WOMENSWEAR BUYER wwb-online.co.uk MARCH/APRIL 2017 / ISSUE 263 £6.95
SITTING PRETTY CASHMERE FOCUS WWB’s pick of some of the best specialist brands around GREAT DANE Why hot label Mos Mosh is taking the UK by storm IN BUSINESS Experts share their top marketing and social media tips
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PRETTY LITTLE THINGS
Accessories and lifestyle products to brighten up your in-store offer
The latest innovations in foundationwear and lingerie
A summary of some of the most pertinent seminars at last month’s Moda
38/ A / W 17 – T H E H I G H L I G H T S 40/
CAPITAL OF FASHION
The biggest catwalk trends from London Fashion Week
45/ E T A I L C L I N I C
Expert e-commerce advice
THE LAST WORD
With couture designer Dahlia Razzook
08/ N E W S 12/ B A C K S T A G E 15/
Your views on the issues shaping the industry
16/ I N T E R V I E W With Kim Hyldahl, founder of Danish brand Mos Mosh
The key pieces channelling this season’s hottest trend to get in-store now
WWB takes a tour around FOS Fashion Marketing’s new Chelsea showroom
The best cashmere specialist brands in the spotlight
FRONT COVER: JOHNSTONS OF ELGIN
1 6 - 1 8 J U LY 2 0 1 7 SAATCHI GALLERY, LONDON S C O O P - I N T E R N AT I O N A L . C O M
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Editor Isabella Griffiths firstname.lastname@example.org Contributors Christina Williams email@example.com Victoria Jackson firstname.lastname@example.org Laura Turner email@example.com Writer Rebecca Jackson firstname.lastname@example.org Design & production Michael Podger email@example.com
Editor’s comment Isabella Griffiths
Clive Holloway firstname.lastname@example.org James Lindley email@example.com Richard Boyle firstname.lastname@example.org Sales manager Sam Chambers email@example.com Editorial director Gill Brabham firstname.lastname@example.org Portfolio director Nick Cook email@example.com Marketing director Stephanie Parker firstname.lastname@example.org Reprographics & printing ImageData Group 01482 652323
WWB 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 WWB 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.
So, another show and buying season is over and done with. Having spoken to many brands, agents and retailers recently, I was relieved that the overall mood was upbeat and positive, with the majority of people I saw displaying that very British “Keep calm and carry on” attitude. With Brexit, the weak pound, and consequently the much anticipated price hikes, I expected a much more cautious atmosphere, but many brands reported very healthy business for a/w 17, with retailers actively seeking out new and exciting labels, rather than sticking to existing brands or cutting back. That’s not to say that things are easy. But there seems to be a sense of cautious confidence around, coupled with the sentiment that everyone “just has to get on with it”. The economic and political climate remains challenging of course, and pressures on small businesses in particular are mounting. One key issue, and a contentious one for many years, is business rates. While many business owners as well as the wider retail and property industry had hoped that the Spring Budget would finally bring about meaningful change in the drastically unfair system, it did little to address the underlying issue, namely that the current taxation structure – which brings in £25bn a year for the treasury - is out of date and not fit for purpose, especially in an increasingly digital landscape. While Chancellor Hammond acknowledged as much, he only went as far as to say that the Government would set out
its reform approach before the next revaluation, which is not for another five years. In the meantime he announced a host of measures aimed at providing relief for those who are hardest hit by this year’s business rates revaluation. Key to this is a £300m fund for local authorities, allowing them to provide discretionary relief in cases where small businesses are facing particular hardship. In addition, companies coming out of small business rate relief will benefit from an additional cap, meaning that their rates will not increase by more than £50 per month. Business and lobby groups criticised the superficial nature of the measures, with Helen Dickinson, CEO of the British Retail Consortium, calling it a “drop in the ocean” and “sticking plaster on a chronically ill patient” that is adding “complexity to an already impenetrable system”. The wider implication of the unresolved business rate issue is that it increases the already blatant disparity between small businesses who are struggling under the burden of taxation, and big players, as well as bricks and mortar stores and huge e-commerce retailers such as Asos and Amazon, who may even see their rates fall on their out of town distribution centres, all of which further threatens the future of our high streets and small independent stores. And with Amazon gearing up for an own-label fashion launch, too, things are not going to get any less competitive or challenging any time soon.
WWB is a fashion business publication produced by ITE Moda Ltd. Other titles include MWB and CWB. ITE Moda Ltd is an ITE Group PLC company
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MODERATE RETAIL SALES REBOUND CBI analysis shows modest volume growth in the year to February, recovering from a weak January.
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 for March. Sales for the time of year remained broadly in line with seasonal norms in February, following above-average 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.
“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.” According to the report, 40 per cent of retailers said that sales volumes were up in February on a year ago, while 31 per cent said they were down, giving a balance of +9 per cent, up from a fall in the previous survey (-8 per cent). 24 per cent of retailers placed more orders with suppliers than they did a year ago, whilst 35 per cent placed fewer orders, giving a balance of -11 per cent. 15 per cent of businesses reported that their volume of sales for the time of year were good, whilst 18 per cent said they were poor, giving a balance of -3 per cent. Growth in internet sales volumes slowed and fell below the long run average (+48 per cent) in the year to February. Expectations are for growth to accelerate in the year to March, although remaining below the long-run average of +52 per cent. Clothing led with a strong increase in sales volumes of 68 per cent.
FOR DAILY NEWS, ANALYSIS AND UPDATES, VISIT WWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
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NEWS IN BRIEF
MODA BODY / ACTIVE SET FOR AUGUST LAUNCH The summer edition of Moda, the UK’s largest trade fashion exhibition, will see the launch of a brand new area for lingerie, swimwear, activewear and intimate apparel, taking place at the NEC Birmingham from 6-8 August. Moda Body/Active will also pick up on the growing ‘wellness’ trend, featuring live content to showcase ways in which innovative retailers can cater for the growing number of customers for whom health and fitness is now part of their everyday life and wardrobe. “There are now so few boundaries between the intimate, active and everyday wardrobe, and we’re going to be reflecting that with a brand new area at Moda for August,” says event director Penny Robinson, who will be heading up the Moda Body/Active area. “Activewear has been one of the biggest stories in fashion for the last two years and is already part of the Moda offer, but going forward we want to create a concept where lingerie, bodywear, swimwear and activewear can all be seen in the broader context of fashion and lifestyle.” Moda Lingerie & Swimwear, which has run as a separate event alongside the other Moda shows since February 2016, will no longer take place. “Since the launch of Moda Lingerie & Swimwear back in 2010 we’ve continued to adapt the event to the needs of the intimate apparel industry, and in 2016 created a completely separate show environment for the sector,” says ITE Moda portfolio director Nick Cook. “As the industry has changed, however, it’s become clear that this format no longer suits the requirements of many of the show’s core brands, and we’re therefore excited to be launching a new concept in which this vibrant sector of the market can be integrated into the broader Moda event.”
STEFANEL TO ROLL OUT FRANCHISE STORES Italian premium womenswear label Stefanel and its UK distribution agency Love Brands are set to roll out a cluster of franchise stores across the UK and Ireland in a major expansion. Partner retailers will have the option to work either with the classic franchise model or on a consignment affiliation, with strategic support in all business areas, as well as preferential mark-ups and financial projections calculated for their region. London-based agency Love Brands has teamed up with franchise consultant Peter Danby to assist in recruiting potential franchisees, as well as John Lane of London-based Tienda retail property advisors. Potential targeted locations include Harrogate, Windsor, Edinburgh, York, Dublin, Cheltenham, Oxford, Norwich, Chester and Bath.
FINANCIAL GROWTH FOR FURLA The Furla Group closed 2016 with a growth in turnover and EBITDA. The company’s expected 2016 turnover is ¤422m, a year-on-year increase of 24.5 per cent at current exchange rates and 22 per cent at constant exchange rates. The brand showed considerable growth across all export territories, with its domestic market Italy accounting for 20 per cent of total turnover, an increase of 18 per cent on 2015. The EMEA region jumped by 23.5 per cent, nearly reaching 29 per cent of total turnover. Japan, which saw an increase of 31.7 per cent, remains the company’s top market, accounting for 24 per cent of sales. 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, 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. POORBOY BOUTIQUE JOINS THE FRUIT MARKET Vintage fashion brand Poorboy Boutique is to take a 1,000 sq ft store space located in the Fruit Market, Hull, later this month. It will be the first retailer to launch on Humber Street within the £80m rejuvenation project led by Wykeland Beal as part of Hull’s year as UK City of Culture in 2017. Poorboy Boutique specialises in classic clothing from brands such as Barbour, Burberry, Adidas, Levi’s and Tommy Hilfiger, as well as stocking a range of unique, remastered pieces.
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NEWS IN BRIEF
MORRISONS DEBUTS WOMENSWEAR
GRANT TO HELP SMALL BUSINESSES GO GLOBAL
Supermarket chain Morrisons has introduced its first ever womenswear collection under its own label Nutmeg, with the range making its store debut across 50 selected branches. The 130-piece spring/summer collection retails between £3 and £30 and is designed to include easy-to-wear, modern essentials available in sizes 8-22. As well as classics like jeans, Breton stripes and a mac, shoppers can expect a nod to major trends including tropical prints, coldshoulder tops and sports luxe. The Nutmeg children’s label was originally launched four years ago with a focus on thoughtful detailing, an approach which has been extended to the womenswear collection. “We listened to our customers and they said they wanted affordable, quality clothing with real attention to detail and, of course, it had to be fashionable,” says Christine Bryce, category director of clothing.
