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MWB-ONLINE.CO FEBRUARY 2018 | CONTENTS | 05
F E A T U R E S 10
Advice, news and issues online
The latest in-store news
Learning more about the innovative employment platform for working parents
Rounding up the key stories this month
The essential low-down on the UK’s largest fashion trade fair
Your guide to the live interactive content in and around Moda Gent
The voice behind the brand
We catch up with three brands to discover what the new season has in store
Moda Gent: The Brands
The must-visit exhibitors this season
Moda Footwear: The Brands
Complement your clothing offer with Moda’s footwear line-up
Pitti Uomo; Street Style
The trends spotted throughout Florence
Pitti packs them in
Our highlights from the Fortezza da Basso
Tee off for Glenmuir
Discovering the new direction for leading golfwear brand Glenmuir
The standout collections of London Fashion Week Men’s
Jacket Required: People Talk
The developments and news from people in the know
Where the eagle dares
The reinvigoration of Lyle & Scott
The products and trends to buy for a/w 18
R E G U L A R S 7 8 18
Comment News Interview
68 71 74
Collective The Bottomley Line Last Orders With…
Front cover: Shirt – Eton 07841 014 733 Scarf – Knightsbridge 01765 640 576 Wool blazer – Eden Park 020 3432 6387
MWB-ONLINE.CO FEBRUARY 2018 | COMMENT | 07
COMMENT E D I T O R Victoria Jackson email@example.com — D E P U T Y
E D I T O R
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Silvia Collins firstname.lastname@example.org — E D I T O R I A L
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How often are we faced with the phrase “the death of the high street”, as online sales continue to surge? But bricks-and-mortar stores really do have a chance to flourish in 2018, as innovative menswear retailers emerge, offering exciting and creative concepts to the consumer. — Being ahead of the game and understanding changes within the retail landscape really will set you apart from the store next door. Understanding this thirst for knowledge, fashion trade fair Moda has put its focus firmly on the menswear industry this season and is offering its most comprehensive programme of seminars and interactive elements to date. On the opening day of the show (Sunday 18th February), myself and the MWB team will be hosting brunch at 10.30am at the Hall 19 catwalk. Ahead of the first menswear catwalk of the day, showcasing the key trends set to dominate the high street during a/w 18, it gives retailers, buyers and brands a chance to catch up over a coffee and a bite to eat. Because, let’s face it, having the chance to chat to industry peers and find out Joe Bloggs at the other end of the country is going through the same retail woes as you is reassuring. The February edition will also see Moda Gent partner with The Gentleman’s Grooming & Lifestyle Show – a collaboration which welcomes complimentary onsite beard trims and haircuts from premium grooming brand Drogo. This offers retailers the chance to try products for themselves and take advice from those in the know. If you’re in need of expert advice on those issues affecting your business, then why not book into one of the show’s retail-focused workshops? Places are free, offering you a smaller, more intimate environment to get help with those burning questions – from cash flow advice to turning web traffic into sales. A full list of workshops and how to book your place can be found on p31. Finally, our live photography studio will be running throughout the event, giving you a chance to perfect your flat lay skills and enhance your Instagram game with our cheat sheet of 100 hashtags to get your store or brand noticed online. I look forward to seeing many of you there and please do join us at 10.30 on Sunday 18th February for the MWB x Moda Gent brunch. Have a great month. Victoria Jackson Editor
MWB-ONLINE.CO FEBRUARY 2018 | NEWS | 08
N E W S
STRONG ORDERS REPORTED THROUGHOUT JACKET REQUIRED
ONLINE RETAIL SHOWS SIGNS OF MATURING WITH A TOUGH 2018 AHEAD 2018 is set to be a tough one for etailers and multichannel players alike, as the ecommerce sector is showing signs of a maturing market, analyst IMRG warns. Growth for the online retail market in 2017 was 12.1 per cent year-on-year against a forecast of 14 per cent, with the annual forecast showing single digit growth of 9 per cent for the first time for 2018. UK online retail sales were up 12.1 per cent on average year-on-year in 2017, according to the latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. Compared to 2016’s year-on-year average of 15.9 per cent, and just under 2 percentage points lower than the Index’s 2017 forecast of 14 per cent. This fall in annual growth is one of multiple indicators of a maturing market. Indeed, across the 12 months of 2017, only March and April showed notably stronger year-on-year growth than the previous year. The Index performance in 2016 was largely driven by strong sales growth through smartphones, but this slowed in 2017. Sales growth through smartphones averaged 77 per cent each month from July to December 2016. In the same period in 2017, it fell to 50 per cent. Growth through tablets has also stalled (up 0.7 per cent in 2017), and 2018 growth is expected to slow down further for all devices. According to IMRG, this is consistent with a three-year-bounce pattern of growth identified in the Index, with peaks starting in 2010 and repeating in 2013 and 2016. 2010’s high growth rate can be attributed to a host of factors (including improved website load speeds, user experiences and connectivity), 2013 was when tablets started to account for a significant share of online retail, and 2016 was driven by the proliferation of shopping via smartphones. Should 2018 follow this pattern, it is likely that a new stimulus will enter or proliferate the market during 2019. “2018 will be ultra competitive, with continued uncertainty,” says Bhavesh Unadkat, principal consultant in retail customer engagement at Capgemini. “Retailers will therefore need to be focused on their plans to both survive and grow. One opportunity for growth and differentiation will come from emerging technology, as we saw as a focus in 2017 – voice and social commerce, connected devices all drove interest and investment, and will continue to do so. The big challenge will remain how to drive value and industrialise this capability.” —
The a/w 18 edition of Jacket Required has been hailed a success, with brands reporting confident buying from retailers across both days of the premium trade show. With a positive and bustling atmosphere felt throughout the two-day event, brands welcomed the quality of buyers in attendance “We had a fantastic show, opening a number of new accounts,” says Mark Thorpe, Palladium's UK country sales manager. “This gives us the platform to showcase the more premium end of our collection, the Palladium x Christopher Raeburn collaboration, as we know we’ll hit the right calibre of buyers here.” Kasper Eis, founder of organic clothing label, AMOV, was equally as impressed with business at the show: “We return to Jacket because we know how important it is to remain in the eyesight of buyers. The level of buyers attending Jacket really understand the concept of AMOV and the importance of transparency in manufacturing.” —
BIRA NATIONAL CONFERENCE AND AWARDS 2018 ANNOUNCED Tickets are now available for this year’s British Independent Retailers Association’s (bira) National Conference and Awards on 10 May 2018 at the Jury’s Inn in Hinckley Island, Leicestershire. Headlining the 2018 conference is Levi Roots, who appeared on Dragon’s Den in 2006. Sharing his recipe for business success, Roots will kick off the conference line-up of speakers, who will focus on the future of retail. “Our line-up of speakers this year will focus on what the future has in store for independent retail and the steps we can take to prepare for this, as well as the opportunities available to us at this time of real change,” says Surinder Josan from All Season’s DIY in Smethwick, who will become bira’s national president for 2018-2019 at the conference. The conference will be rounded off by the annual bira awards, showcasing the talent and achievements of bira members and suppliers. —
MWB-ONLINE.CO FEBRUARY 2018 | NEWS | 09
NEWS IN BRIEF
PANORAMA X SELVEDGE RUN COOPERATION HAILED A SUCCESS
DOUBLE TWO DRIVES FORWARD WITH ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVES
The cooperation between denim specialist trade show Selvedge Run and mainstream exhibition Panorama has been hailed a success. Selvedge Run relocated to the exhibition halls of Messe Berlin, home to Panorama, for the a/w 18 season. “It was the right decision to move here to the grounds of Panorama Berlin,” says Shane Brandenburg, show organiser. “Our new location at Marshall House was outstanding – the lighting was sensational and made for a perfect working atmosphere. We also received great feedback from our exhibitors and visitors. We’re definitely back in July.” The 11th edition of Panorama, meanwhile, ended with positive reviews from both exhibitors and visitors alike. Over 800 brands presented their a/w 19 collections, with footfall steady throughout the three-day event. —
Following Prime Minister Theresa May’s agreement to eliminate the UK’s plastic waste by the year 2042, British shirt label Double Two has revealed that in the last year it has reduced its use of plastic packaging by 75 per cent. This involves a commitment to pollution prevention and reduction of carbon emissions, minimisation of waste and avoidance of landfill, efficient use of energy, transport, water and other natural resources, and a commitment to reducing upstream environmental impacts through its supply chain. “We are delighted to have been able to achieve a 75 per cent reduction in the amount of packaging we used on our garments and, as such, reduce the amount of waste produced,” says Richard Donner, chairman of Double Two. “We recycle every surplus item, from plastic cups to used garments. Many garments are also recycled to charities for the homeless and for refugees,” he adds. —
GARDINERS APPOINTED OFFICIAL DISTRIBUTOR FOR HUSH PUPPIES
LACOSTE AND PENTLAND FORM ALLIANCE
Wolverine Worldwide has appointed Gardiners as the official distributor and licensed partner for Hush Puppies footwear for the UK and Ireland. The move aims to strengthen the market penetration and sales of the brand in the UK and accelerate the further growth of the label across its men’s, women’s and children’s footwear divisions. “We’re ecstatic that our successful commercial relationship with Hush Puppies has evolved to full distributorship. We’ve made investments so that retailers can experience the best possible service levels. We’ve strengthened the sales team, not only allowing for nationwide coverage, but also ensuring that each customer experiences a personalised trading relationship,” says Alex Souter, commercial director at Gardiners. —
Lifestyle label Lacoste and fashion, sports and outdoor specialist Pentland Group have announced a strategic alliance and capital sharing joint venture, owned 50-50 by both parties. Pentland will be in charge of creating and manufacturing Lacoste shoes, with Lacoste taking over distribution in key territories, while Pentland continues to distribute in the UK. “This merger is fully in line with Lacoste Group’s strategic plan which aims to promote the brand’s prestige and optimise the coordination of all product categories, reinforcing the Lacoste style everywhere in the world,” says Thierry Guibert, CEO of Lacoste. Since the very first polo shirt was created in 1933, Lacoste has been building on its sportive roots with original lifestyle collections for women, men and children. The brand aims to be the leading player in the premium casual wear market and is today present in 120 countries through a selective distribution network. —
BARBOUR LAUNCHES LIGHTWEIGHT WAXED COTTON GARMENTS British heritage brand Barbour has launched a new range of lightweight 4oz waxed cotton garments for s/s 18, designed especially for spring and early autumn. Created with a new special blend of waxes and oils, Barbour’s lightweight 4oz waxed garments provide a high level of protection from wind and rain, yet weigh around 30 per cent less than Barbour’s traditional waxed cotton garments. The garments are made from American medium staple and pima cotton fibre spun into a very high-quality yarn to create a strong, pristine cotton fabric that is both lightweight and robust. The garments come with cotton linings, lightweight corduroy collars, zips and other trims to further reduce the weight. — LONDONEDGE INTRODUCES “MAKERS AND DESIGNERS” AREA Reflecting the shows commitment to small fashion businesses, LondonEdge will introduce a ‘Makers and Designers’ area for its upcoming edition, taking place 11 to 12 February at the Business Design Centre in London. The aim of the area is to give young brands a platform to showcase their work in a wholesale environment and increase their visibility. Around 20 new designers, including the likes of Blackboard Label, Exo Umbra, Kitsch Republic and Little Pig Jewellery Designs, are currently signed up to the new section of the show, which is set to be one of the fastest-growing areas, with more brands expected to be added to the line-up over the coming weeks. Fully supported and substantially subsidised, the ‘Makers and Designers’ area will offer a critical stepping stone to small fashion industry businesses every season. LondonEdge is the leading commercial platform for authentic subculture fashion brands today, with a mission to support and sustain the alternative fashion lifestyle market and provide a trade show platform for brands industry wide. A celebration of the cool and edgy, the show brings the industry’s attention to both emerging and established brands that push the boundaries and represent fashion-conscious subcultures. From genuine vintage-inspired apparel to rainbow hair colours, fresh and innovative alternative streetwear, dramatic make-up and cutting-edge designers, LondonEdge offers a diverse platform for buyers and exhibitors alike. — BRUHL UNVEILS LATEST INNOVATION The new season welcomes a comprehensive collection from trouser specialist Brühl. Putting a clear emphasis on innovation, a/w 18 sees the introduction of “Future Pants”, a concept which offers advanced fabrics that behave as denim and even wool, yet retain the characteristics – stylish, durable and easy to wear – that make them appealing to the consumer. With sustainability the main driver behind this development, following feedback from both end consumers and retailers, the collection offers a more responsible route of garment design. Key features include elastic fabric and comfort stretch waistband, iron free and climate-control capabilities. —
MWB-ONLINE.CO FEBRUARY 2018 | ADVICE | 10
ONLINE INSIDER Advice, news and issues online.
