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ISSUE 238 | MARCH/APRIL 2017 | £6.95 | MWB-ONLINE.CO.UK

DISCOVERING THE KEY TO SUCCESS FOR PREMIUM LEATHER BRAND JEKYLL & HIDE SHORT ORDER TRENDS TO ADD TO YOUR STORE’S OFFER FOR 2017 HOW BLOGGER EVENTS CAN HELP ELEVATE YOUR BRAND, BOTH ONLINE AND IN STORE


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MWB-ONLINE.CO.UK MARCH/APRIL 2017 | CONTENTS | 05

F E A T U R E S 10

Online Insider

Advice, news and issues online

12

Retail Insider

The latest in-store news

17

Product News

Rounding up the key stories this month

20

In-season stock

S/s 17 trend special

24

The edit

Accessories and add-ons to consider in-store

26

Proving its worth

Discovering the next step for leather label Jekyll & Hide

28

All in the detail

Footwear and accessories to consider this season

30

Moda People

Interviewing some of the newest signings at February’s Moda Gent

32

Moda in Pictures

Snapshots from the show

34

How blogger events can elevate your brand

How best to navigate partnerships with digital influencers

36

Making music work for your store

Karen Campbell discusses how music can affect your customers’ experience

38

Rockport ready for relaunch

Tom Bottomley discovers more about the brand’s fresh focus on the UK market

40

The X Factor

Cool retail spaces from across the world

R E G U L A R S 7 8 14

Comment News Interview

Ian Campbell-Smith and Shaun Sellings

42 45 46

Collective The Bottomley Line Last Orders With…

Jeff Abrams

Front cover:

Peregrine 01179 739 645


PREMIUM MENSWEAR TRADE SHOW 2 6 & 2 7 J U LY 2 0 1 7 | T H E O L D T R U M A N B R E W E RY

R E G I S T E R N O W AT J A C K E T - R E Q U I R E D . C O M


MWB-ONLINE.CO.UK MARCH/APRIL 2017 | COMMENT | 07

COMMENT E D I T O R Victoria Jackson victoria@ras-publishing.com — D E P U T Y

E D I T O R

Tom Bottomley tom.bottomley@btinternet.com — C O N T R I B U T O R S Isabella Griffiths isabella@ras-publishing.com Laura Turner laura@ras-publishing.com Christina Williams christina@ras-publishing.com — W R I T E R Rebecca Jackson rebecca.jackson@ras-publishing.com — D E S I G N E R S Michael Podger mick@ras-publishing.com James Lindley james@ras-publishing.com Clive Holloway clive@ras-publishing.com Richard Boyle richard@ras-publishing.com — S E N I O R

S A L E S

M A N A G E R

Sharon Le Goff sharon@ras-publishing.com — S U B S C R I P T I O N S Phil Cowley phil.cowley@moda-exhibitions.co.uk — H E A D

O F

M E N S W E A R

Silvia Collins silvia@moda-uk.co.uk — E D I T O R I A L

D I R E C T O R

Gill Brabham gill@ras-publishing.com — P O R T F O L I O

D I R E C T O R

Nick Cook nick@ras-publishing.com — M A R K E T I N G

D I R E C T O R

Stephanie Parker stephanie@ite-exhibitions.co.uk —

MWB is published 9 times per year by ITE Moda Ltd, The Old Town Hall, Lewisham Road, Slaithwaite, Huddersfield HD7 5AL. Call 01484 846069 Fax 01484 846232 Copyright © 2017 MWB Magazine Limited. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any written material or illustration in any form for any purpose, other than short extracts for review purposes, is strictly forbidden. Neither ITE Moda Ltd nor its agents accept liability for loss or damage to transparencies and any other material submitted for publication. Reprographics/printing Image Colourprint 01482 652323 —

A Buyer Series Fashion Business Publication MWB is a fashion business publication produced by ITE Moda Ltd. Other titles in the Buyer Series include WWB and CWB. ITE Moda Ltd is an ITE Group Plc company.

Sitting in an office reading and writing about the retail industry is very much the same as sitting in your shop wondering how your neighbours are running their business. It’s all very good knowing the facts, but it’s not the same as actually getting out there and learning about these businesses first hand. — Which is exactly why the MWB team have been out and about this season visiting independent retailers to discover how trade is really faring. Last month saw my visit to Stuarts London, a menswear retailer in the heart of Shepherds Bush. Celebrating 50 years in business this year, it was great to see how owner Ravi Grewal merchandises his store perfectly to inspire but not overwhelm the customer. With tablets placed around the store, if visitors can’t find a specific size or colour, they’re able to check there and then whether one can be found in the store’s extensive back office. And with an ever-growing online presence, which saw Grewal awake to over 200 overnight online orders on the morning I visited the shop, it’s clear to see Stuarts London is keen to stay ahead of the retail game. Which, let’s face it, is crucial to his success, with shopping destination Westfield London literally at the top of the high street he’s located on. Another retailer to constantly evolve and develop his offer is Steve Cochrane, owner of Middlesbrough indie Psyche. With incredible growth including a £500,000 extension over the last year, it was interesting to visit recently to see how its new backroom facilities are enabling the business to capitalise on its online success. With plans for a second photography studio to be built, and potential plans to expand the building further, it’s clear to see why Psyche is one of the country’s leading independents. Our next stop will be Harrogate, where we’ll be looking at how the key menswear stores are faring in the current trading climate. If you have an event or an anniversary you’d like to tell us about, then please do get in touch. We’re always looking for new stores to visit across the UK and yours could be next on our list. In this issue of MWB, we’re covering topics such as how in-store music can affect your customer experience (p36), and how blogger events can elevate your store’s presence both online and off (p34). If updating your POS offer is on your agenda, we’ve pulled together 10 brands worth considering for the new season over on p28, while on p20 we highlight four of the key in-season trends to buy instore this month. As always, do get in touch with any comments on this issue, or the industry as a whole, by email or tweeting the team at @mwbmagazine. Have a great month. Victoria Jackson Editor


MWB-ONLINE.CO.UK MARCH/APRIL 2017 | NEWS | 08

N E W S

JACKET REQUIRED ANNOUNCES SUMMER DATELINE

MODERATE RETAIL SALES REBOUND Retail sales volumes grew modestly in the year to February, having fallen in January, according to the latest CBI quarterly Distributive Trades Survey. The survey of 128 firms, of which 64 were retailers, showed that sales volumes are expected to rise again in the year to March, albeit at a slightly slower pace. However, the volume of orders placed upon suppliers fell over the year to February, having been stable last month, and a further decline is expected to be recorded for March. Sales for the time of year remained broadly in line with seasonal norms in February – for a second consecutive month – following aboveaverage sales in the final two months of 2016. The slight increase in overall retail sales volumes was driven by the clothing and non-store sectors, as well as other normal goods. Year-on-year growth in internet sales volumes slowed, although retailers expect them to pick up slightly next month. Overall, retailers appear to have become more cautious in their outlook. Employment fell at the fastest pace for two years, with a similar reduction in headcount expected for the coming months. Investment intentions for the year ahead also turned negative, following a modest improvement over the previous two quarters. Meanwhile, for the first time in four-and-a-half years, retailers expect their business situation to deteriorate over the next three months. The most significant factor driving this more pessimistic outlook was rising cost pressures. Higher costs are feeding through to inflation, with average selling prices increasing at the fastest pace in almost six years and prices set to rise even more rapidly next month. “The rebound in retail sales suggests that some of the recent gloom about a slump in consumer demand at the start of 2017 may be overdone,” says Ben Jones, CBI Principal Economist. “However, retailers remain cautious about their prospects, expecting fairly tepid growth in sales volumes against a backdrop of rising inflation that is likely to erode households’ purchasing power through the course of the year. As the impact of the weaker pound feeds through supply chains, retailers are trying to absorb some of the increase in their import costs through savings.” —

Leading UK menswear trade show Jacket Required will take place on 26-27 July 2017 at The Old Truman Brewery. With nearly 300 brands expected to present spring/summer 2018 collections, renowned industry insiders and co-founders Craig Ford and Mark Batista prepare to deal a strong hand of likeminded labels for the must-attend date on the international buying calendar. “From day one, Jacket Required was and is about hosting quality – not quantity. We established the show with 30 exhibitors as a place for buyers and press to meet prominent labels, and provide an opportunity to discover something new,” says Batista. “While each season we welcome further international names across casualwear, tailoring, sportswear, streetwear, denim, footwear, accessories and lifestyle product to strengthen the selection, our selection has always been carefully considered.” —

JW ANDERSON ANNOUNCED AS PITTI UOMO 92 SPECIAL GUEST JW Anderson will make his Italian debut at the 92nd edition of Pitti Uomo this summer. Named as one of the show’s Special Guests, the Irish designer will showcase his s/s 18 collection from 13-16 June 2017. “I’m honoured to have been asked to show at Pitti Uomo,” says Jonathan Anderson. “Florence’s aesthetic is beautiful, which will lend itself to being the perfect backdrop for the collection.” Lapo Cianchi, Pitti Immagine Director of Communications and Events adds, “We have been keeping a careful eye on Jonathan Anderson’s career for several seasons. Above all, we are drawn to the creativity and eclecticism he expresses in his collections that are further enhanced by high-quality manufacturing and by indisputable sartorial skill.” In 2013 the LVMH Fashion Group acquired a stake in JW Anderson; soon after, Anderson was appointed creative director of Loewe. —


MWB-ONLINE.CO.UK MARCH/APRIL 2017 | NEWS | 09

NEWS IN BRIEF

FURTHER GROWTH FOR CHANNEL JUMPER

MEET THE MANUFACTURER TO HOST SEMINARS

Founded in 1976 and famous for its traditional Guernsey knit, Channel Jumper is looking to rebrand its position within the market for the new season, following interest from a younger, more ethically focused demographic. “Our aim is reach a delicate balance between the tradition that underpins the basic foundations of our jumpers whilst also appealing to more modern customers,” says Chris Kronwitter, owner of Channel Jumper. “We are noticing an increase in younger customers who are discovering the benefits of traditional, natural, sustainable clothing and believe we have an important contribution to make for those environment-conscious customers." The new season also sees the introduction of brand new colourways, with the Alderney available in both Corvette and Burgundy, as well as the addition of Burgundy to the brand’s Guernsey range. —

