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SHOW BUSINESS A/W 18 EXHIBITION FOCUS The key shows not to miss this season EAST IS EAST The renaissance of British brand East and its designs on international growth JEWEL IN THE CROWN Sam Ubhi shares the milestones of her 30 years as a leading jewellery designer

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The key shows for a/w 18



A preview of Premium, Seek and Show & Order

45/ P A N O R A M A WWB takes a look at what’s in store at the next edition

46/ S C O O P A first look at the boutique trade show’s a/w 18 event




The labels not to miss at the premium show

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Redefining womenswear this season

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Your views on the issues shaping the industry

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Fashion brand East’s global ambitions



The hottest sneaker brands around



Trouser specialist in the spotlight



The plus size brands with curve appeal



The lowdown on the sourcing event

How fast fashion has captivated the Millennial market


With jewellery designer Sam Ubhi

Six key brands to discover this season

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With Ulrich Schulte, head of design, Riani

33/ T H E P O W E R O F INSTAGRAM How fashion indies are utilising the social platform


2017 – T H E Y E A R I N R E V I E W

Fashion players share their highlights and lowlights of the last 12 months



Artwork: © 2017 Ratti S.p.A. - P. I.V.A.

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Editor Isabella Griffiths Contributors Christina Williams Victoria Jackson Laura Turner Design & production Michael Podger Clive Holloway James Lindley

Editor’s comment Isabella Griffiths

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E-commerce is a funny old game, isn’t it? After years of seemingly unstoppable growth, which caused many high street players to review the amount of bricks and mortar stores they were operating – and close many in the process – it appears that a different dynamic is emerging. In an almost paradoxical move, a growing number of pure-play or online and mail order companies are choosing to venture outside of their (internet) bubble and open physical stores – pre-empting an expected slow-down in online sales from currently 11 per cent to 7 per cent by 2021. Joe Browns and Boden are only some of the recent companies who have gone down this route over the last month or so. But a predicted decline in e-commerce sales is not the only reason more and more online operators are choosing to launch bricks and mortar – there appears to be a renaissance of stores generally. Consumers are rediscovering the beauty of a physical store environment and the immediate, tactile experience of being able to see, feel and view the products they want to buy. And brands and retailers are rediscovering a bricks and mortar outlet for the exact same reasons – to showcase their wares in a physical environment. This so-called “showrooming”, however, isn’t just about in-store sales; instead, the physical presence aims to build customer loyalty, reinforce the brand and then generate sales – be that at the tills or online/via mobile devices. At the same time, there is also an upsurge in new sales and delivery models by e-commerce operators, with an increasing number offering “trybefore-you-buy” schemes – Asos and La Perla are

the latest companies to have launched such a service. Here customers order what they want, try it on at home and only pay afterwards for the items they want to keep. Ultimately, consumers are the winners in all this – they get to fluidly change and swap the mode and location of how and where they shop according to what is most convenient, and benefit from lenient payment terms in the process. What does all this mean for independent retailers? Of course few will be able to offer a scheme like try-before-you-buy on their online sales, but I don’t think their customers necessarily expect this from them. I believe consumers can differentiate between expectations of convenience and ease of transaction they place on big high street or online players, and the expectations they have of their independent around the corner. What matters is that indies continue to put their customers first – as no one is better placed to do that than them – and to make the shopping experience in-store as fabulous, personal and positive as possible. E-commerce may have changed consumers’ shopping behaviours, experience and expectations forever – but evidently there is still a place for bricks and mortar retail too. On this note, I hope you enjoy our last issue of the year, where we look back on some of the highlights of 2017 and hopefully provide you with some inspiration for 2018 and the season to come. I wish you a prosperous Christmas trading season, and I’ll see you on the other side, back in January with our key trends and brands for a/w 18.

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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SAVVY RETAILERS MAXIMISE CHRISTMAS SALES Womenswear store owners have shifted budget into accessories and lower-ticket items to inspire impulse purchases this festive season.

Womenswear buyers nationwide are maximising their a/w 17 profits with a “little-and-often” approach to the festive season. In light of challenging trading conditions, savvy store owners have pre-empted reluctance amongst consumers to invest into big-ticket items, and have instead filled their shelves with inspirational and more accessible festive lines. “We changed our buying pattern slightly and dropped higher-ticket items – such as jackets retailing at £200 – for items such as coatigans, which retail at £50-£90,” says Sarah Simonds, director at womenswear independent Artichoke, which has branches in Ely, Cambridgeshire and Hackford, Norfolk. “Selling items that have appeal as impulse purchases enables our customers to have some loveliness in their lives, without feeling too guilty. We have also moved some budget into accessories labels, such as Pia Rossini, Gaby and Dante, and additional James Lakeland chiffon, Pomodoro dresses and tops and sparkly impulse items by Saloo, which give us a good mark-up. So far, we have had a good sell-through on most labels for autumn/winter 17.” Department store buyer Helen Oliver has adopted a similar approach to accessories in the lead up to Christmas, preemtping that once again key sales will lie in the handbag and jewellery lines that can double up as gift purchases. “Ted Baker Accessories is always our number one seller for ladies during the festive period,” says the senior ladieswear buyer at Middlesbrough department store Psyche. “So far this

season, Ted Baker, Vivienne Westwood and Hugo Boss are already selling well. I love Christmas, but the one thing that I dislike is when other retailers feel the need to go on sale preChristmas; I do feel that there should be a rule that sales cannot start until the 1 January.” Independent retailer Cindy Marritt echoes Oliver’s sentiment, reporting that her biggest setback this season has been the surprise opening of a discount outlet for one of her key labels opening nearby. “Our autumn season has been quite buoyant, apart from the setback of a discount store opening not too far from us,” says the owner of Cindy’s Fashions in Sutton Bridge, Spalding, Lincolnshire. “However, we have had good sales from many of our collections, including Robell, Lebek and Michele. Our lead up to Christmas with Frank Lyman is also really hotting up, and we are being pro-active by attending Christmas fairs with our accessories and increasing our footfall during November with charity events.” Such a proactive approach from retailers has led to a renewed sense of optimism with regards to forward-order buying, with most womenswear buyers reporting that they are feeling positive about new season ordering after Christmas. “Every season starts with a clean slate as we look to source that new collection,” continues Cindy Marritt. “2018 will see me into my 38th year of being in the fashion business and, as always, I look forward to the challenge.”


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John Lewis has introduced a ‘concierge-style’ shopping experience to be trialled at its new service-led shop in Oxford as part of plans to reinvent the department store. The new Oxford shop, which opened in October, has one fifth of its floor space dedicated to services and experiences. It offers 21 different services in total, from travel advice through to a children’s shoe fitting service. Brand-new services will include a free personal styling service for men, free technology training workshops to help customers get the most out of their purchases, and John Lewis’ first express nail and brow bar. Service partners at the new Experience Desk are able to tell customers everything the store offers, book them into one of the exclusive events happening that day, help them choose the best partner for their styling or home design appointment, or book a table at the Scandinavian rooftop restaurant, KuPP.

Mail-order and online business Boden has opened its first bricks and mortar store at London’s Duke of York Square, set to become a blueprint for further planned openings in 2018. Designed by Dalziel & Pow, the concept invites customers to shop ‘at home’ with Boden in a Georgian house setting featuring an eccentric British vibe. Situated on the prestigious Kings Road, Duke of York Square was chosen as an elegant and historic address for Boden’s bricks-and-mortar debut, with an aspirational target audience to match. Found furniture brings an authentic domestic feel, together with hand-painted finishes and dark wooden flooring. With two entrances at either end, shoppers are enticed into individual rooms that gradually reveal Boden’s collection in manageable, easy-tonavigate segments. A feature staircase in the centre of the store separates the two floors; Women’s, Accessories and Footwear are on the ground, and Mini and Baby Boden on the lower ground.

HENRI LLOYD LAUNCHES MULTIACTIVITY SPORT COLLECTION UK brand Henri Lloyd is launching a multi-activity section of sports apparel for both men and women for s/s 18. Designed to deliver a broad end use, it benefits from Henri Lloyd’s expertise at technical product development and innovation from the brand’s established sailing range. The athleisure range will feature a total of 37 styles priced at between £29 and £369, with key styles including vests, technical sweat hoodies, sweatpants, shorts, short and long sleeve tech tees, as well as a selection of backpacks and holdalls. The Henri Lloyd Sport collection will incorporate the leading edge of high-performance fabric and technologies, including Polygiene Permanent Odour Control technology and the latest in durable water repellent coatings. Strategic and intelligent designs allow for the inclusion of venting in key areas and diverted seams for optimum comfort, while the high wicking and lightweight nature of the next to skin products help to deliver a superior finish.

UKFT IS SECTOR SKILLS BODY UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT) announced that it has become the Sector Skills Body for the Fashion & Textiles industry. The organisation has taken over the management of current apprenticeship frameworks, with the responsibility of both registration and certification of apprentices in England, Scotland and Wales, and to work with devolved nation’s stakeholders, to ensure that National Occupational Standards and apprenticeship provision for the sector are maintained and developed. BLUEWATER TRIALS DEBUT ONLINE SHOPPING PORTAL Landsec, the property company behind Bluewater, has revealed a new portfolio innovation with the launch of an online shopping portal trial. Featuring over one million items from Bluewater’s retailers, the new portal provides users with the opportunity to conduct research on particular products or product categories, seek alternatives and, ultimately, to purchase for delivery or collection at Bluewater. In addition, the portal identifies the location of the store so they can physically experience the brand as part of their purchase. ESCADA OPENS NEW LONDON FLAGSHIP German luxury brand Escada has opened a new flagship in the heart of London’s Chelsea. The store is located at 129 Sloane Street and offers the complete Escada mainline and Sport collections, including women’s outerwear, dresses, tailoring, casualwear and accessories. The design concept for the store was created in collaboration with interior designer Fran Hickman. Design inspiration has been taken from ancient Japanese artistry, combined with the classical designs of British architect and furniture designer Robsjohn-Gibbings. The interior blends delicate gold wall-designs, with art-deco inspired furniture.

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Mail-order and online retailer Joe Browns has opened its first ever store at Meadowhall in Sheffield. The 4,000 sq ft store, located on Meadowhall’s High Street, was designed by creative agency Dalziel and Pow and features interesting visual pieces and inspiring content such as hand-painted illustrative statements. The brand, which has over one million customers across the UK and Europe, chose Sheffield in order to keep the store within its Yorkshire border. Earlier this year the company reported a rise of more than 30 per cent in direct sales over the financial year. “I’m absolutely delighted with the store, I think we’ve achieved what we set out to do, which was to create an impressive three-dimensional version of our catalogue,” says Simon Brown, managing director and founder of Joe Browns. The opening coincides with the conclusion of Meadowhall’s £60m refurbishment.

With weeks to go until Christmas, new research by VoucherCodes and the Centre of Retail Research (CRR) reveals British families are set to spend £821.25 on Christmas 2017, up 1.3 per cent on 2016 (£809.97) – and 54 per cent more than their European counterparts, who will spend an average of £532.01 (¤612.90) on this year’s festivities. According to the forecast, once again the key battleground for retailers will be online, as spending continues to grow on PC, tablet and mobile. Data from the CRR reveals that online Christmas spending is set to grow 11.8 per cent on 2016, and is now the main driver of retail growth. These gains are set to be increasingly at the expense of the high street, with sales in physical shops expected to drop by 2.5 per cent in the UK. Those who plan to shop online will do so to avoid busy crowds (68 per cent), escape the long queues (62 per cent) and to more easily compare prices and reviews (50 per cent).


