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— FEET FIRST The key footwear trends and news for s/s 13 —

— EXTRA TIME Accessories to boost your in-store offer —

— GOING IT ALONE The indies who successfully launched own ranges —

— BRAND VALUES The secret of effective business branding —

Summer collection (March: April onwards delivery) Showing in London and Manchester from the 23rd September For appointment in our central London Showroom, please contact: Kinsie Sidolle: Email: Tel: 0203 432 6387 / 07758084262 TCA Showroom, 26-30 Old Church Street, SW3 5BY London






5 EDITOR’S COMMENT — 6 NEWS — 10 BACKSTAGE The other side of womenswear — 12 TALKING POINT — 60 RETAIL FORUM The latest news from the industry — 66 THE FINAL WORD How do you want to be remembered? — FRONT COVER ELECTRONIC SHEEP —

14 Q&A With Hoss Intropia’s Mila Perrone — 16 IS YOUR STOCK PAST ITS SELL-BY DATE? How to keep your offer fresh — 26 TREE OF LIFE How People Tree upped its fashion credentials — 34 HOT ON THE HEELS The news and brands to watch in the footwear sector — 52 FLYING SOLO The retailers successfully launching own labels — 54 BRANDING YOUR BUSINESS The importance of effective business branding —

18 STYLE FILE — 21 10 OF THE BEST Gothic lace pieces — 23 COLLAR WORKER — 24 FASHION RADAR — 28 STEPPING OUT The key footwear trends for s/s 13 — 40 ACCESSORIES TRENDS — 46 MODA WOMAN WWB sums up the trends from last month’s show. — 50 COPENHAGEN FASHION WEEK The highlights from the shows — 58 NIGHT OF THE PROMS The pick of the promwear brands —

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05 WOMENSWEAR BUYER — SEPTEMBER 2012 Editor Isabella Griffiths — Contributors Victoria Jackson Laura Kirkpatrick Christina Williams — Online editor Suzanna Bain — Fashion writer Natalie Dawson — Editorial assistant Carey Whitwam — Sub editor Amanda Batley — Design & production Michael Podger Clive Holloway James Lindley Richard Boyle — Senior advertising sales manager Mina Parmar — Sales executive Amy Myers — Subscriptions Louise Adu — Production director Gill Brabham — Commercial director Nick Cook — Marketing director Stephanie Parker — Managing director Colette Tebbutt — Reprographics/printing ImageData Group 01482 652323 — WWB is published 11 times per year by RAS Publishing Ltd, The Old Town Hall, Lewisham Road, Slaithwaite, Huddersfield HD7 5AL. Call 01484 846069 Fax 01484 846232 — Copyright © 2012 WWB Magazine Limited. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any written material or illustration in any form for any purpose, other than short extracts for review purposes, is strictly forbidden. Neither RAS Publishing Ltd nor its agents accept liability for loss or damage to transparencies and any other material submitted for publication. —

RAS Publishing is an ITE Group PLC company A Buyer Series Fashion Business Publication WWB is a fashion business publication produced by RAS Publishing Ltd. Other titles include MWB, Footwear & Fashion Extras and CWB.



According to the study, vacancy rates on the UK’s high streets have risen in the period from January to June 2012 to 14.6 per cent (see full report on page 6). Although this constitutes only a fairly marginal rise on the same period a year ago, the report is a vivid reminder that all is not well on Britain’s high streets and that some serious action needs to be taken, and fast. I agree with CEO of the British Property Federation Liz Peace’s assessment that we need a “complete rethink” about how the vacant properties can be and should be redeveloped into new uses. It’s all well and good to make a big hoo-ha about redevelopment initiatives such as the Portas Pilots, but to then only throw insubstantial amounts of cash into projects that are likely to have no impact at all, even if the intentions are good, is a massive shortfall. I don’t blame anyone for being – like me – cynical about the results that this may or may not bring. For me, one of the key points in reviving the high streets is to return them to the independents, making property, business rates and rents affordable for the wealth of small and medium sized entrepreneurs and indies who can indeed transform city centres into vibrant shopping destinations with a mix of individual and inspirational products, as opposed to the tumbleweed scenarios that can be found up and down the country. Places such as Cambridge,

