but those of us that have got through the awful time need to move forward and be positive. “It concerns me that some boutique owners have become so cautious that they’re now boring and have no excitement whatsoever in their shops. They’ve lost all enthusiasm for what they do; they’re not holding events or creating an exciting atmosphere that customers are drawn to. People have to remember that most women love fashion and really like to shop and I don’t see that ever changing. But no one wants to walk into a shop to hear complaints about the recession or the weather and to see drab collections. It’s time that boutique owners pulled their socks up, opened a bottle of Prosecco and had some fun! “Boutique owners should be running events, leaflet drops, getting their shop into the local magazines, teaming up with charities and pulling a bit of business from the high street. It’s all about creating a buzz again and that’s been lost somehow. “As a brand, James Lakeland is helping indies separate themselves from the high street. Today’s customer has a lot of choice but what they’re not finding from the multiples is really beautifully made, unique fashion pieces at entry-level prices. A lot of women aged 30-plus are bored of what’s on the high street, so boutiques are in the right place to offer them something different and exciting. “The multiples do teen fashion

very well. However, we cater for the customer who’s ‘forever 30’. She might be aged in her 30s, 40s, 50s or 60s but she doesn’t want to dress like a teenager and she certainly doesn’t want to be frumpy either. We have evolved with this new way of thinking while still taking into account that they want flattering fits and sleeves – I think this

is a real niche that we are fulfilling. “Our customer doesn’t want to shop in Next, Debenhams or Primark; she makes her purchases with a conscious so finds our Italian-made high quality pieces appealing. She knows they aren’t made in Bangladesh by people who are paid 50 pence a day but by a brand that gives people full-time work and keeps the British economy going. “Not only this, the way the customer wants to buy fashion has changed. She doesn’t want to see just two collections each year – she wants new styles every month when she needs or just fancies buying them. That’s why we’ve introduced a new pre-season

capsule range. These lines comprise coordinating pieces – the first is a monochrome story offering amazing tunics with pin-tuck and ruching detailing alongside a black legging and cropped trouser. They help boutiques keep their stock fresh with a new story that can be put into the window and give the store a newness that will help get customers excited again. It also offers a great three to 3.2 mark-up – making it great for retailers. “Boutiques are worried about footfall at the moment as it’s really affecting their businesses. We’re seeing that those who’ve started on social media and are communicating with their customers are the ones that are doing better in this climate. Indies really need to tell customers what they’ve got these days and make them aware that they’re there – not everyone wants to buy online but you have to build good relationships with people to make sure they return. “It’s also important to build good rapport with suppliers. We work with our customers and help them with their businesses – if I have a piece in my own shop that a customer needs then I will send it to them. I also help our customers with events – we’ve held seven recently from Devon up to Scotland. We offer payment plans and swap items that don’t sell. But most of all, we offer buyers an amazing choice; boutiques can handpick their own amazing unique collections that no one else will have. “I know it has been a testing period for us all. But now is the time to remain focused, strong and positive but above all – exciting and fun.” July 2013 | boutique. | 63


SHOP TALK

“They say ‘the world is your oyster’ with online I couldn’t agree more!” Gemma Ward speaks to Coco Marie owner Jenny Garrity to discuss competition on the high street and online growth What’s the story behind Coco Marie? In 2005 my now-husband and I moved down to Cornwall for a fresh start. My family encouraged me to consider opening a boutique as it was what I’d always wanted. So I put together a business plan with my mum and secured investment from the bank and my family. Our first store opened in Truro in October 2006. But two years later, having had two children and seeing a downturn in retail in the area, we decided to move back to Buckinghamshire. Walking through Old Amersham High Street in 2009 I spied and fell in love with what is now our only bricks-and-mortar store.

How is business at the moment? We had a hugely positive start to the season in January and February (up on last year) then torrential rain and even snow really damaged sales in March and April, which were down on 2012. A styling evening in May however and several mail shot campaigns helped things improve and then we went into sale in the middle of June with just 30 per cent off SS13 stock. Overall we’re up on last year again and surprised how little current season stock we had to put into sale.