ADVICE: TAILORING ONLINE EXPERIENCES TO FASHION MORE PERSONALISED SHOPPING ENCOUNTERS
SAMIR BELKHAYAT IS UK DIRECTOR AT CEGID WWW. CEGID.COM/UK
Personalisation within digital shopping experiences continues to be a key consideration for fashion retailers as they look to drive enhanced customer experience throughout their omnichannel offer. Indeed, the latest research from Forrester found two thirds of UK retailers are looking to deliver personalised experiences as a priority – but, for many, finding the right balance when it comes to tailoring experiences remains a challenge as they look to curate one-to-one communication with their customers. While many fashion retailers email product recommendations based on shoppers’ previous purchasing behaviour, consumers now expect brands to understand their shopping behaviour across a multitude of channels, such as in store and social media – and act accordingly. For example, customers want the same customisation levels they receive when browsing online when walking into a store; whether that is a promotional offer based on a recent ‘like’ on Instagram, or a suggested complimentary product to match an item recently bought. However, while it is important that fashion brands aggregate customer data from both online and in store, so delivering a single view of the customer to enhance personalisation, there is a fine line to tread. It is important that retailers do not use their single view of customer data in an unexpected fashion. As consumers, we have all received location-based suggestions or communications from businesses that come across as creepy – it’s up to retailers to emphasise why they are contacting a specific person and underline that previous relationship at the point of contact. As retailers invest in personalisation tools and omnichannel capability, successful deployment will depend on store associates and customer call centre staff using shopper information discerningly and to the customers’ benefit. Getting the personalisation balance right entails choosing the correct tools and training staff to use them effectively, as well as continually learning about customer behaviour and acting on these insights as their behaviour evolves over time. —
WWW.JORDANBUNKER.UK British style blogger Jordan Bunker is certainly a name to watch in the world of digital influencers. From his simple but stylish take on dressing, to his lifestyle features on shopping locally, interior design and documenting his travels around the globe, the self-titled blog is worth bookmarking for Sunday morning reading. —
SURGE IN MOBILE SALES CONTINUES The number of sales made via mobile jumped by 78 per cent in the last six months compared to the same period the previous year, according to ecommerce and digital agency, Visualsoft. The data, pulled from over 1,600 UK retailers, also revealed total mobile sales revenue increased by 85 per cent year-on-year. The biggest boost to mobile sales was seen on Black Friday, when mobile revenue sales spiked to more than three times the average daily total for the entire sixmonth period. Visualsoft, which provides support to help retailers grow their businesses online, suggests the increase is indicative of the evolving ecommerce landscape, which retailers need to pay close attention to. “Mobile sales are booming as consumers increasingly look for the convenience and flexibility offered by shopping on-thego,” say Tim Johnson, chief sales officer at Visualsoft. He continues: “However, if a potential customer visits a mobile site which is difficult to use, it’s unlikely that they will make a purchase. “Retailers must therefore take steps to ensure they are developing fully optimised mobile sites to take advantage of this growth. “Harnessing the power of social media is also critical. Huge numbers of consumers use phones and tablets to browse apps such as Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat on a daily basis, so a strong brand offering on these platforms, with a simple and effective click-through journey, can provide a massive boost to sales.” ASDA LAUNCHES “CLICK & COLLECT TOWER” Asda has launched the UK’s first automated parcel tower that can dispense online orders in less than 60 seconds at its Trafford Park store. The tower acts as a parcel vending machine where customers can pick up online orders from the supermarket’s fashion brand George at Asda, as well as selected third-party partners including Asos, Missguided and Decathlon. The technology has launched in the UK following successful trials by parent company Walmart in the US. As well as allowing collection of orders, it also takes returns. Customers can pick up their order by scanning a barcode sent to their smartphone and the tower will retrieve the order. —
G E N T 18â€“20 February 2018 NEC Birmingham
Register for your ticket at moda-uk.co.uk
MWB-ONLINE.CO FEBRUARY 2018 | RETAIL | NEWS & OPINION | 12
RETAIL INSIDER The latest news and opinion from the menswear retail industry. —
ADVICE BRICKS AND MORTAR TO FLOURISH IN 2018 IAN TOMLINSON is the founder of Retail Store www.retailstore.co.uk
FOOTLOCKER TO MAKE 21,000 SQ FT FOOTPRINT AT LIVERPOOL ONE Grosvenor Europe has announced leading global athletic footwear and apparel retailer Footlocker is to open a 21,000 sq ft store on Liverpool One’s South John Street. The new store will be one of the brand’s largest in a global portfolio of 2,500 stores. “Securing Footlocker is a reflection of our strategy of providing visitors with a highly compelling and relevant offer that is unavailable elsewhere,” says Alison Clegg, asset management at Grosvenor Europe. “Along with a new HMV, the stores will provide on-trend, exciting offers that further strengthen Liverpool One’s great mix of brands. “An increasing number of retailers, including Footlocker, JD Sports and Nespresso, have launched new store concepts in Liverpool One, an endorsement of their performance and confidence,” she adds. According to Globaldata, the athleisure sector was valued at approximately £2.5bn globally in 2017. Footlocker is the latest in a series of sportswear and footwear brands to select Liverpool One for significant stores, with JD and Superdry both opening in Q4 in 2017 and popular concept brand, Seven Liverpool, owned by Footasylum, recently celebrating its first birthday on Liverpool One’s Paradise Street. HMV’s new store, meanwhile, also responds to growing consumer trends. It will feature an extensive area dedicated to vinyl, following the brand’s announcement at the end of last year that vinyl sales had hit their highest level since the 80s. — NEWS IN BRIEF H&M LAUNCHES OFF-PRICE MARKETPLACE The H&M group is set to launch Afound – an off-price marketplace in 2018 – which sees them compete with online marketplaces. Afound will feature H&M’s own brands, as well as a number of popular brands for both men and women. The group is set to launch its new retail concept online as well as in traditional bricks-and-mortar stores, starting in Sweden in 2018. The first Afound store to open is set to be located on Drottninggatan in Stockholm and its opening will coincide with the launch of Afound’s digital marketplace in Sweden. —
HAMMERSON FOOTFALL OUTPERFORMS INDUSTRY BENCHMARK IN 2017 Property developer Hammerson, which manages some of the leading retail destinations in Europe, saw a 0.4 per cent increase in annual footfall across its UK shopping centres throughout 2017, surpassing the industry benchmark which fell 2.8 per cent. Hammerson welcomed more than 300 million visitors to its European shopping centres, with footfall performing positively every month in 2017, thanks to its strong offering of retail, leisure and entertainment. —
It’s been portrayed over the last couple of years that the end is near for bricks-and-mortar stores, however, we disagree. Bricks-and-mortar stores have evolved over the past decade, meaning that one size no longer fits all. It’s down to the retailers to invest and create a brand experience that their targeted consumers will enjoy. Innovative stores will continue to emerge – we expect retailers to experiment more by offering exciting and creative concepts to the consumer. New store layouts will appear but will require a more flexible approach by retailers, such as strategically targeted locations, markets and formatted store designs, to be successful. Big-box stores are out and small-format stores are in. Competing with online is harder than ever before and, as a result, many smallformat stores have materialised over the last few years, offering a more solid approach to opening a physical store for retailers. Consumers no longer want endless aisles and an overwhelming selection of products and items to get lost in. Downsizing to a smallformat store not only offers survival but an opportunity to reduce overhead costs while adding some small-town charm, attracting new crowds in with the smaller more approachable sized store, and also giving retailers the ability to target demographics more effectively in areas without the huge outlay of cost that a larger store would entail. Although bricks-and-mortar stores may have resented technology advances, it will however play a significant role in their success. Cloud-based systems will fuel the rise of physical stores, providing the opportunity to launch and thrive quicker, and make opening a shop easier than experienced ever before. Data from the British Independent Retailers Association showed that across independent retailers, more shops were opened than were closed in the 2017 first quarter. 2018 first quarter results will identify whether retailers who choose to modernise their physical store approach, become more strategic in their plans, and downsize to move away from traditional styles will find themselves thriving in today’s conditions.
MWB-ONLINE.CO FEBRUARY 2018 | RETAIL | NEWS & OPINION | 13
SHOPPED: HENRY THREADINGHAM Have you been making any changes to your business? We just closed down our Farnham branch, as it just hasn’t really been working over the past year. It needed a bit more TLC, which I just haven’t been able to give it with concentrating on the Richmond shop. We did a first floor refit in September, which upset trade for a while, but once it was completed, we saw the benefits. November and December were really strong for us, much stronger than the previous year. We’re now looking at doing the ground floor refit in April. The aesthetic of the shop is now catching up with the brand mix we’ve brought in. HENRY THREADINGHAM, OWNER, CURATED MAN, RICHMOND
How has the change of brand mix gone down? I’m happy with where we are now in terms of brand mix. We dropped pretty much every major brand a while back, including Paul Smith and Hugo Boss. The most commercial brand we do now is Scotch & Soda. We’ll leave the commercial stuff to House of Fraser around the corner. As an independent, we’re finding we’re having a much better time with the more independent brands. Norse Projects has been a nice introduction, Edwin is still very strong, and Oliver Spencer, Universal Works and Folk all perform well for us. The newest brand addition was Holubar, makers of the ‘The Deer Hunter’ jacket. The reaction to that has been phenomenal across the board. Some of the heavier down jackets have performed really well, which has surprised us a bit, because I was a bit nervous about it. They’re not exactly cheap at £500 to £600.
IN FOCUS: TONY MCDONNELL MENSWEAR 11-12 EARL STREET, DUNDALK, CO. LOUTH, IRELAND
ESTABLISHED: 1964 BRANDS: GANT, ARMANI JEANS, FARAH, BARBOUR, FRED PERRY, C.P. COMPANY, NUDIE JEANS, EDWIN, PENFIELD, PORTUGUESE FLANNEL, PAUL & SHARK, RALPH LAUREN, TIGER OF SWEDEN, OLIVER SWEENEY, NORSE PROJECTS, CIRCLE OF GENTLEMEN, R.M. WILLIAMS
A family menswear business started in 1964 by Tony McDonnell, it’s his son Jim who’s been running the shop for the past 25 years. Sadly Tony passed away in 1999. With a solid reputation for having all the best brands and products, this is one of Ireland’s stand-out men’s independents, with over 2,500 square foot of floor space. “We’re a real destination shop, and I’d say we’re the top independent in the country, outside of Dublin perhaps,” says Jim McDonnell. The brand mix is vast, catering for a wide range of different customers. “We do tailoring and we’ve got a young business. We also cover the more niche with brands like Red Wing, La Paz and Universal Works. Norse Projects is about to land, and that’s a big new addition for us.” McDonnell has also recently invested a lot of money in getting products photographed for their website, to raise the shop’s profile and make it even more of a destination in Ireland. “My father was a bit of a ground-breaker, always ahead of his time and a dapper dresser himself,” says McDonnell – a proud tradition that he’s clearly remained true to, with a penchant for bringing in brand ‘exclusives’ for Ireland. —
PATAGONIA OPENS MANCHESTER STORE Patagonia, the California-based outdoor brand, has opened a new UK store in Manchester’s central retail district. While Patagonia has seven existing retail stores across Europe and is stocked in over 1,200 multi-brand stores, this latest edition will be the company’s only mono-brand destination in the UK. Catering for men, women and children, the three-floor, 307m2 space carries apparel for outdoor sports, including climbing, skiing, snowboarding, trail running and surfing. Located at 51 King Street, the store also provides a hub for sports and environmental communities in the area, with a space dedicated to events, film screenings and public talks. As with all Patagonia locations, the Manchester site was chosen due to its historic nature and its proximity to the wide range of outdoor sports. Work has been done to preserve the integrity of the building, honouring its surrounding history and culture, with design elements localised and specific to Manchester. Examples include the store lights, which are reclaimed from factories in the Manchester and Oldham area. Additionally, every piece of wood used for the store was locally reclaimed, including some sourced from the old McVitie’s biscuit factory in Manchester. —
NEWS IN BRIEF LIBERTY APPOINTS NEW CEO Liberty London has appointed Adil MehboobKhan as its new CEO, joining the premium department store from the Luxottica Group. “Few, if any, companies have Liberty London’s rich and storied heritage. With its landmark central London store, unique fabrics business and exclusive Liberty London collection, this national icon has significant global potential. I am thrilled to join at such an exciting time,” says Mehboob-Khan. —
MODERN. URBAN. FUNCTIONAL.
Double H Agency London Showroom Fashion House, 137 Essex Road London N1 2SN London, UK Double H Agency Manchester Showroom First Floor, Block B Tanzaro House Ardwick Green North M12 6FZ Manchester T: +44 (0) 203 432 6387 firstname.lastname@example.org www.doublehagency.com See you at: Moda Menswear 18. - 20.02.2018 Stand: L29
INDX Menswear 28 â€“ 30.01.2018
AUTUMN / WINTER 2018 www.redpoint-sportswear.com
W I L L I A M H E AT O N WDH MENSWEAR AGENCIES Crocodile House, Manor Gardens, Thorner LS14 3EQ Leeds - West Yorkshire Tel.: 0044 - 7831388888 Email: email@example.com
VISIT US: INDX Menswear 28 – 30.01.2018
Moda Menswear 18. – 20.02.2018 Stand: N38
MWB-ONLINE.CO FEBRUARY 2018 | INTERVIEW | 16
THE MATCHMAKERS Louise Deverell-Smith is a former fashion professional who gave up her career in wholesale for the likes of Diesel and G-Star to set up an innovative matchmaking platform which links flexible employers with talented parents who are looking to ditch the traditional 9 to 5. With a new and expanding fashion division led by industry head Katie Mene, the Daisy Chain is rapidly expanding and is looking to add more candidates – and especially companies – to its roster. Isabella Griffiths gets the low-down. —
Isabella Griffiths: What is your background and when and why did you set up the Daisy Chain? Louise Deverell-Smith: I’m a fashion graduate and have worked in retail at Selfridges and wholesale for G-Star and Diesel. I began working in recruitment when I fell pregnant with my first child and realised that my current wholesale role wasn’t going to work for me – mainly the travel and entertainment – once I became a mum. Eight years and another two children later, I found that it wasn’t only me, but many of my candidates whose circumstances were changing. People wanted roles that could enhance the
balance between their work and home life, and so the Daisy Chain was born. I wanted to create a platform that puts employers willing to consider flexible working in touch with some of the best talent out there, so businesses can keep experienced, highly capable parents in their industries. IG: What is the concept of the Daisy Chain and what differentiates you from other, more traditional recruitment agencies? LD-S: The Daisy Chain is a matchmaker, not a recruiter. We introduce forward-thinking
employers to talented, driven parents keen to find roles that fit around their childcare responsibilities. For businesses, it’s about having a flexible approach to hiring, thinking outside the nine to five box in order to find that extra special someone to enhance their workforce. IG: How does the Daisy Chain system work? LD-S: Simply put, we match parents looking for flexible work opportunities with employers keen to find exceptional and experienced talent. Parents tell us what they want – position, sector, salary and location – and our system
MWB-ONLINE.CO FEBRUARY 2018 | INTERVIEW | 17
IG: Do you feel flexible working is the future of employment? LD-S: Yes, without a doubt. Developments in technology have had a huge impact on the way we all work and nine-to-five – for most – is not a necessity. I often work before the kids are up then drop them off at school before heading to yoga and working for the rest of the day. If needed, I’ll log back into work once the kids are in bed and asleep. I personally prefer it this way – I am happier and more productive because of it. And I know that I am not alone.