Harrogate and York came out on top of the list as good examples for burgeoning retail locations, and it is no coincidence that these also boast a great retail mix of independents. If the government is serious about reviving the UK’s high streets, it needs to start valuing its small businesses and offer proper support and structural change, because there is no lack of great existing stores or even inspirational new start-ups who are willing and able to drive change – but who knows how long they still will be around. What is your view on the state of the high street and what do you feel should be done to revive it? As always, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts, so drop me an email at isabella@ras-publishing or tweet us @wwbmagazine.

Isabella Griffiths, editor

       



UK’S RETAIL LANDSCAPE WORSENS Britain’s vacancy rate has risen to a new high, driven by too many shops and ongoing economic challenges. —

The Local Data Company’s (LDC) latest shop vacancy report is painting a bleak picture of the UK retail sector, revealing that Britain’s vacancy rate has culminated at 14.6 per cent for the period January to June 2012, risen from 14.3 per cent in the second half of 2011. Poignantly titled Too Many Shops, the study, whose data is derived from 506 town centres and 145,000 shops, highlights the growing number of empty stores and cites a number of structural and economic reasons for the decline. Key background factors contributing to the rise in shop vacancies include falling consumer expenditure (back to the levels of 2002), debt against housing where growth is flat or even negative, accelerated online sales by mobile technology and a “race for space” by multiple retailers between 2005 and 2012, which has led to an additional 6.6m sq m of retail floor space, while profitability for most retailers was falling. According to the report, between 2000 and 2009 nearly 15,000 shops closed in town centres, while a further 10,000 closed between 2010 and 2011 alone. The LDC warns that the “new reality” of weak growth, rising costs, reduced returns for investors and a lack of growth in consumer spend is here to stay, and also highlights a growing North-South divide.

Wales, the Midlands and the North have recorded the biggest rate of vacancies with an average of 18.5 per cent, with Scotland coming in at 16.7 per cent, while London and the South have fared marginally better, with a vacancy rate of 12.7 per cent. Nottingham, Stockport, Walsall, Dudley and Margate are among the worst performing cities and towns, while Salisbury, Cambridge, Chesterfield, York and Harrogate are among the best performing centres with a comparatively low vacancy rate. The report concludes that “normal” service is unlikely to be resumed any time soon as far as retailers are concerned, and that the current high levels of vacancies are likely to remain, with long-term effects on the high street and especially secondary shopping centres. It raises the question whether regeneration schemes and initiatives such as the Portas Pilots will have any positive impact, particularly while the economy remains in decline. “Fundamental national economic issues are being played out at local level,” says Matthew Hopkinson, director at the LDC. “At worse, it is about managing decline to enable alternative uses for a centre to take over and at best it is maintaining positive trends in the face of increasingly fierce competition and cost.” Liz Peace, CEO of the British Property Federation, also reiterates the severity of the

“Our towns face complex structural problems that are not going to be solved by tinkering around the edges”

situation. “Our towns face complex structural problems that are not going to be solved by tinkering around the edges,” she says. “In many places, we need to rethink how vacant property could be redeveloped into new uses. “It will require flexibility on the part of local planning authorities but, equally, an acceptance from the property industry and its investors and lenders that in many cases previous values simply cannot be maintained and new lower value uses are the only option,” she continues. “This will be challenging – and there will inevitably be some further business casualties – but the alternative is a period of steady, inexorable and irreversible decline with unacceptable social consequences.”