Why did you decide to sell online? We started our website nearly three years ago now and I’m so please we did. While it has been tough and a huge learning curve, we’ve had positive online growth. I enjoy the challenge of learning how to use the admin panel on our website; we have a company that supervises our SEO and makes 64 | boutique. | July 2013

major changes but I do all the day-today running myself and I really love the new challenges it throws at me.

What concerns do you have about the retail landscape? Competing with high street chains is incredibly tough. The multiples mark down early and can turn stock around at a speed that indies cannot compete with. Eight years ago an end of season sale was just that: now we are going into sale earlier every season giving us less time to make the margins we need. But while some indies hold off going into sale, we’ve found by doing that many customers have already spent lots of their budgets elsewhere. I was pleased to go into sale in the middle of June as we had a fabulous first week and managed to sell a lot of one-off items while creating a buzz.

How can indies help save the high street? I think there are some great campaigns and support networks out there to help indies stay open and save their high streets. Clare Rayner has been a huge support for indies and her campaigns are not only free to take part in but the resources on her website have also been a huge help for me. Taking part in her previous campaigns has helped me get the local press regularly featuring businesses in Old Amersham and bringing more trade to the area.

Have you had to evolve the business with the economy? When we first opened our doors nearly eight years ago now we could easily sell £320 crystal jeans or £500 silk

dresses. However, not only with the change in location but the downturn in the economy, our customers have definitely become more conscious of what they’re spending. It isn’t just the cost of the item – the costs of cleaning can really put people off. Many of our Scandinavian brands are machine washable so our core customer (who often has young children) can buy happy in the knowledge that if little Jimmy spills juice down their new top it can go straight in the machine. It may sound like a small thing but makes a huge difference to whether an item sells.

Have you taken part in any recent campaigns to boost footfall? Yes, I was the coordinator for both the Old Amersham Celebrate an Independent Christmas and the Independent Easter campaigns. The events definitely brought new people into Old Amersham and the support of our local press meant that we were in the papers a huge amount. I’m now regularly approached by the press to comment on local news.

How do you plan to continue to drive sales in the future? In store we will be running lots of events including a styling evening with a local stylist, sale previews and charity fashion shows. Online I plan to concentrate on building our web presence through social media. They say ‘the world is your oyster’ with online I couldn’t agree more!


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July 2013 | boutique. | 67


SHOP TALK

A very fashionable life Been there, done that, sold the T-shirt – and lots of other clothes too. After a lifetime in the business, La Belle Femme’s Rosemary Edwards is still full of fun, flair and great advice.

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fter 55 years in fashion, Rosemary Edwards has immense experience and knowledge. Even so, she admits she doesn’t always listen to her own advice. As despite running three shops concentrating on special occasion dressing, she believes that indies ought to have just one branch. With a shop in Chislehurst, Kent and another about 20 miles away in Tunbridge Wells, she opened a third in Pimlico, Central London, just last year. “I always said you should do one shop and do it well, but I get tempted. Having just bought a new house and 68 | boutique. | July 2013

By Eric Musgrave new car, I thought why not have a new shop too?” Edwards jokes with a twinkle in her eye. This sense of fun and her can-do attitude constantly comes through in our conversation, held in the staff room of Edwards’ impressive shop in Chislehurst. The owner points to a framed fashion page of a newspaper from 1968, the year she opened her first shop in the same parade, just a few yards from where we are sitting. “That was a nice Mansfield jacket, orange with cream sleeves,” she says, showing her amazing memory for styles she has sold over the years. “It’s


SHOP TALK all back in. We could sell that dress and jacket today,” pointing to another Mansfield ensemble from 45 years ago.