A £20,000 grant to support businesses to go global has been launched 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 and showcase their international ambitions and future business success. 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.
FLANNELS MAKES SCOTTISH DEBUT Luxury retailer Flannels makes its Scottish debut at Silverburn Shopping Centre, Glasgow this spring. The 756 sq m 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. The 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.
H&M TO OPEN IN REDHILL Swedish fashion chain H&M is set to open a new store in Belfry Shopping Centre, Redhill, Surrey this month. Trading across two floors, the store will cover 1,688 sq m 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. ESCADA APPOINTS NEW VP WHOLESALE Luxury womenswear brand Escada has appointed Francoise Rousseau as vice president of wholesale. In this new position Rousseau will lead the EMEA wholesale business and will also have a strategic global function in terms of processes, procedures and facilitate growth opportunities for wholesale globally. She will report to Iris Epple-Righi, CEO of Escada. Rousseau brings a wealth of experience in the luxury industry, having spent 20 years at Ralph Lauren, where she most recently held the position of VP Sales Womenswear for all brands, including Apparel and Accessories for EMEA. The Escada Group currently operates throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. With around 1,000 points of sale, Escada is present in 80 countries worldwide. SAFIA MINNEY JOINS SUSTAINABLE FOOTWEAR BRAND Safia Minney, founder of Fair Trade label People Tree, has joined award winning ethical footwear brand Po-Zu as managing director, working alongside the brand’s founder and CEO, Sven Segal.“I’m excited to be joining Sven and Po-Zu. I have always been intrigued about ethical shoes. It’s great to bring my expertise and creativity to build positive change in the footwear industry,” says Minney.
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NEWS IN BRIEF
STRONG PERFORMANCE FOR DESIGNER OUTLETS
ZONE TWO EXPANDS SHOWROOM
Hermes Investment Management, which runs designer outlet malls Clarks Village in Somerset, Freeport Braintree in Essex and Junction 32 in West Yorkshire, has reported a collective sales increase of 6.7 per cent and a rise in footfall by 5.8 per cent in 2016 across the three sites. In December alone, 1.1 million people visited the three outlet retail destinations, 3.76 per cent up on the same period in 2015. The news follows the opening of a number of key retail and leisure brands across Hermes Investment Management’s outlet portfolio over the last 12 months, including The White Company, Wonderbra and GBK at Clarks Village, reaching 99 per cent let in time for Christmas, as well as Hugo Boss at Freeport Braintree. The three retail outlet destinations annually welcome approximately 10.6 million visitors and offer a combined total of 262 stores and 20 cafes and restaurants, covering a total of 690,000 sq ft.
Fashion distribution and marketing agency Zone Two has expanded its showroom space with the opening of additional premises, having extended its brand portfolio with six new labels, K-Way, Sperry, PRO-Keds, Esemplare, Joe’s Jeans and EFM, for a/w 17. The agency, which currently occupies 10,000 sq ft premises on 26 Westland Place in Shoreditch, has added a 4,000 sq ft space on nearby 30 Nile Street in order to accommodate the company’s rapid growth. Zone Two represents a mixed portfolio of menswear, womenswear and kidswear brands, including Eastpak, Scotch & Soda, Samsoe & Samsoe, Psycho Bunny and King & Tuckfield and employs a 50-strong team. Since its inception in 2002, Zone Two has become recognised as one of the most dynamic fashion distributors in the UK and Europe, working across department stores, independents, multiples and e-commerce platforms.
HOUSE OF FRASER SET TO OPEN ANCHOR STORE IN CHESTER Premium department store group House of Fraser is set to open an anchor store at the new Chester Northgate retail and leisure complex in Cheshire. Spearheaded by Cheshire West and Chester Council, Chester Northgate is the 500,000 sq ft redevelopment of Chester city centre and is among the most comprehensive city centre developments in the last decade. Construction of the site will commence in late 2018, targeting an opening of all three phases by 2021. With around 100,000 sq ft of retail space over three floors, the new House of Fraser store will offer customers a premium shopping environment and bring desirable brands and fashion labels to the region, as well as boasting a rooftop restaurant with views over Chester’s historic racecourse.
NEON ROSE RELAUNCHES WEBSITE Online womenswear brand Neon Rose has relaunched its website, coinciding with the unveiling of its spring/summer 2017 collection. The website sees a stronger focus on editorial content, with features from an eclectic range of contributors, as well as a slicker and more contemporary look that is in line with the signature of the new collection. Neon Rose has also teamed up with the charity Girls Out Loud, which works closely with young girls by instilling them with confidence and positive self-image. A gifting option at checkout will be integrated into the new website to enable customers to seamlessly support this cause. PHASE EIGHT LAUNCHES PERSONAL STYLING Phase Eight has introduced personal styling to over 50 of its standalone stores this spring. The initiative offers customers one-to-one style advice, from how to dress for different body shapes to what to wear for special occasions. The service is free with no minimum spend, taking place over a one to two hour appointment with complimentary refreshments and a dedicated, trained stylist. NEW ADDITION TO PATRICIA EVE PORTFOLIO Lingerie and shapewear distributor Patricia Eve has expanded its portfolio with the addition of Spanish brand Promise Bridal. The range offers a choice of bras and briefs, along with chemises, bustiers and nightwear designed for the night of the wedding. With a large stock hold, Patricia Eve will be adding the range to its NOS line, ensuring fast deliveries and turnaround.
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The events, campaigns and parties not to miss PROTEST FOR AGE DIVERSITY AT LFW Online retailer JD Williams and five mature models held a demonstration in protest against the lack of age diversity on the catwalk during last month’s London Fashion Week. The models, aged between 47 and 65, marched outside the official London Fashion Week site on The Strand, to protest against age discrimination in the fashion industry and to challenge why models’ workload decreases with age, particularly on the runways of the capital’s renowned fashion event. Models including Jilly Johnson (63) and Janie Felstead (65) challenged the fashion industry with placards featuring slogans including ‘Grow Up LFW’ and ‘Fashion Has No Age Limit’. 02/
BOOB BRUNCH INITIATIVE LAUNCHES AT MODA Moda visitors were invited to CoppaFeel!’s inaugural Boob Brunch, held during last month’s show. Bringing the community together to raise awareness of CoppaFeel! and its work, Boob Brunch attendees were invited to enjoy canapés and bubbly before watching a glamorous lingerie catwalk show presenting key a/w 17 trends. The event heralded a nationwide campaign to host Boob Brunches all over the UK in a bid to raise awareness of CoppaFeel!’s vital work in diagnosing and beating breast cancer sooner. 01/
03/ COTSWOLD WIN OUTDOOR BRAND OF THE YEAR AWARD 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. Paul Wheeler, sales and marketing director says: “I feel very proud that Cotswold won the award for Outdoor Retailer of the Year. The combination of technologies and practical lifestyle design makes for an attractive comprehensive presentation to our retailers.” 04/ SHOPPERS FOR CHARITY Cornish fashion brand Seasalt and charity the Fishermen’s Mission hosted a star-studded launch party for their latest fundraising campaign earlier this month. Celebrities including Jo Whiley, Sarah Bailey, Alison Steadman, Helen Glover and Nathan Outlaw have all created personal designs inspired by their time in Cornwall for a collection of exclusive jute shopping bags, raising vital funds supporting UK fishermen and their families. The bags launch in Seasalt shops and online at seasaltcornwall.co.uk at the beginning of April, priced at £6, with 50p from every sale going to the Fishermen’s Mission. 02/
Credit: Jonathan Birch
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Your views on the issues shaping the industry Is this the most fantastic industry to work in?
DIANE SYKES, owner, Diane Sykes Fashion Marketing Working recently with a young intern was like a walk down memory lane. She reminded me of my 19 year-old self, so eager to learn, and loving this exciting industry she had chosen for her career. Thirty years ago this new bright and exciting world of fashion had enthralled me, too. I had previously worked for a large insurance company and just could not believe that my working days
Brave New Digital World
MARTA WISNIEWSKA, founder and creative director at Cashmere Moon, Cambridge Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, should I stay or should I go – these where my thoughts exactly when, a year ago, my boss, the owner of Baska, a prestigious Cambridge independent, announced her decision to retire. While her need for escapism had grown with the constantly changing and unpredictable retail landscape, I was faced with the uneasy choice of either taking the business over and continuing on the same premises, or embarking on a completely
now involved weekly trips to London department stores, dressing real live models (some of whom graced the pages of Vogue) surrounded all day, every day with beautiful designs and above all – free clothes! I secretly felt like I was playing and one day I would be discovered and thrown out. It was a huge shift in my perception of what I knew as ‘work’. Before I had longed for the tiniest break in the monotony of the Registry Office, but here in this fashion world you couldn’t keep me away. I was like a sponge, clinging to the pearls of wisdom that dropped from the mouths of the incredible women that surrounded me. It was so different from the corporate world that I had seen and I loved it. The radio played all day long (albeit in the stockroom) and at 5:30pm every night someone cracked open a bottle of champagne. Of course this was the late 80s and those final years of that incredible decade could not pass without some of the grandest of grand gestures. My career to this day has never surpassed the excitement of running to the airport with my emergency visa from the American Embassy still drying in my hand to deliver a couture dress to a catwalk show in New York. Or the time I spent
three weeks on the QE2 in the concession shop on board. My friends were green with envy. That whole period was certainly a memorable time but like the mantra of the film Wall Street, that whole ‘lunch is for wimps’ era, I remember often working until midnight and not always in the nicest environments. You had to take the rough with the smooth: alongside the dizzy glamour, there was the time I had to pack 100 boxes on a freezing cold quayside, or the time I literally glowed for two weeks after hand steaming 400 suede coats. Looking back though, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Naturally things have got tougher and the champagne corks fly far less now, but as an industry we are hardly on the coal face. It is hard work with little of that 80s glamour to show, but I still maintain it is the most fantastic industry. At times it can seem like an enormous labour of love, but that is the reason I am still here, still loving it. And you know what they say about doing something you love for a living? You’ll never really work a day in your life!