LOUISE DEVERELL-SMITH (LEFT) AND KATIE MENE
“The Daisy Chain is a matchmaker, not a recruiter. We introduce forward thinking employers to talented, driven parents keen to find roles that fit around their childcare responsibilities.”
matches them to relevant employers. Those who receive mutual ‘likes’ are matched and this hopefully sparks the beginning of a lasting relationship. IG: Which industries does the Daisy Chain cover already? LD-S: Everything from fashion and retail to property, finance, law, digital and marketing. We like to make sure we cover a breadth of sectors in order to help get as many parents as possible back, or into, employment and enjoying the work/ life balance that is so often a little elusive. IG: You have recently expanded to include a fashion division. Which companies are already on-board, and what are your plans for this arm of the business? LD-S: We work with brands including Jojo Maman Bebe, McArthurGlen, London Personal, Mih Jeans and Jigsaw. And we’re keen to continue to grow our portfolio even more. Katie Mene, who heads up this division, has over 20 years of experience in the retail and wholesale market, and is the driving force behind this arm of the business. As a working mum herself, she’s keen to help other talented parents connect with brands willing to offer flexible working opportunities, be it on a freelance, parttime or full-time basis. IG: What are the benefits for employers registering with the Daisy Chain? LD-S: Parents are valuable to businesses; they are driven, bring a wealth of experience, knowledge
and transferable skills – not to mention loyalty. If an employer is willing to think about flexible options and can design a role that will fit around existing childcare commitments, then they open themselves up to some excellent candidates who will benefit their existing workforce. We have found that the Daisy Chain attracts parents who have been pushed out of the economy by companies unable to consider alternatives to the staid nine to five, five days a week working model. As such, they don’t want to use a traditional recruiter, which means we have a rich pool of talent that won’t be found elsewhere. What are the benefits for candidates registering with the Daisy Chain? LD-S: The Daisy Chain is powered by parents. It’s about being totally clear and upfront about your needs in order to find roles that fit you and work around your childcare. Hopefully candidates will view this as a refreshing approach, because it is parents who are in complete control of who sees their profile and what message they want to put across to a potential employer. There’s no recruiter, no ‘middle man’ getting in the way and pushing roles that aren’t of interest. IG: How many candidates have you currently got signed up, and what is the portfolio and calibre of candidates? LD-S: We’re a young company with currently over 1,500 candidates on our books – a number that is growing daily. I’ve been blown away by the talent we have at all levels and across sectors as diverse as property and fashion.
IG: What are the benefits for employers to allow flexible working conditions, especially parents? Does it help retain talent? LD-S: Absolutely. Employers able to offer flexibility attract and retain the best possible, most experienced talent. It fosters loyalty, better performance and promotes a happier workforce. The benefits are well established and research has shown that it can improve employee engagement and motivation. To me, it makes business sense to offer flexible working as standard, but we have a way to go before that approach is widely adopted. IG: What are your criteria for employers seeking to register with the Daisy Chain? LD-S: We want to showcase employers who embrace the flexibility a parent needs. It’s simple really, employers just need to prove they have roles that would work around childcare in order to join the Daisy Chain and connect with some of the most driven candidates available. IG: How are you finding attitudes among employers towards flexible working? Are some industries more receptive than others? LD-S: Attitudes to flexible working are not down to different sectors, but the decision makers within individual companies. For some there is a nervousness around flexibility – a lack of trust or control – that is stopping them from embracing a modern and hugely beneficial approach to hiring. Yet in reality, currently all employees can ask for flexibility after six months of employment anyway. We are finding that it is those open to an upfront and honest discussion, those willing to try implementing flexible roles, who are reaping huge rewards. IG: What are your future plans for the Daisy Chain? LD-S: As the conversation around flexible working continues, I hope the Daisy Chain can go some way to persuading a growing number of businesses to create roles that break from tradition in order to attract and retain talented parents in order to build a truly flexible, motivated and happy workforce. — For more information visit www.thedaisy-chain.com
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JASON MCKEY Jason McKey joined Love Brands at the end of 2017 to head up its drive into the menswear sector. Tom Bottomley finds out what kind of brand firepower they are dealing with. —
What attracted you to join the Love Brands business to head up menswear? I only joined the business as Head of Menswear in early December 2017, having been at Farah for nearly eight years as a national account manager. What attracted me the most about the opportunity with Love Brands was the strong mix of brands and how different they all are. The fact that it’s a blank page and we can write our own story within menswear was very appealing. Are you personally looking after the whole menswear offer, or just certain brands? I oversee all of our menswear brands, and personally look after all key accounts. We also have agents for the key territories across the UK. In time we will be looking to add a mix of employees and agents as our menswear business grows over the next season. How would you best describe the Love Brands business, and what can you offer retailers that’s different to other UK agencies and distributors? We offer a more focused approach with our partnered brands. We also look for that point of difference to offer our retail partners, be it monthly newness, exclusives or enhanced margins. We also work closely with our retail partners to be different with in-store activity, whether it’s point of sale, staff training, in-store merchandising or store events. Who owns the Love Brands business? Hugo Dean is a director with over 25 years’ experience within the industry, covering both men’s and women’s wear, working for brands such as Esprit and Mexx along the way. Michael Shalders is our other director. He has been a leading agent across various womenswear brands for over 20 years
HEAD OF MENSWEAR LOVE BRANDS LTD.
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When and why did Love Brands decide to take on the menswear market, having been firmly established as a women’s business since 2010? The plan was always to move into menswear, and we were waiting for the right opportunity to come along. This happened about six months ago, when we were approached by three of the five brands we currently represent. These being Bertoni, Signal and Thomas Kirkwood, with each offering something different for the UK market, from products with a point of difference, enhanced margins or a great ‘Never Out of Stock’ (NOOS) programme. Since we started our menswear journey, we have also added two more global brands, in Guess and s.Oliver. Guess offers the market great fits and denim washes, key price points and a true heritage 90s feel. While s.Oliver offers the retailer vertical wholesale, offering newness monthly, NOOS products and programmed deliveries across key categories such as outerwear and knitwear. Do you think you can replicate the success you’ve had with womenswear? How does it differ to the men’s market? Yes we can replicate the success we have had across our womenswear. We believe we have the right mix of brands, each of them offering the retailer something different within each collection. With womenswear, it’s all about the product then relationships, but with menswear it’s more about the relationship you have with your buyer first to attract them in. What do you think will prove particularly strong for the UK market for a/w 18? What’s already getting a positive response from key buyers? We have recently taken on Guess Jeans, and the reaction has been very positive. The logos on the outside trend looks set to continue for a/w 18 and well into 2019, especially with the resurgence of heritage brands. The Guess logo tee with a retail price of £25 has been one of the best-sellers to date. I’d have to say our biggest brand currently is Guess. We’ve only just started with the menswear for a/w 18, though we did do the footwear for s/s 18. The brand itself is having a real resurgence. What’s also key to the UK market is that in the past couple of years, it has reduced its prices by an average of 15 per cent. So, Guess Jeans start at £59.99 retail. It’s really helping to drive interest, and ultimately sell-through. Having said that, we are still very conscious of the profile of the retailer. We’re not driving the brand to the
cheaper retailers just because the prices have come down a bit. We are targeting mid to premium retailers, but have a great entry price point. What’s driving the resurgence? There’s a whole raft of 80s and 90s brands – like Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Guess – being seen by the younger consumer for the first time. Everything in fashion is cyclical, and there are kids out there who haven’t seen some of these brands before. There’s a real revival of that type of product. We’ve had a fantastic response to Guess across all categories within the business. On womenswear and accessories, the likes of House of Fraser already sell the brand, and they’re all having a fantastic sell-through. The menswear sector was probably the least driven by the previous distributor, so it gives us a lot of scope to now really crack it. The whole brand is relevant to the market again. Guess actually has 12 own-brand stores in the UK, including a Regent Street flagship, and it’s seeing double-digit growth in those stores. It’s a global brand, and there’s a high level of brand awareness, with over 3 million Instagram followers. What’s the real appeal of the s.Oliver brand? We’ve just started with s.Oliver. It’s a €1.6 billion business based in Germany. It classically sits alongside the likes of Esprit and Jack and Jones. There’s 12 collections a year, delivering small and often, and keeping everything fresh and new. The price architecture is kind of like what you’d get if you went into a Zara, so there’s a good, better and best in every category. It’s really thought out as to how a vertical operation would retail. It’s also strongly marketed. They have sponsored Bayern Munich in the past, dressing players in their suits. They can also offer all sorts of options in store for the retailer, such as id corners, furniture systems and shop-in-shop formats. They have 10,000 points of sale in Europe. And in their home market in Germany have a 98 per cent brand recognition – that’s up there with Coca Cola and McDonald’s! It’s a massive organisation that knows exactly what it’s doing and how to do it right. What do the other brands you’re carrying really have to offer? The three other brands are more independent driven, and we are bringing them to Moda. Signal is a lifestyle brand that sits alongside the likes of Gant, Lacoste and Tommy Hilfiger. It’s Danish,
and it’s a well put together collection, and super quality. It’s more for your classic menswear retailer, to appeal to guys who wear a suit from Monday to Friday, and then maybe a rugby shirt, cable knit and pair of chinos at the weekend. There’s a good margin to be had too. Bertoni is another Danish brand. It’s a tailoring and shirt company, and it’s quite quirky like P.S. by Paul Smith, but with its own handwriting. It uses a lot of quite intricate fabrics, and it’s quite famous for doing printed suiting. It can be quite outlandish, such as a leopard print dinner suit or a floral velvet jacket. It’s got some real window pieces in the collection, but it’s great tailoring and very focused on the independent sector. Then we have Thomas Kirkwood, which is a shirt-only brand. It’s German-based and they manufacture for almost any global retailer you can think of, such as Zara, H&M and Marks & Spencer. Their first business was own label and they make something like 1.5 million shirts a month. Thomas Kirkwood is the only brand they’ve launched into the UK market, and they’re going up against the classic shirt brands such as Seidensticker, Eterna, Olymp and Casa Moda. They have all the shirt knowledge you could ever possibly want, and fantastic price points, retailing between £40 and £65, coming in under the competition and offering a 2.9 mark up. There’s also a fantastic stock replenishment service, with repeat orders on core products delivered within 48 hours. How do you currently view the menswear market in the UK? We all know how tough the market has been over the past season, with more consumers holding back for Black Friday and other discount events. The independents I have spoken to are trying to fight back. They are sourcing brands they can maintain margins throughout the season, perhaps selling less units, but increasing the bottom line. What can your brands offer that’s different to what’s already in the UK market? The main thing we offer the menswear market is the level of constant newness on a monthly basis. There’s always something different. Great margins and in-store support are also at the heart of what we’re about as a business. — SHOWING AT MODA: Bertoni – stand K39 Thomas Kirkwood – stand K35 Signal – stand K31
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P R O D U C T
BRITS ABROAD Oiboy is a streetwear label hailing from South London, founded by friends George Langham and Dylan Hartigan. Taking the look and feel of renowned brands within British culture, the brand changes letters or amends logos to create a capsule collection of statement tees. Tapping into fashion’s bootlegging phenomenon (remember Balenciaga’s version of the iconic blue Ikea bag?), the design duo are inspired by everyday British – think cheap lager, branded clothes and Brits abroad. —
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RADAR Spotlighting style BUCKLE UP Elliot Rhodes’ new performance collection consists of endurance belt straps with rubbercoated buckles, designed as a lightweight alternative to leather, with sportive characteristics and styling that make them ideal for active wear and beach wear. With a sharp focus on performance materials, these versatile styles offer an ideal solution to complement both active wear as well as tech-inspired casual dressing, while still retaining a sharp look. Available in both 35mm and 40mm styles, prices range from RRP£129.50 to £159.50. —
FARNOL ESTABLISHED: 2018 SIGNATURE STYLE: A lifestyle line of British essentials for everyday living. HISTORY: Created by the founders of streetwear label NICCE, Farnol caters for both male and female shoppers. The Farnol collection comprises of everyday wardrobe essentials, created on the belief that consumers should rethink their buying habits – focusing on quality products that are accessibly priced and can be worn every day, throughout the different seasons of the calendar. Founder Mitchel Farnol and co-creator Gareth Olyott set out to make timeless, everyday essential products that transcend from day to night. The brand has taken a season-less approach, all the while providing smaller capsules of seasonal colours and items that are layered on top of the core collection, adding newness for retailers. “Farnol aims to change the way the modern consumer thinks about their wardrobe with our launch collection of 100 items that cover everyday essentials,” says Mitchel Farnol. “This is showcased in our Everyday Collection, and is channelled through our simple silhouettes, subtle colour palette and can be seen through our visual language – from the website concept to the art direction behind how we shoot our collections. We found a gap in the market for a British take on a classic,” he adds. Highlights of the collection include yarn cotton Oxfords, cashmere jumpers, Pima cotton T-shirts, cotton twill jackets and waterproof coats. —
FOR THE ACTIVE MAN Inspired by Canadian lifestyle, outerwear specialist Redpoint believes there is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing. The main feature of the men’s collection is outdoor fashion for the active man – think robust, casual, modern, comfortable, but most importantly, authentic. New quilted finishes and innovative material combinations are key this season, while soft cotton is combined with wool and ultra-lightweight textured polyester is juxtaposed against PE canvas in a Cordura finish for an interesting contrast. —
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STEP BY STEP
SUITABLY SUSTAINABLE The second Palladium x Christopher Raeburn collection draws its inspiration from the ocean, aptly named Immerse. Focusing on responsible design and sourcing to protect both the planet and the wearer, the collection comprises innovative design and sustainable intelligence. The Pampa Raecrow Scuba (pictured), for example, has been developed using waterproof two-tone neoprene, fully recycled rubber sole and features a Velcro-fastening main touch-and-close panel. Colourways include orange pepper with black highlights. —
German label Digel enters a new chapter with the launch of its latest footwear collection, developing new forms and colours for a/w 18. Comprising 55 new combinations, buyers can expect Debry, Chelsea and Chukka Boots, while casual styles are enhanced by a range of must-have sneakers. Sister label Digel Move, meanwhile, takes its influence from the 60s and 70s, featuring popular brogue styles alongside loafers in classic shades such as black, navy and grey. —
STYLE HIGHLIGHT Proudly made in Italy
Stock service available ROBERT CHARLES Handcrafted in Como, Italy since 1996, Robert Charles uses the time-honoured techniques materials of exemplary Italian Geoffand Andrews quality to produce the finest men’s accessories for the discerning 07711 108304 gentleman. PremiumTel: nubuck leather overlaid with soft cow or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org calfskin compliments a solid brass buckle to create a belt that is beautiful in design and fastidious in detail. Fully adjustable, Robert Charles products reflect quality and attention to detail to make a statementwww.robertcharles.co.nz for the new season. For more information contact Geoff Andrews on 07711 108304 or email@example.com.