FOUR MARKETING & ARCHETYPE SHOWROOM PARTNERSHIP London based fashion wholesale, retail, and lifestyle agency Four Marketing has partnered with New York wholesale agency Archetype Showroom to create a new joint fashion wholesale and marketing business. Named Four Marketing Archetype, the cooperation is set to pool both agencies’ expertise to bring a global perspective to men’s and women’s fashion in a curated NYC environment. Ben Banks, founder and director of Four Marketing, says the foray into the US market is “part of a long-term ambition of the Four Marketing group”. He explains: “We have spent time considering the best way to enter the important US market and we feel that partnering with the experienced and talented Archetype team gives us all the best possible chance to succeed in both a potentially fertile but immensely challenging market.”

CHRISTOPHER BAILEY TO LEAVE LUXURY BRAND BURBERRY Burberry president and chief creative officer Christopher Bailey is set to leave the company after 17 years on 31 March 2018 to pursue other creative projects. Bailey will step down from the board but will provide support to CEO Marco Gobbetti during a transition period until 31 December 2018. Bailey joined Burberry in 2001 as design director and became CEO and chief creative officer in May 2014. Under his leadership Burberry rose to become one of the most prominent, innovative and pioneering global luxury brands. He was succeeded by Gobbetti as CEO in July. COCOSA INTRODUCES INSTALMENT PAYMENT PLAN Members-only discount retailer Cocosa has launched a new payment plan which allows customers to spread the cost of purchases and pay in instalments. With the new Ourpay plan, shoppers can pay over four interest-free instalments spread over six weeks. Goods will be despatched as soon as possible after the first payment transaction is processed. Each customer has a personal payment limit of up to £250 when using the system, so they can purchase on a buy-now, pay-later basis with all major credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard and Amex. ‘SHOWROOM’ STORES INCREASE AS INTERNET SALES SET TO SLOW A growing number of formerly ‘pureplay’ online retailers are taking physical stores as the rate of internet sales growth looks set to slow during the next few years. New research from Colliers International shows that by 2021, the rate of growth in e-commerce sales is expected to decline from the current level of around 11 per cent to 7 per cent. In anticipation of this, online retailers are increasingly using physical stores to bolster their sales and their brands. Labelled ‘showrooming’, the primary intention of these stores is not necessarily to generate sales through the tills but to reinforce customer loyalty online.

WO M A N 18–20 February 2018 NEC Birmingham

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Asos has introduced a new Try Before You Buy scheme which allows its UK app customers to trial any of its 85,000 products at home. The service is powered by Klarna Pay Later, a leading payments provider, and follows successful implementations with Asos in Germany, Austria, Sweden, Finland and Norway. Customers can choose what they like to try and have it delivered via any of the e-tailer’s delivery options, try everything on at home and decide what they want to keep. They then send back items they don’t like and only pay for what they keep within 30 days of the order being dispatched, with no interest or fees. The move follows a number of recent innovations at Asos. In the past two months the company has announced Style Match – visual search functionality; Asos Instant – same-day delivery for London customers; and Asos Make up – part of the newly relaunched Face + Body category.

Fashion distribution agency Love Brands has signed a contract with Guess Inc to sell the brand across the UK. The agency will manage the sales for Guess Jeanswear, Accessories and Intimate Apparel, in addition to men’s and women’s footwear which Love Brands began distributing in July of this year. Guess has existing retail operations within the UK, which include 12 standalone stores in locations such as Regent Street, Knightsbridge and Westfield. “The product, pricing and brand perception make this a brand with so much potential,” says Michael Shalders, co-founder of Love Brands. “Its pricing is perceived as more expensive than it actually is, and the feel of the marketing, stores and products all reiterate this fact. We feel this is a superb opportunity for UK retailers at a time when assurance and brand strength are vital.”

MICHÈLE TO CEASE TRADING German women’s trouser specialist Michèle has announced it will cease trading on 30 June 2018 following excessively negative developments of foreign exchange rates in two of its most important export markets – the UK and Russia. The brand has been successfully trading in the UK for over three decades, represented by fashion agency Partners in Fashion. According to CEO Michael Irskens, it has now become impossible “to continue to offer a modern, premium quality collection at fair market value” amidst the increasingly negative economic effects of the Brexit vote. All orders for s/s 18 will be produced and delivered. Additional stock programmes for a/w 17 and summer 2018 will also be available, but a new collection for a/w 18 will not be produced. Partners in Fashion have signed specialist trouser brand Toni and sister labels Relaxed by Toni as Michèle’s replacement, and will be representing the German brands from a/w 18. Turn to page 26 for more information.

THE LAST AGENCIES EXPANDS PORTFOLIO The Last Agencies has expanded its brand portfolio, which also includes Danish brands Woden and Nude of Scandinavia, as well as KSL Fitness Brazil, with Danish brand Sofie Schnoor. The brand was launched in 2001 as a footwear brand and is a major player in its home market. A clothing line was added in 2010, with the brand having recently won The Borsen Gazelle award for doubling its turnover every year for the last four years. FLANNELS LAUNCHES PARTNERSHIP WITH MCM Luxury fashion retailer Flannels has launched a partnership with German accessory brand MCM. MCM is known for its premium luggage, leather goods and accessories, with an emphasis on craftsmanship, functionality and a contemporary aesthetic. The brand is recognised by its Cognac Visetos monogram bearing neo-classical laurel leaves coupled with a diamond symbol, which features across its styles. The collection also includes designer sweatshirts, trainers, belts and scarves, as well as luggage and wallet charms and sunglasses. HUNTER OPENS ITS THIRD GLOBAL STANDALONE STORE British heritage brand Hunter has opened its third global standalone store in Toronto. Set within Yorkdale Shopping Centre, the store will be Hunter’s first in North America. The concept for the 2,800 ft2 store was developed by Hunter’s in-house retail design team and demonstrates the brand’s commitment to North America as one of the brand’s largest markets. Set within the new extension of Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre on the ground floor – the highest sales mall per ft2 in Canada – it is a major development in the region.

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Talking Point

Your views on the issues shaping the industry Well-fitting trousers can be a winning product category for retailers

MICHAEL SHALDERS is the co-owner of fashion distribution agency Love Brands Ltd There’s an intense level of competition in our industry right now and few key factors are emerging as deal-breakers. In our experience, fit and mono-products are two factors which are benefitting our customers. The discerning womenswear shopper appears to be searching for value for money in conjunction with premium quality when it comes to her key wardrobe pieces. One of those key pieces is a good fitting trouser,

One fashion world and why visiting shows is more important than ever

PAMELA SHIFFER is owner of the eponymous store in London. Where has this year gone? It’s crazy to think Christmas is round the corner, with the sound of sleigh bells ringing in the distance and the seasonal Sale signs loitering with intent – maybe this is a good time to reflect on the year just gone and have a look at the dos and don’ts for next year. As life as a bricks and mortar retailer becomes ever-more difficult with our well-documented political issues, rates increases, juggling buying with shop floor, and shows versus showroom

around which a wardrobe can be built. Brands that are mono-product, such as our casual trouser collection from Five Units, are proving very popular with retailers, who find they’re developing repeat business and customer loyalty on the back of a niche product which isn’t served too well on the high street. We’re seeing this a lot: shoppers who are willing to invest in quality, key pieces from brands that specialise in a niche sector. Just as good-fitting denim can be a win-or-lose area for a brand or retailer, so too is the expertly fitting casual trouser. Whether it’s cashmere, outerwear, jeans or trousers, there are strong brands out there which are focusing on one single area and delivering at a superior level. Observing the growth of Pure Cashmere for instance, there’s an element of democratising luxury in terms of quality, fit and product knowledge. We know from experience that this level of expertise, heritage, consistency and quality earns customer loyalty, besides repeat business and new customers. It’s well known that the casual trouser and/or jeans sector is one of the toughest sectors in which to succeed with longevity. It’s truly make or break. Those forward-thinking retailers who want to offer their customers the very best product,

excellent service and a smooth experience are gravitating towards these mono-product brands and Five Units really stood out for us. Independent retailers and premium department stores are having great success with this Danish brand, who’ve been bold enough to focus on their specific niche. There’s a lot to be said for doing one thing and doing it really, really well. It’s earns respect, confidence and loyalty, and the heritage of being experts in their field is really valued. The challenge with a trouser brand has always been the same; longevity will always depend upon good fit. It’s fundamental. The casual trouser represents the epitome of this particular riddle for retailers and we’re delighted to have sourced a solution. In this retail climate, there’s a definite call out in the industry for brands that specialise in one area. Excelling in their field, Five Units is delivering for our customers and really captures our philosophy too. In our experience at Five Units, the retailer has faith in the product, faith in the service and faith in their ability to provide top-quality staff training – this brings them seasons of repeat business. Indeed, the well-fitting trouser remains a challenge but, once discovered, it’s a friend for life.

appointments, plus the quest to keep our business fresh and exciting, there’s no wonder the days turn into weeks and months run into years. However, all that being said, the one area that is a constant challenge, and in my opinion one of the most important issues, is to discover and bring new brands to my store. I’m constantly on the look-out for fresh talent that adds excitement to our offer and also something that has yet to be discovered in the UK and is as yet unsaturated in today’s independent marketplace. So imagine my excitement when I received an email inviting me to a show in Rio du Janeiro! I’ve never packed a suitcase so fast in all my life, and the thought of not only of discovering life on the Copacabana and walking through the streets of Ipanema and ultra-fashionable Leblon left me bursting with excitement at the seams. Finally, I was also able to tread where very few British buyers had been before, therefore easing the approach to new collections, without the customary question marks regarding location, etc. And I can tell you, Rio did not disappoint! Given the Brazilian fashion home market is thriving, in many respects their need to expand overseas feels underwhelming. However, once you’ve overcome the seasonal differences and delivery windows, the

possibilities are endless, like the talent on offer. While I appreciate flying half way round the world to visit a show isn’t for everyone, the importance of attending shows hasn’t diminished, therefore whether in the next town or planning a trip to London or Manchester, visiting shows has never been more important. How else can we as retailers have an overview of the forecoming season and discover new possibilities, not to mention your social media interactions? While business is tough and becoming even harder, plus having to deal the pressures of brand selections and minimum orders added into the mix, sometimes it’s easy to forget that we as buyers are the glue between the brand and end consumer. It’s also important to forge good relationships within the industry so brands and your fashion buddies keep you updated where possible. There’s an old saying that goes, “knowledge is power” and “failing to plan, is planning to fail”, and not having the advantage of being able to say, “been there, done that” is like having no plan. Don’t get caught out next season, because even making one new discovery could be the difference between excited, happy customer or bored, “been there got that”, tired customer. Let’s plan to end the year on a fashion high. Viva 2018! Obrigado.