new and capricious journey called e-commerce. Not a complete novice to the concept of digital commerce – I managed Baska’s online store on a daily basis for the last 3 years – it took me a little while to make an informed decision and after a month of researching online competition, talking to my suppliers and with my regular customers, a clearer picture of the future started to emerge. With three available options: a) physical store b) physical and online store, or c) online store, there was quite a lot of data to be processed. Pros and cons of each scenario were taken into consideration and at a certain point I knew it was time to say goodbye to the security of bricksand-mortar and embrace the calculated, yet unforeseeable digital tomorrow. How unpredictable can it be, I thought? Before making this challenging move, I spent quite a few coffee-fuelled days looking at numbers, spending hours evaluating different profit and loss scenarios. While my rejuvenated friendship with Excel blossomed, I knew that numbers apart, I also had to listen to the inner voice inside me that kept on saying, “be brave, but be careful”. Initially, I did consider sticking to the safety of the known. However, faced with the fluctuating retail
patterns, the risk of increasing operating costs, the unstable pound, topped up with inconvenient lease contracts lasting for what seems like an eternity, I have decided to be careful and to trust my entrepreneurial instinct. Times change. Shopping habits evolve. Although British customers continue to enjoy an occasional shopping spree, over the last five years their spending habits have shifted towards more sociable activities. The fact is that with galloping rental prices, only large-scale national chains can afford to invest in the prestigious retail space at shopping galleries and on the high street. Small, independent accounts slowly disappear from the shopping map of the UK, moving their business either to cheaper (therefore less frequented locations – here is a vicious circle ) or online where overheads are much lower. One rule remains. Whether you are moving into the digital world entirely, or are planning to sell on multiple platforms, before you embark on this exciting trip, ensure you have a business plan. Look at all the costs, from setting up the e-commerce website to the costs of running it on a daily basis. I’ll share more about my journey over the coming months.
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Kim Hyldahl is the founder of hot Danish brand Mos Mosh, which is fast becoming a must-have label in the UK and other territories. Isabella Griffiths gets the lowdown on what informs both the brand’s ethic and aesthetic.
Isabella Griffiths: What was your background before you launched Mos Mosh in 2010? Kim Hyldahl: I’ve been in the fashion business for most of my career. Before I launched Mos Mosh I was running another clothing company with my now ex-wife, and when we divorced, I decided to start a new venture, which was Mos Mosh. Before that, I’d spent 19 years at the Bestseller Group and headed up the launch of the Selected label and built it up from scratch. This had certainly given me the knowledge and insight into how to create and run clothing brands, and I still draw on this experience today. IG: What is the brand name all about? KH (laughs): Well, this is a bit of a funny one. It’s the closest I could get to Kate Moss, naming the label Mos Mosh. I’m a huge admirer of hers, the way she can carry off so many different looks, whether that’s boho at a festival or the next minute dressed up to meet the Queen. It’s that versatility that I also want to express in Mos Mosh. It’s my ambition to get her to be the face of our brand at some point – at the moment, she is still slightly out of our price league, but we’re working on it!
KIM HYLDAHL FOUNDER, MOS MOSH
IG: The label has been going for seven years and is growing rapidly, including in the UK. What do you attribute this success to? KH: We have indeed been growing very fast and we are now in about 1,700 stores worldwide. It’s hard to put your finger or any one aspect; it’s probably a combination of several different things. We’re not a big organisation, we’re only 23 people, so we’re very much an independent label, and we’re focusing on working with like-minded independent stores, that’s always been the core of our philosophy. Our mantra is Passion, Love & Heart, meaning that I believe you have to be passionate about what you do, and be true to yourself. In the seven years that we’ve been going, we’ve tried to live and work by this principle, which I think shows. My whole team and I are involved in the development of Mos Mosh; we share ideas and because we are fairly small, it doesn’t take endless steps to make them happen. We’re quite dynamic and reactive to the market. We think like retailers, and at the same time, we are always thriving to surprise them with something new and fresh. We’re good at innovation – every
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season we try to bring something new to the table that retailers and their customers don’t expect, be that a different detail or different style or a different fit or wash. We have a very commercial mindset and it’s all about products that have to move in-store and sell. IG: What is the Mos Mosh style and USP? KH: Initially, the main focus of the brand was jeans and pants, and these still constitute the core of the collection. But we have since expanded into a full ready-to-wear range and also offer a soft tailoring line, which is very cool and goes beyond just jeans. Think denim and a classic blazer look – it’s about a complete outfit that’s effortless, relaxed and a bit cool and edgy. We’re pitched at the mid to upper end of the market: we’re not cheap, but we’re also not the most expensive brand around. I very much believe in value for money and I think consumers still look for this, too. I’m a big product person and I’m not very good with compromise. To me, the quality has to be spot-on; the detail has to be right. On our jeans, this can literally be a question of moving a seam or a rivet or something by a millimetre, it’s about those small details and meticulous precision that make us stand out from other brands. We produce more than 95 per cent of our collection in Europe, with companies that are our partners, not just our suppliers, and who work just as hard on the ranges as we do. We deliberately produce near-shore, so we can be a lot more handson when it comes to quality control, and I think all of this feeds into what makes us unique as a brand. IG: How important is the UK market to your business? KH: Of course the UK is a key export market and very important for us. We’ve been working with The Brand Ambassadors agency for around two years now and are stocked in about 55 to 60 good quality accounts in the UK, and another 60 or so in Ireland. Things are going well. We showed at Scoop in February and once again we generated a lot of interest in the label and opened with some great new stores. That said, we are not in any hurry to expand; it has to be with the right stores, that’s really important to me. We tend to mainly work with independent boutiques where the owner is still on the shop floor, the face and soul of their store, and is immersed in the garments that they sell and their customer,
offering a very high service standard. That’s what we are about as a brand, and that’s the type of business we like to deal with, too. It has to be a good match. So we’re taking it one step at a time: we’re letting it happen organically. IG: What else have you got planned for the future? Are own stores on the agenda? KH: I haven’t got any dramatic developments planned, I’m afraid. I just want to do what we do and keep doing it very well. There won’t suddenly be a Mos Mosh sock line or anything like that, I just want us to be the best at what we do and remain honest and true to our values. In terms of stores, we are committed to wholesale and have no major plans to change that. If we were to open a flagship store somewhere, it would be with partners who have experience in that field. I’m not saying no; I will always be open minded, but at the same time it’s not part of our strategy to have 50 own stores by 2020 or something like that. Most importantly, we will continue to listen to our retailers whilst also always bringing them an element of surprise, because that’s what they’ve come to expect from us.
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The hottest brands not to miss this month
q RETRO VIBES Wrangler celebrates its 70th birthday with ‘Retro Glory’, the first of several special launches for 2017. Riding the wave of interest in all things 1970s, the collection abounds with patching, ripping and embroidery, notably on a limited-edition trucker jacket in stone dyed denim with full back panel embroidery by artist Luke McLean.
u STREET WISE London brand Nicce offers contemporary casual and streetwear inspired by the capital’s changing culture, lifestyle and music scene. The brand’s s/s 17 womenswear features tailored loungewear in comfortable classic sweat jerseys, A-line crop tops, boxy T-shirts, high cut body suits, 90s style logo taped intimates, and mesh layering in sport silhouettes as well as statement pieces in this season’s hottest shade, baby pink.
Founded by former eye surgeon Meg Cope, Zaccys offers handmade women’s shoes with a signature cushioned insole. Cope set up the brand in 2015 after a career break while her son, Zac, was being treated for leukaemia. Available across reputable indies, Zaccys shoes also support a variety of cancer charities.
t FASHION CODE British brand Urbancode first launched in 2008 with accessories and has since expanded to include a womenswear line with an emphasis on faux fur and outerwear. The brand’s a/w 17 collection blends original with contemporary features, creating feminine silhouettes with sharp detailing. Seemingly conflicting styles, prints and moods come together for a versatile and effortlessly cool range.
u URBAN TRAVELLER Accessories brand Eastpak and luxury brand Paul & Joe have collaborated on a new travel range, ideal for the urban explorer. Featuring bespoke prints designed by Paul & Joe’s creative director Sophie Mechaly, it’s the first range to include Eastpak’s hard-wearing, robust and lightweight luggage collection, as well as the iconic Padded Pak’r. The unisex collection includes suitcases and trolleys, backpacks, holdalls and accessories.