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DUKE £8.50 0115 977 0009
MERC £22 020 8838 2444
NAPAPIJRI £29.50 020 7608 9100
OLYMP £26.40 07834 176938
ETON ORIGINAL PENGUIN £27 07787 544036
IN BLOOM While there’s no denying bold florals pack a punch, the s/s 18 season is dominated by smaller, intricate flower and leaf motifs. A slightly easier option to team with both tailoring and casual options, blue and white remains a popular colourway, translating from winter right through to the warmer months. — Unless stated otherwise, all prices are wholesale.
REMUS UOMO PRICE ON REQUEST 0333 456 7777
SIMON CARTER £37.50 020 8683 4475
SCOTCH & SODA £44.20 020 3137 3901
1981-NOW T I M E L E S S C LOT H I N G B L E N D E D W I T H M O D E R N E D G E S C R E AT E S A N A L L- I N C LU S I V E CO L L E CT I O N . D R AW I N G F R O M Y E A R S O F N O RT H W E ST C U LT U R E , R E G AT TA O R I G I N A L S I S B O R N .
F O R 2 0 % O F F YO U R F I R ST O R D E R CO N TAC T O R I G I N A L S @ R E G AT TA . CO M A N D Q U OT E M W B F E B
18-20 FEBRUARY 2018, NEC BIRMINGHAM YOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO THE UKâ€™S LARGEST FASHION EXHIBITION, FROM BRANDS TO ADD TO YOUR HITLIST, TO THE EXPERTS ON HAND TO ANSWER YOUR RETAIL QUESTIONS. >>>
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REDEFINING MENSWEAR For the first season ever, Moda Gent is partnering with The Gentleman’s Grooming & Lifestyle Show to bring an interactive grooming area to the trade fair. Victoria Jackson speaks to co-founder Laurence Culloty to learn more about what to expect from the upcoming edition. — When was The Gentleman’s Grooming & Lifestyle Show launched? The idea for The Gentleman’s Grooming & Lifestyle Show was conceived in early 2016 with the debut show, taking place in December of that year. It was co-founded with my business partner Kevin (Doherty) and our friend Matt (Haynes) who is involved in the show on a consultancy basis. What inspired you to launch the show? We noticed the massive growth in men’s grooming in recent years and felt there was a place for an event that specifically caters for the growing industry. When launching the show, we had visions of a gentlemanly ambience and wanted our venue to reflect this. Tobacco Dock, where we host the show in London, has a great feel to it with the exposed brick archways that frame the event space, and we knew it would work well for our show. We have tried to continue this ongoing theme by doing things such as offering our attendees a complimentary whisky and shoe shine on entry. We’ve seen such a resurgence in men taking an interest in their appearance. What do you think kick-started this movement? I think it’s a multitude of factors. Part can be accredited to icons such as David Beckham who, by showing an interest themselves, made it acceptable; cool even for guys to take a greater interest in their appearance. I think in general though men are starting to realise that everyone likes to look and feel their best and there is nothing wrong with that. When you feel confident in yourself it can benefit you in all areas of your life.
As a consumer show, what drove the decision to partner with Moda Gent? The Gentleman’s Grooming & Lifestyle Show is predominantly consumer focused but it does include an element of trade that crosses over well with the MODA audience. Guys want to take care of their whole appearance which includes fashion and grooming and therefore MODA and The Gentleman’s Grooming & Lifestyle Show complement each other well and we’re really excited to be a part of it. What can we expect from this partnership? What will be happening at the show? At the show we have partnered with one of our exhibitors Drogo who will be offering bear trims and haircuts as well as displaying their grooming range. The partnership with Drogo brings a great element to MODA being able to try the products and take advice from experts really adds to the attendee experience. We will take the opportunity to meet the audience who will potentially be interested in attending our upcoming Liverpool event in May. Are retailers able to discuss wholesale opportunities when to come to The Gentleman’s Grooming & Lifestyle show? The Gentleman’s Grooming & Lifestyle Show welcomes retailers as well as consumers so when attending they are welcome to discuss with the exhibitors about potential wholesale opportunities.
THE NEW DANDY
Sam Burgess is a leading social marketing expert, podcaster, speaker, author and all-round cheerleader for small creative businesses. Having worked for global retail brands including the Arcadia Group and Swarovski, Burgess adapted her talents to the independent retail sector and has coached more than 50 small businesses through her consultancy Social Mouth. Burgess is also the host of iTunes top 40 business podcast Small and Mighty.
Discussing the resurgence in tailoring and the growing trend in statement dressing, Marc Darcy’s creative director Karen Johal will join the stage with digital influencer and menswear designer Carl Thomson (pictured), as well as successful retailer Lee Wardell of Verb.
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CATWALK AND SEMINAR PROGRAMME
FACE-TO-FACE WITH SUCCESS Need cash flow advice? Want to turn web traffic into sales? Or maybe you need insider tips about competing against the highstreet giants. Find out all the answers and more at Moda’s brand new, retail-focused workshops. Launching this February, the workshops will allow visitors to book onto smaller, more low-key sessions where they can ask the questions they have always wanted to ask in a laid-back environment. Sunday’s workshops will be hosted by the experts from bira’s fashion division, the Fashion Association of Britain (FAB). The sessions will harness all of the expertise of Britain’s industry body for independent retail, with the added bonus of a fashion-specific focus. If you are pondering how to improve your cash flow or need advice on bringing more customers through the door without breaking the bank, this is the session for you. On Monday, the workshop space will be hosted by ecommerce expert and managing director of Statement agency, Dan Conboy. If you’re curious about the power of bloggers and social media influencers but don’t quite know where to start with bringing them on board, this workshop could be the springboard you need to improve your multichannel best practice, and ultimately increasing your sales. All retailers know how important it is to get the numbers right, and Rachel Peterman is an expert when it comes to owning your cash flow. Your workshop with the founder of retail consultancy Carousel & Co will leave you full of confidence when it comes to maximising your sales and ready to take on the highstreet giants throughout 2018 and beyond. —
Book onto your workshop at www.moda-uk.co.uk Places are free, but limited.
CATWALK THEATRE HALL 19 Sunday 10.00 – 10.30 Moda Woman catwalk 10.30 – 11.00 MWB brunch 11.15 – 11.45 Moda Gent catwalk 11.45 – 12.15 The rise of lifestyle concept stores (David Skaith – Winston’s of York) 12.30 – 13.00 Moda Directions catwalk 13.00 – 13.30 MWB Panel – The New Dandy (Lee Wardell - Verb Fashion; Carl Thompson - Hawkins & Shepherd; Karen Johal - Marc Darcy) 13.45 – 14.15 Moda Woman catwalk 14.15 – 14.45 The strength of independent retail (Julie Holden - bira) 15.00 – 15.30 Moda Gent catwalk 15.30 – 16.00 How to build an Instagram community that buys (Sam Burgess – Social Mouth) 16.15 – 16.45 Products that can help and prevent foot conditions whilst increasing your sales (Ronnie Irani - exEngland cricketer and co-inventor of OrthoSole) 17.00 – 17.30 Moda Directions catwalk 18.00 – 18.30 Moda Woman Catwalk and celebratory drinks Monday 10.00 – 10.30 Moda Directions catwalk 10.30 – 11.00 Global Fashion Outlook (Pia Ostermann – Euromonitor) 11.15 – 11.45 Moda Gent catwalk 11.45 – 12.15 How to unlock the power of micro-influencers to grow your business (Dan Conboy) 12.30 – 13.00 Moda Woman catwalk 13.45 – 14.15 Moda Directions catwalk 14.15 – 14.45 Q&A with Emily Stott - Trade secrets of a stylist (hosted by Isabella Griffiths – WWB) 15.00 – 15.30 Moda Gent catwalk 15.30 – 16.00 The future of retail technology (Ian Tomlinson – RetailStore) 17.00 – 17.30 Moda Woman catwalk Tuesday 10.30 – 11.00 Moda Directions catwalk 11.45 – 12.15 Five ways to increase sales this year – without breaking the bank (Rachel Peterman – Carousel & Co.) 12.30 – 13.00 Moda Gent catwalk 13.00 –13.30 A/W18 trends (Louise Stuart Trainor – trends consultant) 13.45 – 14.15 Moda Woman catwalk 14.15 – 14.45 Need2bSeen – Show the world your business! (Tracy Ann Okezie) 15.00 – 15.30 Improve your email marketing. increasing open rates and clicks (Jon Tromans)
Join the MWB at 10.30am at the Hall 19 Catwalk Theatre at our opening day brunch, offering you the chance to grab a coffee and a bite to eat ahead of a busy day buying. This also creates the perfect platform to network with industry peers before discovering the a/w 18 trends set to dominate the season.
This season will welcome the first ever digital lounge within Moda Gent, with an on-site stylist and photographer on hand to help you create the perfect flat lay to showcase your brand on Instagram. From learning about photography’s “rule of three” to a handy cheat sheet to grab with 100 of the best hashtags to use to grow your Instagram following, the digital lounge is a must-visit during the show.
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THE VOICE BEHIND THE BRAND Ahead of the a/w 18 edition of Moda, we chat to three key brands across tailoring, lifestyle and contemporary fashion. — DK Company WARD MANN, UK country sales manager for Blend and Casual Friday (DK Company) What do you plan on implementing first in your new role within the DK Comany? To engage with our existing customers and assess their requirements to maximise the brands’ potential with them, and target new distribution for both brands with retailers who want to be partners in the development of the brands. We’ve also opened a new showroom in London in a fantastic new facility in Hanbury Street, just off Brick Lane. What prompted your decision to bring Blend and Casual Friday to Moda Gent? It’s the right time to show our autumn collections to a national audience. Casual, denim and contemporary retailers are all on our radar as we expand our territory, and we are hoping to meet these buyers at Moda Gent next month. How many accounts do Blend and Casual Friday have in the UK at the moment? What is your target for the a/w 18 season? We would have 30-50 accounts with Blend and 20-30 on Casual Friday presently. Our target would be to have 90 for Blend and 60 for Casual Friday, but it’s more important for us to open the correct distribution with both brands who want a partnership. What level of the market are you aiming for with each brand? Blend is opening price, with casual denim inspired fashion age 18-30 predominantly, so we are offering great fashion styles as well as basics with small twists. Prices compete with the high street but still offer a margin value for the retailer. Casual Friday, meanwhile, has a cleaner and more contemporary look, but still at opening prices in the market offering luxury products for the mass market. At DK Company, we have a win/win mentality, which means that we like to offer the retailer the opportunity for margin while still giving the consumer value. How many drops does each brand have and what is the lead time for both if retailers want to order in season? Each brand has six collection drops per annum – three s/s and three a/w, offering smaller, more focused delivery capsules to the retailer, helping their cash flow and also offering newness every six to eight weeks. This refreshes the offer for the consumer and delivering products when they are needed – not offering winter jackets in July, for example. Finally, what can buyers expect for the a/w 18 season? Buyers will see amazing opening price points in every sector, while still offering amazing quality. As we now have a dedicated UK showroom, the retailer will get a premium back office as well as sales service going forward into the new season.