Selling dates: Collection 1: 16-26 January 2018 Collection 2: 30 January- 22 February 2018 Showing at CPD 28-30 January, Hall 29 Contact A-L Agencies Ltd Anne-Lydia Halewood Email: Mobile: 07768 762298 2 Stephen Street. London W1T 1AN

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Celebrating her 30th anniversary this year, award-winning jewellery designer Sam Ubhi tells Isabella Griffiths what’s been key to the longevity of the brand and its organic but impressive evolution. Isabella Griffiths: You are celebrating the 30th anniversary of your label. How do you feel about such an achievement? Sam Ubhi: It’s a really odd feeling, actually. I thought when we got to 25 that it was a bit crazy, but to be celebrating 30 is a little surreal. I feel very fortunate that I have been able to do what I love for such a long time. Many of my contemporaries who started out at the same time as me are no longer around, sadly, and a lot has changed in the three decades. We have been through a few recessions, and ups and downs in the market, but we are still here. IG: What have been the highlights and milestones of your career (so far)? SU: Oh, there have been many, I have been very fortunate. In the early days, what really helped launch my label and designs was a very random meeting with a lady on the streets of New York, who liked my earrings (that I had made). She turned out to be the buyer for Barney’s and asked me to produce a collection – it immediately sold out and within three weeks she tripled her order, and another three weeks later the order was tenfold of the original one. It was the easiest money I’d ever made, and proved to me that I was onto something. Great accounts with the likes of Harrods and other brilliant retailers followed, and I have so many great and loyal customers that I have dealt with over the years. We also won a few awards along the way, and celebrated our 25th anniversary with a catwalk show at Pure, which was also certainly a highlight that I am very proud of. It’s very gratifying, as I never set out to be a jewellery designer – jewellery kind of found me. I trained as a weaver originally, and worked with paper making and tapestry. I always used beads in my work, though, which is how I ended up making my first pieces of jewellery, just for me, as a bit of fun. Essentially I am self-taught when it comes to jewellery, though all my work has always been very tactile and there is certainly an overlap of techniques and materials, and I have refined my skills and approach over the years. SAM UBHI IG: What would you say has constituted the success of your label? SU: I think because we’ve had very steady and organic growth, we have been able to build the brand on solid foundations. I don’t have any of the vanity that comes with being in the fashion industry, I don’t need to be seen to be

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doing something that other brands or people are doing; we are doing our own thing. For instance, a lot of people say to me why we are based in Balham with our shop, studio and showroom and not somewhere more central, but that’s where I’m from. I’ve always been in South London, that’s where my roots are, and that’s where the brand was built. I don’t need to move somewhere else to prove anything to anyone. As a label, we do our own thing; we don’t follow trends. We are very forward-thinking in many ways. Quite often we do something and it might take two or three seasons at trade shows to kick in – but eventually it does. I think having stuck to our handwriting and our signature has certainly been a big part of our success – that and being a British brand that is handmade in Britain has helped us, too, in the international arena. It gives us certain kudos and is very highly respected. IG: Where in the world are you stocked and do you still want to grow as a label? SU: We obviously have a very loyal customer base in the UK and Europe, but we also have a big following in the Middle East, and the Chinese market has been huge for us. It still offers huge growth potential and is a key market that we are developing. But, closer to home, there is also still always growth to be had, which is why we are attending trade shows such as Scoop, which we are showing at again in January and which has been brilliant for us. IG: What do you consider the biggest challenge for your brand in the current climate? SU: The market is very competitive, generally, but especially in the jewellery and accessory sector, where literally every brand and retailer carries some jewellery. Especially on the lower end of the price scale, it’s a very saturated market. It’s therefore really important to stand out and to be consistent in handwriting and quality. You have to maintain your signature and be known for your own USP. I have seen so many brands, so many of my contemporaries, who stopped doing their own thing and instead followed trends and got lost as a consequence. I’ve always tried to stay true to my brand, and actually, we have also managed to maintain our prices because we have been working with many of our core suppliers for many years and we work with them directly. This has been key in the longevity of the brand.

IG: You have the wholesale arm of your business, but you also have a shop. Do these two work in conjunction? SU: Absolutely. The store has helped so much to understand our customer directly, without a third party, and has been invaluable in terms of feedback. But it has also been a great insight into retail and the challenges our stockists are up against. I can channel all of this back into our operation which helps to fine tune and develop the business. Having a bricks and mortar presence is a real bonus – technology and e-commerce is great to a point, but I work in a very tactile industry where people want to see and feel the pieces. It actually also helps our wholesale customers, because when they come to our store, they see the whole Sam Ubhi world and can get an authentic feel for what the brand is about. I also use it to showcase a few of the more unique and bespoke items I have done, like lamps, which I started making – just for the shop initially, but they have since been ordered by a few hotels. They are chandeliers but jewel-like and are therefore very much true to the aesthetic of my brand. IG: Sounds like your collections are increasingly diversifying. SU: Yes, we do cover a wide range. I would say we are mainly positioned in the mid to luxury end of the market, but we cater for all price ranges, really. We have the costume jewellery end, where we work with beads and pewter, etc., and where retail prices start at £22. But then we go right through to our core collection of semi-precious stones to bespoke and made to order items in gold and diamonds which can retail at £20,000 plus. Gold and bespoke pieces for clients, like a recent engagement ring, have actually been the fasted growing area of the business. IG: With that said, what are your future plans for the Sam Ubhi brand? Do you still feel as passionate about it as when you started out? SU: I always said that the day I stop enjoying it, I will stop, but even after 30 years I still feel as passionate about everything as ever and still get as excited when I see someone wearing my designs. There’s a few things in the pipeline that I’m working on. I’m looking to expand the retail side and have a couple of places in mind, in the UK and overseas, as well as more developments on the homeware front, the lamps, etc., that I have been experimenting with, they are also something I am looking to grow. So here’s to the next few decades, hopefully!




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Style File

The hottest brands not to miss this month q ORIGINAL TIMEPIECE Ethical fashion watch brand Mam Originals has launched its thinnest design to date, created by combining different high-quality materials such as finest recycled stainless and sustainable teak, ebony and grey maple hardwood. The highlight of the collection is that it is produced with grey wood. The straps are made from vegetable-tanned chromiumfree leather, free from harmful chemicals.

THE SIMPLE LIFE British knitwear label Izzy Lane is celebrating its tenth anniversary with the launch of the ‘2 million days’ collection. The brand was established when 600 sheep were rescued from slaughter to form the core and heart of the vegetarian and animal welfarecentric fashion label. The collection is an homage to simplicity – Shetland and Wensleydale wool from the flock are blended and processed by the West Yorkshire mills and used in their natural colours. Each sweater is the wool from one sheep; each pea coat, the wool from four – the perfect cover ups for cold winter days.

Sweaters take centre stage at Rails just in time for the holiday season. This oxblood beauty in particular is perfect for the colder season and in between, and is just one of the many cashmere knits that are among the highlights of the range.

t DENIM DEBUT US denim label Cotton Citizen is launching in the UK for s/s 18. The collection is driven by a passion for craftsmanship, timeless style, unique colour stories and innovative wash treatments. All products are designed and manufactured in Cotton Citizen’s privately owned factory, located in Los Angeles. Cotton Citizen incorporates only the finest fabrics with its signature hand-dyed treatments.

p BACK TO THE FUTURE Lifestyle brand Billabong is channeling British cool and gypsy folk vibes with a modern-day take on the 90s in its latest collection. Dusted shades of ash rose and blush feature, while classic black and white stripes dominate sporty looks.

FIVEUNITS Autumn/Winter 2018 collection S h ow i n g a t S c o o p L o n d o n 2 8 t h - 3 0 t h J a nu a r y 2 0 1 8 L ove B r a n d s L i m i t e d . 0 2 0 7 7 0 2 0 2 0 3 s a l e s @ l ove b r a n d s u k . c o m . w w w. l ove b r a n d s u k . c o m

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Eastern promise After a few turbulent years which included administration, acquisition and changes of management, British fashion brand East is experiencing something of a revival. With impressive like-for-like growth thanks to a streamlined collection and its recent relaunch into wholesale, the brand has ambitious plans for the future. Isabella Griffiths finds out more.

2017 marked a new chapter in the history of British brand East. After a choppy few years, which culminated in the brand entering administration in 2015 – which was blamed on inconsistencies in design and operational losses – East is now fully back, with a new investor and an experienced, high-profile management team around co-founder Penny Oliver, who returned to the label in October last year to head the production side of East once more, having been one of the original founders of the brand back in 1994, alongside Clive Pettigrew and Jonathan Keating. The move followed investment by New York-based businessman Rahul Kakar of Crore Capital, who acquired an 80 per cent stake in the company from its then owner Fabindia, which retained 20 per cent. Alongside Oliver, Erica Vilkauls joined as CEO. An experienced brand and retail manager with an impressive CV,

including COO of Thomas Pink, buying and merchandising director at LK Bennett, head of merchandising at John Lewis, as well as positions at House of Fraser and Arcadi, Vilkauls is helping steer East into a prosperous future, with a strengthened retail operation, accelerated expansion via concessions, as well as, of course, its successful return to wholesale for s/s 18. And it seems to be working, if double digit like-for-like growth all year is anything to go by. It’s a big step for East, which wound down its wholesale operation in 2010, but an important strategic component in the revival, in particular the international ambitions of the brand. “In the past, wholesale was a very important part of our business, but then the collection lost its way a bit and we ended up closing the division. However, we have worked extremely hard over the past

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year to refocus on the essence of East and our signature of wellmade, beautiful clothes that have that Eastern feel and artisanal touches we have been known for and that differentiate us from other brands. It makes us ideal for independent boutiques who share a similar ethos,” says Oliver, who remains the driving force behind the creative direction of the label, just like in the early days, when she started the label. “Wholesale is a great opportunity for us to rebuild existing relationships with key independents in the UK, but it will also be the key to our international expansion,” she says. Currently East operates 34 own stores, 11 concessions and around 65 wholesale accounts, with key stockists including the likes of Fenwicks Newcastle, Hoopers Tunbridge Wells and Beales, as well as reputable indies. In addition, the brand is planning for a big push across all of its distribution channels next year, targeting wholesale, retail and e-commerce simultaneously. “Our web business currently constitutes 20 per cent of sales, and we launched a new site at the end of October. We have big growth forecasts as we will have a totally different look and feel, plus the shopping experience will be quicker and smoother. We have more work to do on social media and are turning our attention to that now. We have a new head of e-commerce, Graham Broomfield, who was previously e-commerce director at LK Bennett and has a wealth of experience. He will guide us over the coming year and also help us open local international sites,” explains Oliver. She adds: “The second half of next year will be when we expand internationally. We are about to agree a deal with a Middle Eastern group who we will expand with through concessions and partnered stores. This is when we will see real growth in the business.” On the wholesale side, key independents are the main target, with the goal to expand the UK stockist base to approximately 250 long term. The reaction to East’s return to wholesale at Pure in July was overwhelmingly positive, and Oliver is hopeful that the brand can build on this going forward. “We saw many old customers who told us that they missed us and were so glad to see us back and placed orders. It was very rewarding feedback after so much hard work. We all feel very passionate about East, so we couldn’t have asked for a better first season,” says Oliver. Of course, the collection itself is central to the success of the brand. Oliver and her design team have gone out of their way to revive the essence of East – its namesake Eastern influences, artisanal details, bold colours and play with texture and highquality, natural fabrics such as hemp and organic cotton, linen, jersey and silks, with embroidery, embellishments and hand block printing defining the signature. It’s evident that East is following its own path, whether that’s in maxi dresses, kimonos and kaftans, or fitted trousers and high-quality knits. “It’s hard to say who our competition is,” concedes Oliver when prompted: “But I would say that our customers generally also shop at Sahara, Hobbs, Jaeger, Thought, Toast and independents who stock international brands.” With a comprehensive size range from 10 to 20 (with some styles to be extended to cover size 22), the emphasis is on appealing to a wide range of women who share an appreciation for the East aesthetic. “Our customers are women who know their own style,

know what suits them and are secure in themselves, whatever their size, which is why we offer an inclusive size range,” explains Oliver, who is evidently still as passionate about the label as over two decades ago when she started it. Her future vision for the label includes a possible launch of a more premium capsule collection, as well as potentially dabbing at a luxury night and loungewear range. But for now, all sights are set on pushing the growth and expansion of the label. “After the UK, the Middle East, Germany, Scandinavia, Australia and possibly Asia and the US are our core target markets. Not through our own stores, but with partners who understand very well their local territories,” she says. “European department stores are also on our list, as well as international websites. This time next year, our true growth will come through. And that’s just the start.”