This year’s Meet the Manufacturer – the sourcing event exclusively for UK manufacturers of apparel, textiles and homeware – will include a new series of free seminars. Taking place throughout the two-day event, which runs on 24-25 May at The Old Truman Brewery, London, the drop-in seminars will explore ‘partnerships, production and provenance’ in UK manufacturing. “One of the key reasons for coming to our event is to network, not only with manufacturers, but also with industry peers,” says Kate Hills, CEO and founder of Make It British, the campaign for the return of manufacturing to the UK and organiser of Meet the Manufacturer. “These free drop-in seminars will provide the perfect opportunity to explore all aspects of the industry, with an inspiring line-up of speakers offering advice based on their real-life experiences.” —

VICTORINOX ANNOUNCES APPAREL CLOSURE

RICHARD JAMES EMBARKS ON AMBITIOUS EXPANSION PLANS

Swiss brand Victorinox will discontinue its apparel business at the end of 2017, with the final collection being s/s 17, with the exception of Japan, which will conclude with the a/w 17 collection. “Our apparel business has provided a meaningful and enriching experience for our brand for well over a decade,” explains Carl Elsener, CEO, Victorinox Group. “Our priority, however, is to strengthen the brand’s position in the ever-changing global market. To achieve this, we must focus on our key categories which best reflect our customers’ needs.” The brand's clothing collections were first available in the US, then were gradually distributed in selected markets such as Japan and the UK, as well as in the brand’s own retail stores in Switzerland and Germany. —

Luxury menswear label Richard James has announced its strategic partnership with New York based investor Charles Cohen to facilitate the brand’s international growth strategy. Cohen has acquired the majority interest in the brand, and will assume position of chairman. Sean Dixon, who co-founded Richard James, will continue at the helm of the brand as managing director. “Myself, Richard James and Toby Lamb, who will continue as design director, are incredibly excited about this once in a lifetime opportunity to propel Richard James further on a global level,” says Dixon. “Charles brings a vision that matches our own and the wherewithal to accelerate our plans.” Cohen is the owner of Cohen Media Group, an independent film production and distribution company, as well as real estate holdings of over 12m sq ft of properties across the US. —

IDRIS ELBA LAUNCHES SPORTS LINE WITH SUPERDRY Superdry has once again teamed up with British actor Idris Elba to offer a dedicated sportswear line following the release of his Discovery documentary series, Idris Elba: Fighter. Showcasing a blend of technical and athleisure pieces, the line will sit alongside the core Idris + Superdry collection. The line takes inspiration from the actor’s own wardrobe and Elba’s signature cobalt blue detailing will feature throughout. Reflective stitch detail, space print graphics, super soft-touch fabrics and secure branded zip pockets give a sport-tech feel to the range – which features outerwear, versatile tops and athletic joggers and shorts. — THE BOX LAUNCHES IN HACKNEY A new sample sales concept, The Box, will launch at retail destination, Hackney Walk, in east London at the end of the month. A multimedia events space, The Box will host a curated calendar of premium events and retail initiatives including weekly pop-up sample sales from luxury brands, workshops, launch events and exhibitions. Located opposite Burberry’s outlet store in Chatham Place, The Box provides an independent platform for emerging and established designers. Further collaborations include YMC, Folk, Birkenstock and more to be announced. — INTERACTIVE SHOP WINDOWS FOR TED BAKER British lifestyle brand Ted Baker has launched an interactive store window as part of its s/s 17 ‘Keeping up with the Bakers’ campaign and 360 shoppable film experience. Created by Nexus Interactive Arts, a division of Nexus Studios, the displays will be active across select stores throughout the UK and Europe and will encourage passers-by to literally immerse themselves into the seemingly utopian world of The Baker family. By placing their hands onto palm print window sensors, passers-by will have their image composited into an element of the window set. The windows have integrated the very latest Computer Vision technology to track a person's face, and, without a greenscreen environment, composite their face into scenes with The Baker family. — GRANT TO HELP SMALL BUSINESSES GOES GLOBAL A £20,000 grant to support businesses to go global has been announced today by FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp, the world’s largest express transportation company. Through the Small Business Grant, FedEx aims to help SMEs across the UK to realise their international potential and reach a global consumer market. The contest provides an opportunity for businesses employing up to 99 staff to realise their international ambitions. Entries are open until 4 April, with finalists requested to provide further details of their plans to go global to a panel of local business experts. To enter the FedEx Small Business Grant small business owners must register online. The competition winner and runner up will be announced on 9 May. Two tiers of grants will be awarded in the UK: a grand prize of £20,000 and a runner-up prize of £10,000. —


MWB-ONLINE.CO.UK MARCH/APRIL 2017 | ADVICE | 10

ONLINE INSIDER Advice, news and issues online.

ADVICE: KEEPING UP THE CONVERSATION 24/7

JULIEN HERVOUET, CEO AND FOUNDER AT IADVIZE

With shoppers researching and buying products around the clock, it is now more essential than ever to be available to assist them whenever needed. It is, indeed, astounding that in this digital age, so many retailers continue to operate within restricted opening hours, alienating many of their biggest spenders who work during these times. So how can you effectively keep up conversations around the clock, answering questions when needed, and remain on-hand to help the customer along their purchasing journey? The answer lies in conversational commerce which have been adopted by a host of forward-thinking fashion brands and retailers looking to both reduce volumes of incoming emails and improve customer satisfaction. By ensuring that the brand experience is seamless for the customer, no matter what channel or device they may be using, retailers will encourage greater loyalty and conversion rates. Successful conversational commerce platforms need to achieve a careful balance of automated response and human interaction. By using a mixture of machine and human interaction, retailers are able to provide round-the-clock assistance, efficiently managing a sales person’s time to deal with more complex issues, while chatbots can quickly respond to easier enquires, such as store opening times. Our recent research shows that 75 per cent of online consumers want support at some point in their buying process and a fifth of these (19 per cent) said they most need customer service support when they first look up a product. This demonstrates the need for fashion retailers to react to customer queries promptly, at the time of most convenience to the customer, and start conversations right at the beginning of the buying process. As the retail world becomes more complex through technological advancement, retailers need to ensure they are agile enough to keep up with the shifts in customer expectations and demands. By simply being on hand at any time to answer customer queries and assist with buying journeys, retailers will ensure that they are not missing out on conversion opportunities and aren’t damaging customer relationships or discouraging lucrative brand loyalty. —

NEWS

FARFETCH LAUNCES FARFETCHOS

FIRST

TECH

EVENT,

Online luxury retailer Farfetch hosts FarfetchOS, its first panel event in the world of tech this spring. Taking place on 12 April at the London Design Museum, key speakers for the debut event include William Shu, founder and CEO of food delivery app Deliveroo; William Kim, CEO of AllSaints, and Maria McClay, the Industry Head of Fashion at Google. The aim of the event is deliver thoughtprovoking discussions on ways in which disruptive innovation is influencing and forming the fashion industry and what the future of luxury retail may look like. “We believe that the future of luxury fashion will involve the physical store and will be augmented by digital platforms, making a variety of unique, customerfocused experiences possible,” says José Neves, Founder, Co-Chairman and CEO. “FarfetchOS will host discussions that will delve deeper into this, and we are thrilled to announce some of the event speakers, together with our research partner Bain & Company who will explore this intersection of physical and digital retail.” FarfetchOS is an industry event only. For further information visit www.farfetchos.com. — DIGITAL TAX SET TO BE INTRODUCED TO HELP HIGH STREET

WEB WATCH

WWW.TROUVA.COM Stemming from the meaning of ‘a lucky find’, Trouva is an impressive online collective of independent boutiques from around the world. Spanning menswear to homeware, childrenswear and much more, the website shines the spotlight on featured shopping areas (this month includes Brighton and Shoreditch), all the while promoting artisan talent and handcrafted products through an easy-to-navigate website. —

In a bid to help revive the high street, Chancellor Phillip Hammond proposed retailers pay a digital levy in the recent Spring Budget. E-tail giant Amazon, for example, pays a small fraction of the rates of the high street-based groups, while it will see the total business rates bill for its nine main distribution centres in England and Wales cut by £148,000 to £11.3m a year. Smaller businesses, however, will suffer if said digital tax comes into place, with online start-ups, boutiques and fledging brands having to also deal with the doubling of insurance premium tax, automatic pension enrolment, the extra cost of living wage, the infrastructure levy and the revaluation of business rates. —


MWB-ONLINE.CO.UK MARCH/APRIL 2017 | RETAIL | NEWS & OPINION | 12

RETAIL INSIDER The latest news and opinion from the menswear retail industry. —

ADVICE COULD ONLINE SAVE BRICKS AND MORTAR? MELISSA WHEELER is a freelance fashion writer and industry commentator.

FLANNELS MAKES SCOTTISH DEBUT Luxury retailer Flannels will make its Scottish debut at Silverburn Shopping Centre, Glasgow, this spring. The 756m2 unit will be the brand's first in Scotland, offering a range of premium designer men’s and women’s designer clothing, footwear and accessories. In line with Flannels' aesthetic, the new store interiors will be spacious and minimal, allowing each luxury brand to display its own identity. Flannels was founded in Cheshire in 1976 and became renowned for introducing major UK and international designers to the north west for the first time. The brand portfolio includes labels such as Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Monclear and Jimmy Choo, alongside premium brands including Stone Island, C.P Company and Hugo Boss. The company now has 13 stores nationwide, and a further five stores due to open shortly, including a flagship in London. “With constant footfall and a strong reputation, Silverburn is the perfect place for our debut site in Scotland,” says a spokesperson for Flannels. “We are excited to share our collection of fantastic designer brands and continue our success across the UK.” —

NEWS IN BRIEF NEW LOOK MEN CONTINUES TO EXPAND High street fashion retailer New Look Men has launched at Frenchgate Shopping Centre, Doncaster. Taking a 3,500 sq ft unit, the new store opened in March and complements the existing 16,000 sq ft ladieswear store. Previously, only larger stores or those located in prime areas would offer the menswear ranges. This store launch marks the 21st site for ew Look's standalone menswear brand across the UK, with growth continuing at key locations. —

SUPERGA ANNOUNCES RETAIL GROWTH Superga has opened its new retail store in Westfield White City. Located on the first floor in Unit 2052, Level 2, Westfield White City, the 884sq ft store opened to the public on 1 March. The new location is Superga’s eighth retail space in the UK. Launching with the s/s 17 collection for men, women and kids, the store also offers its popular personalisation services, where artists are available to artwork trainers upon request. —