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Spring break With temperatures warming up, a mini break may be on the cards. Whether it’s sightseeing or cafe-hopping, WWB selects the top fashion items for a stylish trip, available for in-store delivery now. 04/
1/ DAVID WATSON £54.09 020 7287 8081 • 2/ FAIRFAX & FAVOR price on request 01760 338199 • 3/ NEON ROSE £10.75 0161 835 2064 4/ LILY & ME £14.20 01566 779477 • 5/ ABBOTT LYON price on request 020 7025 8872 6/ SOREL £62.50 020 3302 1420 • 7/ ATLAS & I £33.75 020 8944 2123 • 8/ GUESS £35 0161 833 3653 Unless stated otherwise all prices are wholesale
FLEXIBLE FIT COLLECTION Fits as you Gain or Lose weight
Tel: +44 (0)1423 885374, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.patricia-eve.co.uk
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ALYSI Italian brand Alysi is a family-run company based in Rome and headed by husband and wife team Federico Impiombato and Valentina Celata. Feminine, fluid lines characterise the signature of the brand, with long tailored coats, silk shirts and embellished tweed/wool coats key, as well as masculine influences. Alysi often uses eye-catching features and detailing such as horn buttons, ruffles, transparent panels and embroidery, giving the collection a contemporary and sophisticated edge. The brand is targeted at 30-plus women who love experimenting with fashion and like eclectic and refined styling that exudes urban, everyday chic. Sitting alongside the likes of Marni, Max Mara, Chloe and Maliparmi, wholesale prices range between ÂŁ65 and ÂŁ170, with the brand supplying prestigious indies such as The West Village in Notting Hill and Honey in Belfast, as well as more than 700 multi-brand stores across 16 countries.
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New era After 12 years at its West End showroom on Regent Street, womenswear agency FOS Fashion Marketing has relocated to new premises in the heart of Chelsea. Isabella Griffiths took a snoop around the slick new space and caught up with owner Chris Foster-Orr on the challenges and opportunities of running a multi-brand agency.
Number 120 on the King’s Road, just a short walk away from Sloane Street tube station in the heart of Chelsea, is the new home of womenswear agency FOS Fashion Marketing. It’s a prime spot on one of London’s most prestigious roads, though the sleek and understated grey-blue exterior gives little away as to what lies inside, namely a large and stylish 3,500 sq ft showroom space spread over four floors. “It’s a bit like the Tardis; it’s the first thing customers comment on when they come in,” quips Chris FosterOrr, owner of FOS. The agency moved into its new premises at the end of October, just in time for the new a/w 17 selling season after it had to move out of its previous showroom on Regent Street due to the redevelopment of the building into apartments. After more than 12 years at the popular West End address, the relocation was a big upheaval, but now that everything is finished, Foster-Orr and his team have settled into their new home and are loving it. “When we were first given notice that we had to leave the old showroom, we looked all across London for new premises, and nothing seemed right or comparable to what we had,” he says. “We almost didn’t take this space, because it was originally divided into several different businesses and it was very run down; it was a huge project. But together with my great builder Nick
Langley from Audio Schemes and my interior designer Barbara Giordano, we managed to visualise what this space could be and turn it into the kind of showroom that we need as a multi-brand agency, and it really does work,” he adds. After two months of intense building work and considerable investment, FOS Fashion Marketing now has a bright, spacious and airy new home, with each of its 10 brands, including Airfield, Apanage, Ekle, Frieda & Freddies, Javier Simorra, Mac, Marciano Los Angeles, Milano Italy, Repeat and Tramontana having a dedicated display and sales area. “The reaction has been great; the amount of buyers who have come in and said ‘Wow’ has been amazing. I think the location adds to this, as it’s easy to get to and still quite central, which is what my customers were used to from before,” he says. Foster-Orr first opened his agency in 1999 following a few years building Danish brand Sand in the UK and after having run his own women’s and menswear shop in Stratford-upon-Avon for many years – a time, he says, that still stands him in good stead today. “I think a big part of the longevity of the agency, despite the volatility of the fashion industry, has been the fact that I’ve always had a good understanding of retailers and their needs and the different factors that play a part in their business decisions. I know
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it’s not easy to be a retailer – it never was easy! But I think it’s getting more and more difficult, so I’ve always operated on the principle that we need to deliver great commercial brands, as well as a solid partnership with our retailers, and that’s probably the key to why nearly 20 years on we’re still around and entering the next chapter in our story,” he says. It’s not just longstanding relationships with retailers though; Foster-Orr has worked with a number of his brands for many years, too, something he considers one of the key milestones in the agency’s history. “I’ve had Mac literally since I started out with the agency, so 1999, Apanage since 2002 and Repeat since 2004. We built most of these brands in the UK and took many of them to the height of their success in this country. But we’ve also ensured that we always have new labels, too, that are interesting and fresh, and I think this has always been the right approach,” he adds. Asked what he considers the biggest changes in the agency and fashion landscape since he started, he doesn’t have to contemplate for very long: “Today’s industry is a very different ballgame. There’s been a massive shift in how women buy clothes and so many different factors now impact on the sector. Back in the day, women spent most of their disposable income on clothes, they wanted to shop in independents and they wanted to buy
brands, so the independent sector and wholesale were thriving. Nowadays, the high street is so strong, it’s less about labels and more about general trends and mixing and matching,” he says. “Then there’s the rise of e-commerce, the lack of independent store openings, shop closures, the speed at which trends reach the market, reduced spending, Brexit... There are so many complex and difficult things influencing our industry now.” He continues: “Saying that, I still believe there are plenty of opportunities for both agents and retailers. We’ve just gone through a/w 17, and we did particularly well on our new brands. Independents need to show individuality and brands that aren’t over-exposed in the market, and we as agents need to provide that choice.” With his first season at the new address under his belt, FosterOrr is now looking ahead at his next ‘project’. “There are still some small issues to iron out on the showroom build, like extra lighting and blinds, so I’m just mustering up the energy to tackle those final jobs. I’m also in the process of updating our website with new imagery and features, which is long overdue,” he says. “Apart from that, I’m always looking for nice brands to add to the mix. I get approached so much, and not everything is always suitable for the agency, but I’m always staying open-minded. You never know, you might just come across the next big thing.”
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Cashmere has become a must-have wardrobe staple, with everything from beautiful classic knits through ultra-cosy leisure styles to übertrendy fashion pieces dominating the market. WWB highlights some of the best cashmere specialists around.
FTC CASHMERE Swiss brand FTC Cashmere was founded by husband and wife team Jutta and Andreas Knezovic in 2003. Specialising in high quality cashmere knits in the premium segment, FTC Cashmere creates luxurious styles with a focus on ethical and sustainable manufacturing. The brand produces eight fashion collections a year, as well as a house and home range, offering both timeless classics and fashion statements.
OATS CASHMERE Oats Cashmere launched in 2009 as a luxurious, ultra hip, high-quality knitwear collection for the modern consumer who appreciates simple opulence, great quality and a beautifully designed product. The brand’s cashmere is sourced from the thick fleece of the Pashmina goat, considered to be among the world’s finest cashmere. The brand is designed by Debra McKelvey-Hayburn, originally from Montreal and now living in Laguna Beach, who designs pieces that can be worn to the city or beach, from daytime into the evening, with much attention placed on detailing.
BRODIE CASHMERE UK brand Brodie Cashmere uses only the finest supergrade, 100 per cent pure cashmere from Mongolia. The brand’s styles are hand-finished by skilled craftsmen and are all machine washable. The brand offers a classic style with a contemporary twist, ensuring versatility and longevity of each garment. From neutral tones to colourful brights, Brodie offers a wide range of classic and trendinspired pieces, with a/w 17 highlights including luxurious cashmere lounge suits and hooded jumpers with star motifs.
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CHINTI AND PARKER London-based cousins Anna Singh and Rachael Wood founded Chinti and Parker in 2009, combining their passion for innovative knit design to bring a new level of tactility to contemporary womenswear. The brand uses the finest yarns to create collections underpinned by sophisticated textures and distinctive character. The duo combine a playful approach with timeless techniques, injecting colour, texture and spirit into each range. Using cashmere in striking new ways, Chinti and Parker stays loyal to luxury craftsmanship and effortless style.
COCOA CASHMERE p
27 MILES MALIBU 27 Miles Malibu is the brainchild of married couple Ernie and Emily Vallorano, who came to California on business and fell in love with the 27-mile stretch of the Malibu coastline which inspired them to stay. Paying homage to the famed highway, they launched the brand in 2012 as an eclectic premium contemporary line, comprised of fine quality cashmere in modern silhouettes and infused with vintage undercurrents. Their style adds edge to classic pieces or couples boho with a tinge of rock ‘n’ roll, with full attention paid to fit, fabrication and detail.
Cocoa Cashmere is designed in London and produced in Xi’an, China. Founder Harry Ma buys the fibre direct from the growers in Inner Mongolia, which is then washed, prepared and spun at his factory and turned into garments by a skilled artisan team. The brand prides itself on full traceability from grower to garment, as well as guaranteeing the highest standards of welfare for the cashmere goats. The designs are playful, youthful and easy to wear, with bright colours with neon pop touches a key signature. The a/w 17 collection features a number of new, fun pieces, including the Cherries motif.
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TRUE CASHMERE True Cashmere is made from finest cashmere fibres sourced from Inner Mongolia. The styles are Euro Oeko-tex certificate approved and machine washable to 30 degrees, as well as anti-pilling for longevity. The brand offers classic wardrobe items with a modern twist, on-trend seasonal colours and a variety of styling options. Having recently started to wholesale, the brand is looking to expand its customer base across the UK, with retail prices ranging between £79 and £299 and fast deliveries. p
ROSIE SUGDEN British knitwear design graduate Rosie Sugden founded her eponymous label in 2011. Her accessories line combines an idiosyncratic take on contemporary design with the inherent natural beauty of Scottish cashmere. All products are designed and manufactured in a small family-run mill nestled in the rolling hills of the Scottish Borders. The a/w 17 collection focuses on uplifting patterns including love hearts, stars, and Peace & Love wrist-warmers.