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Happy feet Fashion’s obsession with trendy sneakers seems to be never ending, with brands embracing a huge mix of materials and designs for every taste. WWB sums up some of the best collections around if you’re looking to add some sporty footwear to your mix.


HOLSTER Australian brand Holster’s Aurora style is a commitment to offering stylish shoes year-round. Named after the phenomenon of Aurora Australis, the collection reflects the colours of Noosa’s winter sky, including pewter and shades of blues, with shimmering metallic detailing and a focus on comfort. What’s more, the range is vegan friendly and PETA Approved.


WODEN Danish brand Woden is going from strength to strength since it launched in the UK three years ago, and is now stocked in some of the best national independent accounts in the country. Its application of unusual skins and leathers, paired with ultra-comfortable cork soles and eye-catching designs, are proving to be a winning combination, with the brand’s fanbase expanding season on season. Key styles include metallic as well as animal prints.


ZACCYS Zaccys started out with deluxe espadrilles and wedges, however, the brand has managed to translate its trademark wedge designs into desirable sneakers that transcend the seasons. A key style in the range is the Carolina – a beautiful handmade tri-textured leather (suede, snake, boiled wool uppers) trainer with a hidden internal natural cork mini wedge. It’s designed to be maximally flattering and comfortable, with the platform soles made from bouncy and supportive EVA and the shoes featuring the brand’s signature 6mm deep high-density memory foam insole, all lined in baby soft leather.


GUESS Part of the wider portfolio of Guess apparel and accessories, the brand’s footwear has been very successful in the UK, growing its stockist base from season to season. Trend-led but wearable styles and commercial price points are the winning combination for the brand, whose sneakers have been among its best-selling products.

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GEOX Italian brand Geox is known for its comfortable and highperformance footwear, but that doesn’t mean its collections aren’t also ticking all the style boxes. Its Nebula sneaker styles have become iconic classics, while more recent innovations includes a collaboration with international shoe designer Ernesto Esposito, resulting in eye-catching styles that remain true to the brand’s signature.


GRENSON After 150 years of shoemaking, where shoes are carefully crafted and only the finest materials used, British heritage brand Grenson has launched its first ever collection of Grenson sneakers. Sneaker 1, a central style of the range, is based on a super clean 70s tennis shoe and made from handpainted calf, smooth white calf and luxury calf suede in an Italian white rubber sole. The brand will be showing the full range at Jacket Required in January.


SUPERGA One of Italy’s longest standing footwear brands with a history that spans over 100 years, Superga’s iconic 2750 and Fantasia styles are among its best-sellers, with a timeless yet modern appeal, always featuring the brand’s vulcanised rubber sole for ultimate comfort.


ASH Ash’s Sports line features vintage-inspired sneakers in a mix of materials decorated with intricate embroideries, including baroque and tattoo motifs, military badges and stars. Technical styles are given a feminine twist with colourful knits, beads and detailed artwork. p

LACOSTE Lacoste Footwear fuses the brand’s minimalist aesthetic with innovative fabrics in its dedicated female sneaker range, titled ‘Made For Her’. Feminine touches across the collection make for effortlessly stylish, sport-inspired pieces. Popular styles like the Carnaby Evo, Chaumont and Lancelle are steeped in tennis heritage and have been enhanced with subtle croc-embossed leathers, raw-edge finish and pearlised metallic hits that lend modernity and elevated minimal styling.

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The perfect fit There has been quite a bit of instability in the trouser market of late, however, as a category, specialist trouser brands still outperform many other products and regularly top retailers’ best-seller lists. WWB takes a look at the latest news from some of the key brands and new launches in the sector.


FIVE UNITS Hailing from Copenhagen, Five Units specialises in high-quality trousers with an emphasis on impeccable fit and craftsmanship. The range is based on five core styles that are updated in colours and fabrications each season, with competitive price points averaging at ÂŁ99 retail. Having launched in the UK for s/s 18, the brand has already picked up high-profile indie accounts and is making its mark on the sector.


ATELIER GARDEUR Having filed for insolvency in October following a cashflow problem, German trouser brand Atelier Gardeur is back on track after receiving a substantial bridge loan in order to maintain production while searching for investors. According to a spokesperson, there are currently 16 potential investors in talks with the brand, with the final deal to be announced this month, which is said to safeguard the brand long-term. The a/w 18 collection will be produced and delivered as normal.

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ROBELL Danish trouser specialist Robell has developed new silhouettes and new looks, dividing the collection into three core categories: Casual, City and Denim. New in Robell Casual is the ‘pull-on’ straight leg and slim fit with highly elastic qualities for ultra comfort, with corduroy and velvet styles new for the season. Wool and wool-blend styles feature heavily in the City range, with smart modern classics key. Denim, meanwhile, is focused on stretchy and comfortable styles and diverse washes, many of which feature diamond appliques.


BRAX From s/s 19, German brand Brax will be offering four collections a year instead of the current six, helping buyers as there will be one main collection each season featuring all the main fabrics and weights, with a smaller follow-up range for a later delivery offering a fresh fashion drop in-store. The brand continues to offer high-quality, flattering and trend-led trousers with impeccable fit.


MAC Mac continues to offer a modern, fashion-forward look, but designed with the 30+ woman in mind. For a/w 18, the brand will continue the highly popular Athleisure section of the collection, incorporating high-quality materials and designled fashion with a sporty edge. Texture will be another focus, with cord, baby cord, wool and Mac’s ‘Dream velvet’ taking centre stage. The brand is also expanding its NOS programme, offering all core best-selling seasonal styles in up to eight different colours and washes.


MOS MOSH Danish denim brand Mos Mosh is known for its great-fitting jeans with subtle embellishment, but it also has a popular line of soft tailoring and smart trousers. The best-selling style currently is the “Levon Sport” pant which is a tailored trouser with a sports luxe feel, a white stripe and an elasticated ankle cuff, accompanied by a matching tailored blazer. The brand also offers a NOOS collection of tailored trousers with best-selling styles including the “Abbey Night” pant and the “Ivana Kick Flare”. Both styles come in black, navy, army green, cherry and anthracite grey, and also have matching blazers. >>>

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UP! PANTS Launching to the UK is Canadian trouser brand UP! Pants, with pull-on pants/trousers and a selection of jeans with interesting prints and textures. UP! Pants offer a blend of fashion, function and fit. Tummy control is a key focus of the range, with each UP! Pants style offering a slimming effect through the brand’s trademarked “thincredible fit” technology and built-in control panel, making them comfortable and very flattering. New textures for a/w 18 include jacquards and ponte, with new leg opening details.


NYDJ NYDJ is the original slimming jean founded in Los Angeles in 2003. Each pair of jeans is designed in a way that makes the wearer look one size smaller, using premium denim with just the right bit of stretch, meaning there is never any bagging, even between washes. The brand’s exclusive Lift Tuck Technology flattens in the front while lifting and shaping in the back, with each collection incorporating a multitude of styles, colours, washes and silhouettes. To complete the look, NYDJ also offers an increasingly popular range of tops, blouses and knits.

New to the UK and the portfolio of Partners in Fashion, replacing Michele, is fellow German brand Toni and its sister label Relaxed by Toni. Founded in the 60s, the brand is among the top three trousers brands in the German and Benelux markets. Targeting the 45-plus customer, the signature style of both Toni and Relaxed by Toni is modern with references to key trends, offering perfect fit and high-quality fabrics. These create flattering and wearable fits across sizes 10 to 24. Retail prices range between £89 and £129.

16—18 JANUARY 2018


shaping identities

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Big business Plus size brands continue to have a fashion moment, with trend-led designs, flattering fits and modern silhouettes driving the growth in the sector. WWB takes a look at what some of the key players have in store for a/w 18. SAMOON The collection by German brand Samoon is becoming more playful, in keeping with the slogan ‘more is more’. Jeans remain an important component of combi looks, while other staples include knitted cardigans, blouses, long coats and tops. Velvet, brocade, furs, double-face, bonded fabrics and highquality materials such as silk and cashmere are used throughout the seasonal collections, with touches of details including embroidery, lace, piping and decorative ribbons key.

PERSONAL CHOICE Personal Choice offers occasionwear with a commitment to flattering fits. The collection marries soft shapes with trend colours and prints, with the band’s followers growing every season. The brand was established in 1980 and has continuously evolved to stay current and relevant to the plus size market.

VERPASS Verpass is a versatile plus size collection of coordinates, offering high-quality outfits for every occasion. The a/w collection is a fine balance of style and wellbeing, with a blend of modern highlights, staples and classics. Long jackets and coats are an unexpected statement, dominating the total look, as well as hoodies made from cashmere mix, lacquered sweats and joggers with racing stripes, revealing the dynamic athleisure-trend.

ELENA MIRO Part of Italian Miroglio group, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, Elena Mirò draws on 32 years of expertise in the premium curvy segment, having been one of the pioneers in specialist plus size fashion and continuing to be a leader in the sector. The brand offers a refined, timelessly elegant collection which epitomizes both traditional craftsmanship and contemporary style. The collection caters to all lifestyles and occasions, from contemporary elegance, through informal and casual chic, to special occasions as well as offering a premium line.

Q’NEEL/QUE From the Godske stable of brands comes Q’neel and its sister brand Qúe, both catering to the plus size customer with collections that highlight trends and emphasize curves. Q’neel is for the modern woman who does not compromise on fashion, comfort or quality. The collection offers both everyday and occasional wear, while Qúe targets women who favour an edgy bohemian style, with a focus on luxurious materials and quality. Both collections are available in sizes 8-32.

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The power of Instagram Instagram has evolved to be one of – if not the – most influential of social media, proving highly effective as a promotional tool that helps fashion retailers drive sales to both their websites and bricks and mortar stores. Isabella Griffiths finds out how key indies are reaping the rewards of a strong Instagram presence.