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Bruno Saint Hilaire MIKE SMITH, UK sales director, Bruno Saint Hilaire How have the past three seasons been since reintroducing Bruno Saint Hilaire back into the UK market? For us, the main goal was to build the trust of retailers again. Bruno Saint Hilaire has come a such a distance from when it left the UK originally, both in design and management, that we wanted to create a clear slate but still remind buyers why the brand was such a success the first time around. The high quality, fit and comfort has remained. Developing from a trouser label into a full lifestyle collection, what would you say the brand is best known for? Its innovation. The tailoring collection, for example, features creaseresistant construction, meaning suits and shirts can be worn directly from the suitcase, as well as a unique stain-proof finish which ensures that rain or accidental coffee drops slide right off the fabrics. The machine-washable aspect of each garment makes life even easier. It’s easy to make tailoring look good for a photo shoot, but Bruno Saint Hilaire is renowned for designing and creating suits and shirts that continue to look good all day, every day. The brand’s unique properties guarantee all-day neatness and, combined with classic French styling, the collection is unrivalled for creating timeless menswear that fits into modern-day lifestyles. You’ve increased your presence at Moda this season – what can buyers expect for a/w 18? One area we’re excited about is the relaunch of Saint Hilaire. Formerly BSH73, Saint Hilaire is our younger, more trend-led collection which features bolder colours and slimmer silhouettes. It caters for the less conservative of shoppers and the collection already accounts for 40 per cent of our business worldwide.
Carlos Cordoba ERIK EXPÓSITO, export manager, Carlos Cordoba For those who missed Carlos Cordoba last season, what’s the brand all about? We are a Spanish menswear label which is defined by its attention to detail. Since we were established in 1986 in the province of Cordoba, we have made a name as a business which approaches every stage of the manufacturing process with love. From the buttons to the fabrics to the linings, each Carlos Cordoba creation is just that little bit more appealing that its rivals. What has your arrival into the UK been like? We only made our foray into the UK last year, but we are so happy to have already been embraced by the British menswear trade. People are talking about the brand on both a consumer and retailer level, and that’s what we were hoping to achieve when we arrived with our quality products, all delivered with exemplary customer service. What do British men like about the label? The main appeal is the sportswear items with the small details that mark each piece out as Carlos Cordoba. Beyond the styling, consumers appreciate that each garment is made to high standards in Spain and then, when they try the item on, they like the fit. How integral has Moda Gent been to your expansion into the UK? We are an experienced company with a presence in many different countries, so we were well placed to make a considered entry into
the UK. Moda is the best trade show, and it’s where we have to be if we want to continue to expand within this territory. What are you hoping to achieve at the show this month? We met some great buyers last season and, this time around, we would like to add some department stores to our portfolio. The new autumn collection is really strong with a wide appeal, so we are looking forward to bringing it to Moda Gent and getting a/w 18 off to a strong start.
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Spanning classic to contemporary menswear, we showcase just some of the names to catch at the a/w 18 edition of Moda Gent. —
SKOPES Renowned for its quality and attention to detail, the a/w 18 season is no different for British brand Skopes. Embracing the trend for directional tailoring, standout pieces of the latest collection include a velvet blazer with satin lapels and a jacquard print, alongside a double-breasted Prince of Wales check suit. Stand N30. OLYMP Award-winning men’s label Olymp will reveal the latest development in its premium business line this season, the Level Five Smart Business Shirt. Designed in response to the trend for more casual looks in the workplace, the Level Five Business Shirt is the perfect hybrid for effortless premium style. Stand L40. S4 With the new collection from outerwear label S4, the modern gentleman is sure to find what he’s looking for. Classic peacoats and smart single and double-breasted wool coats from European manufacturers stand out, as do sporty, elegant jackets and classic waistcoats whose straight, clear silhouettes carry the conviction of all-time favourites. Stand L29. DOUGLAS The latest collection from premium menswear brand Douglas continues the evolution of the label’s aesthetic to a contemporaryclassic look and feel in autumn/winter 2018. Inspired by the clean lines and zen-like simplicity of modernist architecture, coupled with a progressive appreciation of heritage fabric design, the brand has created a uniquely modern but uncomplicated style of menswear for the season. Stand L20. MARC DARCY After a hugely successful year, tailoring label Marc Darcy is focusing on sharing its winning formula with more retail partners when it returns to Moda Gent this season. Characterised by its English gentlemen styling, the brand’s core principle is to offer quality designer garments with a modern twist at affordable prices. Stand P34.
BLEND The Blend collection presents a powerful selection of contemporary European styles and carefully crafted jeans built for urban living. Competence and true craftsmanship are behind the Danish jeans label that appeals to a younger market. The brand’s story began in Vejle, Denmark, in 1993, when the company dedicated itself to bringing affordable fashion to the market in new ways. Excitement around the brand grew quickly as the company gained the loyalty of self-confident young people in numerous countries. Today, Blend, is part of the DK Company A/S, one of Europe’s largest fashion houses. Stand N10. LUHTA Iconic Finnish brand Luhta is set to turn heads this a/w 18 with a cutting-edge new collection featuring easy-to-wear styles inspired by heritage activewear and the outdoor lifestyle. Moda Edit. DIGEL Perfectly coordinated complete outfits down to the belts, shoes, and, for the first time, braces and socks characterise the new collection. The boundaries between business and leisure are even more fluid, and the casual touch is stronger. As usual, the season’s offerings branch into two colour palettes: grey, white, beige, taupe and steel blue, alongside a second colour palette, where shades of blue from navy to light blue set the tone. Stand M29. CASAMODA Taking inspiration from the Coast Mountains, one of Canada’s top travel destinations, shirt and knitwear specialist Casamoda continues to strengthen its offer with both a comprehensive forward-order and NOS delivery programme. Attention is drawn to the Made in Europe production of the shirts – a quality feature that, particularly in times of globalisation and mass production, is designed to gauge a positive reaction. Stand M39. CHAPMAN BAGS Making its debut this a/w 18, British heritage brand Chapman Bags will showcase its hand-crafted selection of weekend bags, laptop bags, backpacks and more. Buyers can expect a colour palette of petrol blue and burnt orange. Stand O19.
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SIGNAL Under the direction of fashion agency Love Brands, Danish lifestyle label Signal will make its debut at Moda Gent. Established in Denmark in 1967, Signal is a lifestyle brand offering clean, functional clothing with a focus on trousers and casual handwriting, while interpreting key trends. Sporty, casual designs bridge the classic lifestyle and contemporary athleisure categories, with high-performance fabrics and functional details key. Stand K31. APATCHY New to Moda Edit this season, Apatchy is an accessories specialist with a strong London identity. Founded in 2009 by Sam Tolhurst and Georgie Stacey, the company initially focused on the design and manufacture of bespoke accessories, from make-up and wash bags, to sport and boot bags. All these bags can be instantly personalised with Apatchyâ€™s unique gripper letter patches and motifs. Stand P38. ETERNA This season, German shirt specialist Eterna offers men a great range of shirts to have fun with and to discover new looks. With new colours, fabrics and colour combinations, the collection reflects key trends, including athleisure, featuring technical tape on sleeves and collar, as well mesh inserts in shirting, creating an impact on city dressing. Stand L30. BERTONI Bertoni was established in 1972 in Denmark. Initially the brand was a manufacturer of trousers, but through the years has grown to include a full range of suits and other wardrobe essentials. Made in-house from design to pattern making, the brand has successfully developed its own unique fit and high-quality garments. Stand K39. DUKE With its most comprehensive collection to date, British label Duke will showcase both its current and forward-order ranges at Moda Gent. Renowned for its NOS collection of core basic products, the brand will also introduce a comprehensive offering of trend-led pieces for the new season. Stand K20.
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See the trend edit in men’s shoes at this season’s Moda Footwear. From cult sneakers to this season’s transitional sliders, these are the styles you need in store. —
REGATTA Outdoor specialist Regatta focuses on its footwear offer this season with its debut at Moda Footwear. The brand unveils a comprehensive range of footwear this season, including an increased line of lifestyle shoes designed for all aspects of living, from the peak to the pub. Stand D31. BENSIMON French sneaker specialist Bensimon defines itself quite simply as the most authentic and affordable luxury tennis shoe in the world. The brand is understated at first glance, but shaped by a heritage stretching back to the canvas shoes worn by the French army in the 1970s. Bensimon is new to Moda Footwear, and represented by London fashion agency Egomark in the UK. Stand D16. ECCO Danish lifestyle label Ecco blends innovation in comfort with sleek Scandinavian style. This season sees the label focus on its performance attributes of cushioning and flexible silhouettes with no compromise on style, creating a high-spec winter shoe range that sits perfectly within the mainstream fashion sector. Stand I18. SUPERGA Sneaker favourite Superga defines itself as a wardrobe staple, taking wearers from the beach to the city bar in the most effortless of styles. This season sees the brand takes inspiration from the natural elements of earth, wind and fire for a collection that celebrates its simplicity in muted seasonal tones. Stand H19. K-SWISS With its instantly recognisable five-stripe design, K-Swiss has shaped the landscape of the sneaker sector, and celebrates its extensive heritage this season with reworked versions of its classic styles. The brand’s strong tennis heritage ensures that its performance is always up to court standards, while its style is fit for off-court and beyond. Stand J18. SLYDES New to Moda Footwear, Slydes taps into a trend that is one to watch in men’s footwear. The brand specialises in easy-wearing
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sliders, designed to be worn with or without socks. Often unisex in style, the shoe is the ultimate in trans-seasonal footwear and is tipped to become a way of life throughout 2018 and beyond. Stand G2. JOHN WHITE There’s a 100-year heritage behind John White, and each shoe is still made to the exacting standards of the brand’s original founder. This season sees John White showcase a range of Oxfords, brogues, moccasins, boots and sneakers in high-quality uppers with a wide appeal across the age demographic. Stand J20. RIDER The spirit of Brazil prevails right through to autumn with the ultimate name in men’s flip flops. Rider has become a transitional label thanks to its versatility, and the increasing trend for the shoe to be worn with socks during the cooler months. Be inspired by the spirit of Rio, backed up with all the expertise of global shoe manufacturer Grendene. Stand H30. BARKER Quintessentially English and perfect for the new trends in casual tailoring, Barker Shoes is a key player in the footwear field. This season sees the brand present a finely polished collection of gentlemen’s footwear with the occasional allusion to its English eccentricity through colour contrast panels on Chelsea boots or statement stitching. Stand I11. GEOX Geox brings new designers on board this season, upping the aesthetics of its footwear offer with sleek new designs across both its shoes and trainers. Performance and innovation remains at the heart of every design, including the brand’s signature breathable sole, which allows air to circulate without letting any moisture into the shoe. Stand P10. GANT New to Moda Footwear this season, Gant’s a/w 18 collection is one not to miss. The lifestyle brand makes its foray into the show with its footwear offer, which is characterised by innovation in shoe manufacture underpinned by Gant’s authentic American heritage. Hybrid trainer-hiking styles are a key look for men within the collection. Strand J37.
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PITTI UOMO: STREET STYLE Renowned for its risk-taking peacocks parading the grounds of the Fortezza da Basso, we take a look at the fashion highlights from the 93rd edition of Pitti Uomo, where tailoring made way for a new wave of streetwear, fur and statement prints. â€”
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PITTI PACKS THEM IN The 93rd edition of Pitti Uomo saw almost 25,000 buyers, and over 36,000 visitors, from all over the world hit the Fortezza da Basso over the four days. This gave Firenze a super buzzy atmosphere to add to the excellent variety of collections on show. Tom Bottomley dodged the crowds and put on his buyer’s hat to find some inspiring new kit — DELIKATESSEN
A great little collection from Amsterdam, with a real focus on shirts and jackets, Delikatessen is actually in its ninth year, but its only UK stockist is Western Assembly, so plenty of room for other appreciative buyers of good kit. Co-owner Andrzej Lisowski says: “We are very strong on shirting, and we have developed our own style. They are casual shirts which have tailored elements. You have to really look at them closely and touch them to see what I mean.” Part of the collection is made from Japanese fabrics, particularly flannels. “We are working with one very special Japanese knit maker. They are famous for their slow knitting process. They bought very old Swiss machines from the 1920s and put them back in use. Because the tension of the thread is very low, it creates a super soft and beautiful product.” It’s all in the touch, with plenty of style thrown into the mix. Wool coats and cord chore jackets are other collection highlights.
Performance meets mountaineering, with plenty of chunky knitwear and puffa jackets, hats, scarves and even puffa trousers, is what Z Zegna has created for a/w 18. It’s quite a striking collection from one of Italy’s big guns, founded in 1910. Some of the wool coats are also beautiful. Bouclé, tweeds and checks are paired with quilting and technical finishes, maxi pocket detailing features on trousers, outerwear and detachable accessories. Colour is key to this collection, with plenty of boldness including orange and red, and there’s athleisure elements included too. Logger meets jogger, if you like. Developed for spring 18, there’s also more in the way of the ‘Techmerino™ wash and go’ suits. Coming in light grey mélange or pied de poule flannel, these innovative machine-washable suits can be domestically laundered, dried and worn immediately after. Pretty good for the man about town who doesn’t have much time for dry cleaners.