TOWIE STAR DEBUTS OWN LABEL Lydia Rose Bright, star of reality TV show The Only Way Is Essex, is launching an eponymous womenswear collection consisting of 38 pieces of day and evening styles, inspired by classic vintage design. The collection is reportedly designed by Bright herself, assisted and produced by UK manufacturer Lipstick. An exact launch date and distribution format are yet to be announced, though it is expected to be available later this year and will be initially sold through high street stores and etailers. The range comprises dresses and separates based on vintage styles but with a contemporary slant. “My vision was to encapsulate classic sophistication and glamour throughout the collection, creating clothes that independent young women who love style will want to wear forever,” says Bright. “Clothes and styling are my passion, and everything that I have designed I would want to wear myself.” —

DARLING TO EXPAND MARKET SHARE WITH BELOVED UK fashion brand Darling has launched sister brand Beloved (pictured) in a bid to extend its market reach and tap into the demand for edgy and young partywear. The collection sits alongside Darling’s main line, but offers a selection of going-out pieces and day-to-night dresses. Available for short order with wholesale prices ranging from £6 to £42, the brand will be aimed at Darling’s existing stockist base as well as new accounts. “Darling is stocked in over 300 outlets in the UK, with another 600 worldwide,” says Nadia Moraes, founder and director. “We hope to secure 200 stockists in the first season across independents, multiples and department stores.” The collection is designed to complement Darling’s “prim and proper” aesthetic with edgier pieces, with statement pieces including a black and white shift dress with a heavily bejewelled contrasting collar, jacquard cigarette pants, a metallic pleated skirt and a laser-cut faux-leather top. “I feel we could hold our own among higher end brands such as Rag & Bone and By Malene Birger, but also sit comfortably with more affordable labels including Mina UK,” says Moraes. —

MOBILE TO MAKE UP ONE IN FIVE OF ONLINE SALES The percentage of UK online sales made through a mobile device could reach one in five (20 per cent) by Christmas, forecasts from the latest study by IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking revealed. The findings also estimate that the percentage of site visits through mobile devices will be at around one in three (30 per cent) in the same period. The percentage of sales through m-commerce rose to 11.6 per cent in Q2 of 2012, up from 8.2 per cent in the first quarter. Since the beginning of 2010, the penetration of mobile in terms of UK e-retail sales has soared 2,900 per cent, rising from just 0.4 per cent of e-retail sales in Q1 2010. Site visits through mobile devices also rose significantly in the second quarter, reaching 21.1 per cent of visits to UK e-retail websites, up from 16.4 per cent in the previous quarter. — GH WARNER FOOTWEAR SECURES DISTRIBUTION DEAL GH Warner Footwear has secured the exclusive distribution rights for Ipanema, Rider and Grendha, effective from s/s 13. The three brands, produced by Brazil’s largest supplier of footwear, Grendene, have enjoyed success since their launch to the UK market. — TEXTILE FORUM CELEBRATES DECADE OF SUCCESS The 10th anniversary edition of Textile Forum, running on 17-18 October at The Music Room, London, will present its largest selection of UK and Continental produced collections since the launch of the exhibition. The fabric show will exhibit laces, leathers, cottons, cashmeres, wools and silks, as well as complementary companies offering linings, labels and screen printing. “I am thrilled that, for our 10th anniversary event, we are including companies that have been with us since the first show, as well as some exciting new exhibitors,” says co-founder and organiser Linda Laderman. “Buyers will have a fantastic choice of innovative fabrics for daywear, eveningwear, bridalwear and lingerie.”