Social media has become indispensable as effective, instant and – above all – free marketing tools for modern businesses. But the visual character of Instagram has meant that the platform has quickly risen to be one of the most influential and popular channels for fashion indies in particular. From showcasing new stock and trends in-store through promoting sales and events to conveying the people and personalities behind the business, Instagram has proven to be a great way to engage with existing and potential customers and indirectly drive sales. In Haslemere, Mel Rollinson, owner of Woodie & Morris, has been using Instagram for the past four years, but more recently she has seen a stronger correlation between activity on the store’s Instagram account and sales. “Without a doubt, Instagram has had a large impact in terms of generating footfall and sales. It’s become as important as our Facebook page, and the two work well together

to reach different customers. It’s visual, it’s free and it allows you to show some personality, which is important,” she says. “We have regular mail order customers who don’t live close to the store, who will see something featured and contact us. It also generates footfall and raises awareness of us as a business.” Rollinson uses Instagram to promote new stock, events as well as show off customers wearing the clothes they try on or buy, in addition to staff modelling key styles and fun, off-the-cuff images, including the occasional snapshot of a customer’s cute pooch. Instastories, which disappear after 24 hours, and the use of video clips also prove highly effective, in particular when demonstrating how clothes move and fall on the body in a more ‘live’ fashion. All this adds up to give a varied and interesting behind-thescenes glimpse of Woodie & Morris and aids in conveying a likeable and personable image of the store – a hugely important >>>

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factor. Rollinson deliberately avoids the use of branded images and lookbook shots and opts for her own shots instead. “We like to use our own photographs as we believe it’s important to show real people, as opposed to models wearing our clothes. We photograph both the girls who work at W&M and customers wearing our clothes. It’s important to use a wide variety of images, and we photograph in situ, shop floor layout shots and even photos of customers’ dogs, who are also welcome at the store,” she explains. For Sally Longden, owner of Stick & Ribbon in Nottingham, who has been using Instagram for a number of years in conjunction with a very effective Facebook presence, the main advantages of the platform are obvious: “It’s free! We rarely pay to advertise, as we find that social media is much more effective and ‘of the moment’. It enables us to move quickly from an advertising perspective. Instagram seems to take us further in distance and attracts interest from people further afield, whereas Facebook has more of a local feel to it. For example, promoting customer evenings would be more via Facebook than Instagram. But on the other hand, we have worked with a local TV personality earlier in the year where she posted images of herself wearing clothes from the boutique and then to read the local news. This created more activity on our Instagram account,” she reveals. For Longden, the most effective use of Instagram remains in combination with Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, as she feels that all three reach different customers in different ways. “From a brand recognition perspective, Instagram is the main channel for us. We use Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for different areas of our business and the split seems to work well. I think that Instagram allows us to show a little more of our personality and have more interaction with our brands, agents and potential new contacts,”

she says, though she concedes that, in terms of directly driving sales, Facebook and Pinterest are currently still dominating. Being coherent and consistent in terms of when, what and how things are posted also plays a significant part in the visibility of a stores’ Instagram account, and both Rollinson and Longden currently handle their accounts and posts themselves – another hat both have to wear as store owners, but one which ensures that the personality of the store is adequately conveyed. “Currently, I am handling all of the posts, but as time progresses, we will need to look at someone specifically for social media – it’s difficult to keep on top of it when it’s one person who is doing everything else, too. When we are busy, sadly social media is put on the back burner. However, we are now starting to try to plan our posts to ensure we keep up the momentum. Taking a batch of photos at once also helps – that way you’ve always got something to pop on a post,” says Longden. It’s evident that Instagram has had a big impact on the way indies promote and market their stores, and with an increasing drive by Instagram towards instant shop facilities and professional advertising, there are further avenues to commercialise the use of Instagram for businesses. However, the jury is still out on whether this will drive or dilute the power of Instagram for stores. “I love Instagram as it is, but it remains to be seen how important it will be in the future. The introduction of sponsored ads and changes in the algorithm that determine how posts are viewed in everyone’s feeds have already had an impact. We all need to work harder to make sure our posts are seen,” says Rollinson. “But for the time being, Instagram works really well and does support both our store and our website and, most importantly, it’s fun!”

INDIES SHARE THEIR TOP INSTAGRAM TIPS: “It’s important to be creative with your photographs and use as much natural light as possible. We never use filters on clothing shots as it distorts colours, which can be frustrating for mail order customers. It’s also important to show a bit of the personality behind the business, not just hard sell. We get lots of positive comments for both our food photos (we love eating and cooking) and photos of dogs in the shop, after all the shop is named after our two dogs! It’s a visual platform and if you are constantly selling, people will get bored and disillusioned. There needs to be a mix of elements that reflect your business/brand. There are apps which some bloggers/businesses use to grow their follower numbers, but we believe it’s important to have an engaged audience rather than an artificially induced one. Above all, remain true to yourself and don’t be deflected by what other businesses are doing. Ultimately, the platform can only enhance what you do as a business – the product is key, and you must always remember who your customers are.” —

Mel Rollinson, owner, Woodie & Morris

“Keep it fun – show your personality! Use images which are relevant to you, not just because everyone else is doing something. Make sure you tag people/businesses, they are then more likely to tag you back in their future posts or maybe even repost. We get very excited when celebrities have liked or commented on our posts! We love the boomerang option and have had some good feedback on those. It’s a complete mix and I think that’s what keeps it fresh and fun.” —

Sally Longden, owner, Stick & Ribbon

Learn more about how to promote your store on Instagram at this season’s Moda. See page 50 for details.


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The year in review

From the lowest lows to the highest highs, a year in the fashion industry is full of extremes and never boring. WWB asked brands, retailers and agents to sum up their highlights and challenges of the last 12 months, and look ahead to 2018.

DERYANE TADD, OWNER, THE DRESSING ROOM, ST ALBANS What has been your highlight of 2017 in terms of your business? 2017 has been a really strong year for The Dressing Room as a whole. We have seen the business go from strength to strength since we expanded the store space last year. It was a big risk in terms of added overheads and initial financial outlay, but it has really paid off and our customers have responded incredibly well to the new layout and increased collections. Online sales have really ramped up in the past 12 months, with a lot of the styling initiatives we put in place at the beginning of the year really making a difference to the online shopping experience. We are also seeing more and more online customers making a 3 or 4-hour journey to visit the store now after loving the online shopping experience and social media presence so much. What has proved a particular challenge, and how have you/are you overcoming this? As the business has expanded, we are always looking for motivated and dynamic people to join our team and recruitment in retail is always the biggest challenge. We currently have a fantastic team of 16, but we are always looking for more and it takes quite a long time to find the right people who are not afraid of hard work! What have been the biggest developments that have affected your business? There have been a lot of additional costs added to small businesses this year; our rent and rates have increased, this in addition to the workplace pension scheme and St Albans became a business improvement district this year, which is positive, but all adds to the overheads. What is your outlook for 2018? I’m an eternal optimist and am always looking to improve what we do at The Dressing Room to ensure we stay relevant and exciting for our customers. I think 2018 will be difficult as there is a lot of uncertainty in the country at present. However, as long as we provide fantastic products in an exciting shopping environment with a great team, then we should be able to continue to grow and develop as a business. What are your plans for your business in 2018? There is always plenty in the pipeline, but ultimately I will be focusing on growing the business as a multi-channel indie through events, influencer outreach and social media.

JOHN SNARE, FOUNDER, THOUGHT What has been your highlight of 2017 in terms of your business? 2017 has been a great year. Our main highlight was our rebrand from Braintree Clothing to Thought, which has been so well received by all of our customers. We have also opened some high-profile accounts such as John Lewis and Fenwick (Newcastle and Tunbridge Wells), as well as growing our independent boutique business. What has proved a particular challenge, and how have you/are you overcoming this? We are growing at a very fast rate and managing the growing pains that this growth brings us, which is both challenging and rewarding. We have taken on more people, are investing in new systems and are always looking to keep ahead of what is happening in the industry. What have been the biggest developments that have affected your business? The poor dollar rate has had a strong impact on our business as all our products are sourced from the Far East. In addition, we are also very aware of the difficult retail environment for our independents, so for our s/s 18 collection, we changed our mark-up and were able to pass on an increased margin to our customers, at a loss to us. We think of all of our customers as partnerships and always want to work together with the longer term in mind. What is your outlook for 2018? I feel optimistic about 2018, we’ve had a strong 2017 and we see no reason not to take this forward into next year. We have had a very encouraging reaction to our s/s 18 collection and can’t wait to showcase a/w 18 in the upcoming trade fairs around the UK and Europe. Of course, Brexit is a worry for all, but we try not to be distracted from what we do best – creating affordable, contemporary fashion made wholly from natural, organic and sustainable fibres. What are your plans for your business in 2018? In 2018 we will re-launch our B2B website (which has been a major project in 2017) and we will continue to investigate pushing the brand further internationally.

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LUCY WALSH, FOUNDER, THE BRAND AMBASSADORS AGENCY What has been your highlight of 2017 in terms of your business? The highlight of 2017 has been the reaction to and the growth of our Danish brand Mos Mosh which we launched two years ago. We now have about 80 customers and will have sales of approx. ¤1million which is great for such a new brand to the UK. Most of our customers tell us it’s their best-selling brand and we have seen great coverage on social media, which has really helped. The brand has really gained momentum in the last 12 months and it’s been really exciting to see. What has proved a particular challenge, and how have you/are you overcoming this? As a new agency launching new brands to the UK, it’s not easy to get new boutiques to come to see you in the showroom, so I combat that by being out on the road three days a week travelling the country and visiting buyers in their stores with the brands. Chasing payment is also a challenge as cashflow is often an issue for independent boutiques and, as an agent, we only get paid once their invoice has been paid. I’ve recently employed somebody to help with this, which has really helped in both speeding up payments and freeing up time to focus on sales and customer service. What have been the biggest developments that have affected your business? Brexit has definitely caused a price increase, but luckily not so much so that it has impacted sales. I’ve seen a lot of new boutiques open in the last 12 months and I’m happy to report that all of them seem to be doing really well so far, long may it continue. Forward order values have dropped as boutiques hold back more budget for in-season and reactionary buying. What is your outlook for 2018? I feel really positive about the year ahead. The brands we now represent – Mos Mosh, Rue de Femme, MKT Studio, Orwell + Austen and Air & Grace – all sit really well together and our customers have had very good sell through with them and all buy more than one label from us, which is great. We are working with really solid, established boutiques as well as enthusiastic and enterprising new ones, and in general most have had a good year. What are your plans for your business in 2018? I’m looking to take on another member of staff for sales at the beginning of the year and start the process of looking for a permanent showroom. We have an exciting collaboration with a prominent fashion blogger and one of our brands which is currently under wraps but will be really cool when we launch it.

JOANNA EDWARDS, OWNER, JOANNA EDWARDS AGENCY What has been your highlight of 2017 in terms of your business? Opening new accounts with prestigious customers with our existing and new brands, it’s always exciting to get a foot in the door with a new brand and see it grow. XD Xenia Design, one of the most established brands in my portfolio, has instructed Hilton PR to launch XD onto a new consumer platform, we have received tremendous feedback from international stylists and media, so watch this space… What has proved a particular challenge, and how have you/are you overcoming this? Unfortunately, it’s the old white elephant in the room... late payments! There is a small section of this industry who do not appreciate the importance of keeping up with regular payments as it affects manufacturer, designer and agents. To overcome this, I have employed a new member to JEAgency working full-time to liaise and help all concerned. I am only too aware due to my retail experience of how difficult cashflow is in a business – so one thing I have learnt is to keep the line of communication open between designer, manufacturer, agency and customer. What have been the biggest developments that have affected your business? I still believe the biggest economic topic around is Brexit, however this has not proved to have had a negative effect so far. We offered for our collections to have a sterling as well as a euro price structure, which customers found helpful but not essential. We have also seen that customers are now choosing to spend a little less on the main line brands and are coming to us with budget for new and exciting collections. They don’t want to be dictated to with frighteningly high minimum order spends, choosing to spend their money on something different instead. What is your outlook for 2018? With regards to JEAgency, we are looking forward to a strong 2018 – with s/s 18 collections arriving soon in the UK and our manufacturers very keen to support our customers with social media, we see a new relationship being forged between brand and consumer. In terms of the industry, we have always welcomed change and new ideas – I believe it’s important to remind ourselves, and for the wider industry, that to succeed we must always keep pushing boundaries. What are your plans for your business in 2018? Some plans for the expansion of the agency we have already put into place and have added new collections, from accessories to innovative clothing. We have moved showroom location because we also felt inspired to make a change in our working environment, always striving to help the customer enjoy their buying experience a little more each season. We recognise how pressured the buying season can be and it is our aim to make this as pleasurable and time effective as we can to our buyers. With the help of our PR company and brands, we are driving to increase consumer awareness to help our customers improve their sales.