Starting early Before opening her first shop Edwards racked up 10 years’ experience in wholesale, having joined a Londonbased supplier of “women’s coats and mantles” straight from school, aged 15. In her mid-20s she went into partnership with Jill Jackson, a friend with a similar background. They started out with just £650 capital. Their tiny shop in Chislehurst was “no more than corridor” and the weekly rent was equivalent to £7.50. But a strong belief in their abilities, lots of favours from friends in the trade and shrewd buying kept the pair afloat. In 1974, Edwards bought out her partner, opened shops “here and there” near Chislehurst before giving it all up in 1987 to raise her two children, Matthew and Joanna. Her daughter now runs her own fashion agency as well as working in the family business. Today’s La Belle Femme is the result of Edwards’ return to the fray in 1999

after a 12-year break. Special occasion and mother-of-the-wedding outfits are the mainstays of the business with brands ranging from John Charles to Frank Lyman. “I believe in offering value for money, whether it’s £69 for a little dress or £1,500 for an evening dress,” she says. “I always say that I bought the best I could find. I buy well and my customers keep what they buy from us. A customer told me she is still wearing a dress I sold her seven years ago, but I had to tell her that is has actually been 14 years.”

The personal touch With a team of 10 staff members spread across the three shops, La Belle Femme is all about providing care and attention. “We have customers aged from 18 to 80 and we provide a very personal service, which I don’t see in many other shops these days,” she says. “One of the problems we have is not making the shops look too posh; we have to make them look inviting. Our customers are very loyal but they don’t always spread the word. One said that she never tells her friends where

she gets her clothes from because she wants to keep us to herself.” A FAB member for many years, the owner also has some words of advice for other independents. “Firstly, don’t start a fashion business without experience,” she says. “Be passionate about your collections, find a friendly bank manager and an honest accountant. Try and buy the freehold of your property. I bought my Chislehurst building in 1975 originally as a home for my parents. I opened it as a fashion shop when I returned in 1999.” She adds: “When you are out buying, if you have to think about buying a certain collection, leave it alone – if it doesn’t excite you it certainly won’t excite your customers. Choose your area carefully, then specialise and concentrate on it. And always remember that running an independent fashion business is hard work. It’s not playing about with clothes.” La Belle Femme is a member of the Fashion Association of Britain (FAB) Fashionassociationofbritain.co.uk

July 2013 | boutique. | 69


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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: enquiries@dynastyuk.co.uk W: www.dynastyuk.co.uk

Easton Design Studio Handbags, Travel Bags, Business Accessories, Wallets & Purses, Cosmetic Bags T: 01483 272309 E: info@eastonddesignstudio.com W: www.eastondesignstudio.com

Essay Collections Limited Brand: ART Contact: Momi / Ijaz T: 0207 636 2828 E: sales@essaycollections.com W: www.essaycollections.com

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

Eucalyptus Clothing T: 0207 740 6323 E: enquiries@eucalyptusclothing.co.uk W: www.eucalyptusclothing.co.uk

Eurostop Limited Contact: Phillip Moylan T: 020 8991 2700, E: Phillipm@eurostop.co.uk W: www.eurostop.co.uk

Extravagance Limted T/A Sarah Pacini Brand: Sarah Pacini Contact: Nazma T: 020 7636 1280 E: nazmac@sarahpacini.com W: www.sarahpacini.com

Fairground Fairground is famous for its signature freespirited knockout collections. The Fairground Fashion House releases 13 collections per year particularly with the injection collections dropping into Store every month. E: enquires@welovefairground.com

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

Funky Jewellery Ogmore Vale T: 01656842102 E: vikrevelle@funkyjewellery.com

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

Ingenue London T: 0207 247 7424 E: wholesale@ingenuelondon.com W: www.ingenuelondon.com

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: sales@jayleycollection.com W: www.jayleycollection.com

Kamuflage Brand: German Brand E: info@kamuflage.de W: kamuflage.fashion123.de

Komodo 77C King Henrys Road, London Womenswear T: 02077223523 E: tony@komodo.co.uk W: www.komodo.co.uk

Konplott Konplott is now one of the leading international fashion jewellery labels and continues to set world-wide trends. Konplott’s distinctive design signature appeals to women of all ages with each and every piece made by hand in limited numbers, every collection is exclusive. T: 01304 224288 E: seward@sales.konplott.com W: www.konplott.com

Laceys Footwear T: 0207 7390 398 E: michael@laceysfootwear.com W: www.laceysfootwear.co.uk

Leap N Link Ltd Brands: Leslie Monte-Carlo, Aventures Des Toiles Contact: Pierre and Bhavna T: 0161 713 1803 E: info@leapnlink.co.uk W: www.leapnlink.co.uk