To say that the high street is suffering is to state the obvious. We need look no further than Next, who in January lost nearly a fifth of its value after a slump in festive trading. At the heart of the industry’s challenges is the rise in online shopping and the fall in the number of people venturing to high streets and shopping centres. The exodus to e-tailers has increased at a dizzying pace in recent years, leading some to pronounce the demise of retailing as we know it. But like many of the marketplace changes taking place, there are some surprising consequences. For example, there’s reason to believe that digital shopping could ultimately reinvigorate high streets. It’s true that the internet now accounts for about 14 per cent of retail spending in this country, with Brits spending more per person on e-commerce than almost any other developed nation. However, rather than leading to the high street’s demise, technology could lead to its renaissance. Investment in an online platform, supported by a targeted social media profile, and a click-and-collect service, can give smaller businesses an advantageous boost. Develop an online profile for your products and have them purchased online and then collected in store, where additional purchases are likely to be made. Your reach has been extended, your outlay minimal, plus you’ve added to your sales, rather than leached them from one of your properties. The uniquely convenient space for shoppers to collect purchases has not gone unnoticed by some e-tailers. In December, Missguided opened its first standalone store at Westfield Stratford City. With many bricksand-mortars hitherto complaining about the ‘showroom effect – ‘they come in, try on the clothes and then purchase online’ – maybe there’s an alternative ‘showrooming effect’ which some indies have yet to tap into. It’s a question of perception. www.melissawheeler.co.uk


MWB-ONLINE.CO.UK MARCH/APRIL 2017 | RETAIL | NEWS & OPINION | 13

SHOPPED: PAUL GRANT Since you relocated, are you now in more of a prime spot? We’ve only moved 500 metres up the road, but the footfall has increased massively. When tourism season starts we’ll hope to see a big improvement as we found that we were still getting good tourist footfall until November last year, and it’s picking up slowly now. We have some great things happening in Cleethorpes tourist-wise, and job-wise. It’s a boom town for renewable energy, so it’s got a lot of good things going for it. Also, Cleethorpes is a great place to be in the summer. Do you have any good retail tricks up your sleeve? MP Socks are a great product for us all year round. We don’t give discount but, if we get asked, we put in a pair of socks with a customer's purchase. The socks only cost us £3 a pair wholesale, though they retail for £9. Next time they come in they generally buy some more.

PAUL GRANT, OWNER, GRANTS 1856, CLEETHORPES

What do you have coming in that you think will really hit the spot with your local customer base? Pyrenex is a great brand, and I’m expecting good things from it. Also, Engineer Garments, Nanamica and Battenwear are all fantastic brands which we’ve brought in recently, but I think Pyrenex will particularly strike a chord locally. Other new additions for us include Les Basics and Napapijri. From a personal perspective, my favourite for this season is the Fred Perry x Art Comes First collection. —

JOSEPH CHEANEY OPENS LATEST STORE IN COVENT GARDEN

IN FOCUS: SEAGATE 58 HIGH STREET, HASTINGS TN34 3EN

ESTABLISHED: 2015 BRANDS: RAINS, NORTH SEA CLOTHING, FOLK, UNIVERSAL WORKS, KESTIN HARE, D.R. HARRIS, HAPPY SOCKS, HUMAN SCALES, SECRID, REALM & EMPIRE, TRIPL STITCHED, NIGEL HALL, SANDQVIST, BAILEY OF HOLLYWOOD, SUNSPEL, FILSON

Premium footwear label Joseph Cheaney has opened its fifth store in the capital, located on Henrietta Street, Covent Garden. The 50 sqm store provides a clean and contemporary space for the brand, featuring high ceilings and large sash windows. Inside the front of the store provides a gallery for the footwear, while the pale colour palette of the space is contrasted by the inky blue of the lounge area towards the back of the store. A polishing station sits in the window bay, adding a level of theatre for passers-by and visitors to the store to watch. “The store is a contemporary interpretation of our craftsmanship and heritage, championing our skills and values through innovative displays and beautiful detailing,” says William Church, joint MD, Joseph Cheaney. “It's a statement store, not only for Cheaney, but for footwear retailing.” — NEWS IN BRIEF

Seagate opened its doors on 20 March 2015 in a move hailed by some as brave, others as mad. Hastings had not been viewed in a particularly sympathetic light for several decades, but there was more than a hint of change in the sea air. Fast forward two years and the shop is established and developing. Its location, Hastings Old Town, is now a vibrant centre for all things creative. There are many outstanding independent retailers in the Old Town but, prior to Seagate, the was very little for the style-conscious gent. Owner and director David Whitehill says: “In terms of apparel, we aim to offer quality and style with a difference, something offered in abundance from brands such as Universal Works, Folk, Human Scales and Kestin Hare.” Whitehill personally curates the collections each season, ensuring customers’ opinions are translated into buying decisions. He also has another part-time job for a local school. He says: “It’s not an easy situation, but necessary until the shop business can afford to keep me. Prior to this I worked in advertising in London for over 20 years. I’ve ventured into the menswear game for the first time at the tender age of 51.” —

H&M TO OPEN IN REDHILL Swedish fashion chain H&M is set to open a new store in Belfry Shopping Centre, Redhill, Surrey on 30 March. Trading across two floors, the store will cover 1,688 sqm of sales space offering women’s, men’s, Divided and kidswear collections. “H&M are delighted to be opening a new store in Redhill, Surrey. This location is an exciting opportunity for the brand to expand and bring our fantastic fashion offering to new customers,” says H&M’s country manager UK & IE, Carlos Duarte. —


MWB-ONLINE.CO.UK MARCH/APRIL 2017 | INTERVIEW | 14

INTERVIEW

IAN CAMPBELL-SMITH SHAUN SELLINGS

Ian Campbell-Smith and Shaun Sellings, joint owners and directors of Palladio Associates, set up their agency in 1990 with the aim to supply a new breed of contemporary designers to UK retailers looking for something fresh. Twenty-seven years down the line, they’re still going strong, with their business adapting to an ever-changing marketplace, as Tom Bottomley discovers. —

JOINT OWNERS AND DIRECTORS PALLADIO ASSOCIATES


MWB-ONLINE.CO.UK MARCH/APRIL 2017 | INTERVIEW | 15

Tom Bottomley: How did you originally start the business? Ian Campbell-Smith: Shaun and I were both working for British designers in the late 1980s. Shaun was at Ally Capellino as sales manager, and I was working with Sara Sturgeon. Then we decided to get together and launch this agency in 1990. Everything was very branded at the time, and we wanted to go against the grain. Shaun Sellings: When we started, Ally Capellino came with us. As an established contemporary designer brand, which was pretty big at the time, that was like the lynchpin to the start of it for us. We felt there was a niche in the market for an agency that looked after contemporary designers. — TB: Although you started with an established name, hasn’t it always been more about breaking new designers in the market for you? ICS: Yes, we’ve always concentrated on building up brands. Over the years we’ve worked with people like Orla Kiely and John Rocha. They are obviously well known businesses now. SS: We built them up to such a stage where it was really the launch pad for them to go on to greater things. With Orla Kiely, we built the business up to something like 10 times what it was when we started with it. Then they took it in-house, which was bound to happen at some point. With John Rocha, we took it to the level where he got the Debenhams deal. The rest is history, as they say. — TB: What percentage of your offer is menswear? ICS: Since the close of the s/s 17 season we brought in two new collections – Velour By Nostalgi from Sweden and Kilt Heritage from Italy, our technical outerwear brand – and further developed our offering from Rails from LA and our outerwear collection Rino & Pelle. All sit next to our mainstay brand Hartford and provide different product at competitive price points. We now have five solid brands for menswear and this is currently around 20 per cent of the business. — TB: How is the men’s side of the business going at the moment? ICS: Menswear has been positive and being at the shows certainly helps. This keeps us in the buyer’s mind and provides a reason for them to come in and see what we have to offer. Over the past two seasons we have grown Hartford so now we have more than 40 stockists across the UK,

and with our new collections we’ve had a really positive reaction. Velour by Nostalgi has a fantastic NOS program with outerwear, chinos, denim and shirting. This really helps introducing a collection into the market as accounts don’t have to place large forward orders and can maintain cash flow. — TB: How do you go about looking for brands? ICS: We’re led by our customers, really. We take feedback from them with what they are looking for, and we just go out there and try to find it. It’s what we’ve always been good at. It can be very particular, and driven by specific key items and looks. They may not be brands that have much longevity, but have the right product for the moment. Customers expect us to be able to refresh their offer the whole time. SS: Customers do always expect us to have something new, whether it’s a new clothing collection, accessories, or whatever. It’s what we’re known for, having the best of the next best thing. We save their legwork. — TB: Do you find it increasingly difficult to stay ahead of the game? ICS: I think the biggest issue is for us to stay relevant with what the market needs. We do that by having loads of young people working for us. We take note of what they’re telling us. We’ve seen a lot come round, and come round again, but we just have to remember that the people we’re employing haven’t seen it before and for them it’s fresh and exciting. — TB: How was the latest edition of Jacket Required? ICS: Jacket Required was good for us; it was important to have a presence there after a very great response from the summer and there was lots of positivity from buyers and a good buzz at the show. It was also great to introduce Kilt Heritage to the market at various shows throughout the season. — TB: How important are the trade shows to your business? ICS: They’ve been very beneficial for our business. We do Scoop with most of our brands, Pure with a smaller section of brands, and Moda with our more

commercial offerings such as Rino & Pelle and Vilagallo. SS: We physically can’t see everyone at the showroom – there are not enough hours in the day. We have an active canvas of nearly 400 customers on the women’s side, and then men’s on top of that. So, literally, if a smaller independent just wants to buy in to the Rino & Pelle collection, then it’s easier for them to do it at a show. But most retailers that come to the showroom buy in to a minimum of three or four collections, sometimes as many as 10. Some customers do their buy over two days and just literally work their way through the showroom. And that is what we want – we just want 200 of those. The plan is to be a one-stop shop, with collections that work together but don’t compete against each other. — TB: Do you still consider your agency to be very contemporary? ICS: I don’t think we’re as contemporary as we used to be. I think we’ve settled more in to the upper-middle market. We’re not working with the British designers we’ve worked with in the past. Overall our business has become a bit more commercial. SS: That’s been intentional though, because to get through that last recession, which was a nightmare, you simply had to have more commercial brands. I don’t know which agents in the UK market would say they worked through the recession by only working with high priced designer brands. If they were also selling throughout Europe and worldwide, then maybe. — TB: How have you found the season overall for the agency? ICS: We are happy with the season’s results, and particularly happy in the way our menswear offer has taken off. There is obviously some uncertainty over Brexit and whilst buyers have been vocally cautious, this hasn’t necessarily played out in terms of smaller orders. We find that retailers are on the whole taking it in their stride; they are looking carefully at end retail prices and making sure that their selections are compelling both in terms of look and price. —

“Menswear has been positive and being at the shows certainly helps. This keeps us in the buyers mind and provides a reason for them to come in a see what we have to offer.”