An entire collection crafted in Tuscany of the highest order. The President’s brand was actually registered in 1957, but for a very long time it was not used as a name for a collection. It was in 2010 that the owner and creative director resumed the brand, creating a collection to target the medium to high end of the menswear market. Existing UK stockists are few, but do include Oi Polloi, Present and Mr Porter. Fabrics and high-quality materials are at the heart of every new collection. It’s very classy indeed. For a/w 18, there’s a great houndstooth check wool coat, a tasty camel alpaca wool coat, vintageinspired jackets, including a USN-style G1 leather jacket, and some fine colourful knitwear. Ochre, or mustard even, brown and red are all key colours in this new line. Vintage workwear is also quite heavily referenced, but the high quality of the garments means they are not for your average worker on the go.
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LE MONT ST MICHEL
Also an island commune in Normandy, France, Le Mont St Michel is a young brand with a long history. Specialising in everlasting workwear since 1913, the brand was taken over in 1998 by Alexandre Milan, who turned it into an urban and modern fashion label, still in line with the functional soul coming from its workwear legacy. Milan added to this legacy his own family craftsmanship, which is almost as old – the legacy of Les Tricotages de L’Aa (which translates to the ‘Aa’ knitting factory, which used to produce for Agnès B, amongst many others), founded by his great grandmother in 1919. The brand’s design studio is still located in the very same beautiful location of the Monthorin Castle in French Brittany, where the factory used to be and where they meticulously store decades of textile archives. For a/w 18, there’s nine colours in its famous moleskin work jacket, with matching trousers and waistcoats. Knitwear is strong, and there’s also sweatshirts featuring a new logo on the front.
Now under Japanese ownership, James Grose was originally founded in 1876, and was a successful dealer of motorbikes, bicycles and cycling paraphernalia for the last part of the 19th century and a hefty portion of the 20th century. By the late 1970s, Grose had turned its attention to apparel and accessories, opening a sports department shop on London’s Great Portland Street. However, the company closed its doors in 1991, and the name has been almost lost. Until now that is. It was by chance that a Japanese motorcycle fanatic bought a vintage James Grose racing suit on a trip to the UK in 2013. The suit, made to an incredibly high standard from black leather, sparked his curiosity and compelled him to rekindle the brand. The result is a superlative collection of luxury leather and suede biker jackets under the James Grose name, made entirely by hand in an East London factory. As yet there is just one UK stockist, but there will undoubtedly be plenty more to come. High-end prices, but very worth it.
After leaving Beams Plus in 2012 as product director, Kenny Kusano launched his own collection of fine menswear under the Kenneth Field name. Tailored pieces sit with more casual American-inspired garments, and a/w 18 is quite a stand-out collection. A chore jacket with a shawl collar is a key piece, and there’s a soft tailored cord jacket with matching pleated cord trousers with side buckles that look the part. Really impressive are the vintage-inspired Japanese-made sweatshirts, including a crew neck, hoody and ¼ zip-neck collared version, all produced on an old loopwheel machine that gives that really rich texture, and no side seams. The jogging bottoms with zip ankles are also of the highest standard. There’s also hats made from Moon fabrics, and a wide selection of superb ties and scarves. Surprisingly currently with no UK stockists, though a supplier to Beams and Isetan in Japan, this menswear collection has plenty to offer the true style cognoscenti.
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TEE OFF FOR GLENMUIR
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Known as the UK’s leading golfwear brand, Glenmuir is diversifying its offer with ranges that aim to attract a new fashion and lifestyle customer, in addition to its existing sporting clientele. For a/w 18, the brand has launched a focused capsule collection of contemporary knitwear classics in luxury fibres which are set to achieve just that. Isabella Griffiths speaks to MD Mikhel Ruia to get the low-down. — When you hear the name Glenmuir, you’d be forgiven for instantly thinking of golf, not fashion. Established in 1891 in the small village of Kirkfieldbank, near Lanark, Scotland by local businessman Andrew MacDougall, Glenmuir has become the UK’s leading premium golfwear brand, distributed in over 30 countries worldwide and worn on the world’s leading courses. Glenmuir is not only favoured by high-profile golfers around the globe, but also by celebrities and is a key sponsor of the Ryder Cup and other prominent golfing events. In 2002, Glenmuir was acquired by the Ruia Group, a familyowned textiles firm which operates a number of businesses under its umbrella, including hospitality textiles brand Richard Haworth and hosiery chain The Sock Shop, and is now run by the thirdgeneration of the Ruia family, with Mikhel Ruia at the helm of Glenmuir as managing director. It’s under his leadership that Glenmuir is embarking on the next stage in its 127-year history, with ambitions to expand into the fashion and lifestyle sectors that will see the brand building on its heritage and impeccable craftsmanship, taking this to a wider target audience. “It’s a natural evolution for us to be expanding into the lifestyle and fashion sector. As a leading golfwear brand, we pride ourselves on our craftsmanship, the quality of our products and the heritage and tradition we represent. Over the last few years, we realised that a lot of our golfing customers also use our styles – in particular knitwear – outside of the golf course, as part of their general lifestyle. Our styles are of the highest quality and very wearable and comfortable, and our branding has always been subtle, which I think has been driving this development. It’s evident that there is a niche and a demand for our products outside of the golf sector,” says Ruia. With two collections a year, the split between womenswear and menswear is exactly 50/50, with the range encompassing shirts, trousers, outerwear, polo shirts and knitwear, with the latter the main expertise and focus of the fashion push. For a/w 18, Glenmuir has launched a capsule collection of knitwear classics crafted from luxury fabrics and with a clean, contemporary look that will appeal to golfers and non-golfers alike. Glenmuir’s signature Touch of Cashmere fabric is at the core of the range, combining fine cashmere and combed cotton to create an affordable and durable alternative to traditional cashmere, while still offering its touch and feel, and features across key menswear styles such as the Munro, a cable zip-neck sweater with Glenmuir tartan. Another highlight of the range is the Graham, a crew neck birds-eye stitch sweater with shoulder and elbow panels, knitted from 100 per cent British lambswool, which is also resilient, shrink resistant and machine washable. For women, collection highlights include the Maya and Leona styles, functional sweaters made from 100 per cent extra fine Italian merino – an active smart fibre that reacts to climatic changes and keeps the wearer warm when the weather turns cold and cool in warmer temperatures. The capsule collection signifies Glenmuir’s lifestyle ambitions and is the first of many more planned fashion-led ranges in the future – though Ruia
is keen to stress that any such developments will always stay true to Glenmuir’s roots and heritage. “We very much see ourselves as a premium lifestyle sports brand – we will never be a fashion brand, that’s not our pursuit. But peoples’ lifestyles are changing, the synergies between day and casualwear are increasing. You only have to look at the athleisure trend and how commonplace sportswear has become as part of people’s general day-to-day outfits – they don’t just wear them to the gym. People want clothes that are versatile and that keep up with their diverse lifestyles, and our knitwear most certainly does,” says Ruia. With retail prices ranging from £79 to £160, Glenmuir appears to have a commercial balance between high quality and affordability. Wholesale is the main route to market, and currently Glenmuir has over 2000 stockists in the UK and 2,000 stockists overseas, mainly sportswear independents and famous golfing resorts such as Gleneagles, Trump Turnberry, Old Course St. Andrews, Royal Lytham, Royal St. George’s, K Club, Le Golf National Paris, Royal Melbourne and House of Bruar. This, however, is changing, with fashion independents increasingly taking note of Glenmuir’s lifestyle offer, and this is something the brand is looking to build on. “We are starting to see real momentum with fashion and lifestyle stores that are picking up on our brand. There is no real risk for retailers to trial us, as we offer a comprehensive stock service where retailers can buy as little or as much from us as they like, and we are able to top this up on demand, which eliminates a lot of the hesitation some boutique owners may have towards a new brand. Those stores who have trialled us have had great success and we’ve had very positive feedback, which encourages us in our pursuit,” says Ruia. Glenmuir is evidently on a growth path – in the UK alone it saw an 8 per cent rise in turnover last year – and its expansion potential spans not only fashion indies, but also online. With the brand’s e-commerce website currently constituting just 5 per cent of the business, Ruia feels that investment in Glenmuir’s online channel offers further potential for future growth and expansion. 127 years after it was established in Lanark, Glenmuir clearly knows a thing or two about longevity and continuity. Ruia believes that a mixture of staying true to its legacy while also embracing change is key to the lasting success of the brand – as well as focusing on the product, first and foremost. “It’s important to stay authentic to your heritage, but also to keep innovating. It’s easy to be stuck in the past, but Glenmuir has always kept on developing and evolving, and I believe this has been key to why the brand is still around, while many other brands have faltered. We have always embraced technical advances and have incorporated them into our ranges. Our heritage is real, not a fabricated one like those of many socalled ‘heritage brands’ – we are truly a Scottish brand, made in Scotland and with genuine history and roots,” says Ruia. “Looking ahead, we will continue in this vein. It’s not easy to grow in a highly competitive market, but we will continue to focus on our products, keep moving upmarket in terms of quality, but still give value, and I believe the rest will evolve organically,” he adds.
Proudly made in Britain
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Although a/w 18 didn’t present anything groundbreaking in terms of trends, London Fashion Week Men’s did bring together noteworthy collaborations, updated wardrobe staples and a muchneeded injection of colour. We pick our highlights from the three-day event. —
The new season sees iconic label Ben Sherman join forces with British fashion designer Henry Holland to create a capsule collection, which was showcased exclusively during London Fashion Week Men’s. The Ben Sherman x House of Holland capsule collection comprised 29 pieces, featuring knitted polos, button-down shirts, T-shirts, jackets, denim, knitwear, trousers, tracksuits and coats. The collection itself drew inspiration from Northern Soul, highlighted through black and white imagery of Brian Cannon, a photographer known for his work capturing the heart of the Northern Soul scene over the decades. —
Making its return to the London platform, Blood Brother presented one of its strongest collections to date this January. Inspired by the lifestyle of lottery winners, graphic prints, such as scratch cards, player receipts and money bags continued to be a key feature of the brand’s style. Diamondquilted puffas and ski suits in Rolex green and metallic gold gave a nod to luxury Chesterfield sofas, while oversized ski salopettes and chalet knits in chenille wool completed the après-ski look. Meanwhile, Blood Brother continued its line of accessories, updating its popular cross-body bag with drawstring pouch detailing. — >>>
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Entitled “New Suedeheads”, the latest collection from creative director at E.Tautz, Patrick Grant, was a mishmash of punks, skinheads, mods, new romantics and casuals. Looking back to the 80s, Grant worked with fabrics such as corduroy and wools, incorporating them into contemporary sportswear separates. Key silhouettes included long, loose coats and cowl-neck shirts, while combat trousers received a surprising update in premium corduroy. A typically autumnal colour palette of rust and browns welcomed an injection of cobalt blue and indigo. —
Drawing inspiration from a day in the life of London, British designer Oliver Spencer builds on his love affair with the culture, people and energy his home city has to offer. The winter colour palette featured charcoal and grey, contrasting with blues and light grey. In terms of fabrication, corduroy was found in Spencer’s signature Judo pant and drawstring styles in cream, while velvet continued from summer into chocolate and mustard suits and separates. The designer continued his partnership with social media platform Vero this season, with his a/w 18 bomber jacket available to buy now through the app straight after the show. —
Presenting its a/w 18 offer at Swiss Church, on Endell Street, Scandinavian label Wood Wood fused contemporary streetwear with classic elements of Americana. Highlights of the collection included classic woollen coats with detachable nylon hoods, updated puffer jackets with Primaloft insulation and the introduction of a unisex sneaker inspired by classic 80s runners in four different iterations. The colour palette of the collection was centred around muted tones with pops of bright red and blue, while materials included corduroy, raw denim, army twill, heavy wool, delicate silk and melange knit. —
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JACKET REQUIRED: PEOPLE TALK The mood was buoyant, the show was busy and plenty of positivity was in the air, as Tom Bottomley found out from some new and old exhibitors at the latest edition of Jacket Required. —
STEPHEN THOMPSON CO-FOUNDER, REBELS ALLIANCE
MARK HUGHES AGENT, OSVALDO TRUCCHI
CHRIS DENT AGENT, RED WING SHOES
What is the brand all about? It was built out of a passion for motorcycles. I founded the brand with the contemporary street artist, D*Face. We opened a store two years ago on Sclater Street in East London. We hold a lot of events, including one recently with a Norton TT Manx bike. We sell vintage clothing and our own range of tees, sweatshirts, hoodies, jackets, snapback caps and beanies. We also have a coffee shop on the premises, and we build custom motorbikes at the back. We use different artists we know to paint the bikes. Actor and TV presenter Reggie Yates is a big fan of the brand, and we’ve just done a bike and customised helmet for him.
What does the brand specialise in? Osvaldo Trucchi is a Florence-based shirt maker. He was the head designer at Italian shirt specialists Poggianti for 20 years. All the shirts are made in Florence, using all the best mills and fabrics. Customers can choose the fabric they want, then choose the block and collar style. We can do small runs, and exclusives for retailers. That’s the brand’s USP, the old Italian way. Small is beautiful sometimes. We sell it very much on a laundered look, opposite to a lot of shirt companies. It’s less formal, very casual. There are flannels and some exclusive prints, and there’s a lot of attention to detail in the designs. He’s a fantastic shirt maker.