GARGUZ AGENCY EXTENDS BRAND PORTFOLIO London fashion agency Garguz showroom has expanded its portfolio for s/s 13 with the addition of Italian label Pink Memories and German brand Christel und Sinn. Pink Memories (pictured) offers easy-to-wear pieces that can be worn from day to evening, mixing a feminine, romantic signature with a rock vibe, using silks, French lace and pure linen and a soft colour palette. Christel und Sinn, meanwhile, specialises in tailored garments with longevity, catering for the professional woman, with the brand using its own print design. Both brands are aimed at the premium end of the market and were well-received at this season’s Scoop International, which the agency is hoping to build on going forward. —

STRONG TRADING ACROSS MODA Exhibitors at last month’s national fashion trade show, Moda, have reported positive results, citing healthy order volumes and a high quality of independent and store buyers as well as new business. The exhibition showcased over 1,450 collections in total, including 200 brands that were new to the exhibition. The event saw a rise of three per cent in visitor numbers in direct comparison with its spring edition last year, and was attended by UK department stores including John Lewis, Fenwick and Debenhams, as well independent retailers from across the UK and Ireland. Ozlem Moss, managing director of Perla Blanca UK, which made its market debut at Moda Woman, was impressed with the level of business the brand generated at its inaugural show. “We are ecstatic with the results,” she says. “Because we are a new brand in the UK, our only expectation was to meet potential buyers and agents, make new contacts and get a few orders. However, pretty much every buyer we met placed an order.” This was echoed by Carol Capener, owner of agency Carol C Collections, which showed a number of brands at the show. “We were busy every day, and we were up 60 per cent across all of our brands on our previous best show,” she says. “We saw regulars, but also new customers, too, and opened lots of new accounts.” —

HOUSE OF KIPLING OPENS DOORS Accessories retailer Kipling has opened the doors to its newly refurbished store on London’s Brompton Road. The brand will debut its global store development initiative under the direction of design agency Uxus, with the Westfield store revamp planned for later this year. Reinforcing Kipling’s image of a fun, playful and accessible brand, the new Brompton Road store creates a homey and rich experience driven by a sense of play and comfort. — PSYCHE ENHANCES SUPPLIER RELATIONSHIP FOLLOWING NEW FINANCIAL DEAL Middlesbrough department store Psyche is set to boost its online presence and enhance its supplier relationships following a new financial package from Santander Corporate Banking. The package will include a bespoke supplier finance arrangement and comes at a significant moment for the store as it celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. The Supplier Payment facility will enable the store to pay its suppliers quickly and efficiently. Psyche relaunched its website in 2011 and has experienced an increase of 148 per cent in revenue, making growth in this area of the business a priority for the management team. — NATALIE MASSENET APPOINTED AS BFC CHAIRMAN Natalie Massenet, founder of Net-a-porter, has been appointed chairman of the British Fashion Council, with effect from 1 January 2013. Massenet will take over from Harold Tillman, who is stepping down at the end of the year after completing an extended term at the helm of the organisation. She has been offered the position in recognition of having built a global fashion business as well as her strong international profile and close relationship with both British designers and global luxury brands. Massenet’s new role will see her become spokesperson, figurehead and industry ambassador for the organisation, while also pursuing further growth of the sector and businesses within it. She will continue in her role as executive chairman of the Net-a-porter Group.


FLIP EXPANDS FOR NEXT EDITION New trade show Flip is to expand its profile to include more denim and young women’s fashion at its next edition, taking place at the NEC Birmingham on 17-19 February. The debut show, which ran alongside Moda last month, featured around 60 brands from across the urban and active sport fashion sector, including Animal, Quicksilver, Billabong, Boxfresh and Drunknmunky. Flip event director Jamie Harden says the move is a natural progression for the show, which will also introduce a catwalk for February 2013 hosting runway shows and retail seminars across the three days. “The feedback from brands was that they had been able to do business with both specialists and fashion retailers at Flip, so upping the fashion content of the show is going to increase its appeal,” he says. “With so many retailers at the younger end of the market selling to both men and women, it also makes sense to open up the show to womenswear brands, which will sit alongside the unisex collections already taking part.” Brad Hockridge, UK agent for Billabong, says that the debut show proved successful for the brand. “The level of interest we had from buyers was amazing,” he says. “We’d never have had this type of exposure if it wasn’t for Flip, and the potential for new business was better than we had anticipated.” —