MWB-ONLINE.CO.UK MARCH/APRIL 2017 | PRODUCT NEWS | 17

P R O D U C T

HEART AND SOUL British streetwear label SoulStar Clothing has developed its offer further by introducing SoulStar Premium ahead of the s/s 17 season. An edgy yet versatile and affordable collection, the design ethos of the Premium range combines clean, sharp styling and sporty, retro influences. “We decided to launch the Premium range, in part, because our collection had evolved over the past few seasons and we wanted to allow that growth to continue,” says Warren Anderson, SoulStar’s brand manager. “SoulStar Classic has an established customer base and style with a distinct point of view. We wanted to protect that side of the business whilst giving the new design team an area where they could flex their muscles. In addition, our international customer base have been asking us to do this for a while now – and the time is now right. We’re currently looking at our distribution model and plan to deliver this collection outside of the SoulStar classic store plan. Whilst this is a younger collection, it’s still affordable, and we’d like to support the middle market with a collection aimed at them.” For further information call 01623 756644. —


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RADAR Spotlighting style

A TALE OF TWO CITIES

DIADORA

Enlist’s a/w 17 offering has two themes: New Masters and Nocturn. The first, New Masters, focuses on freshening up classic styles. Inspired by painters and explorers, the colour palette takes inspiration from the British Museum. Colours in the line focus around recreating stone, marble, bronze and wood carving effects. The Nocturn range centres around the exclusive nature of private clubs and offbeat hidden bars. A dark and moody colour palette features black at its heart, with stone, camel and buff neutrals serving as a contrast. —

ESTABLISHED: 1948 SIGNATURE STYLE: The brand’s latest collection focuses on bringing back its original 80s line. Revamping classic collection pieces, styles including sweatshirts, trainers and jackets reflect a retro 80s aesthetic. HISTORY: Company founder Marcello Danieli launched the brand with mountain climbing boots, followed by running shoes and then tennis shoes. During the 70s, an increased interest in athletics marked the brand’s venture into football products. Founded in 1948, Diadora has more than made a name for itself with its line of Italian sportswear in categories including football, tennis, running, cycling, rugby, athletic shoes, clothing and fashion accessories. However, the brand is gaining attention once more with its s/s 17 line, which sees the relaunch of many of its classic pieces from the 80s. Undertones of the decade are seen throughout the sports casual line, titled On the Bright Side. Key influencer icons including artist Charlie Barker, rapper and skateboarder Chuck Achike, model Sydney Lima, sneaker head James Magee, DJ producer Luke Storey and rapper Kodie Shane have been chosen to represent the brand for their ability to embody London’s streets. The collection presents timeless essential pieces, which have been inspired by the originals found in the Diadora catalogue. The B. Elite court shoe, a favourite among the younger generations since its release back in the 80s, is re-released in new colours for today’s audience. One of the brand’s statement pieces, the tracksuit jacket, is also updated and features contrast detailing in bold blue and red colour combos. —

PRECIOUS TIME Blood Brother and Guinness have partnered up to release a s/s 17 capsule collection. The collection, Time for Reflection, is an eightpiece range including bomber jackets, T-shirts, sweaters and trousers. Inspired by the idea of short passages of time and making the most of them, the collection fuses fashion with function. Luxury fabrics, gold detailing and slim silhouettes are used on velvet suiting. The brand has also reimagined the Guinness harp logo, which features throughout the line. —


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PRODUCT NEWS RETRO SPORTSWEAR Russell Athletic takes a different approach towards its a/w 17 collection, which sees the brand reject the 90s sportswear and streetwear trend. Opting to focus around classic looks associated with sportswear from the 70s & 80s, colours and styles are made to reflect the time periods. Contrasting colours such as red, yellow and grey are used on classic sweatshirts and T-shirts, while large brand logos and bold lettering add to the vintage feel of the collection. —

BEAT GENERATION For a/w 17, Original Penguin looks to iconic writers, poets and artists of New York in the 50s and the counterculture that they inspired. Drawing inspiration from the originality of these creatives and their anti-establishment approach to life and clothing, the collection includes an eclectic mix of options designed to challenge the classic look of the status quo. Pieces are reinvented to create modern and unique styles and feature subtle touches such as the use of different textures on the same garment, washed-out watercolors and unique patterns and prints. —

STYLE HIGHLIGHT

FRED BENNETT The latest collection from accessory specialist Fred Bennett comprises a mix of reworked classics and style staples. Featuring real leather, wire textures and semi-precious stones, the range is a modern fusion of functionality and style. Following the successful launch of its wallet and card holder, the brand is also releasing a new colour option. The real leather bifold wallets feature five credit card pockets, two large full length pockets for notes, four hidden multi-purpose pockets and one windowed pocket for a travel card, ID or photo. —


MWB-ONLINE.CO.UK MARCH/APRIL 2017 | IN SEASON | 20

PENFIELD £40 020 7720 5050

BELLFIELD £21.43 0844 477 4856

MERC £30 020 8838 2444

WEEKEND OFFENDER £56 01332 342068

JOULES SCOTCH & SODA £80.80 020 3137 3901

WRAP IT UP A coat for all seasons, the parka returns in lightweight and technical fabrics for s/s 17. Ideal for layering, this popular outerwear choice can be teamed with both casualwear and tailoring whilst travelling to the office. —

Unless stated otherwise all prices are wholesale

DIDRIKSONS £57 01275 390451

PARKA LONDON £81.50 020 7424 6889

DUKE CLOTHING £21 01869 835 2064


MWB-ONLINE.CO.UK MARCH/APRIL 2017 | IN SEASON | 21

NATIVE YOUTH £11.50 020 7739 7620

O’NEILL £11.70 01243 673666

WESC PRICE ON REQUEST 01271 865600

LUKE 1977 £14 01869 366580

FARAH £40 020 7580 5838

EARN YOUR STRIPES Horizontal or vertical, bold or Breton, stripes should be introduced to your store’s offer as a perennial print for summer. Statement stripes can found among streetwear labels, whilst subtle prints feature on granddad shirts and tees at the more traditional menswear brands. — Unless stated otherwise all prices are wholesale FRENN WOOD WOOD PRICE ON REQUEST 07447 531949

REALM & EMPIRE £13 01858 466729

ANTONY MORATO £21.80 020 7739 8560


MWB-ONLINE.CO.UK MARCH/APRIL 2017 | IN SEASON | 22

REMUS UOMO £29.50 0033 34567777

SCHOTT £144.50 0033 1415 86220

NOSOMNIA PRICE ON REQUEST INFO@NOSOMNIA.DK

GYMPHLEX £28 07412 538557

BUGATTI CHATHAM £43.75 01392 822981

WARDROBE ESSENTIALS When it comes to wardrobe staples, there are certain pieces that always stand the test of time – the leather jacket, the mac, the classic white shirt. These garments should create the core of your offer, building the perfect foundation to add more trend-led pieces alongside. — Unless stated otherwise all prices are wholesale

CHEAP MONDAY PRICE ON REQUEST 07734 961651

SKOPES £38 0113 240 2211

BLUEMINT £25 SALES@BLUEMINT.COM


MWB-ONLINE.CO.UK MARCH/APRIL 2017 | IN SEASON | 23

PAUL HEWITT RRP £49 B2B@PAUL-HEWITT.COM

BELLFIELD £9.26 0844 477 4856

NICCE PRICE ON REQUEST ADAM@NICCECLOTHING.COM

WESC PRICE ON REQUEST 01271 865600

CLAE £41 0033 9512 52344

CANDY SHOP Pink is having a moment in menswear, translating from the likes of Sibling, Louis Vuitton and Paul Smith on the catwalk, down to the high street. From bubble gum pops on statement sweats through to the subtle vintage pink washes on T-shirts, there’s a shade for every man. — Unless stated otherwise all prices are wholesale OLYMP AFIELD £26 020 3411 7341

ELVINE £13 020 7723 3211

NATIVE YOUTH PRICE ON REQUEST 020 7739 7620


MWB-ONLINE.CO.UK MARCH/APRIL 2017 | PRODUCT | 24

ANDERSON’S RRP £70 0039 5217 71256

STORM RRP £149.99 020 7874 6900

LIBERTINE LIBERTINE £35 020 8983 5691

THE EDIT Accessories and lifestyle products to complement your store’s offer. — SIMON CARTER RRP £49 020 8683 4475

BABETTE WASSERMAN PRICE ON REQUEST 020 8964 9777

MEN’S SOCIETY £7.11 01406 362633

JEKYLL & HIDE PRICE ON REQUEST 07557 332618

MIZZOLE £69 07983 629959


SS17

WWW.SLYDES.CO.UK

+44(0)207 739 7620

sales enquiries: holly@justconsultancies.co.uk


MWB-ONLINE.CO.UK MARCH/APRIL 2017 | PROFILE | 26

PROVING ITS WORTH

Photographs: Christopher Bailey, baileyimage.co.uk

Originating from Cape Town, leather travel accessories & lifestyle brand Jekyll & Hide has enjoyed considerable success in South Africa. Rebecca Jackson speaks to sales director Gary Bothomley to find out more about the origins of the brand and their experience since entering the UK market. —