How do you find the show? It’s always busy and I love it. It’s good for us for new customers, as well as seeing existing customers. Now that we’re established and we’ve got retailers in city centres taken care of, we’re now going more into shops in the provinces. There’s still new people out there discovering the brand. There’s always plenty of opportunity, if retailers feel it can work for them. The right brand ad agencies are important, but it’s whether you can sell boots for £280. It’s a jump up to the next level for many. Everybody likes it, not everybody can sell it.
Is the this your first real foray into wholesale? It’s the first time we’ve ever done a menswear trade show. We certainly stand out with the motorbikes on the stand. We wanted to show the personality of the brand, and stamp some authority on the space. I must say, the response here has been fantastic. We’ve got some denim pieces in the line now too, and we do handpainted vintage leather jackets, which we sell in the shop for about £1,000 each. We’re thinking about wholesaling them, but as they are all oneoffs, that would be limited. We’re going to be very considerate as to where we take the brand. We currently supply Urban Rider on New King’s Road, and we have an account in Miami. But we’re now out to push the brand beyond motorcycle stores, if it fit feels right. —
What are the key blocks of the moment? At the moment, it seems everyone is buying bigger. Slim-fit is out. We’re selling more of a regular and mid-fit. Over-shirts are proving very popular, and we’ve got a new quilted one for a/w 18. Revere collar shirts have also been really strong and collarless shirts too. The average price of the shirts is around €40, with the over-shirts, which are more like jackets really, going up to about €75. How long have you been carrying the brand in the UK? This is my fourth year. I came on board for the UK in the brand’s second season. It’s the third time I’ve shown it at Jacket Required. It’s been really good this time, very busy from the start. I’ve picked up five new accounts on day one. —
What boots are performing well at the moment? We continue to do well with the classic 6” moc toe boots with the white wedge sole. We’ve just introduced a navy colour in the mainline for a/w 18, which is doing well. The chukka boot still does well, as does the ‘Iron Ranger’ style with the stitched toe cap. Accessories is a growing part of the business. It now represents 10 per cent of the footwear turnover, which is quite big. There’s lined buckskin gloves, socks and plenty of footwear product aftercare kit. Who is the shoe shine specialist on your stand? Her name is Eleanora Lovo from Italy, known as ‘Madame Lustrascarpe’, which translates as ‘Madame Shoeshine’. We launched a women’s business three seasons ago, and take off has been good. Having Eleanora here shining shoes, and wearing Red Wing boots, helps to promote that. She’s great at what shoe does and loves the boots. —
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TOM GLOVER MANAGING DIRECTOR, PEREGRINE
MARK MCANULTY ACCOUNTS MANAGER, GLOVERALL
SIMON PARR SALES EXECUTIVE, GIBSON LONDON
How has the brand grown? It’s grown a lot, especially in the UK where we’ve now got about 100 accounts. There’s a real mix of retailers. We’ve split our range into three different areas. We’ve got our core range of classic chunky knitwear in British wool, then we do a ‘Venture’ range of knitwear and outerwear, for that outdoor lifestyle, and we now have a ‘Trend’ range, which is lot cleaner with lighter-weight knits and trench coats.
Do the Gloverall brand collaborations give you a higher profile? The collaborations have been going a while and they’re very successful. They raise the bar. We did the first collaboration with Vivienne Westwood for a/w 17, and they’ll be a new one for a/w 18. They are only available through Vivienne Westwood. But we now have a new Pretty Green collaboration ‘Monty’ duffle coat which we are wholesaling for a/w 18, with a Union Flag design on the front.
What else is new? We’ve introduced shirting, which is all made in the UK, and set to retail at £95. We want to be the main brand doing made-in-the-UK shirts for under £100. Our knitwear retails at £90, wholesaling at £34, and that’s always been a good price point for us.
What are the key pieces in the collection for a/w 18? We’ve got a great herringbone coat that’s been getting a lot of attention, woven in Scotland by our company’s other brand, Lochcarron of Scotland. It will be about £525 retail, so it’s right up there, but it’s a fine high-end piece. The long coat is coming back, as is the car coat. We’re also doing tweed jackets using Moon fabrics, and we’ve brought the donkey jacket back for a/w 18. We’re doing it in four colours, and we’ve had a huge reaction to it. That will retail for more like £295. Another core piece in the men’s collection is a Harrington style in a Brisbane Moss fabric. That comes in a moss colour, as well as camel and ruby red. It’s inspired by the motorsport look of the early 1950s. We’re calling the coats after Formula One drivers of old, such as Moss and Mansell. Another piece worth a mention is what we’re calling the ‘donkey duffle’, in a boiled textured fabric that’s lighter-weight than the ‘Monty’ to appeal to a younger market. —
How is the brand performing? We’ve had a strong reaction this autumn/winter, and more buyers are coming on board with us. From the minute I’ve been here, I’ve been writing orders. We’ve seen a lot of new faces too and more international buyers. We’ve had a lot of interest in the mix-and-match suits. You can mix a check jacket and waistcoat with a plain trouser, and it’s a good look. It’s also quality for a competitive price, with a decent mark-up for retailers.
What’s special about your knitwear? We buy the wool tops pretty much from the farmer, then we spin it ourselves so we get the price. We then dye it into the colours we want. The whole garment is being spun and made within 100 miles from where the sheep were first reared. We just did the Greenshowroom in Berlin and a lot of people, especially on the continent, are talking about eco-friendly and sustainability, but we’ve been sustainable and fair trade forever. Ten years ago, no one really cared about ‘made in England’, aside from in Japan and America, where they valued it. It was only really about six years ago that we started getting some traction in the UK. Men are now proud to be buying a made-inEngland jumper. —
What else is getting a good reaction? We’ve got a short coat we call the ‘Vinnie’, that’s a ‘Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ film reference. Vinnie Jones didn’t actually wear such a coat in the film, but a lot of the other cast did! Ours is actually more like a three-quarter length jacket than an overcoat. You can wear it as a jacket with a waistcoat underneath it. We’ve done it in the past, but we’ve just updated it with new fabrics. We’re also doing really well with our check wool, flat front, slim-cut trousers, which would look good with a Harrington jacket. People are just buying them on their own, not necessarily as a suit. There’s not many people who are doing a really nice smart trouser. Our Harris Tweed ‘Peaky Blinder’ eight-piece baker boy hats are another winner, and we’re doing 100 per cent Merino wool turtle neck jumpers for a/w 18. On shirting, we’ve got button-down and banded collar ‘grandad’ options, depending on which look you’re going for. —
FEBRUARY 2018 | PROFILE | 52
WHERE THE EAGLE DARES Lyle & Scott is undergoing something of a reinvigoration, with a fresh approach to what it sells to its wide and varied wholesale account base, and different exclusive lines offered to independents and its bigger key accounts, as Tom Bottomley finds out from the brand’s UK and Ireland sales manager, Matt Freeland. —
Having joined Lyle & Scott in July 2016, UK and Ireland sales manager Matt Freeland has helped to implement a new approach to its wholesale business, alongside the returning Dickie Prosser as senior sales territory manager. It seems the brand with the famous eagle logo is flying high once again. With renewed focus on segmentation and a clear understanding of the consumer, different products – or at least variations – are being offered to independents so as to provide a point of difference from the big retail boys. This means Lyle & Scott has been able to recapture some old accounts, as well as attracting some new ones. “The brand is going through an exciting transition, and we’ve made some significant changes,” offers Freeland. “We’ve done a lot of work around segmentation, because we operate in a very diverse market place with many different points of distribution both on the high street and online. Within our business, we have a wide consumer base, so it’s been key to identify and develop different products, ranges and capsules that better speak to our width of consumer. It’s vital that we position the right product with the right retailer and allow our consumer the best chance of finding what’s right for them.” It’s clearly a welldefined strategy. Effectively, buyers from different retailers get access to different products during sales meetings. There is, of course, crossover from core and seasonal classic products, but ranges have been tailored to give retailers a point of difference with the Lyle & Scott brand, depending on the consumer they attract. “By categorising each retailer, based on the type of consumer they attract, we can segment effectively. We know, for instance, that the John Lewis consumer has different requirements to the Topman consumer, and their expectations from the brand vary significantly. It’s our responsibility, therefore, to make the experience as compelling as possible across our entire wholesale portfolio. We’ve got a customer base from 14 up to 55 – they all love the brand, but they love it for different reasons. So through product, styling and storytelling, we can and must appeal to different demographics.” Freeland stresses that independents are still hugely important to Lyle & Scott, as that is what the brand was essentially founded on. “Independents keep brands relevant and cool,” he says. “They do a
great job from that point of view, helping to tell our brand’s story, our authenticity and maintain great retail standards on the high street. We have, however, got more key accounts than we’ve ever had before, and more resources to facilitate the growth of these accounts.” Compared to the early 2000s, there’s certainly been a considerable shift in terms of how the business is split between the bigger key accounts and independents, with it now being more of an 80/20 divide from a revenue point of view. But that just highlights how the market and how the business has changed. “To put things into perspective, 15 years ago we were probably only dealing with a handful of key accounts, but in the UK specifically, we now have 13.” However, there are still some 150 independent accounts carrying Lyle & Scott, including John Anthony, Dogfish, Xile, Attic, Key Young and Northern Threads. In the a/w 18 collection, there is a capsule 24-piece collection exclusively for independents. “The collection is called ‘Casuals’ and has a definite ‘athleisure’ nod to it, aimed at a younger demographic, with directional prints, large logos, bonded seams and a change in left chest logo placement to left sleeve, to give added distinction,” explains Freeland. The ‘Casuals’ collection was actually launched for s/s 18, so this is the second iteration of it. At least 40 per cent of the independents Lyle & Scott supplies bought something within it for spring. “It allows independents to buy into something that the larger nationals don’t get the opportunity to,” says Freeland. “Versus the rest of our range, it gives the independent retailer an opportunity of real distinction on the high street, which is key for our future success with them, as the retailer landscape continues to evolve. The collection consists of all Lyle & Scott’s best-selling categories, from outerwear to tees, and includes a new all-over ‘shatter’ print, which has been getting a really strong reaction for a/w 18. International business is apparently growing at pace for the brand, with strong growth coming from Italy, Holland, France, Germany and Sweden – Lyle & Scott’s biggest market outside of the UK. Having strong Scottish roots, the brand has a long-established customer following in Scotland, and this July will see the opening of a 808 square foot flagship standalone shop in Edinburgh. A sure sign that the eagle has landed once more.
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VELVET BLAZER – SKOPES £46 0113 240 2211 SHIRT – CARLOS CORDOBA £18.95 020 3432 6387 BOWTIE – KNIGHTSBRIDGE £12 01765 640 576
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Photographer: Richard Boyle Makeup artist: Lauren Rippin www.laurensally.co.uk • Stylist: Victoria Jackson Model: Harry Start www.bossmodelmanagement.co.uk
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MWB-ONLINE.CO FEBRUARY 2018 | PEOPLE | 68
COLLECTIVE The people, the places, the products.
LITTLE BLACK BOOK GAGA CHEF RESTAURANT SHENZHEN, CHINA
SIMON SAYS Anyone been to Bloomingdales on Lexington recently? I was in New York last week for the new men’s trade show, Quest, on the piers. In between fighting buyers off with a sharp stick (if only… if only), I went to visit that grand old lady that is Bloomies. It’s never an easy store to navigate on entry with it’s odd half levels and confusing entrances, but you could always rely on the store directory to plan your visit. Not any more. Clearly someone high up management tree, or more probably a Millenials Engagement Consultant, had deemed these useful pieces of equipment to be, like, sooooo last century, and replaced them with Digital Interactive Store Engagement Screen Guide Platforms. You now have to type in the department, brand or product you’re after, and then it may or – in my case, as it was broken – may not display where you need to go. Perhaps, in the fast-moving world that is Bloomingdales, it all became a bit much to update the old printed store guides every time they made some changes. But one of the uses of a department store directory is that you could plan your visit, working out which floors to go to in turn; when to take a ‘comfort break’ as Americans so coyly call the toilet; and where to end up for a coffee. Now that requires a long and complicated process of entering each possible area you might want to visit one at a time, and holding that information in your head. Quite apart from the fact that one of these had broken, it was clear that they were unpopular with shoppers as Bloomingdales had employed a smiling liveried assistant to stand next to the one that did actually work and tell bemused shoppers how to navigate the store. I was moaning and grumbling about this, Victor Meldrew style, all the way to Grand Central station, where the other half had taken a fancy to a very bold pair of glasses frames from the quite excellent optical chain Warby Parker. We don’t really have an equivalent here. Imagine the bastard child of Specsavers and the new Canada Goose store on Regent Street. Very cool; super focused and edited and making you really, really want to wear glasses. Anyway, come time to pay, and they don’t, of course, have a till. How foolish of me to imagine that they would! Instead, they all wander around the store with shiny iPads into which they labouriously enter your card number, email, address, etc. I assume that cash is worthless in Warby Parker land. A transaction that would have taken 30 seconds in the ‘old days’ took 10 minutes, as the tired assistant tripped up over a couple of digits and had to repeat the process. My point in all of this? I think it’s easy to assume that digital and tech is always better. Beware of introducing it in the misguided belief that you’ll look silly if you don’t. Start from the customer and work backwards. — Simon Carter is the CEO of the eponymous brand and retail stores.