WYSE Wyse was created by Marielle Wyse, who has always loved cashmere but, finding the garments either plain, far too expensive or unflattering, decided to design her own range of cashmere jumpers in 2014. With the mission to create something that she and women like her would love to wear, Wyse features shapes that suit everyone, are affordable and are never boring. Simplicity and elegance are at the core of the collection, though all jumpers include small details, be it a lurex thread, sequins, metallic leather or a pop of colour which make them unique. “I want it to be the jumper that makes people take a second look and ask where it’s from,” explains Wyse.
KINROSS US label Kinross offers timeless cashmere pieces for everyday living, with a modern, sophisticated aesthetic. The brand creates artisan-made products that honour both people and planet, with a commitment to using natural fibres paired with ethical production, which has earned the brand the Bluesign systems Partner Certificate, currently the only cashmere company in the world to hold this highly regarded distinction.
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ABSOLUT French brand Absolut is the younger and bolder line from parent company MMC, which has been producing cashmere ranges for over 20 years and is behind the Notshy label. Absolut offers affordable, contemporary cashmere pieces with generously oversized styles that are the key signature of the brand, making them ideal for layered looks.
JUMPER 1234 Jumper 1234 was launched in 2014 by a team of friends with a shared desire to create no-fuss, core pieces that would sit timelessly and wear effortlessly. Inspired by British heritage and a genuine love for cashmere, Jumper 1234 is designed with a contemporary edge and playful heart. All design work takes place in London, with production based in Mongolia, where some of the worldâ€™s best cashmere is made. Sourcing the cashmere from a vast countryside which supports the lives of the nomadic herdsmen of Mongolia and their families, the brand uses raw cashmere which is carefully refined to filter anything other than the purest fibres, then knitted by artisans with years of experience in working with the fibre. Each piece is machine washable and will retain its look and feel for years. The name of the brand derives itself from its sizing, with each style available in sizes 1, 2, 3 and 4.
JOHNSTONS OF ELGIN British heritage company Johnstons of Elgin is one of the last few vertical mills in the UK still carrying out all the processes from raw cashmere and fine woollen fibres right through to the finished product. In the two centuries since it was established in 1797, the brand has been owned by just two families â€“ the Johnstons and the Harrisons, and its mills in Elgin and Hawick employ over 1,000 people, including highly skilled textile craftsmen and women. The brand is known for classic garments in simple, understated styles, and a timeless collection that showcases its luxurious ripple handfinish. uuu
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CAMERON TAYLOR Cameron Taylor is a contemporary Scottish cashmere knitwear collection, concentrating on modern shapes that remain classic and timeless – offering cashmere lovers an alternative to traditional cashmere design. Lisa Cameron Taylor, founder and designer, established her brand in 2001 following years of experience in knitwear design. The collection is produced by a small, established factory in the Scottish borders which has over a hundred years’ experience in the cashmere industry, with a team of highly skilled workers using only the finest yarns and blends.
OCHRE Ochre was established in 1997 and is a family-run manufacturer of cashmere knitwear with a showroom in Weybridge, Surrey and own factory in Kathmandu. The company supplies independent boutiques through to luxury stores, with some own-label production also part of the business. Using only quality cashmere yarn from Mongolia, the clothing is made on hand machines – a labour intensive and skilled process – with a commitment to Fair Trade manufacturing. Around 100 people are employed at its production sites, comprising mainly young women who are usually the chief income earners within their family group. The collection focuses on vibrant colours and timeless shapes that will become wardrobe staples. u
BRORA One of Britain’s best-loved and most successful modern cashmere brands, since its beginning in 1993 Brora has steadily grown into a full-fledged fashion label with its own distinctive viewpoint – wearable, subtle and mainly British-made. Scottish cashmere is still at Brora’s heart, though the range has expanded to build a complete wardrobe using fabrics such as tweed, silk, and wool. While moving with the turn of fashion’s wheel each season, Brora remains true to its quirky, slightly vintageinspired self.
REPEAT Since its inception in 1996, Swiss brand Repeat has evolved from a small collection of 24 basics to an international lifestyle brand. The brand’s philosophy was founded on the mantra that cashmere should be accessible to a larger public at affordable prices. The range focuses on timeless, fashionable garments and accessories that can be mixed and matched in endless ways.
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REBECCA MINKOFF Incorporating playful styling with edgy design, the Rebecca Minkoff brand comprises ready-to-wear, bags, footwear, jewellery, eyewear and tech accessories. After shooting to fame with her Morning After Bag, Minkoff has diversified the product offering to include unique items such as the Guitar Strap, a bag strap to accessorise handbags with a rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic.
BELL & FOX Clean lines and functional features lie at the heart of any Bell & Fox design. Influenced by British heritage and vintage silhouettes, key designs include a fox shaped wristlet, cross-body bags, bucket bags, totes and purses. The brand’s a/w 17 collection features further expansion into delicate embroidered details, statement foil overlays and introduces new colour options blue slate and gunmetal.
MIGHTY PURSE Fashion well and truly fuses with functionality in this smartphone-charging accessories range from Mighty Purse. With an option to use as a clutch or inside larger handbags, styles contain a lightweight battery that can fully recharge any smart device. Products include wallets, wristlets and clutches, as well as fringe cross-body bags available in leather and vegan leather.
MISS MILLY Specialising in jewellery and fashion accessories, Miss Milly’s latest range is a marked departure from the original chunky wooden designs of its 2012 line. The a/w 17 collection is a colourful offering featuring year-round staples in navy and grey, combined with bright colours including red, baby pink, mustard and cobalt blue.
MERI MERI Starting out in Los Angeles in 1985, Meri Meri was originally known for its offering of unique cards. Since then the brand has extended into the realms of partyware, accessories, gifts and, launching this year, children’s homeware products. Now operating from a studio in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, the brand is available worldwide.
ORIGINAL DUCKHEAD Featuring playful design and bold colours, Original Duckhead presents an iconic range of umbrellas that aim to make rain fun. For a/w 17, the brand’s new handbag friendly compact umbrella is a lighter version of its portable sister, featuring a high strength, wind resistant frame that opens out to a large 43-inch canopy, available in a range of bold colour options.
Pretty little things
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TOTES The X-Tra Strong umbrellas from Totes are made specifically for windy days, and are able to withstand gusts of up to 51 miles per hour. Frames are made from aluminium and fibreglass and feature a large canopy, which offers greater coverage from the rain. A wide range of prints are available, from delicate florals to bold stripes and check designs.
OLIVIA BURTON The range of vintage inspired watches from Olivia Burton launched in 2012, featuring stylish and contemporary timepieces with a luxury feel. Designs reflect catwalk trends, while maintaining a focus around intricate patterns and design. The minimalistic White Dial collection offers a breadth of choice for unisex styling, which can be teamed with stacked bangles, bracelets and rings.
ZERO GRAVITY Made in Los Angeles, phone cases and tech accessories from Zero Gravity fuse modern and vintage elements into eye-catching designs. Inspired by the beauty of everyday life, the brand features bold floral and leaf prints across its collection, as well as sun and moon designs and landscape images. Contrasting colours come together to create a visually striking effect.
MATT & NAT Inspired by natural surroundings, vegan bag brand Matt & Nat aims to lead the way in ethical innovations, using alternative materials in its vast range of bags, wallets and shoes. Bag linings are made from 100 per cent recycled plastic bottles, and the latest range, the Cork Collection, is made from 100 per cent cork and uses sustainable production methods.
LES GEORGETTES Les Georgettesâ€™ range of interchangeable leather bracelets mean the wearer can vary between different coloured leather bands. Designed primarily as an answer to indecisive holiday packing, the bracelets provide the wearer with the option to choose a silver, yellow gold, pink gold or ruthenium frame and a plain metal or satin finish.
STANCE With a mission to turn a under-noticed product category into a means of creative expression, Stanceâ€™s range of socks bring together athletes, performers and cultural influencers in the brandâ€™s collaboration collection, Punks and Poets. The diverse styles range from boot socks to anklets, but it is the vast option of quirky prints that really make the brand stand out from the crowd.
As the bond between accessories and technology continues to grow stronger, items in the field maintain multi-purpose features that channel both fashion and function. This season, accessories take further steps towards ethical production, which is reflected in product design. Rebecca Jackson selects the top brands making waves for a/w 17.
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Taking shape The a/w 17 collections present a range of new innovations within the lingerie and shapewear sectors, while also offering stylish updates on popular classics. Rebecca Jackson selects the key pieces to look out for next season. B.TEMPT’D The After Hours collection from b.tempt’d uses lace fabric as its main component. The lace bralette style capitalises on the outerwear trend and is available in two options, which include both underwire and demi foam cup options. Available in S-XL, the rear of the bralette reveals an open back with ribbon fastening on the neck. Wearers can team either bra style with the boy short available from S-XL.
FREYA Freya’s Soiree Lace collection for a/w 17 presents styles in a stretch geometric lace fabric. The underwire bralette style is available in sizes XS-XL and offers a plunge shape without a push up effect, with a low revealing neckline. Bras can be teamed with a choice of matching pieces including brief, short, thong and suspender belt.