The founder of Jekyll & Hide, Bernard Bultemier, has a personal passion for leather. As he started to travel more, Bultemier realised the need for beautifully crafted portable accessories to cater for frequent travellers. He began by creating a range of bespoke leather accessories for his individual endeavours, crafting every feature and angle based on his personal travel needs. Above all else was the quality of the leather. This would be the foundation on which the brand was to be built, and so in 2003, in Cape Town, South Africa, Jekyll & Hide was formed. Fourteen years later, with design and sales teams in Cape Town and London, the brand has established offices in Cape Town, London, and Sydney, Australia. Jekyll & Hide can be found in locations such as Paris, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Russia, Cyprus, Lisbon International Airport and now New York. Things have certainly progressed in the years since the brand’s conception, though it’s always been about the right kind of growth. “Our distribution policy is very tight so that we grow the brand with the right partners, to ensure the right message is delivered,” says Gary Bothomley, sales director for Jekyll & Hide. “This same strategy has been in place globally and has allowed us to keep control of the brand’s ethos.” Aiming the product at an international crowd, the brand shows at Offenbach in Frankfurt, Germany, Jacket Required in London, and is looking to display at Pitti Uomo, Italy this summer, positioned alongside brands such as Knomo London, Tumi and Barbour. Moving into the UK wholesale market five years ago, today the brand has approximately 35 accounts. The Bentalls, Fenwick and Samsonite Group in the main international airport terminals like Heathrow are among its key accounts, as well as select independents including Coes of Ipswich, Elys in

Wimbledon and Camp Hopson in Newbury, to name a few. The move into the UK, where the market is already very established, was challenging, admits Bothomley. With a strong existing supply of high quality leather labels, the brand found itself up against some tough competition. However, it didn’t take long to prove its worth, particularly once it got into a store with their instore bespoke fittings and point of sale concepts. “First and foremost, you must bring true value for money to each consumer,” says Bothomley. “Being part of a very saturated market, especially within the UK, our biggest challenge is brand education amongst both retailers and consumers. The key to overcoming this is communicating the elements of Jekyll & Hide that set us apart to potential retailers and customers, to instil faith in our quality, design and authenticity.” The range spans from backpacks, leather cabin trolleys and holdalls to leather belts, jackets and smaller travel accessories, as well as a line of tech briefcases. There are certainly pieces in each range that are quite specific, such as the Berlin range, which is a fashion forward range of bags. Whereas the Montana offering of briefcases, wash bags and backpacks exudes a more relaxed, casual look, and the Oxford line of briefcases, wallets and bags boasts a larger collection that caters to the smart professional. Technology infusions are an important part of the brand’s output, as seen in its RFID blocking technology, added into bags and wallets to prevent contactless fraud. “People are travelling much more, coupled with new technology becoming more frequently accessible to the public,” says Bothomley. “We wanted to create handsome, yet functional pieces for mobile phones, laptops as well as passports.”

Though the brand does not cater exclusively to one type of person, the typical customer tends to value quality, craftsmanship and authenticity. Bothomley says, “These words can be a little cliched, but really this is the ethos of Jekyll & Hide. People have been making shoes and bags out of leather for thousands of years, with some well-made leather items lasting for hundreds. It is this longevity and authenticity that we as a brand want to embrace with our high-quality materials.” As for the brand name, it came about after the first items were designed. Due to the full hide, naturally tanned leather, certain pieces took on a different and darker appearance, almost like an alternative personality, in honour of Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous novella. Since its conception, Jekyll & Hide has amassed a following from celebrities in industries including fashion, music and sport. The brand is set to expand on this later in the year, when it announces new ambassadors. So far, the brand counts Grammy award winner Gregory Porter, England rugby star Freddie Burns, model and influencer Ricki Hall and comedian Russell Kane among its list of fans. After a successful a/w 17 trading period, the brand has opened new accounts in Germany, Austria and New York. Launching into Wolf & Badger’s new store in NYC as well as Mosafer’s flagship store on 5th Avenue Manhattan, the brand has gained unprecedented foothold in the US and is expecting to continue rapid growth here during 2017. In South Africa, the brand has recently opened new retail concepts across Cape Town, and Sandton City, Johannesburg. As well as this Jekyll & Hide has recently introduced a range of footwear, which is expected to step into the UK market shortly – no doubt following in the successful footsteps of their accessory collections.


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PENROSE LONDON

NODUS

SLYDES

ALEXMONHART

KAPTEN & SON

DENHAM

AG’E-MES

NEUBAU

BOWLER & BEACH

WOODSTYLZ


MWB-ONLINE.CO.UK MARCH/APRIL 2017 | BRAND GUIDE | 29

ALL IN THE DETAIL Accessories and footwear not only finish off an outfit, but are also essential add-on sales for retailers. MWB takes a look at some of the brands and products sure to lift your in-store offer. — PENROSE LONDON

KAPTEN & SON

Acquired by Suffolk weaving mill Vanners in 2014, Penrose London continues to make all its ties and scarves in England, while its printed pocket scarves and knitted socks are made in Italy. Working as part of the Vanners factory means the brand is able to be more flexible, more experimental, and has hundreds of years’ worth of archive inspiration and weaving expertise at its fingertips. The new season will also see Penrose promoted as a gender neutral brand, with women regularly wearing the ties, scarves or pocket squares as neckerchiefs. www.penrose-london.com —

Kapten & Son was founded by three friends – Fabian Deventer, Johannes Theobald and Artjem Weissbeck – who met at university in Munster. Their goal was to create the perfect watch together:, one that would fit each and every outfit and occasion. Three years later, the company now employs over 50 people at three offices in Germany, Australia and the US respectively. Expanding into sunglasses a few seasons later, the brand is now a name to watch within the menswear industry. www.kapten-son.com —

NODUS Launched in 2013, accessory label Nodus focuses on wallets and cases which are elegant, tactile and intuitive to use. Each product is built to last, hand crafted from vegetable tanned leathers, incorporating innovative technologies and hidden design features. The brand uses a wide spectrum of leathers including waterresistant full grain, the densest part of the hide; top grain, which is lightly sanded to remove scars and blemishes, resulting in a softer leather; and vegetable tanning, using natural ingredients like tree bark. www.noduscollection.com —

SLYDES Slydes is a British footwear brand that has been hugely successful in the two years since it launched in response to the pool slides trend. Distributed in 30 countries worldwide including most of Europe, Japan, Canada, Thailand and Mexico, the brand is now stocked by ASOS, Urban Outfitters, House of Fraser and many more UK retailers. The s/s 17 collection now features Slydes’ own branded moulds, moving away from the super lightweight EVA injected to a much heavier PU, enhancing the product’s overall aesthetic and perceived value. www.slydes.co.uk —

ALEXMONHART Alexmonhart is a brand challenging demands for high-end streetwear, with a collection of accessories which combine functionality, elegance, modernity and variability. Produced in Prague using leather and hardware sourced in Italy, the brand puts the focus firmly on high quality and attention to detail. The Magnus (pictured) is a foldable day-to-night design, with padded back and several inside pockets. Functional and compact, it can be folded into a messenger bag with an extra strap. www.alexmonhart.com —

AG’E-MES Ag’e-Mes (pronounced Ag-ah-mey) was founded in 2016, with the aim of producing luggage and accessories that are robust but stylish enough for travelling the world. Marrying traditional, UKsourced materials with a contemporary gender-neutral design aesthetic, each piece is handcrafted on British soil. With an average wholesale price of £118, the brand is currently stocked in the likes of Burrows & Hare, Oxford and Arkin in Bristol. www.agemes.co.uk —

NEUBAU With product aesthetic and practicality in mind, eyewear label Neubau has introduced a range of eco-friendly glasses aiming to support our environment’s natural cycle and sustainability standards starting from the base material. Known as Natural PX, this new material is made from organically sourced castor seeds. The result is exceptional lightweight frames, flexible yet sturdy, making them a practical companion for an active lifestyle. The Natural PX frames are available in three styles, Bob, Dani and Valerie, in three colour options and available in two sizes. www.neubau-eyewear.com —

DENHAM Denim specialist Denham has made its foray into the footwear sector this season with the launch of its debut shoe collection. Crafted from premium quality materials and made in Portugal, the collection features two black leather biker boot silhouettes, a chuck boot in black or cognac and a Runner Mocc slip on and lace-up style. Crafted from 100 per cent vegetable-tanned horse leather, each shoe is finished with Denham’s trademark embossed scissor logo and lightweight moulded runner sole. www.denhamthejeanmaker.com —

BOWLER & BEACH Established by two brothers, Bowler and Beach is an affordable luxury beachwear brand for men, combining British style with Portuguese flair. Their aim is to create stylish, high quality swim shorts with distinctive prints and signature design details inspired by great times had in the sunshine. The Animals collection (pictured), for example, is made up of six distinctive, eye-catching prints, including lobster, octopus, elephant, seahorse, swallows and stag motifs. www.bowlerandbeach.com —

WOODSTYLZ Woodstylz was founded in 2012 from a desire to bridge the gap between designer sunglasses and a more sustainable way of approaching life, materials and fashion. Over the past few years, it has established itself as a passionate, sustainable accessory brand, producing high quality wooden eyewear that is durable, welltailored and comfortable. Based in the Netherlands, the brand combines minimalist design with craftsmanship and innovation, ensuring to apply an honest, transparent production process to every product made. www.woodstylz.com —


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MODA VOICES Victoria Jackson caught up with six of the newest signings in Moda Gent to discover how they are performing in the current market, the story behind each brand and what the new season has in store. —

GRANT ASHDOWN UK AGENT FOR SOLID

NASER MATLOUBI CO-FOUNDER, ARC MINUTE

JIM STOREY FOUNDER, SURF PERIMETERS

How is Danish label Solid currently performing in the UK? We’ve managed sales for Solid in the UK for five years now and up until this point we’ve actually only been stocked in ASOS. The brand does incredibly well on there and has seen real traction, but we decided this season we’d put more of a focus on the independent retail market, hence making our debut at Moda.

What was the kick-start for Arc Minute to give back to the less fortunate? Philanthropy in any form is embedded into our brand ethos; whether it’s by connecting people or donations, we like to make it a part of our daily routine. Alex, our co-founder, grew up in Ghana and watched people struggle with poverty on a daily basis. Even as a young child she understood that it was a personal duty that everyone should fulfil, so she ended up working with orphanages, children with disabilities and environmental projects. One of her main motivations was to give back to those less fortunate and use fashion as platform to do this, because it is core to her beliefs to do something good at the same time.

Being a brand new label to the market, how has Moda performed for you? Moda Gent, especially here in the Edit section, was such a success. I really enjoyed it and definitely think Surf Perimeters benefited in terms of raising awareness amongst the buyer community. It was also a plus meeting other brands which are at a similar stage of evolution and being able to share ideas with each other. I can’t imagine how much work must’ve gone into the show, but it’s been great to be involved.