An impressive new restaurant, Gaga Chef, is capturing the attention of diners in Shenzhen, China. Located in the new MIXC Shenzhen Shopping Centre, alongside high-end brands such as Prada, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany’s and Gucci, the 490 sq mt restaurant has seats for 150 guests inside and 42 on the outdoor terrace. Designed by Shanghai-based design and architecture firm Coordination Asia, the interior design is elegantly understated – think large-scale light installations and slim-legged Beetle dining chairs by the Danish Gubi. Finally, the restaurant’s latest concept involves a rotating cast of international chefs, showcasing flavours from around the world. —
HUGH SWEENEY, Merrell UK Marketing & PR Manager
As a youth, I’d spend many a happy weekend DJing with mates at local venues and parties. — I think they called them ‘mobile discos’ back in the day. Money was tight, and most of the cash went on vinyl and new gear. But I really enjoyed dabbling with electronics, and we always built our own speaker cabinets and lighting equipment. My plan A was to go down a technical career in the music industry as a sound engineer or music producer. For me, recording studios looked like the coolest places to work, and I wanted to get my hands on massive mixing desks and stacks of tech gear. I approached a couple of studios, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. I had a short-lived career as a mechanical engineer, which wasn’t for me. Then I fell into the fashion/footwear industry, working in wholesale showrooms, running exhibition stands and generally developing my marketing career. —
MWB-ONLINE.CO FEBRUARY 2018 | PEOPLE | 69
CLOSET CONFIDENTIAL CRAIG PREST CREATIVE DIRECTOR, HENRI LLOYD I‘m often travelling, so I need a jacket that protects, dries in seconds, is lightweight and easy care. That’s where my Henri Lloyd fully taped Elite Goretex jacket comes in. It’s also super breathable, so the perfect transition jacket. The Henri Lloyd ‘Viking Smock’ is another of my wardrobe staples. Designed as part of a collaboration with Oi Polloi in Manchester as we re-explored the Henri Lloyd archive together, this fully seamtaped nylon smock is such fun to wear. I’m always wearing sneakers or pumps, whether it’s for a smart or casual look, and I always make a point of visiting the New Balance factory outlet in Flimby, Cumbria. They often have styles that they’ve made as samples but haven’t made it to production. On occasions you can hunt out styles or colourways which are limited edition, or even one-offs. My Steven Alan jacket, which I bought in the New York store, is a great spring jacket. It’s made from bonded cotton with fully bound seams. I wear it with a rolled-up pair of chinos and boat shoes for that perfect spring/summer vibe. The fabrication is enough to keep off any spring showers, and it’s super breathable, so comfortable even when the sun’s beating down. My Paul Smith palm print jacket was one of those magical finds, displayed in the window of a store as the last one of a limited edition run. It’s a covetable piece, and it was a bargain buy. I love this jacket and wear it with a Stone Island sweat, vintage denim and retro sneakers. It’s the perfect off-duty weekend look. My Our Legacy jeans are currently my go-to denims. I love the weight of them (12oz) and in a slightly looser fit than your standard slim fit. They edge towards where the trend is going for wider fits. I picked them up at Liberty in London, and have since gone back to buy a few more pairs. The design is clean and understated, with minimal branding. I also wear Happy Socks to brighten up my look. —
TOP TWEETS Molly Wyatt @mollywyatt_ Spare a thought today for everyone allergic to nuts on #WorldNutellaDay Coleman Baker, PhD @colemanbaker Look for an opportunity to add value to someone today. Smile, hold the door open, offer to help, be kind. It doesn’t take much to make a big difference in someone’s life. #MondayMotivation Jacob Holdo @Ailite I saw someone say they’re excited for Han Solo but worried because Alden doesn’t sound like Harrison Ford. That’s probably because he isn’t Harrison Ford and Harrison Ford can’t play a 25-30-year-old Giles Paley-Phillips @eliistender10 Why can’t medication have good side effects, like making me really attractive or popular? The Chic Geek @TheChicGeekcouk Great. Londoners get first dibs on new homes that nobody is buying and the housing market is going down. #WIN Zalinah White @zalinahwhite My Saturday was going pretty well until I realised it was Sunday. Jai’me Jan jaimelondonboy I love those people who take great pride in what they do. Like when you go to a shop, and the shop assistant goes out of his/her way to be really nice to you - especially when it comes across as giving others pleasure gives them pleasure too. I am totally like that. Gigi A @gigi_nyc Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man. But sooner or later, the man who wins is the man who thinks he can. - Vince Lombardi Jr.
THE PARTIES AND EVENTS FROM IN AND AROUND THE MENSWEAR INDUSTRY.
p UGG® PRESENTED AN EXCLUSIVE COLLABORATION WITH PARISIAN FASHION BRAND Y/PROJECT, SHOWN FOR THE FIRST TIME ON THE CATWALK AT PARIS FASHION WEEK. THE CAPSULE COLLECTION CELEBRATES THE UNQUESTIONABLE DNA OF THE UGG® BRAND REFERENCING, SHEEPSKIN, THE COLOUR CHESTNUT AND WELL-KNOWN SILHOUETTES.
p THIS SEASON SAW JACKET REQUIRED PRESENT A DEDICATED SUPREME ARCHIVE COLLECTION FROM BRITISH DJ ROSS WILSON. WILSON IS PARTNERING WITH ONLINE RETAILER THE IDLE MAN TO SHOWCASE WILSON’S VAULTS – A RARE OPPORTUNITY FOR CONSUMERS TO PURCHASE ITEMS FROM HIS UNIQUE SUPREME COLLECTION.
p PATRICK CHALHOUB, CEO OF CHALHOUB GROUP, AND JOSÉ NEVES, FOUNDER AND CEO OF FARFETCH, FOLLOWING THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF A JOINT VENTURE BRINGING TOGETHER THE CHALHOUB GROUP’S MARKET KNOWLEDGE, LUXURY DISTRIBUTION NETWORK WITH FARFETCH’S GLOBAL ECOMMERCE PLATFORM TO INCREASE MIDDLE EAST CONSUMERS’ ACCESS TO LUXURY BRANDS ONLINE.
Come see us at Moda, NEC Birmingham Stand I11 www.barker-shoes.co.uk
MWB-ONLINE.CO FEBRUARY 2018 | 71
THE BOTTOMLEY LINE MWB deputy editor Tom Bottomley – our man on the inside of menswear.
FOR MORE OF TOM’S OPINIONS VISIT MWB-ONLINE.CO.UK
WILD BUNCH HITS TOWN There’s a new premium footwear brand in town by the name of Wild Bunch, created by longstanding footwear lover and former Cardiff retailer (Drooghi) Neil ‘Nellie’ Morris. Having spent some time living in Spain a few years ago, acquiring the ‘El Nel’ name tag in the process, Morris didn’t sit around sipping Margaritas all day long. Instead he immersed himself in the wonders of leather goods manufacturing the local area seemed to have in abundance. Mainly, shoe making by expert craftsmen the old southern Spanish way. Wild Bunch is his highest end footwear development to date, using only premium leathers and suede, and top-end natural crepe soles. He’s already supplying the likes of End Clothing, Garbstore, Present, The Hip Store, Peggs & Son and All Blues. It was actually in All Blues in Leeds that former footballer, TV pundit and fashion lover Ian Wright recently picked up a pair and put them on his Instagram page. Word of mouth is all with this one, and distribution is niche. For Morris, he’s made the shoes he wants to wear, that not only look good, but are super comfortable too. “This is a slow grower,” says Morris, only just into his third season with it. “It’s making all the right noises, with all the right people. The shoes don’t come cheap, retailing between the £155 to £175 mark, but they’re made by old school artisan craftsmen, and this is my passion.” Morris chose the Wild Bunch name after a late 1980s collective of musicians and DJs from Bristol. “But there’s also a little nod to the classic old Sam Peckinpah film of the same name.” A number of names have snapped up Wild Bunch for wholesale for a/w 18.
RALPH’S PURPLE LABEL GOES ALL NAVAL OFFICER’S CLUB The new a/w 18 collection from Ralph Lauren, Purple Label, presented in Milan, is a real nod to naval officer uniforms. A look that could certainly have a knock-on effect in menswear, because the brand just gets the look so right, others simply feel obliged to follow. Insignia and embroidered patches and crests are prominent throughout the collection, no doubt another trend in the making there. Silhouettes are modern interpretations of historic military garments, and the way the
t WILD BUNCH
t RALPH LAUREN
collection was shown in Milan was like something out of a Hollywood production (see picture). Sometimes you just have to sit back and admire the style and panache. As the old Hollywood saying goes, ‘You’ve either got it or you ain’t, kid!’
ASOS SURGES AHEAD Post-Christmas figures really give the tale of the tape as to who’s really cutting it in fashion retail, and there’s no mistake that ASOS continues to batter its rivals in terms of sales. It really is something of a phenomenon. Not the sort of reading you want when you’re a solid bricks-andmortar retailer, but you can’t help but take notice because people just seem to love shopping with them. With retailers such as Debenhams and House of Fraser struggling over Christmas, ASOS saw overall sales soar by 30 per cent. UK sales rose 23 per cent in the four months to 31 December, and analysts said ASOS’s use of social media and content was ‘the best in the online fashion world’. Founded 17 years ago – how quick did that go – it is now worth more than Marks & Spencer. Its market value is now reported as £4.89 billion,
making it a more valuable business than the 133-year-old high-street giant, now worth £4.88 billion. Okay, so there’s not much in it, for the moment. But the way things are going, there seems no letting up. Not only has ASOS proved very successful at attracting new customers, it also has managed to increase the amount existing shoppers are spending. Speedier deliveries (even a same-day delivery option in some cases) and a ‘try before you buy’ offer, which lets customers order products to try at home and only pay for what they decide to keep, are initiatives that just seem to drive increased sales. Added to that, ASOS continues to attract considerable interest from shoppers in the US and Europe. In fact, US sales jumped 42 per cent, and Europe steamed ahead with another 42 per cent increase in purchases. Marks & Spencer being usurped by ASOS has been described as the high street’s ‘Tesla moment’, referring to the automotive industry, where the electric car maker Tesla sped ahead of the 114-year-old Ford Motor Company. It really is an ever-changing retail landscape out there, with the old adage ‘you’ve got to adapt to survive’ never so relevant.
MWB-ONLINE.CO FEBRUARY 2018 | DIRECTORY | 72
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MWB-ONLINE.CO FEBRUARY 2018 | LAST ORDERS | 74
LAST ORDERS WITH... JOHN KISZLEY Forming menswear agency The Good People (originally Noir Projects) back in 2014, John Kiszley has welcomed organic growth with a strong portfolio of brands and a can-do attitude. Victoria Jackson catches up with Kiszley to discover the challenges and milestones which made their mark on his career in the retail trade. — Formerly Noir Projects, what drove the decision to rebrand the agency to The Good People? The rebrand came after the s/s 18 sales period, and in preparation of 2018. The ethos has always been to work with good people, good brands and good stores, so the name change really took care of itself. Sometimes the answer is so obvious you miss it. I ran it past a couple of my brands and stores I work with, and it made perfect sense. Which brands do you currently look after? I look after a bunch of brands that include American Trench, Knickerbocker, Monokel Eyewear and Welter Shelter, amongst others. Was there a brand you took on which really changed the game for you? Monokel Eyewear without a shadow of doubt. They were one of the first brands to join the agency, and trust my vision of what I wanted to create. Without their product, the agency wouldn’t be where it is today. You launched the agency within tough trading conditions – what’s been the biggest challenge for you? Cashflow. Building anything from the ground up takes time and money. It’s been a valuable lesson in teaching you to appreciate things way more. What would you say has been your biggest success to date? Adding Liberty as a stockist for Monokel Eyewear. It was a common goal for both the brand and the agency when we started working together, so to achieve that was fantastic. Have you taken on any new brands for a/w 18? We have added two brands – Knickerbocker from New York and Welter Shelter from Amsterdam. Both have huge potential and I am pleased that they are part of the agency. What criteria do you have when it comes to adding to your roster of brands? The main criteria is knowing the stores we work with and if the brand will fit with their direction and ethos. The second comes down to whether I would wear it myself. What do you think the key is to a successful retailer relationship? I try to treat things as little like work as possible. I
DOB: 02/04/85 Place of birth: Coventry Lives now: East London Instagram: @goodpeopleagency / @mrjohnkiszely
create a nice environment in the showroom, which also happens to be my home, and curate a nice brand mix with good products. I also visit stores and buyers as often as possible. Time and effort goes a long way. How do you see retail changing over the next couple of years? We all know what is happening in the industry at the moment, and it’s just a case of making sensible business decisions. I am a huge champion of independent stores, and we will continue to support these guys as much as possible. In terms of your personal style, how would you describe that? Easy going. Redwings or vans. Jeans and a tee, my vintage flight jacket and of course my Nelson sunglasses in Crystal from Monokel Eyewear. Which labels, aside from the ones you look after at Good People, would we find in your wardrobe? I’m still a fan of vintage clothing. I like the idea of recycling well-made clothes.
QUICK-FIRE QUESTIONS Early bird or night owl? I’m a little bit of both. Must-visit travel destination? NYC. It’s the best city on the planet. Favourite film? It changes. My current favourite is Lord of Dogtown. It follows the surf and skate trends from California in the 70s. Best piece of advice you’ve been given? This is an easy question to answer. It’s from an old colleague of mine called Al Israel, who helped me make a decision when changing jobs. It reads: “You go for it kiddo – sometimes change is the best ingredient and will give you a springboard of opportunity for future growth.”
MWB MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2018 ISSUE 245