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ALEKS PRZEDPELSKA, FOUNDER, SUGARHILL BOUTIQUE What has been your highlight of 2017 in terms of your business? We have had a full and very busy year! At the beginning of the year, we launched a new range of Breton tops which have been a great success, bringing us great exposure and capturing new customers for all our sales channels – wholesale and retail. However, the highlight would be the launch of our #WearAndCare Charity campaign. We have collaborated with three UK charities [Born Free, Plan International UK and local Brighton charity Whoopsadaisy], to develop three tops, of which £10 of each sale will go to the related charity. We launched on 5 September, International Charity Day, and it was soon apparent that the campaign was going to be a hit and all the hard work was going to pay off to help us raise money for all three causes. It was particularly great to see some of our wholesale partners come on board and help us raise awareness for the charities. What has proved a particular challenge, and how have you/are you overcoming this? We have found the weak pound as a result of Brexit has driven our production costs up. A major challenge has been dealing with the rising costs without passing it on to our customers. We are always very aware of the needs of both our wholesale and retail customers, so we are always reviewing our pricing strategies so that we can offer the best prices which truly reflect the quality of our products and the exclusive nature of our designs. What have been the biggest developments that have affected your business? As previously mentioned, the exchange rate fluctuations which occurred as a knock on from Brexit have proved particularly challenging, making us tighten our belts and constantly review the rise in making costs. Furthermore, our European partners (wholesalers and distributors) have concerns regarding Brexit and how it will affect our partnerships when it is put in place. On the positive side – our industry is changing and there have been huge advancements in the development of eco-friendly and sustainable products. This is a great change which hopefully will influence more brands to review their supply chain and working policies so they can work towards a more sustainable and ethical working model. What is your outlook for 2018? We have a very positive outlook for 2018. Through constant analysis of sales and our consumers’ needs, we have worked hard to develop new product lines which will be launching next year. Our brand offering is unique and the demand is growing, which we are looking forward to continuing into the new year. What are your plans for your business in 2018? We are very excited about our plans for 2018. It pleases me to say we will be launching organic cotton ranges in the spring which will continue with further drops throughout the year. We have also seen impressive growth in our wholesale channel and will expand into new territories.

ASH & LORRAINE JOHNSON, FOUNDERS, PYRUS What has been your highlight of 2017 in terms of your business? AJ: 2017 has been an epic year for us, with some very low lows and very high highs. The best thing we did this year was in July – we realised a long-term dream and set up a new office in India to manage our production. The team there is working hard to manage our critical path and quality control at every stage of the production process, they oversee and source vendors, and also source new developments for us. It’s great to have our staff on the ground there to be able to respond without the time-lag associated with working in different time zones. It has been a very promising start. What has proved a particular challenge, and how have you/are you overcoming this? LJ: Earlier this year, we lost our main production source that was run by a family in India and had been trading for 35 years. The effects of this were terrible for us as we had to cancel an entire season’s drops and it almost destroyed us. Luckily, we were able to set up a team there very quickly and search for new vendors. The upshot of this was that we ended up with a very diversified pool of vendors that helped mitigate and diversify our risk base. We are now in a position to develop product and manufacture it much quicker than before. We are very thankful to the support and understanding our stockists gave us during this time. There is no way we would be here if they hadn’t stuck by us during this very difficult time. What have been the biggest developments that have affected your business? AJ: I think social media has really affected how we design and deliver our products. The requirements of garments are very different now compared to what they used to be before the days of Instagram and the rise of online shopping. Products need to look good on the screen. The customers normally make judgements on one of our blouses from a picture. Of course the details and fabric matter, but a lot of garments we make now need to work as a picture on screen first. What is your outlook for 2018? LJ: I think the outlook is generally positive. Yes, there is a lot of uncertainty out there in the market because of Brexit. The government really needs to build consumer confidence. However, there are stores that are trading very well out there and I would say it’s all about knowing who your customer is, connecting with them and offering them a personal service. It’s about building brand loyalty by offering the customer a curated experience that fits their needs. What are your plans for your business in 2018? AJ: For us, personally, we are very excited about the future. We are moving to a model where we drop in-season products to our boutiques little and often. We are also working with larger department stores and multiple independents to deliver exclusive product on an almost monthly basis. 2018 is going to see us develop this model further and we plan to work on the supply chain to further improve our lead times.

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Exhibition Calendar

Sponsored by:

WWB highlights the essential tradeshows for the a/w 18 season.

THE LONDON TEXTILE FAIR 10-11 January The Business Design Centre, Islington, London N1 020 8347 8145

WHITE Man + Woman 13-15 January Via Tortona 27, Milan +39 02 345 92785 HONG KONG FASHION WEEK 15-18 January Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong +852 183 0668 TOP DRAWER 14-16 January Olympia, London 020 7384 8242 BRIGHT 16-18 January Arena, Am Flutgraben, Berlin +49 30 208 891 3600

PANORAMA BERLIN 16-18 January ExpoCenter City, Berlin +49 3027 595 6040 PREMIUM 16-18 January STATION-Berlin, Luckenwalder Straße, Berlin +49 3020 889 1330 SEEK 16-18 January Arena, Eichenstrasse 4, Berlin +49 3020 8891 3400 SHOW&ORDER 16-18 January Kühlhaus Station, Berlin +49 3020 8891 330 INDIA INTERNATIONAL GARMENT FAIR 17-19 January Pragati Maidan, New Delhi +91 124 270 8163

TRANOÏ PARIS 19-21 January Carreau du Temple, Palais de la Bourse, Paris +33 1530 18490 BIJORHCA 19-22 January Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, Paris +33 1 4756 5282 WHO’S NEXT X PREMIERE CLASSE 19-22 January Porte de Versailles, Paris +33 1 4013 7474 MODEFABRIEK 21-22 January Amsterdam RAI Europaplein 8, Amsterdam +31 2044 21960 JACKET REQUIRED 24-25 January Old Truman Brewery, London 01484 848313

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SUPREME 27-30 January Bennigsen Platz 1, Kaiserswertherstraße/Ecke, Karl-Arnold-Platz, Düsseldorf +49 894 204 4790 SCOOP INTERNATIONAL 28-30 January Saatchi Gallery, Kings Road, London 020 7596 5154 CIFF 31 January-2 February Bella Center, Copenhagen +45 5060 4527 REVOLVER 31 January-2 February Revolver Village Entrance, Halmtorvet 11, Copenhagen 0045 3964 8586 INDX WOMENSWEAR & FOOTWEAR 6-8 February Cranmore Park, Solihull 0121 713 4453 LONDONEDGE 11-12 February Business Design Centre, Upper Street, London 0116 279 5179

PURE LONDON 11-13 February Olympia, London 020 3033 2015 MICAM 11-14 February Fiera Milano, Milan +39 0243 8291 MAGIC 12-14 February Las Vegas & Mandalay Bay Convention Centers, Las Vegas +1 218 740 6873 magic PREMIERE VISION PARIS 13-15 February Parc des Expositions, Paris Nord-Villepinte, Paris +33 1 7038 7030 LONDON FASHION WEEK 16-20 February The Store Studios & various venues, London 020 7759 1979 MODA ACCESSORIES 18-20 February NEC Birmingham 01484 846069

MODA FOOTWEAR 18-20 February NEC Birmingham 01484 846069 MODA WOMAN 18-20 February NEC Birmingham 01484 846069 CPM MOSCOW 19-22 February Expocentre, Moscow +49 211 439 6397 SUPER 24-26 February The Mall, Porta Nuova Varesine, Piazza Lina Bo Bardi, Milan +39 055 3693425 MOMAD SHOES 2-4 March IFEMA Convention & Congress Centre, Madrid +34 902 221 515 ILM Summer Styles 3-5 March Messe Offenbach Offenbach +49 6982 975520 CHIC SHANGHAI 14-16 March National Exhibition & Convention Centre, Shanghai +86 10 6505 0617


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Showtime in Berlin

The Premium Group once again offers a diverse portfolio of trade shows across its 16 to 18 January dateline, with Premium, Show & Order, Seek and the conference format #Fashiontech making for a jam-packed industry showcase. WWB takes a closer look at each of the segments.

Premium Premium prides itself on continually analysing latest consumer lifestyles trends and adapting the trade show accordingly to present the trends and labels of the future. With 1,000 brands and 1,800 collections, and with new labels making up to 30 per cent of exhibitors per season, Premium provides a handpicked selection of sought-after international labels. This season will see an even stronger focus on athleisure with Athletic Life & Style, reflecting the global rise in the active lifestyle market. Active brands such as Casall, Desigual Sport, Pyrates, Dresp, Morotai, Arys, Body Language Sportswear, Califortunate, The White Brand, Flexi Lexi Fitness, Guess Sport, Blue Sportswear and Flip Flop will be presenting their latest collections. To emphasise the meaning of the overall concept to buyers, the fashion brands will be presented alongside a spotlight on food and wider trends and lifestyle concepts.

Show & Order x Premium With an independent and surprising “off-the-beatentrack” approach, Show & Order x Premium presents a portfolio consisting of fashion collections from all segments, complemented by experience-focused products and concepts that aim to awe and inspire. Taking up residence in the Kühlhaus next to Premium and the Station-Berlin premises, from January the show will transform the Kühlhaus into a space for experiential retail experiences, creating an atmosphere that reflects the look and feel of a modern department store. Over six partly open, gallery-like floors, which will be named after international fashion metropolises, around 200 fashion brands will be exhibiting, along with beauty products, stationery, book and magazine corners, interior and design pieces and cutting-edge food concepts that will be presented in various experience spaces spread over all floors. The objective is to offer inspiration, stories and emotions via a business platform in order to provide retailers with the opportunity to differentiate themselves in the global market through individualised product ranges as well as customer-related concepts and activities.

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SEEK As the voice of street culture, SEEK presents a curated selection of brands that perfectly translate today’s street and urbanwear trends. The portfolio is made up of menswear brands supplemented by a growing number of hand-picked womenswear and unisex collections. Alongside the fashion pieces, Seek also presents a wide range of footwear and accessory collections, gadgets, beauty products, stationery and homewares. Since its debut in 2009, SEEK has placed the emphasis on autonomy, anti-trend sentiment, tradition and provenance. Shaped by subcultures, music and art, SEEK is all about creating, nurturing and reinterpreting sustainable values. Precise profiling and a focus on carefully defined style tribes that reflect the contemporary zeitgeist ensure that Seek provides retailers with valuable inspiration in tune with the latest street style trends. Navigating through SEEK is made especially easy thanks to themed fashion segments. The colourcoded areas highlight the different spaces such as Classics and Icons for timeless products, Craftsmanship for faithful, heritage-inspired exhibitors, Strong Zeitgeist for the everyday heroes, Sports and Streetwear for signature brands that shape the street style of today and Green Force for conscious fashion and lifestyle products.