Why did you choose Moda as the platform to showcase the a/w 17 collection? We considered a number of shows in the UK and decided that Moda was the right platform for us to attract that mid-level target market. Obviously we’ve brought an edited selection as the collection on the whole is extensive, but the brand offers some real wardrobe staples designed for the 25+ male such as the parka, the bomber jacket, flannel shirts and a strong denim offer. For example, we have five jean styles, including a skinny and a more relaxed silhouette, so there’s something for both the trend-led dresser and the more traditional guy. How has the show been for you? We hit 50 per cent of our target by the Sunday afternoon of the show and have had some great conversations with potential leads. This surprised us, to say this is the brand’s first trade show in the UK. The fact that we’re so commercially priced – denim, for example, averages at £40 retail – helps us, especially in a climate where retailers aren’t so forthcoming when it comes to trying new labels in store. —

How do you see your brand developing in the next five years? As a brand we’re always evolving and changing and in the next five years I would hope we have a solid stance within the fashion industry. We are involved with the music scene and working with upcoming UK musicians such as Dylan Williams and Audi0ComingSoon, supporting them through our social platforms and our contacts. Music is something that connects people and creates a community of young artists who have something to say along with a love for fashion, and Arc Minute gives them the platform and community to be a part of. How do you perceive the future of menswear? I think the future of menswear has so much to explore. We are in a new era of gender neutrality, exploration and creativity: designers are making and doing things that would not have been accepted before and it’s time to take advantage of this. There’s so much talent out there and events like these are great for showcasing it. —

Living in the city, what made you develop a surfinspired label? Surf Perimeters is a premium surf lifestyle brand designed to connect city and surf. It’s about work and play, the ying and the yang. I wanted to create a refined collection, which can be worn to commute to work, in the office or to the coast, which is why I have a mix of performance wear and more classic pieces like the blazer. What would say is your highlight of the collection? Our premium commuter rucksack and 40L wetsuit bag is definitely a key piece. Separate products, separate contexts, separate uses – but with an innovative modular design that means they can also fix together as one practical, highly technical travel bag. This interrelatedness underpins all products and sits at the heart of our identity. Fusing the cultures of city and coast, we’re not only breathing new life into the surf scene – we’re also opening it up to everyone who feels an affinity with it. —


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GARETH DENTON SENIOR DESIGNER, DML JEANS DML Jeans is a seasoned exhibitor at Moda – how has this edition performed for you? On the first day alone, we had surpassed the orders we wrote last season. Overall, we doubled our business at the show in comparison to August, with around 40 per cent of orders coming from completely new accounts. I think having a continued presence here each season has really worked for us. How many accounts do you have in the UK now? We’re in over 200 doors now which is fantastic. Our rebrand four years ago elevated us to another level and buyers really stopped to take notice. We have an NOS programme which helps indies, especially when the trading climate is so tough, and new innovation such as the Hydroless collection keeps us ahead of the competition. Can you tell us more about the Hydroless collection? We’ve developed a new range of denim through our own sustainable low-impact denim production. Our production facility based in Dubai has been set up to offer eco-certified production and washing. Replacing conventional methods with which we launder denim, we have created a product which utilises cutting edge technology such as nano bubble, ozone, lasers and low impact chemicals in sustainable denim production. The garments in our collection have significantly reduced levels of energy and chemical usage, have no hazardous discharge and require up to 95 per cent less water consumption in washing. —

ALICE PORRITT TRADE MARKETING MANAGER, UPPERCUT DELUXE When was Uppercut Deluxe launched? We’re an Australian brand founded 10 years ago. The brand was started by two best friends, Luke Newman and Steve Purcell, childhood friends with a love for barbering, surf and skate. Uppercut was born through a frustration at mediocre products that didn’t suit the vibe of their shop; this fuelled the boys to create something they would use and be proud to promote. They experimented with different formulas alongside their chemists for over a year before they were happy with their first product, the Deluxe Pomade. Is this your first foray into the fashion retail industry? There’s been a real barbering boom taking place over the last couple of years in the UK. We’re actually stocked in around 700-800 barbers nationwide so we already have an incredible following there, but our growth plan for the next year incorporates launching into menswear stores across the UK. We know that Moda is the biggest and best fashion trade show so it seemed like a no-brainer to exhibit. The show really hasn’t disappointed. We’ve invited people to have a free haircut so they’re able to test the products firsthand, which in turn has meant orders have been written and some great contacts made. Can you explain your ambassador concept? We have 16 global ambassadors, which will continue to grow as we develop as a company. We have a mixture of real-life barbers and everyday guys, from car mechanics to surfers, who we feel totally embody the brand. We create video content with all of our ambassadors and you can discover more about their lives over on our website. —

BEN MOFFAT UK AGENT, MIZZEN + MAIN What is your strategy for aw17 on entering the UK market? When working with retailers our plan is to position Mizzen+Main as a high quality, premium product range that differentiates itself from other products currently on offer. In keeping with the brand, our strategy is one of selective distribution, looking to drive exclusivity and desirability – which is key for long term, sustainable growth. This will also enable us to deliver strong service. Do you have a target number of accounts you’d like to open? We don’t have a target number of accounts in mind but we’d like to work with a good, but limited, cross section of independent and department stores that reflect and leverage the high quality retail distribution already established in the USA - for example Nordstrum, Saks Fifth Avenue, Rothmans New York. We want to select retail partners carefully; both communicating the premium status of the brand, and gaining strong sales channelled through a limited partner network of retailers. What makes this brand stand out in the current market? Mizzen+Main is an American clothing company that specializes in performance menswear. Launched in 2012, the idea for its signature product - a performance fabric dress shirt - came about when the founder and CEO, Kevin Lavelle, was working as a management consultant and noticed unsightly sweat stains on the shirt of a congressional staffer who’d rushed late into a meeting. Lavelle experimented with numerous fabrics, trying thousands of variations before finding the perfect combination that boasted the same technology found in performance athletic clothing, but that looked like a typical cotton dress shirt that you wear with a suit and tie. —


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MODA IN PICTURES MWB showcases its highlights from the 15th anniversary of the UK’s largest fashion trade show. —


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HOW BLOGGER EVENTS CAN BOOST YOUR FASHION BRAND’S VISIBILITY Kirsty Rockliff, online campaign manager for fashion retailer bonprix, reveals how best to navigate partnerships with digital influencers. — Thanks to the evolution of social media, the online fashion landscape is busier than ever. Brand awareness is no longer monitored with simple store numbers and advertising space, and instead, your company needs to be in the public eye and accessible to its customers at all times. But how can smaller brands compete with household names? What makes someone choose you over everyone else? One of the best ways for brands to promote themselves is to get active in the fashion blogosphere with an event. Bloggers are fast becoming influential forces in the fashion industry, cultivating online audiences of thousands, sometimes even millions, through blogs, tweets, and Instagram posts. Hosting a blogger meet and greet can lead to extremely fruitful relationships and grow your brand’s visibility with a massive return on investment. You don’t need to break the bank to host an effective blogger event; you simply need to arrange a day of activities that put your brand’s values at the heart of proceedings. Are you promoting cocktail dresses? Host a cocktail party! Focusing on winter coats? Arrange a photoshoot for bloggers to show off their style outdoors. Just a few mentions of your brand in a correctly timed post can gain you massive attention online. Here are four ways blogger events can help promote your brand: Taking you offline Many small businesses start online and take years to reach the high street, if they ever do. This can be difficult for fashion brands in particular, as it means potential customers are unable to try clothing on before they buy, which can impact uncertain shoppers. A blogger event gives your brand a true physical presence and brings your products to life in everything on offer – from a beautifully decorated venue to the activities you organise. By setting a theme for your event you can highlight a particular product range, and bloggers wearing those products provide your brand with a natural form of advertisement. Social interaction Competing with major brands can be incredibly difficult when it comes to social media. How do you cut through the noise and make sure potential customers are listening to you? By hosting an event,

you can concentrate and co-ordinate social interactions with your brand to make them more effective. For example, events run with dedicated hashtags can drum up posts before, during, and after the event takes place, to the point where the hashtag starts trending. Once this happens, not only does your brand become more visible on social media, it can also attract the attention of other bloggers you could potentially invite to your next event. Creating brand ambassadors The best people to champion your brand are those who wear your products and can encourage others to enjoy them as well. Many bloggers build huge online followings and post to them regularly through multiple channels, including Twitter and Instagram. Therefore, building a relationship with bloggers through an event can mean your brand becomes part of that regular communication. Whether it be a particular garment, accessory, or a gift given to them at your event, bloggers are likely to post about them (and therefore promote your brand) over and over again. Real endorsements Customers know the difference between a promotional advertisement and the authentic enthusiasm of someone who wears, and loves, a brand. Successful brands are relatable and personal, encouraging genuine endorsements from bloggers that act as glowing reviews. Nothing is more personal than taking time out of your day to treat others and truly get to know them, making blogger events your opportunity to create an experience they want to share with others. Bloggers work hard to give their following genuine and exciting content every time they read, so you know an endorsement by them is truly heartfelt. Bloggers are a massively influential network of people who develop themselves as personal brands and grow large online followings. Developing relationships with them can show potential new customers a personal side that other companies may lack – it all starts with dedicating the time to them and an event of any size shows that you care. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party for a room full of people, or treating a select few to a photoshoot, blogger events can boost your brand’s visibility and can create a wealth of future endorsement opportunities.