HOUSE OF HOLLAND X ULTIMO
NAOMI & NICOLE Naomi & Nicole’s Back Magic range caters to common shaping problems. Incorporating a silicone finish, the shaper ensures that the back of each style doesn’t slip, slide or roll down. This stability allows the shaping fabric to function effectively, while reducing bulges and controlling lower back fat.
Ultimo has collaborated with House of Holland for its latest collection, Worn to be Seen. Four key pieces, available in black and nude, are designed to be worn as outerwear and champion the idea that shapewear should be a fashion accessory. Using a light mesh as a base, the design is applied using the same flocking technique that Ultimo uses on its bestselling core knicker collection.
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MIRACLESUIT Miraclesuit’s Flexible Fit collection adapts to fluctuating weight and changing body shapes, while continuing to deliver extra firm control. Pieces in the collection are designed with the fabric flexibility to adjust to changes in body shape, yet still maintain shaping capabilities. MAISON LEJABY For a/w 17 Maison Lejaby introduces new styles including Nufit, a sports luxe range, which stands for nudity and fitness. The range marries invisible mesh with sporty looking panels made of soft touch, nano-stitch micro fibre. Available in nude and black, more fashion colours will be added in future seasons.
WACOAL Wacoal adds three new eco-friendly styles of co-ordinates into its a/w 17 Intuition collection: brief, full brief and tanga. Featuring a fabric made up of bio based EVO yarn derived from castor oil bean, the production process is powered by renewable energy and recycling and results in a reduction of CO2 emissions by at least 20 per cent. The yarn, which contains antibacterial and odour controlling properties, is blended with elastane for a good fit and a clean cut. CUPID FINE
MAGIC BODYFASHION Magic Bodyfashion’s latest style addition, the lUve Body, provides a base layer for low cut or backless outfits. Backless with an extreme plunge in the front, the style focuses on shaping the upper body in particular. Available in black and latte colours and in sizes A to D cup, the body briefer style has an added thong with hook and eye closure.
Styles in Cupid Fine’s Adjust Perfect firm control collection are designed to adapt to changing bodies. Each one of the shapers are constructed with the brand’s own Wonderful Panel creation and mesh fabric, which enables the garment to adjust to size fluctuations.
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Talking business Last month’s Moda offered a host of free, topical business workshops and seminars, providing visitors with targeted tips across a variety of business themes. WWB sums up some of the highlights.
Making music work for your store
Instagram marketing dos and don’ts
KAREN CAMPBELL, head of marketing, PRS for Music
CANER VELI, Liquiproof
Music is as integral a part of your brand as your decor and logo. It’s a vital ingredient to your brand mix and can be the key to keeping staff motivated and customers spending. Big brands like Diesel, for instance, spend around £4million on their music a year to ensure that at every touchpoint where you are experiencing the brand, music will be planned. So for example, whether you are in the showroom on your buying appointment or in Selfridges on the Diesel mat, the music will be in line with brand message and image. Here are a few steps you can take to make music work best for you: Take control of your music Even though music is not a tangible physical thing, your customers are experiencing your brand through sound whether you like it or not. If you’re not in control of it, you’re missing a trick. Some retailers don’t think about it hard enough and just play mainstream chart music or a random selection. But doing this means you could end up sounding like everybody else on the high street. Retailers need to consider which music represents their brand and if it will be relevant to their audience. What is your offer? Are you a premium brand or store offering premium products? If so, the music you use should convey your high-end positioning, but you should also make sure the tempo is appropriate. Slower tempo music will relax people and encourage longer browsing, whereas fast music could stimulate people to move through the store quicker. ‘Day-parting’ your music selection Time of day is crucial to what music you play. For instance, you may want to start the day with gentle sounds and gradually grow in tempo as you get busier. There is a different atmosphere on a busy Saturday shopping day to a quiet Tuesday morning and your music should reflect and acknowledge that. Using music to customise atmosphere You want to create a welcoming atmosphere in-store and music plays a vital role in achieving this. Monitor the volume levels; assess how the music sounds. Investing in a decent quality sound system will help create a better atmosphere than cheap-sounding low quality speakers. Expanding your music selection Some stores allow staff to choose music, but this has its flaws, as they are likely to be selecting tracks based on their personal taste rather than music that evokes the essence of the brand. It’s also important to make sure the music is regularly updated whilst keeping it on-brand. Keeping the music fresh and relevant will be noticed by customers.
You’re not going to get much attention on Instagram unless you have a winning profile. Here’s what you need to do: • Your Instagram handle should always tie in with your brand name and/or service. • When creating a business profile, your best bet is to use your company logo as the profile image. For a perfectly proportional square shape, the dimensions should be 180 by 180 pixels. • Always put your business web address in the URL section; there’s a good chance Instagram will block a shortened URL. Take measures to make sure traffic generated on Instagram goes right back to your blog or website. • The profile description should be kept short and original – you get just 150 characters to make an expression. Keep the buzzword business phrases aside, and rely on relevant keywords only. • Businesses do best on Instagram when they share well-crafted content that’s on-brand and driven by a clear objective. Tell your story through captivating images, videos and captions. • You’re going for consistency. If your audience can’t comfortably rely on you to post regularly, you’re not going to find many people willing to follow you on the off chance that you’re going to post something every now and then. Fortunately, you can schedule your content if you use a tool like Hootsuite or Later. • Instagram has more filters than you know; use them. • You can now upload 60-second videos to Instagram, so start creating longer stories about your business and products. • You can upload multiple videos to a post via Video Carousel. Try telling a story throughout the carousel. • Search via geo-location to find local posts to target more potential customers and friends. • Create a great story with multi-video clip editing. Break down larger videos into smaller, more digestible videos. • You can use and search Emoji hashtags. • Ensure you’re using Instagram apps Boomerang and Hyperlapse to create more interesting content.
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Nurturing the online customer
Transforming your business with social media
WARREN KNIGHT, Think Digital First
LAURA BROWN AND PETE ANDREWS, Introtweet
Internet users have grown by 82 per cent, or almost 1.7 billion people, since January 2012. More than 1.3 billion people started using social media – that’s a rise of 88 per cent in just five years, and equates to more than eight new users every second. More than 864 million people have started using social platforms via a mobile device in the past 24 months. According to estimates by Statista, the number of worldwide social media users has reached 1.96 billion and this is expected to grow to around 2.5 billion by 2018. The question is, what are you doing to stand out from the crowd in the fashion industry? The first step to a social media plan is NOT social media Entering the social media vortex without the understanding of a target customer is a very costly mistake. Regardless of whether you are selling B2C, or B2B in the fashion industry, defining your target customer is a crucial part of your journey, as is understanding the way you acquire this customer. Attract interest What are you doing to connect with your target audience to get them to engage with you, and draw them into your fashion business? Can you say in less than 30 seconds, or in fewer than 140 characters, who your business is and what you do as an online retailer? Lead magnet After you have understood your target customer, and defined your business, how are you capturing your leads? I use what is called a ‘lead magnet’ which could be a competition, a discount or a free trial of a product. Lead magnets are all about building brand awareness. The less you ask for, the more likely your potential customer will give. Nurture your leads Lead nurturing is all about developing a relationship with your community so that they can trust you as a business. On average, 50 per cent of your leads are not ready to buy from you because they have not been nurtured. Focus on listening to their needs, and fulfilling them. Converting leads When you are converting a lead, focus on one thing. Listen to your customer, use actionable keywords and know your niche within the fashion industry. Customer retention Did you know that businesses lose around 71 per cent of customers due to poor customer service? As a fashion brand or retailer, the success of your business online is about how you connect with customers. Give your customer what they want, and in return your business will thrive online.
Social media is social, so it’s time to get involved… Facebook Facebook is considered ‘the’ social media platform – for both the public and for businesses, both consumer and trade. From a business perspective, there are many tips and tricks for enhancing and showcasing your business to the world, including Facebook Advertising, Pages to Watch and the new Facebook Shop. With a little bit of time, effort, care (and money for advertising), Facebook for business can really transform your business and help you specifically target new customers all around the world. Twitter Twitter is a fantastic platform for fast-paced brand awareness, increased website traffic and opportunities to engage with your target audience. Its short messages are perfect for getting news and comments out as they happen. Hashtags work really well for increasing your Twitter engagement and getting in front of people who may not already know about you and your fantastic business. Another hidden gem is Twitter networking hours, for networking with local, like-minded business people, from the comfort of your own home. Instagram Sharing beautiful images of your products and insights into your business on Instagram really gives people the chance to learn about the face behind the brand. You can upgrade to a business profile, which gives you key business insights and stats for working out what people like on your page and which hashtags are working. Hashtags again offer you extended reach and by searching for industry buzzwords, you can find new people to engage with. Engage, engage, engage! The key to any success is putting yourself out there and meeting new people. With social media, the hint is in the name: it’s a social channel, so ensure you are getting involved in conversations, tell people when you love their posts and make new connections. But try not to spread yourself too thinly – choose your key platforms and crack them before you embark on others. Create a content strategy for each week and stick to it, to ensure you’re sharing your news with the world and not missing opportunities when you’re busy.
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– the highlights WWB takes its pick of some of the key pieces of the season spotted at recent shows.
CIRCLE OF TRUST @ MODA p
Proving that the slogan tee is still big news for a/w 17, Circle of Trust put its own spin on it and created this cute sweatshirt, perfect for lounging around, or creating a pared back, understated daytime look teamed with jeans and sneakers.
OLGA SANTONI @ MODA p
IVY KIRZHNER @ SCOOP New York footwear label Ivy Kirzhner has a cult celebrity following thanks to its unusual, edgy designs, boots in particular. For a/w 17 the brand has launched these cute sneakers featuring studs and pompoms – the opposite of understated, but in a good way!