TULCHAN PURSUES BRAND DEVELOPMENT PLANS UK brand Tulchan Textiles is embarking on a comprehensive expansion plan as part of an ongoing strategic development to increase market share in the women’s clothing sector, with an increase in its European distribution also a key focus. The brand has been revamping its offer and revived its product portfolio for s/s 13, with more contemporary shapes and colours as well as a strong use of natural cotton and pure wool fabrics. Tulchan is also planning the opening of its first UK standalone store, and is currently scouting for a suitable strategic location. —

BREAD & BUTTER BERLIN AXES EXHIBITORS IN REPOSITIONING German street and urbanwear trade show Bread & Butter Berlin is to drop a number of exhibitors for its next edition in a bid to take it back to its roots as “the trade show for selected brands”. In an open letter, founder and president of the show, Karl-Heinz Müller, rubbished speculations over the move of location and even sale of the show, and confirmed he would “part with a number of existing, also long-term exhibitors.” He added, “Many speculations could be heard at the last event that we wanted to change the location on the one hand, and that I was about to sell Bread & Butter Berlin on the other; both are not true. I am very proud of my company – selling is beyond any question. However (…), we have no alternative but to select our exhibitors even more carefully in the future. Our relevant top brands expect a strict selection and the adjustment of their neighbourhoods.” The show, taking place on 15-17 January at Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport, will see a restructured hall concept and the creation of newly designed areas in close co-operation with exhibitors, vowing that the brand adjacencies would “massively change”. —

UKFT SUPPORTS FIRST STEPS IN BUSINESS The UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT) has launched a new programme in collaboration with universities across the country to offer support to students making their first foray into the fashion and textile industry. The initiative is a response to the rising number of graduates launching new businesses, with start-ups being offered speedy access to accurate commercial information and support. UKFT’s experienced team will be visiting a number of universities this autumn to give targeted advice on how to enter the world of business. Leeds College of Art, the University of Westminster and GCU London are the universities benefiting from the first round of seminars. — FREE FASHION LAW SEMINAR Business law firm Fox Williams has announced the date of its annual Fashion Law Seminar, which is free for those in the industry to attend. The seminar will take place on 10 October at the firm’s offices at 10 Dominion Street, East London, and will see attendees register from 6pm for the talks, which start at 6.30pm and last for one hour. Topics to be covered include selling online, the challenges facing fashion brands and investing in brand businesses. — NEW APPOINTMENTS AT BRC The British Retail Consortium has appointed a new chairman, deputy chairman and director general, following its announcement last month that current director general Stephen Robertson will formally resign the post as of 1 January 2013. Founder of industry body Retail Think Tank Helen Dickinson takes over the role of director general, while Ian Cheshire and Rob Templeman will assume the roles of chairman and deputy chairman respectively. — NEW APPOINTMENT AT DENTS British accessories label Dents has announced the appointment of Deborah Moore as the brand’s new chief executive. Moore, who has been with the company for 22 years, previously held the position of director in the company, and is now tasked with developing the brand both in the UK and overseas.



BACKSTAGE The other side of womenswear —


West Dean College in West Sussex is offering Learn a skill, Make a Gift days, teaching how to make bespoke fashion accessories, from chain necklaces to brooches and more. For further information visit

Celebrating British fashion With the world’s spotlight on London this summer and the Olympics having showed off the UK’s sporting prowess, last month Harvey Nichols teamed up with the British Fashion Council and the Mayor of London to celebrate another great British achievement, the British Fashion Industry. The evening showcased the breadth and range of women’s and men’s fashion in London and its importance to the economy. Pictured from left: Caroline Rush, CEO of the British Fashion Council; Grazia’s style director, Paula Reed; Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture Munira Mirza; and Dylan Jones, editor of GQ magazine. —