#Fashiontech Berlin Since the launch of the conference format in January 2015, the aim of #Fashiontech Berlin has been to showcase the latest developments at the interface of fashion and technology. Fashion experts, industry insiders, start-ups, designers and global players once again will come together to discuss potential approaches and opportunities, as well as to foster business relations. This season, Premium Group is bringing Messe Frankfurt on board as a partner, moving #Fashiontech from the Kühlhaus to Kraftwerk Berlin. The partnership will be combined with expanded content and overall concept in order to offer solutions and accompany the industry’s digital transformation. The #Fashiontech programme, which focuses strongly on the topics E-Commerce & Retailtech and Digital Marketing & Communications, will be complemented by Messe Frankfurt’s new format FashionSustain, covering the topics Future of Textiles and Sustainability.


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The a/w 18 edition of Berlin show Panorama is set to welcome over 800 exhibitors across eleven halls covering 45,000 sqm. WWB explores what the show has in store this season. Panorama returns this season with a revised exhibitor portfolio and a new segment structure. Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, the show is redefining its distinctiveness with the motto ‘Shaping Identities’. “After 10 successful seasons, we decided to take the concept we’ve used so far and revise it in a way that makes sense,” says Jörg Wichmann, CEO of Panorama Berlin. “Shaping Identities describes our mission and is also what we are asking our brands to do: sharpen your profile and present your brands with a strong message. Thanks to a new hall structure, expanded lifestyle areas and our brand-new community areas, Panorama Berlin remains the best platform for this.” The new hall structure is set to simplify navigation and orientation, as well as enhance the visitor experience. There will be areas specifically dedicated to womenswear and menswear, with products that seamlessly transition from casual to formal, from classic to progressive, reflecting the buying behaviour of modern customers. Hall 1 presents exclusive womenswear, beginning with high-quality, feminine apparel by Grace and continuing in Hall 3 with the younger, more extroverted women’s world of Style Hub, followed by Hall 5, which is dedicated to accessories. Gents can be found in Hall 2, while Hall 4 offers clothing that ranges from classic menswear to progressive upper casual and contemporary unisex collections. This is followed by the shoe collections presented in Soled in Hall 6. Xoom, a new platform for sustainable fashion, will make its debuts this season in Hall 7C, while Hipstar (Hall 7B) continues its focus on plus-size fashion, and Lectures take place in Hall 7A.

Once again dedicated to denim and streetwear, Nova in Hall 9 serves as a connecting point, both content-wise and in terms of location, to Selvedge Run – the trade show for quality garments and crafted goods in the Marshall House. In addition, the concept of lifestyle areas, in particular fashion with integrated lifestyle products, which was already successfully implemented in the Nova area, will now be introduced in the main halls. The various halls will be set up like modern department stores. The architecture will direct visitors to the centre of each division, where products and gadgets selected for the specific target groups will be presented, strengthening the segment and adding new sources of Date: 16 to 18 January inspiration. Moreover, these lifestyle areas will Location: Berlin ExpoCentreCity / feature visually impressive Messe Berlin community areas that will More information: be inspiring to see and experience. “The 2018 fall/winter season will address the increased need for inspiration, emotion and information and usher in Panorama Berlin’s next chapter,” says Jörg Wichmann. Brand highlights this season include Grace Mucho Gusto, Marc Cain, A-line Clothing, Coster Copenhagen, Oui, Herrlicher, Soaked In Luxury, Moss Copenhagen, Yas, Pieces, Pep, Grace & Mila, Saint Tropez, Kleinigkeit, Freequent, Imperial, Re.draft, Derhy, Lofty Manner, Vila, Bsb Jeans, Rino & Pelle, Buena Vista, Broadway Nyc Fashion, Blutsgeschwister and more.

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Scoop Celeste Mogador Fashion’s must-visit destination, Scoop, is set to deliver another strong lineup of boutique brands, niche Blugirl Folies labels and international designers when it returns to the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea, London on 28 - 30 January. The trade show is once again attracting a host of new faces as well as popular brands who will be showcasing their latest collections at the a/w 18 edition. CELESTE MOGADOR Céleste Mogador is a niche designer brand specialising in the application of embroidery inspired by Breton tradition, the native of the designer. The brand offers small capsules of luxury ready-to-wear, unique jewellery, accessories, and cement tiles, all with embroidery at its heart. — BLUGIRL FOLIES Blugirl Folies was born in 2007 as the younger collection of Blugirl, designed by Anna Molinari, but with a more metropolitan and rock attitude without losing the original DNA. The range is contemporary, feminine and romantic, and can be found in some of the best multi-brand department stores around the world. — VAUBEL US jewellery label Vaubel offers sculptural, modern art to wear handmade jewellery. Founded four decades ago by Steve and Anita Vaubel, the brand has almost cult status in its native New York, with high-profile stockists ranging from Bergdorf Goodman to Saks Fifth Avenue.

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Studio Memph Vaubel

Fore more information, pre-registration and a full brand listing visit

TANDEM Part of the same group behind cult label Transit par such, Tandem has been a key player in international fashion for two decades. Entirely produced in its native Italy, Tandem is loved for its clean lines, beautiful textures and subtle but effective use of colour, and a/w 18 promises to continue in this vein with a collection that embraces effortless elegance and understated cool. — HARC Parisian design house Harc offers luxurious and unique handbags displaying genuine finesse and creative flair. Geometric lines are at the core of each collection, with each style made from high-end leathers chosen in one of the best tanneries in the world and carefully put together by hand by experienced artisans. An arrow, which features across the designs, is key to the identity of the label, as are beautiful details which make it a definite brand to watch. — STUDIO MEMPHIS Studio Memphis hails from Italy and specialises in vintage inspired footwear made for a modern context and consumer. Each style is 100 per cent designed and made in Italy to the highest craftsmanship and finest leathers, bringing the beauty of classic styles back into a 21st century setting.

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Jacket Required Returning to the Old Truman Brewery on 24 to 25 January, Jacket Required is entering its second season featuring womenswear, presenting a mix of progressive and iconic global brands. WWB takes a look at some of the brands to watch.



THE CORDS & CO The Cords & Co was launched by a passionate group of people with a shared loved of corduroy. The brand launched in the summer and has since opened five flagship stores in five fashion capitals worldwide, including one in London, as well as expanded via wholesale partners in nearly 20 markets. Focusing on classic pieces reimagined in a contemporary way, iconic 70s staple corduroy makes a comeback in bright colours and bold shapes, with the brand making its much-anticipated debut at the show.

Red Wing Shoe Company started making boots for women in the midst of the roaring 20s, a decade rich with new freedoms and opportunities for women. The brand’s Women’s Heritage Collection celebrates Red Wing Shoe Company’s legacy of building premium, iconic footwear for independent women and features the 6” moc toe boot akin to the classic 875, as well as a redesigned Iron Ranger and Short Engineer.


HANCOCK Hancock is a British label that produces rubberised outerwear in Scotland. Inspired by the English inventor Thomas Hancock, who patented vulcanisation in 1843, all ‘vulcanised’ pieces are handmade at its factory in Cumbernauld. Each article is first cut then sewn by a team of machinists before it is passed to experienced coat-makers. Interior seams and pockets are glued and taped by hand (a process called ‘smearing’), before being rolled flat using a hardened steel hand roller, finished with a rubber cleaning wheel tool.


+351 Named after the international dialling code for Portugal, the brand’s native, +351 was created by designer Ana Costa and inspired by her love for the city of Lisbon and proximity to the ocean. The brand delivers clothing with attitude, but in a relaxed day-to-day style. All garments are locally produced to the highest quality standards.

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Drawing on a 140-year history, Helly Hansen remains one of the most recognised global outdoor and activewear labels. Applying the right mix of high-perfomance fabrics, innovative technology and style has been part of the brand’s DNA since it was launched in 1877. The brand will be presenting its latest women’s and men’s collections at Jacket Required, which continues in this vein.

US label Schott has been making classic clothing that’s committed to authenticity, durability and craftsmanship for over a century now. The company, which is still owned by the third and fourth generation of the Schott family, manufactures most of its clothing in the US, sewn by trained craftspeople. The brand will not only be showing its coveted men’s and women’s collections, but also presenting a mini-archive within the show, celebrating 90 years of its iconic Perfecto jacket.



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LEE What started as utility and workwear brand back in Kansas, US, over 100 years ago, is now one of the most recognised names in global denim, with arguably iconic status. Today Lee is about bringing more fits, styles, finishes and features than ever before to the market. Its latest collection goes back to the 70s post-punk scene, with rips, zips and a lot of attitude key. For more information, pre-registration and a full brand listing visit

ARMOR LUXE Created in 1938 in Quimper, Armor Lux is well-known for the originality of its clothes influenced by French maritime tradition and the values conveyed by the sea. Inspiration each season comes from the coastline of Brittany, creating impeccably produced clothes for an active lifestyle. Pea coats, duffle coats, Breton shirts and more are key signature pieces, though the collection also encompasses a full selection of ready-to-wear.

Redefining womenswear If you’re in fashion, you need to be at Moda Woman & Accessories. Take a look ahead to some of the show’s edited highlights at the NEC this season on 18-20 February.


Want to know more about lifestyle retail? As part of a brand new content and events programme, you’ll hear from the retailers who have successfully conquered the lifestyle sector, gaining an edge on their womenswear competitors. Other highlights from this season’s seminar programme include how to build a website that appeals, networking tips and how to stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

INSTA-FAMOUS Need to boost your Instagram presence?

For the first time ever, Moda visitors will have the chance to get creative at our interactive photography workshops. Taking place throughout the three-day show, the workshops are a practical, hands-on guide to taking effective promotional images, with the help of a professional stylist and photographer. If you have ever been inspired to create Insta-friendly shoots but didn’t know where to start, it’s an unmissable introduction – no filter required.


BRAND NEW NAMES Katy Perry Footwear, department store favourite Fiorelli and a host of boutique French labels – this season’s first-timers are in a league of their own. Take a fresh look at Moda as a raft of new faces join the line-up across the full spectrum of fashion. There’s no other place where you can discover so many inspiring new collections alongside your core favourites for the season ahead. KAT Y PERRY FOOT WEAR


Get inspired for a/w 18.

Moda Woman’s three-day catwalk programme selects the key styles of the season to create a lively, inspirational showcase. From on-trend dresses to essential outerwear, the carefully curated edit is a must-see for womenswear buyers ahead of autumn / winter. Get a new perspective from the frow, and gain an edge on the season as you head into a/w 18.


Want to be part of the main event this season?

Join your contemporaries at the live hub of all things fashion. Don’t miss your chance to network with everyone who’s anyone in the world of womenswear. Join in panel discussions, catch up over a glass of fizz and share the ideas that keep your business thriving this autumn / winter.



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Top Drawer

The s/s 18 edition of Top Drawer, held 14 to 16 January at London’s Olympia, will present over 1,500 leading and undiscovered UK and international brands, curated and chosen for their beautiful design, exceptional quality, originality and commercial appeal. The show encompasses the dynamic sectors of Home, Gift, Fashion, Greetings & Stationery, Children’s, Wellbeing, Spotted and Craft, as well as Food Emporium, and provides exclusive access to this season’s hottest new design-led products.