KARMA OF CHARME @ SCOOP Another footwear brand having made waves at Scoop was boho brand Karma of Charme, whose unusual twist on the traditional moccasin caught the eye of many buyers at the show – including ours.
The Spanish knitwear brand made its Moda debut this season, and among the many versatile styles the collection had on offer, this new take on a twinset was a definite highlight, with the crochet effect top layer offsetting a lace vest underneath.
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PRIMROSE PARK @ SCOOP Primrose Park started out as the own label range of indie mini-chain Anna, but has since expanded into a fully fledged wholesale range, based on vibrant prints and colours and a focus on easy-to-wear blouses.
LULU GUINNESS @ SCOOP Iconic Brit label Lulu Guinness showcased its new footwear range alongside its signature bags and accessories. This lip handbag and cute doll face block heel courts ticked all our
LATTE @ MODA Latte’s collection offered many potential bestellers, including trendy knitwear and versatile dresses. This faux fur bomber jacket was among our favourite a/w pieces as it will work both teamed with jeans and over a chic daytime dress.
SB LONDON @ SCOOP Lips also featured heavily in jewellery brand SB London’s latest offering. The brand combined a sense of fun with immaculate craftsmanship and high quality materials.
UNE A UNE @ SCOOP Using a wealth of semi-precious stones, Une a Une’s dainty jewellery designs are made to not only adorn the wearer but to act as a talisman, too.
OLVANHILL @ MODA New British designer brand Olvanhill launched at Moda with an elegant collection of 100 per cent silk dresses and exclusively designed prints. The brand is looking to launch a diffusion line with more commercial price points in the future, so watch this space.
DESIGUAL @ MODA Known for its signature vibrant prints, colours and embroideries, Desigual didn’t disappoint and presented a bold a/w 17 collection. A highlight was this parka with knitted sleeves and elbow patches – a definite style eye-catcher.
FOIL @ MODA New Zealand label Foil is going from strength to strength, with its easy to wear styling that can be thrown together and mixed and matched. This gilet and tunic outfit was another winning combo.
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Capital of Fashion A wealth of notable trends emerged on the catwalks of London Fashion Week. WWB sums up the key looks.
BLUE LAGOON Pastel blue was the favoured choice by a lot of LFW designers, appearing in most collections in one guise or another. Usually associated with summer styles, pale blue created a nice break from the normally sombre colour schemes of a/w, with everyone from Bora Aksu to Emilia Wickstead via Burberry embracing this flattering shade, both as head to toe looks or carefully placed accents. BORA AKSU
PRAIRIE MEETS VICTORIANA A continuation from last seasonâ€™s Wild West theme, there was an evident Prairie meets Victoriana vibe in the air, with ankle length dresses featuring puff sleeves, high collars, drop waists and skinny ties the key styles epitomising this trend.
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SHEER STYLE Peek-a-boo panels featured heavily across collections, providing a new take on layering and putting the emphasis as much on what’s underneath. From black lace to black chiffon, transparent cut-outs were seen on predominantly midi and long dresses, while influences were drawn from romantic florals through gothic to masculine elements.
VELVET CRUSH Velvet continues to dominate both the catwalks and mainstream fashion for a/w 17, and once again, there was hardly a designer who didn’t embrace this versatile material in their ranges. It was all about the ankle length dress for designers such as Antonio Berardi, Emilia Wickstead, Erdem and Temperley, while Peter Pilotto used velvet to juxtapose sports luxe pants with evening glam top.
WORK IT GIRL A new take on tailoring was another trend to watch at LFW. This season silhouettes were looser and more relaxed, though the workmanship still visibly crisp and slick. Wide-leg trousers and culottes were teamed with oversized statement shirts or masculine blazers, giving the look a cool and edgy vibe.
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LEEDS INDIE’S CHARITY SHOW
EDINBURGH BOUTIQUE KICKS OFF SPRING
Leeds indie Accent Clothing teamed up with the Beyond Cancer and Crohn’s & Colitis UK charities for an afternoon fashion showcase. Held at The Queen’s Hotel, Leeds, the event last month showcased collections from independent retailers including Accent Clothing and designs from local universities. The models involved in the fashion show had either had or were living with cancer or Crohn’s.
Edinburgh independent Godiva Boutique welcomed the start of a new season earlier this month with an in-store celebration. The boutique’s Spring Launch Event invited guests to meet the new local designers and view their collections in-store, while treating them to complimentary nibbles and drinks. The event marked the start of the s/s 17 season, showcasing new stock from labels including Mollie Brown, Little Moose and Yoshi.
Retail Forum The latest in-store news from the industry
HAVE YOU OPENED A NEW STORE , LAUNCHED A TRANSACTIONAL WEB SITE , ORGANISED AN EVENT OR HAVE ANY OTHER IN-STORE NEWS? THEN LET US KNOW BY GETTING IN TOUCH AT REBECCA . JACKSON@RAS-PUBLISHING.COM.
Established in 2005 by owner Deryane Tadd, The Dressing Room boasts a select edit of over 80 brands, chiefly of British, Parisian and Scandinavian origin. With the boutique and Tadd winning a number of awards, including the Power List’s 100 Most Influential People in the Fashion Industry, the bricks and mortar store in Hertfordshire has enjoyed considerable success since its launch. However, the website offers something extra, with regular video content detailing wardrobe essentials and styling tips. An online look book features modelled outfits and information on how to shop the look. With new and established independent designers on offer, visitors can browse collections from the likes of Bell & Fox, Hanky Panky, Senso, Varley, Mighty Purse, Beth & Tracie and Rose Rankin.
ALBY THOMPSON Owner/manager of i gigi, Hove, East Sussex What is your current bestseller in-store? We have done particularly well with both Nygårdsanna and Vic and Bert. I think the reasons for this is that both brands have a very easy to wear feeling, not boring by any means. They are everyday and functional pieces, but with thoughtful detailing and impeccable production quality. They also appeal to a wide age group, meaning they can be styled up to suit the wearer. We have many customers whose wardrobes consist mainly of Nygårdsanna as each piece fits together regardless of season, which gives the customer good value from a slightly higher priced range. How have you found business over the last month? After a quiet spell just after our sale, we’ve seen an increase in people coming through the door with the arrival of the warmer weather. Sales appointments and buying for a/w 17 have been a priority, as well as fine tuning budgets and sales plans. What have you been doing to drive traffic in-store? We have upped our social media posts; promoting any sale and new stock items that we have in-store. We’ve also reached out to our mailing list of 2,000 with sales promo and new season teasers. What’s on your agenda for the coming month? I’m in the throes of writing new content for our website and collating campaign images to show the essence of s/s 17.
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Retail therapy: Share your retailing bugbears
CHEAP MONDAY TOASTS BIRTHDAY WITH IN-STORE GIG Stockholm label Cheap Monday celebrated its fifth birthday last month with an evening of in-store celebrations at its London flagship. The Carnaby Street store, which partnered with Clash magazine for the event, played host to a live set from indie band Tall Ships. Known for its range of skinny jeans, Cheap Monday also offered a 20 per cent discount off all stock for the day, plus a free goodie bag with every purchase.
ADRIANA GREEN Scarecrow Boutique, London N8 The latest worry for many indies is the rise in business rates. This will hit many parts of London and further afield. Rates are the third largest outgoing for most small businesses after rent and wages, so for many this will be crippling. In our area it is dramatic. In the centre of the apparently affluent Crouch End, the business rates have almost doubled. With high rents, the only businesses opening now are chains and charity shops, sadly. On our road and other roads off the high street our rates have gone up from £560 per m2 to £750 per m2. This means our rateable value has gone up £6,000 a year. So where is the support for small businesses and saving our high streets?
LONDON INDIE’S 7TH BIRTHDAY BASH With stores in Mayfair, Soho and most recently, New York, last month Wolf & Badger hosted an evening of celebrations marking seven years in business. Held at its Mayfair store, the birthday event also welcomed and showcased new independent designers that have joined the store since February. Guests sipped gin from Portobello Road Gin and cider from Cornish Orchards, as well as sparkling infused tea water from Mahtay.
How does social media help your business?
Owner of Fullwoods, Harpenden, Hertfordshire
Owner of Any Occasion Boutique, Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Owner of Little Pleasures Lingerie, Cork
Director of Premier Lingerie, Darlaston, West Midlands
“We are a local high street shop, so getting images of new stuff out there is essential. We connect with local mums’ networks, who share advice etc, and we get a lot of interaction from that. When we put on an event, Facebook is the way to let everyone know.”
“When we do a Facebook post our website hits surge, and the click to action promotions are invaluable. We can reach a far wider audience and engage with customers out of hours. With our average customer age being 35+, Facebook tends to work better over Twitter, however Instagram is definitely seeing results.”
“It’s so much easier for your customers to find you when you are active on social media. When you post something and connect with your customers, particularly with real-life feedback and stories, you are more likely to increase customer retention, new custom and brand loyalty.”
“Simple answer: massively. As a company we made the decision to not pay for advertising. Social media was the way forward. Any new products are placed on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. It’s also great for freshening sales up with active links. A great tool for SMEs and start-up businesses.”