For trade enquiries contact t: 01376 532000 | e: sales@geckojewellery.com | w: www.geckojewellery.com


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ROCKPORT READY FOR RELAUNCH With the transition from Adidas Group ownership now complete, US-founded footwear brand Rockport is gearing up for a relaunch, as Tom Bottomley discovers from Rockport’s UK general manager, Richard Mazzega-Ward. —

Rockport has a fresh focus on the UK market and targeting key independents is part of the new strategy. With a new UK office and showroom for the freshly formed Rockport Group in Wilmslow, Cheshire, the brand is now in the hands of Boston-based investment firm, Berkshire Partners LLC, which owns 80 per cent, and New Balance Holding, which has 10 per cent (with the remaining portion owned by other investors), having been bought from the Adidas Group in early 2015 for $280m. Rockport’s UK general manager, Richard Mazzega-Ward, believes it’s a new dawn and there will be plenty coming from the brand to entice UK buyers to the merits of the Massachusetts-founded company, which has been around since 1971. Back then, it was father and son Saul and Bruce Katz who first hit the roads of New England, selling shoes out of the boot of their VW Camper van. Their vision, which continues to inspire Rockport products today, was to utilise innovative sports technology to create a unique level of comfort in dress and casual shoes. “The brand has been a bit dormant while under Adidas ownership,” offers Mazzega-Ward. “They were obviously focusing their strategy on the sports side, and with Rockport being a brown shoe business, they’d been looking to sell the company for a couple of years.” The Adidas Group inherited the brand as part of its acquisition of Reebok in 2005. S/s 17 is currently seeing the return of the

Umbwe boot, part of the Treeline Trek collection, and a style that was a firm favourite with terrace lads in the 1990s. A rugged, hard-wearing style with sports technology built in, it was a well received alternative to trainers. For a/w 17, however, a new line has been introduced as a move on from Umbwe, called Centry. Centry has the hiking boot style of the Umbwe, including moc toe, waterproof construction and oiled leathers. It’s a classic field boot re-imagined. The Centry encompasses many of the same sports technologies as the Umbwe, including Hydro-Shield waterproofing and truTECH design, to provide lightweight shock absorption. However, it also includes a removable moulded Ortholite footbed designed for superior comfort. The new a/w 17 collection includes the Centry Panel Toe boot, Centry Moc shoe and Centry PT boot. “The strategy is to at least double the value of the business over the next five years,” says Mazzega-Ward. “It’s a brand with great heritage, and it had a strong UK business in the 1990s and early 2000s, largely as a terrace brand. We’re going to relaunch the Umbwe boot potentially for a/w 18 taking note of the original shape and silhouette and looking to manufacture out of Portugal.” The target market is really the 35-plus male, including those who remember the brand from the 1990s and early 2000s, as well as those whose fathers would have worn it. “I think the brand has great potential and the future is exciting,” says Mazzega-Ward.

Looking back to the early archives for design inspiration is also something the brand is now doing. “We’ve got a couple of styles called ‘Prestige Point’ in the s/s 17 line which have been remade but on a Vibram outsole,” offers MazzegaWard. “They mirror the early styles that Saul and Bruce Katz drove round and sold to US independents in the 1970s, but we’ve given them a modern update.” The new 1,000 sq ft showroom in Wilmslow, with both men’s and women’s styles, means the brand can now focus on getting UK independents in to look at the brand with fresh eyes. Rockport is also now looking to appoint key agents to cover different regions. “We are already dealing with some of the larger regional footwear chains, such as Charles Clinkard, Thomas Rogerson and Johnsons Shoes, whilst growing the key account business such as John Lewis,” Mazzega-Ward explains. Rockport currently has a shop on London’s South Molton Street, as well as an outlet store in Wembley. But the brand is closing the factory outlet and is looking for a new flagship location to relocate to somewhere more suitable for the new strategy. Says Mazzega-Ward: “The footwear dynamics have changed from when we first opened there, so we are looking for a more suitable location. I think we may even be the last footwear retailer down South Molton Street.” A new London flagship store is therefore in the plans for either 2018 or 2019 – well timed to put Rockport firmly back on the map.


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THE X FACTOR Setting yourself apart from the retail competition is no easy feat, but a well-designed and innovative store concept can certainly help. MWB takes a look at some of the most stylish and interesting interiors from across the world. —

HUNTER, 83/85 REGENT STREET, LONDON A concept which has been rolled out across its flagship stores globally, British brand Hunter showcases its signature wellington boots on floor to ceiling shelving. “The Regent Street flagship was the first opportunity for customers to enter the home of this iconic British brand,” explains creative director Alasdhair Willis. “Lifting references from the British countryside and re-appropriating them for an urban environment delivers Hunter’s take on the traditional store concept and was designed to appeal to our diverse customer base.” The store also includes a 5m high LED screen as a backdrop to the staircase. —


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THE GOODHOOD STORE, 151 CURTAIN ROAD, LONDON Celebrating a decade since opening its doors on East London’s bustling Curtain Road, The Goodhood Store remains as unique and fresh as ever. Selling over 200 brands across menswear, womenswear, lifestyle and cosmetics, the store aims to redefine the idea of luxury living. Set in a stripped back environment, brands include Ben Davis, Needles, Our Legacy, Soulland, Tom Wood and of course, the store’s own label, Goods by Goodhood. “Our curatorial buying ensures every product has a story and relevance to our ethos,” say co-founders Kyle Steward and Jo Sindle. —

THE STORE, TORSTRASSE 1, 10119 BERLIN A light and open space, The Store is located within the lower levels of the private club Soho House Berlin, in the Mitte district. Spanning 30,000 sq ft, the store offers places to work and play built in to the space itself. “Everything is for sale, from the candle burning to the record playing to the sofa you sit on,” says Alex Eagle, the space’s creative director. “It’s like an open, shoppable home to hang out in.” Visitors can grab something to eat, or enjoy pampering at Barber & Parlour’s salon. There’s even a library, stocked by the London bookseller Idea Books. —

HACKETT, 193-197 REGENT STREET, LONDON Housed in an 8,934 sq ft space on Regent Street, the latest store from menswear label Hackett is the largest the brand has ever opened. Not only stocking the complete collection of formal and casualwear, the store plays host to a Beefeater 24 gin bar, complete with flannel covered stools, pinstripe sofas and smartphone charging facilities. And in keeping with the gentleman’s feel of the store, Hackett’s accessories room – its first in the UK – offers personalised monogramming. Quite the place to relax and enjoy a day of shopping and suit fitting. —

THE COOL HUNTER STORE, 142 COMMERCIAL ROAD, PRAHAN, MELBOURNE From the team that brought you inspiring interiors, designs, fashion trends, architecture and much more through The Cool Hunter website, comes The Cool Hunter Store. Part art gallery and part shop, everything in the store is for sale, from art, lights, books and fashion accessories, to homewares, gourmet foods and more besides. The curated selection of products is changed regularly so visitors have something new to browse each time they visit. The 260 sq m space is also used for events and launches, while The Cool Box, the brand’s own version of a customised luxury gift hamper, is available in store. —


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COLLECTIVE The people, the places, the products.

LITTLE BLACK BOOK SLOU RUA NOVA DA TRINDADE 22E, 1200-303 LISBON, PORTUGAL

SIMON SAYS I’m not a morning person. I never have been, and I am pretty certain that I never will be. I stumble about like a pantomime figure who’s been struck by a comedy frying pan over the back of the head. I’ve been known to pay considerably more for an afternoon flight rather than a dawn departure. However, ask me to give a presentation to a hundred unknown delegates at 10 o’clock at night with five minutes’ notice and I’ll be fine. So it must have been something pretty important that saw me up and about at 5.45 am today. I’d accepted an invitation from an old chum to a breakfast meeting at the House of Commons, given by the Genesis Group. I don’t know about you, but with a name like that, I was expecting a shadowy SPECTRE like organisation. Tanks of piranhas; white cats on laps, that sort of thing. Sadly, it’s way more respectable. It’s a parliamentary representation group of industry trade bodies. They send a delegate along, and then Genesis formulates wide ranging policy which they then present to ministers, MPs and Lords. Breakfast itself was quite grand and old school, with around 60 guests seated either side of one very long table. I was sat next to the Secretary General of the Federation of Engineering Companies, and next to her was the man from the Market Traders. It was a very varied bunch. Our guest speaker was the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling. He wasn’t bad, though fairly much toed the party line. No offcolour jokes; a smooth operator. Naturally Brexit dominated the proceedings, and the mood in the room was very split. Broadly I’d say that most were remainers, now trying their best to make the most of it. The most interesting discussions came from some of the other trade body representatives, many of whom have close relationships with their European counterparts. A common theme seemed to be that their initial anger, disbelief and hostility had abated and been replaced with a more pragmatic attitude. One of the other MPs there, Chris Davies, said that Europe had “stopped wanting to punish us”. If there was one aspect of the breakfast meeting that I took away, it was the mood of determination in the room. Determination that Brexit will work; that it’s with us now and we have to put the vote behind us and move forward. We shall see. — Simon Carter is the CEO of the eponymous brand and retail stores

Founded in 2013, Slou specialises in menswear, accessories and footwear. Situated in Lisbon’s popular shopping district, the Chiado area, the store was conceived with the objective of presenting unconventional brands and collections which deviate from the mainstream. Brands, products and a carefully curated music offering are selected based on how important they are to friends and owners André Lima and Alex Vinent. An international selection of labels are on offer in-store and via the transactional website. Visitors can browse the collections from brands including Japan-based Comme des Garçons, French label A.P.C, Swedish brand Our Legacy, German-based Frank Leder and Kind Of Guise, Italian label Barena and Danish brand Norse Projects. The store also stocks brands closer to home including Portuguese-based La Paz. Well-known brands are also on offer including footwear from New Balance, Converse, Nike and Vans. However, models only include special edition pieces that would be difficult to find elsewhere in Portugal’s capital city. —

PLAN B

MARK HUSTED Sales Director, Base London

From the age of 11, all I ever wanted to do when I left school was to join the Navy. — I joined the Sea Cadets and attended sessions three times a week. I have a long lineage of family members in the Royal Navy, so it always made perfect sense to follow in their footsteps. I loved being a Sea Cadet, and my experiences only amplified my obsession with the Navy. From ensuring my uniform was meticulously turned out for Sunday Parade and learning how to sail, to shooting rifles on indoor ranges, it was the life for me. I learned discipline and loved the escapism. The first opportunity I had to take to open waters was on a cross-Channel ferry heading off on holiday to France. You can imagine my disappointment when, after spending the entire two hours throwing-up over the side of the ship, I realised that despite my longing for the Navy, I was born ill-equipped for a life on the high seas. —


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CLOSET CONFIDENTIAL ROBERT EXCELL MANAGING DIRECTOR, THE GALLERY AGENCY When I was last in Tokyo in 2016, I picked up an orSlow denim chore jacket from Beams. I’ve always had a passion for meticulously crafted denims and, while I generally prefer breaking in dry denim, this jacket’s ‘One Wash’ technique is incredibly authentic. It’s triple-stitched for durability with tacked pockets, and I love the raglan sleeve detail. Back when I introduced the Haversack brand to the UK, there were very few Japanese collections with a specialist eye for archive-inspired tailoring like Haversack. Designed by Koji Norihide, the brand has always produced the most intricately crafted menswear classics with a fastidious obsession for sourcing the very finest fabrics and fixtures. My double-breasted officer’s blazer is a timeless articulation of Haversack at its best. In the last five years, the parka has become a wardrobe musthave for men across the world. I consider Nobis to be the doyen of technical outerwear. Completely waterproof, fully windproof and breathable, the Nobis Barry parka is the perfect jacket from the tundra to the tube. My wardrobe is replete with timeless classics, and my commando-sole Tricker’s ‘Bourton’ boots have been a staple part of my sartorial diet since I picked them up eight years ago on Jermyn Street. Another wardrobe favourite is Engineered Garments. I’ve been a fan of the New York brand for almost a decade. Clever updates of classic workwear silhouettes remain at the heart of the brand, which continues to surprise each season with its savvy fabric selections and playful use of texture and pattern. My most recent purchase is a Baracuta G9 Harrington for the summer. The last time I wore a G9 was 20 years ago; I guarantee that the G9 will still be as relevant in another 20 years. Lastly, there aren’t many modern denim brands getting it as right as Jean Shop. I first visited the shop during a retail tour of New York six years ago, and since then I’ve made an annual pilgrimage to the shop to update my jeans.