NOOKI DESIGN The brainchild of Cat Scourfield and Thuy Laurie Tang, Nooki Design was established in 2011, after they struggled to find the kind of cool, quirky accessories that they wanted to use. 15 years’ experience in the fashion industry, producing accessories for other brands, were pooled together and the result is a versatile collection of bags in classic shapes and illustrative prints, as well as clothing in easy-to-wear shapes and pockets in everything. ONE HUNDRED STARS One Hundred Stars creates eye-catching screenprinted scarves, kimonos, kurtas, pants and gowns. The eclectic collection is influenced by the designer’s travels around the world and made up of a combination of soft, natural fabrics. The brand is all about statement fashion pieces that are fun and comfortable to wear, with new patterns and prints adapted each season. SANDY GARDNER New designer Sandy Gardner will launch her silk range of elegant chic Artwear from ‘The Art of Flying’ collection at Top Drawer. Each of these highly detailed designs take over two months to complete. The wings begin with a combination of pen-and-ink line drawings, coloured with water colours washes. With the meticulous use of a drawing tablet, fine brush details are added. Each design is completed by digitally


combining the hand-rendered elements with layered fragments of digital photography and collage. The collection includes shawls, square scarves and pocket squares in cotton tana lawn and luxurious silk satin. SCREAM PRETTY Scream Pretty is a new British brand inspired by urban living and individual style. The jewellery is for every woman who loves fashion and wants contemporary jewellery to wear every day, for any occasion. From sets of mismatched single earrings, skinny stacking bangles, daggered chokers, to on-trend huggie and threader earrings, Scream Pretty’s mission is to introduce the latest jewellery trends in an accessible, everyday wearable way. ASHIANA LONDON Ashiana London celebrates design and colour from around the globe by creating luxurious jewellery and accessories for the fashion-conscious bohemian traveller. Designed in London and hand crafted in India, Ashiana’s soft accessories range has grown rapidly since its launch, using fun and classic prints, unique weaves and textures, all accentuated with handmade pompoms and tassels. Ashiana offers pouches, clutches, handbags, cocktail bags and slouchy bags for all occasions and for travels from beach holiday through city break, to country escape and winter chalet.

Autumn/Winter 2017

Tel: 0203 819 0819

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Fashion SVP

Europe’s leading fashion manufacturing and sourcing event will offer buyers a ‘taster menu’ of the latest trends at its next edition, which runs on 16 – 17 January 2018 at London’s Olympia. New area the Fashion Edit will showcase the latest trends in fabrics and garments, with advice and information from key manufacturers throughout the show. Rhonda Dearsley, Fashion SVP Event Manager, explains: “Whatever your brand size or philosophy, getting in on the ground floor of a future trend, or being able to exploit a new trend coming quickly to the fore within the fastmoving fashion environment, is a skill no successful fashion business can afford to be without. So, to highlight the design skills of our exhibitors, their flexibility and reactivity to an ever-changing environment, and to help you with what might just be the hot new trends for the future, we have put together this ‘taster menu’ of hot designs.” Another fresh feature at the show is the Fashion Station, a new educational and advice zone for budding new brands, fashion entrepreneurs and aspiring designers, offering sourcing, legal and business advice from industry authorities. Experts from Alison Lewy MBE (Fashion Angel), Fashion Jobs, Ethical Fashion Forum and Stobbs Solicitors will be on hand to advise on fashion business

funding and mentoring, sustainable and ethical sourcing, what people are looking for in a new designer, how to turn a design degree into a career and legal protection for new brands. In addition, visitors can attend free educational seminar sessions in the Sourcing Academy and hear from industry experts on topics such as ethical sourcing, digital retail, demanding new sourcing strategies, supply chain and production, is the fast fashion era over?, near shore versus far east sourcing and more. Expert speakers from a range of disciplines and organisations, including retailers, brands and manufacturers, offer knowledge, insight, advice and tips. Held twice a year, Fashion SVP is designed specifically for brands, designers, buyers and retailers who source manufacturing directly from factories. Now in its sixth year, the show provides visitors with the opportunity to meet over 100 suppliers who can deliver manufacturing services on all garment and accessory types and materials from across Europe and the Mediterranean. Register for free at

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How fast fashion has captivated the Millennial market Millennials are one of the most powerful consumer groups in the retail market. These 18 to 34-year-olds are opting for life experiences over savings or spending money on costly attire. Millennials started their shopping journey spending their pocket money on Primark quick-fixes and getting the latest look for £10 – and that was the whole outfit. While they were at university, they continued to look for high-impact, low-cost fashion and as they stepped into adulthood, they and their younger siblings have been the driver of the internet shopping boom. Ian Tomlinson reports.

ONLINE LABELS DOMINATE THE FASHION MARKET The high-street fashion industry, once dominated by bricks and mortar labels such as River Island, Topshop, H&M and Zara, has seen a shift in consumer fashion purchases. 2017 has become the year for online fashion retailers to captivate the millennial market through cheap fashion, online social influence and consumer convenience, resulting in phenomenal growth and financial rewards. Fast fashion? You mean ‘even faster fashion’. There is a new generation in fashion labels leaving behind the high street giants. The ever-rising prices over the last few years has led to an opening in the market for fashion newcomers to enter. The quick fashion business strategies are some of the savviest around and have earned great rewards. The models are modern and more dynamic than traditional models used by high-street brands and instead focus on cheaper prices, quick stock turnarounds and new pieces hitting the sales almost instantaneously. These businesses have pushed fast fashion to step up a gear and seen labels such as Boohoo, MissGuided, and PrettyLittleThing revolutionise the fashion industry. DYNAMIC STRATEGY Considered as ‘fast fashion’, the digital fashion brands interpret the looks of TV celebrities on the red carpet over catwalk-focused seasonal wear. Unlike Zara, who can take a design from the catwalk to the sales floor in just 25 days, research by Goldman Sachs identified that the changes in celebrity trends on the red carpet can be quickly turned around and hit the online fashion scene in a matter of weeks, if not days, from ‘even faster fashion’ labels like Boohoo.

The choice to differentiate themselves from the catwalk sees fast fashion companies focus less on ‘investment purchases’ and more on what’s a hot trend right now – specifically targeting the millennial market who don’t have £40 to spend on a dress but have £15 to £20 instead. The millennial wallet has its limitations and the availability of cheaper clothes, with dresses costing £15 and T-shirts a mere £4, have powered the rapid expansion of online quick fashion retailers. Industry analysts state that Boohoo is ‘the most successful online fashion retailer to apply and deliver the model’, making it one of the biggest online clothing retailers. The astute strategy, known as “Test and Repeat”, involves making smaller quantities of a design, no more than 300 at a time, and to then quickly increase production volumes of the ones that sell best. SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE SOCIAL INFLUENCE Social media plays a huge role in our lives today. Prior to it, fashion purchases were based on reading magazines and figuring out what the next investment purchase was going to be. Today, social media feeds the social influence in the discovery of the latest trends, making it arguably the most powerful psychological trigger that leads to purchases in marketing. For most, high-end fashion is simply out of their price range. However, cheap fast fashion is ideal for the world of Instagram and Snapchat, where most fashion influencers post numerous times a day and wear outfits only once. So, for fast fashion labels whose shop fronts are Instagram and Facebook, the psychology created around not wearing an item too

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often by social influencers attracts the millennial market in, encouraging them to purchase. Additionally, instead of opting for 5ft 10inch models with a size 0 waist like most high-street fashion labels, they choose alternative fashion influencers like Lionel Richie’s 18-year-old daughter Sofia for Boohoo and Missguided’s 5ft 1in mixed-race model. The social influence trend has created a fashion movement amongst young girls who can relate to the size or height of these influencers with the desire to mirror and look like them. The online fast fashion labels have managed to connect with a younger audience via the use of social media alone. WILL THE SUCCESS BE SUSTAINABLE? Fast fashion has become a minority in the retail industry, reaping huge financial benefits and growth during a time when bricks and mortar brands are suffering closures and reining in store expansions to shift their focus online. Yet the benefits rely on social media’s short-lived trend cycles which see millennials seeking out their moment of inspiration from social influencers to purchase an item.

The question, however, remains: will the leaders in ‘even faster fashion’ like Boohoo be able to sustain their growth and success, while bricks and mortar brands seek to entice consumers back in by creating a customer experience that communicates its brand image online and offline? Conversely, the fast fashion business strategy differentiates itself by basing stock levels on the best-selling items purchased online, minimising the financial risk of an item not selling well and would simply not work outside the online-only fashion business model. But for now, until new technology trends appear and stores develop unique customer experiences that really draws the consumers away from the convenience of online shopping and online social influence, it seems the ‘even faster fashion’ trend won’t be slowing down just yet.

Ian Tomlinson is CEO of RetailStore

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The Last Word with... Ulrich Schulte, Head of Design, Riani What is the best aspect about working for a brand like Riani and heading the design? It is wonderful to work in a familiar atmosphere where decisions can be made quickly and not across various hierarchical steps. As for the design, on the one hand we try to fulfil our customers’ expectations, on the other hand we want to surprise them with new and fashionable things, which is what is also exciting for us. What is the biggest challenge of your role? The biggest challenge is always to find the good balance between evolution and innovation in design. Who is the typical Riani customer, and is that changing, or has that changed over the years? I think the typical premium fashion customer has changed a lot over the years. Years ago, it was all about status and businesswear. Nowadays customers are a lot more casually orientated. Their life has changed. It is much more active and leisure time driven. Everybody wants to dress comfortably, and look prestigious and sexy at the same time.

What is your background and when did you join Riani? After training as a dressmaker in German company Steilmann, I studied fashion design at Hannover School of Fashion and Design. Then I worked for 16 years for German brand Orwell. I joined Riani in 2008 and have worked there happily ever after. What is the key focus of your role? As head of design at Riani, my job is to set the guidelines of the new collection in collaboration with my fellow designers. I take part in every single fitting of the new collection and I’m responsible for the total look that is created by the different product groups, making sure we have a coherent and recognisable signature and brand image throughout. Do you work closely with Riani’s founders, Martina and Juergen Buckenmaier? Yes, we have a very productive relationship and we collaborate closely between design and the wider strategy of the brand, much to the benefit and growth of the company. I think this is part of our success – we are all very passionate about the brand and the company, and we bounce off each other very well. How do you define the design ethos of Riani? Riani fits – always and everywhere. We always try to imagine the different occasions in the life of our “Rianistas” and try to create the exact right outfit for them. We want to be the go-to-brand for our customers for all occasions, lifestyles and situations, and this is what drives the ethos and design aesthetic of the brand.

Riani has a lot of celebrity clients – do you still have any dream celebrity customers you would love to dress? My dream customer doesn’t have to be a celebrity – it can be any woman wearing size 36 or 46, dressed in Riani, looking selfconfident and well dressed. This is the best confirmation for the quality of my work. Where do you find your main inspiration? There are three main channels that inspire me hugely; firstly our fabric suppliers and printers, mainly based in Italy, work in very close collaboration with us every season, and their research and knowledge hugely inspires me. This is directly linked to Riani’s ‘fabric love’, one of our key slogans. Then, of course, I am inspired by our customers. We analyse what they like and their way to dress. Then we evolve from that and try to create an element of surprise. And thirdly, other international designers inspire me, too. If there is something really new on the catwalk, you can’t but at least think about it and consider how this can be implemented into our collection. Inspiration is everywhere, which is partially why I love my job. Which other fashion brands and businesses do you personally admire and why? This changes a lot over the years. Sometimes you admire designers who are well known for their consistent style and work, like, for example, Jil Sander. Then again you appreciate the exuberant creativity of people like Alessandro Michele. That’s fashion – one day Miss Purity and the next day Fashionista… Where do you see Riani in five years’ time? In the market and very successful!

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