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27 Miles Malibu 020 7288 8704 www.27milesmalibu.com Abbott Lyon 020 7025 8872 www.abbottlyon.com Absolut 07958 735872 www.notshy.fr Alysi 020 7436 1701 www.alysi.it Atlas & I 020 8944 2123 www.atlas-and-i.com B.TEMPT’D 01536 760282 www.btemptd.co.uk Bell & Fox 01273 693981 www.bellandfox.com Brodie Cashmere 0113 250 8995 www.brodiecashmere.com Brora 03456 599 944 www.brora.co.uk Cameron Taylor 0131 557 4662 www.cameron-taylor.com Chinti & Parker 020 7016 4312 www.chintiandparker.com Cocoa Cashmere 01577 866773 www.cocoacashmere.com Cupid Fine email@example.com David Watson 020 7287 8081 firstname.lastname@example.org Fairfax & Favor 01760 338 199 www.fairfaxandfavor.com Freya 01536 760282 www.freyalingerie.com FTC Cashmere 0041 41767 2737 www.ftc-cashmere.com Guess 0161 833 3653 www.guess.eu/en/ House of Holland x Ultimo 020 7836 4876 www.ultimo.co.uk Johnstons of Elgin 01343 554000 www.johnstonscashmere.com Jumper 1234 020 7486 4800 www.jumper1234.com Kinross Cashmere 023 8117 0017 www.kinrosscashmere.com Les Georgettes 0033 (0)1445 42333 www.lesgeorgettes.com Lily & Me 01566 779477 www.lilyandmeclothing.com Magic Bodyfashion 0031 (0)546 727305 www.magicbodyfashion.com Maison Lejaby 0033 (0)4 7201 4696 www.en.maisonlejaby.com Matt & Nat email@example.com www.mattandnat.com Meri Meri 01242 575868 www.merimeri.com Mighty Purse firstname.lastname@example.org www.hbutler.co/en Miraclesuit email@example.com www.miraclesuit.com Miss Milly 01905 622509 www.missmilly.co.uk Neon Rose 0161 835 2064 www.neonrose.co.uk Oats Cashmere 020 7288 8704 www.oatscashmere.com Ochre Cashmere 01932 830040 www.ochrecashmere.co.uk Olivia Burton 020 7426 0413 www.oliviaburton.com Original Duckhead 07506 878080 www.originalduckhead.com Patricia Eve 01423 885374 www.patricia-eve.co.uk Rebecca Minkoff 020 7490 7394 www.rebeccaminkoff.com Repeat 020 7584 4159 www.repeatcashmere.com Rosie Sugden www.rosiesugden.com Sorel 020 3302 1420 www.sorel.com Stance 020 3609 5313 www.stance.com Totes 01277 630277 www.totes.co.uk True Cashmere 0845 660 5480 www.truecashmere.co.uk Wacoal 01536 760282 www.wacoallingerie.com Wyse Cashmere 07971 663041 www.wyselondon.co.uk Zero Gravity firstname.lastname@example.org www.zgla.com
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Essential e-commerce advice The expert view: How to maximise peak shopping days Peak periods and shopping days are big business for any retailer. But these large shopping events are skewing normal shopping behaviour as customers wind down their spending and wait for the best prices and offers. Marketplace sellers have to adjust to longer slow periods and more intense peaks. The term ‘shopping spree’ has taken on a fresh meaning and retailers must react accordingly, especially those selling on marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay. Successful retailers now start preparing for the ‘hottest’ sales days at least six months in advance. How do you stack up? Your first step should be analysis. Lots of analysis. Any information you can gather to assess the past performance of each product category in your inventory will benefit you during the next peak period. Insight such as sales performance on each marketplace/channel, sales per hour/day, regional trends, profit margins, warehouse efficiency, shipping speeds and customer satisfaction vs return rates is crucial. This data needs to filter through to your product strategy and merchandise sourcing. Thankfully, smart e-commerce platforms and solutions can easily uncover this data for you in a matter of minutes. Customers’ needs and expectations are on the rise. They’re chasing instant gratification for their money and personalised offers. Unsurprisingly, the customer data you’ve accumulated becomes a real treasure trove. When used strategically, it enables you to create stronger marketing campaigns, stand out from the competition, engage customers in a meaningful way and build targeted offers based on personal preferences. Remember, product listings are crucial for a high quality customer experience. Buyers don’t have the patience to sift through every available offer. Bear in mind the same buying expectations apply to marketplaces as with your brand’s website. Good quality pictures are extremely important, size information should be visible and positive customer reviews should be proudly displayed. Customer service is equally crucial. Make sure you deal with issues quickly and in a friendly manner. Just because it’s a busy period doesn’t mean your brand can get away with being unresponsive to customers. Next up, shipping. One-day delivery is quickly becoming an industry standard and retailers that have already made significant investments in this area are increasing their market share rapidly. On your list should be a thorough evaluation of warehouse processes and delivery options. Invest in your logistics to provide quick, free delivery options that customers now favour. Another important aspect to consider when preparing for peak periods is your discount and promotions policy. Knowing in advance what products you expect to sell quickly and their associated profit margins will enable you to prepare ahead of the rush period. Even though the UK is one of the largest e-commerce markets in Europe, you shouldn’t ignore the opportunities offered by international markets and their specific peak days. Expanding your business cross-border can avoid the need for heavy discounting during low season. With competition becoming more aggressive and customers increasingly demanding, online retailers need a sustainable, long-term roadmap based on accurate data and clear market trends. With this advice to hand, you can create a nimble business model that quickly adapts to market conditions, including new shopping days that emerge suddenly and take the industry by storm. Paul Watson, CEO, Volo Commerce
Web chat: CHARLOTTE MANBY & CAROL BRADBURY Owners of Room 7, Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire When did you launch your website and is it transactional? We have had an online presence for the past 10 years and the website is transactional. What percentage of your business does your site constitute? It is very much dependent on the season and the stock package. We are very responsive to emails and have a strong social media presence, adding an extra level of personal service to our online store. Are you selling the same stock online as in-store? Yes, we showcase the full collection online so that we can offer a wide range of product to an international audience. Our customers can shop brands including Rixo London, rag & bone, Amanda Wakeley, Citizens of Humanity and Varley both online and in-store. Is your e-commerce arm growing, and if so, what is driving this growth? We have found Instagram a very useful tool in growing the e-commerce side of our business, as we can use adverts to take viewers to our site and get our products directly into the hands of the consumer. What are your plans for the site and how would you like it to develop? We have recently updated our site to make it much simpler to shop and to include a social media section, which has had a very good response from our customers.
UK online retail sales growth in January on the previous year. Average spend was £85, the highest January value since 2010.
The projected number of parcels from online orders being sent by UK retailers through UK carrier networks for the year 2017.
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The Last Word with... Dahlia Razzook, designer, Dahlia Razzook world. We have all the fabric choices and different weights, etc. I think buyers should support designers that produce in Britain and be proud. What materials do you like working with and what inspired you as a designer? I like working with silk; it is one of my favourite fabrics. I believe it is healthy to stay natural, not in just what you eat but what you wear, as well. Your skin is the largest organ in your body and we should take care of it by wearing natural materials. It’s not fun to touch synthetic fabrics and get a rash on your skin. Stay healthy not just on the inside, but on the outside, too.
What is your background? My family has been in the haute couture business since the 1800s. I carry the legacy that has been passed down from my late grandmother Alis. I started at London College of Fashion studying Fashion Design Technology: Surface Textiles in 2010. While I was studying for my bachelors, I worked at prestigious global fashion houses and designed for Alexander McQueen, Agent Provocateur, Beulah London, Ralph & Russo Couture and Marchesa. In 2015, I opened my own luxurious womenswear brand, Dahlia Razzook. We are in stores across the UK and USA.
You’ve worked with prestigious international designers. How has this influenced your work and set you up for your label? While working for other designers, you find yourself. You see what you are capable of doing and your strengths and weaknesses. You will also find yourself as a designer in styles, patterns, designs, textiles, etc. After working for many fashion houses, I quickly realised that I had the capability, ambition, work ethic, and strength to go forth and open my own label with all the experience I had. Who is your target customer? My target audience is a woman who is not afraid of taking chances. A woman who can walk into the office wearing a luxurious silk print with a hidden meaning behind it. My dream customer is a woman who appreciates and understands quality and design.
What is the style of your label? What are your future plans for the brand? Dahlia Razzook offers stylish and fashion-forward pieces for the We are planning to expand into more stores around the United day until night. For this upcoming season, The Epic of Kingdom and looking into spaces to open our first store. Gilgamesh consists of trousers, tops, dresses, cocktail dresses, and scarves. What is the best piece of business advice you’ve been given? Each piece is either digitally printed Donatella Versace once told me to be totally free in what you do towards fashion and to and/or exquisitely hand embroidered fight for it, because you will not always understand in the beginning what you are doing, from English silk, including the but if you really, truly believe, then don’t compromise, just fight for it. lining. The collection is also manufactured in England. The What is your personal style? blouses are finished with shell I love dressing up. I love the strong/rocker look but with a feminine touch. I love unique buttons and beautifully lined to the embroideries and colours. I appreciate the hard work that goes into some pieces. I also highest standard. have a small collection in my home of vintage haute couture pieces from over 100 years ago. I try to stay away from trends as I like to be unique. Sometimes I follow trends with a Why did you choose to make in twist. On a normal day, I am quite a minimalist with a hot pair of shoes. Britain? Britain has some of the finest What are the three things on your bucket list? machines for printing on textiles. 1. To attend the Monaco Grand Prix. 2. To fly in a private jet. 3. To write an autobiography. The quality is just the finest in the
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