TOP TWEETS Paula L Wilson @paulalwilsonltd “The question isn’t who’s going to let me, the question is who’s going to stop me?” Inspirational words from #louiseguido #powerof10 @IoDNI I M L T @IanisNYLO SIBLING: gone, but never forgotten! Thanks for all those iconic memories siblinglondon… Matthew Pike @mat_buckets Emails, expenses, writing, editing, repeat Emma Watson @EmmaWatson From midnight NYC time, book fairies around the WORLD will start hiding feminist books to mark #IWD The New York Times Verified account @ nytimes 20 years ago, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” premiered. Who knew it would be so influential? Thierry Bayle @RetailFashion Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say and not giving a damn. - Gore Vidal Virgin Active UK @VirginActiveUK Want help finding a moment of calm during your lunch break? Join our Facebook Live, 12pm, with yoga expert @patrickcbeach #yogaeverydamnday Accent Clothing @AccentClothing Happy 103rd Birthday @PRSforMusic

SOCIETY THE PARTIES AND EVENTS FROM IN AND AROUND THE MENSWEAR INDUSTRY.

p PHUMZILE MLAMBO-NGCUKA, UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF UN WOMEN, WITH CALVIN KLEIN CEO STEVE SHIFFMAN, FOLLOWING THE BRAND’S SIGNING OF THE WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT PRINCIPLES. THE JOINT INITIATIVE OF UN WOMEN AND THE UN GLOBAL COMPACT COMPRISES SEVEN AREAS IN WHICH BUSINESSES CAN ACT TO PROMOTE WORKPLACE GENDER EQUALITY.

p BRITISH MENSWEAR BRAND BEN SHERMAN SPONSORED THE OFFICIAL WEINSTEIN BAFTA AFTER-PARTY AT THE PRESTIGIOUS ROSEWOOD, CENTRAL LONDON. THE PARTY WAS ATTENDED BY AN ARRAY OF GUESTS INCLUDING MODEL DUDLEY O’SHAUGHNESSY, WEARING BEN SHERMAN.

p ACTIVEWEAR BRAND COTSWOLD TOOK HOME THE PRESTIGIOUS ACCOLADE OUTDOOR FOOTWEAR BRAND OF THE YEAR 2017 AT LAST MONTH’S FOOTWEAR INDUSTRY AWARDS, WHICH WERE HELD AT THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE IN BIRMINGHAM.


MWB-ONLINE.CO.UK MARCH/APRIL 2017 | DIRECTORY | 44

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MWB-ONLINE.CO.UK MARCH/APRIL 2017 | 45

THE BOTTOMLEY LINE MWB deputy editor Tom Bottomley – our man on the inside of menswear.

FOR MORE OF TOM’S OPINIONS VISIT MWB-ONLINE.CO.UK

MENSWEAR BUYERS CLUB JOINS THE VILLAGE Connaught Village, in the heart of the Hyde Park Estate, is the latest pocket of London to get a makeover, and appealing to more mature chaps with style and money is high priority. The landlords behind Connaught Village are The Church Commissioners, and the intention is to reaffirm the destination’s fashion offering. Just like in the 1960s, the Village is still home to a great selection of galleries, studios, art dealers and designers, ranging from the traditional to the contemporary. So now there’s Menswear Buyers Club, launched by Neil Crowe, formerly owner of menswear independent Palmer for 22 years (before selling it to a former employee), and The Place London for Men, opened by Brown’s founder Simon Burstein, selling a hand-picked selection of designers and brands. This month also sees the opening of luxury men’s and women’s footwear and accessories brand Marion Ayonote. Connaught Village is being heralded as ‘the Hyde Park Estate’s luxury retail quarter and one of London’s hidden gems – an oasis of calm, near to Hyde Park and a short walk from Marble Arch and Oxford Street.’ The area also boasts restaurants such as Kurobuta, Stuzzico and Colbeh, and vino specialists Connaught Wine Cellars. It all sounds rather civilised, doesn’t it? Menswear Buyers Club owner Crowe says: “MBC is not a brand and does not buy heavily marketed menswear brands. The best way of describing what we sell is ‘contemporary classic menswear’ with an emphasis on quality retailed at a modest margin. The aim is to build a substantial list of potential customers and offer them, on a regular basis, different menswear products which have to be ordered but can be seen at the shop in Connaught Street.” Basically, if you don’t mind waiting, the more products ordered, the better the deal, hence the ‘club’ angle. MBC is operating as a normal menswear shop with some stock too, but the emphasis is on

p HACKETT AND FOX UMBRELLAS u MENSWEAR BUYERS CLUB

showcasing items that can be ordered, including suits, jackets, shirts and shoes. Says Crowe: “Our target market is the mature male who is not necessarily interested in fashion or brands, but who likes quality clothing, good service and great value.” Sounds like good old fashioned retailing to me. It may not quite be divine intervention but, with The Church Commissioners as his landlords, it could be that Crowe has seen the light.

HACKETT AND FOX UMBRELLAS READY FOR PIROUETTES IN THE RAIN Hackett has partnered with Royal Ballet soloist Eric Underwood to celebrate the launch of their newest premium range of macs and umbrellas in collaboration with Fox Umbrellas. Manufactured in London, the collection features six super light, water repellent, single breasted macs all cut in a classic and elegant style, complete with matching umbrellas. The ultimate combo for the man about town indeed. I’m not quite sure how the connection with Underwood came about, but the short campaign film, which can be viewed on Hackett’s website, shows the boy can move and the macs look sharp.

Definitely thinking out of the box, and yet more proof that savvy collaborations can do a favourable job for two brands. Now let it rain.

TO YOUR DOOR ‘BUTLER SERVICE’ LOOKING TO LAUNCH IN THE UK Shoppers with more cash than time on their hands could soon try on designer clothes at home or at work while the delivery man waits. Online fashion giant Yoox Net-a-Porter currently offers the ‘butler service’ to rich fashionistas in China, and is considering launching in the UK. After customers have ordered their selection online, a courier delivers the clothes and actually waits while they try them on and decide whether to keep them or send them back. The brand, which sells luxury goods on its site as well as handling flagship stores for designers such as Armani, would apparently only offer its service to EIP’s – that’s Extremely Important People to you and me. What is staggering is that although the EIP’s are just 2 per cent of its 3 million customers, they account for a whopping 40 per cent of its annual sales of £1.5bn. Now that’s worth hanging around for.


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LAST ORDERS WITH... JEFF ABRAMS Lifestyle label Rails personifies that signature relaxed Los Angeles vibe across both its men’s and womenswear collections. Isabella Griffiths catches up with self-taught entrepreneur and founder Jeff Abrams to discover the secret behind the premium brand’s success both in its native California and here in the UK. — Place of birth: Los Angeles Lives: Los Angeles Instagram: @thejeffabrams Website: www.railsclothing.com

What inspired you to launch Rails? I grew up in Los Angeles immersed in the arts: painting, sculpture, photography, and a deep connection to the aesthetics of fashion. I was always thinking about how to express myself through a visual medium. But it was really in my early 20s living in Europe where I began to conceive what would become the Rails collection – blending a sophisticated European aesthetic with the innate effortlessness of the Southern California lifestyle. How would you define the Rails style and how has this evolved over the years? At its core, the Rails brand reflects our Los Angeles home base. I wanted to add an element of indulgence to casual shirting, to see our customer from day to night. Most notably, the collection has grown from a category focused line to a truly contemporary lifestyle brand, rooted in luxe fabrications and our relaxed yet refined aesthetic. Each group adds a depth to the collection in texture, colour, and shape that can easily be merchandised back to our signature button downs for a complete look. You have a large celebrity following – has this helped build your business? Celebrity culture has been an integral part of our business, partly by choice and partly by circumstance. I started Rails at a time when celebrity influence was becoming exponentially more visible. Not only tabloids, but reputable fashion publications began covering celebrity lives and style. Soon after came the emergence and popularity of bloggers and social media channels which gave us a global audience. This celebrity following has been very organic. We have never paid anyone to wear our products or to promote our brand. They are

wearing the collection because they genuinely love the products. While it’s amazing to see influential celebrities in my brand, I now get more enjoyment from seeing more anonymous guys and girls wear Rails in their everyday life. I was incredibly excited the first few times I spotted Rails on my travels abroad. You’re very successful in the UK. Do you feel British consumers ‘get’ your brand? Absolutely. Rails resonates with the metropolitan London lifestyle, as well as the suburban, boutique customer. The UK fashion and PR industry is highly regarded, as the home base for numerous tastemakers and influencers, whom we are lucky enough to call fans – they have all contributed to our global brand awareness.

Where do you see the brand developing? Over the years, Rails has grown from a domestic, category driven line to a contemporary, global lifestyle brand and we pride ourselves on building strong and long-lasting relationships along every stage of the business, and valuing our international markets as much as our domestic market. With each season, we continue to evolve by elevating our fabrications, silhouettes and style sensibility. We are excited to further expand our denim, jersey and cashmere wool sweater knit capsules, and develop the men’s and children’s categories into complete collections. We will continue to define our brand voice through strategic PR outreach, retail partnerships, capsule collections, and our first Rails flagship store.


We are Loake www.loake.co.uk


GY M P H L E X . C O . U K

THE ESSENCE OF BRITISH SPORTSWEAR

MWB MAGAZINE MARCH/APRIL ISSUE 238  

MWB MAGAZINE MARCH/APRIL ISSUE 238

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