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: sales@leonardo.co.uk W: www.leonardo.co.uk


SUPPLIER DIRECTORY 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: wholesale@madamrage.co.uk W: www.madamrage.com

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: dipalipatel0301@gmail.com W: www.mali-lacia.com

Maple Leaf Clothing Brand: Mo boutique T: 0191 2715588 E: info@moboutique.co.uk W: www.moboutique.co.uk

MDA International Brands: Lauren Vidal, Myrine, Indi and Cold, Angels Never Die, Just Be, La Bottega, Di Brunnella. Contact: Martin, Jacq, Hannah or Kate T: 01234 782900 E: office@mdainternational.co.uk W: www.mdainternational.co.uk

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: michael.dawsonfa@ntlworld.com W: www.mdfa.co.uk

Nancy Dee Pioneering womenswear label combining strong ethical philosophy with an uncompromising emphasis on style 50 Melgund Road London N5 1PT T: 07719 379 248

Nomads Contact: Shallon and Jo T: 01566 777 338 E: info@nomadsclothing.co.uk W: www.nomadsclothing.com

Olvis - The Lace Collection Olvi’s The lace collection is a mixture of modern classic and bridal fashion. T: 01625 529 529 E: info@mainetrading.co.uk W: www.olvistrend.com

Partners In Fashion Brands: Erfo, Frank Walder, Diktons, Just White, Kirsten, Michele, Monari, Schneiders, Seda, Tendenza 2010 T: 020 7636 4207 E: sales@partnersinfashion.co.uk W: www.partnersinfashion.com

Paraspar eCommerce Solutions Brands: Firetrap, White Stuff, Crew Clothing, Sweaty Betty, New Era Caps and Foot Asylum T: 0845 2305665 E: info@paraspar.co.uk W: www.paraspar.co.uk

Pia Rossini Womenswear & Accessories T: 02891 467999 E: sales@piarossini.com W: www.piarossini.com

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

Retail IT T: 020 8605 9768 E: robert@retailit.com W: www.cegid.retailit.com

Robert Ross International Brands: Luis Civit, Aldo Martin Barcelona, Lewis Henry London Contact: Stanley or Amanda T: 0207 323 2012 E: robertrossint@tiscali.co.uk

Ruby Rocks Footwear Beautiful shoes inside and out! Contact: Nadene Stevenson T: 07758 591995 E: info@uksole.co.uk W: www.rubyrocksfootwear.com

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: sally@sallydawes.com W: www.sallydawes.com

Sigal Distribution Fashion Jewellery. T: + 44 1784 482 888 M: +44 7958 446 208 E: sigaldistribution@gmail.com

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: kinsie.tcashowroom@gmail.com carl.tcashowroom@gmail.com W: www.tcashowroom.com

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: info@theabsolute.co.uk W: www.theabsolute.co.uk

The Business Octopus The right small business insurance at the right price, business insurance experts T: 0161 968 2041 W: www.thebusinessoctopus.co.uk

The VM Source T: 01780 761947 E: info@thevmsource.co.uk W: www.thevmsource.co.uk

Tina Taylor Brand : Tina Taylor Bradstock, Underway, Combe St Nicholas, Chard, Somerset, TA20 3NS T: 01460 65803 E: info@tinataylor.co.uk W: www.tinataylor.co.uk

Top To Toe 2 Graham Road, London Software Systems stephen@toptotoe.com 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: sales@voyageparis.co.uk W: www.voyageparis.co.uk

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: wembleyfootwear@hotmail.com W: www.wembleyfashions.co.uk

YM Fashion Co (UK) Ltd Brand: Yaccomaricard Contact: Pauline Wickens T: 0207 436 8576 W: www.ym-fashion.co.uk

To advertise on these pages please contact the team on

01795 509106 or email

boutique@cimltd.co.uk July 2013 | boutique. | 73


Professional Steamers

Why do so many fashion manufacturers & retailers use and recommend Propress Steamers?

Simple - because there is no faster and safer way to make stock and window displays look their very best. For more information

Tel: 020 8417 0660

Use your smartphone to scan the QR code and go directly to our website

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Boutique july 2013