WHITE STUFF WEARS TEA COSY FOR CHARITY Thursday 27 September marks the third National Wear a Tea Cosy on Your Head Day, and lifestyle brand White Stuff is embracing the spirit of the day wholeheartedly. The company has been a supporter of the initiative from its launch, with staff across the brand’s stores committing themselves to looking unusual for the day to raise money and awareness for 85 charities. Each store supports its own charity, helping disadvantaged young people in the UK. Last year, White Stuff raised over £30k, with this year’s target even bigger. White Stuff is encouraging its customers to also don a tea cosy and post their picture on their Facebook pages. —

ROLL ON 30TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS Spring 2013 marks UK brand Out of Xile’s 30th year in the business, and what better reason to celebrate the grand occasion in style. Owner Cathy Hewlett stuck to the Made in England theme and hired a classic 60s Routemaster London bus to whisk some of the brand’s stockists off on a sightseeing tour of London after the first day of Pure. —

whErE FashioN ComEs togEthEr



lingerie & swimwear





17-19 February 2013, NEC Birmingham Find out more and register for your visit at





TALKING POINT Key industry players give their views on the issues affecting womenswear —



It was a risky strategy to run a 24-hour flash sale in Love From Australia’s (LFA) online boutique last month, and I have just finished processing the unprecedented response, orders, multiple from the same customers, torrents of emails, phone calls and Facebook posts later.

When my sister and I set up Hengelo in September 2011, we knew it would be a challenge but, one year on, we have also been overwhelmed by the rewards that running your own shop brings. We chose the name Hengelo as it is a town in Holland where we lived as children and is meaningful to us.

Traditionally a wholesale house, LFA’s online boutique, offering luxury sheepskin footwear and accessories, is relatively new, having launched at the tail end of last year. With a lull in business, we had time to see that only a fraction of our website visitors were translating into sales via one of our stockists, and we realised those customers wanted to buy right now direct from the website and were not prepared to shop around. As is our philosophy at LFA, we wanted the sale to be quick, simple and painless for all. We reset everything to a flat price of £50 – easy to understand and an easy amount to part with. That made some previously £300 styles a bargain and others, such as kids classic styles, a reasonable rather than expensive price. Judging by the amount people spent, there is certainly still money out there, but people want more for it. We raised a few eyebrows with our flash sale, but we are in our “comfort zone” at LFA with a little healthy controversy. A £50 sale right before we deliver our retailers with their new season collection – a little risky, no? Yes, but we felt we had a mild dose of “play-it-safe-itis” – it really is tough at the moment and, lately, we have not dared to gamble, which is such a shame because it is half the buzz of business. I will be honest – we did have one client attempt to cancel their order on the grounds that they couldn’t possibly sell anything if their customers could buy direct from us at a fraction of the cost. But the client missed the fact that the sale was for one day and we sold old styles; stock that needed to go in order to make room for new-season styles coming in. It was a fantastic PR gimmick. We created a buzz around LFA and got people talking about it on Facebook and Twitter. It also raised some much-needed cash quick, which can now be spent on marketing and promotions to drive sales for the new season. I’m so glad we took a risk and committed what would usually be (for a brand) a cardinal sin, which turned out to be a success with benefits for everyone. I’m now plotting the next controversial campaign and hope it will reap rewards for all. I will report back but, for now, I will leave you with the words of one of the great masters of retail from our times: “He who dares wins, Rodney, he who dares wins.” —

We took over an existing shop and, with it, bought the existing stock, which was challenging as we had no control over what was coming in. However, it gave us an opportunity to get to know our customers, understand which brands were working and slowly develop the boutique in the direction we felt it should go in. Earlier this year, we refurbished the shop and held a launch event for our customers and local community. We are active on all social media platforms, and this has been a great way to build a following from the start. While we have changed the name, many people still associate the shop with its past, and one of the most challenging things has been letting people know it is under new ownership with a new direction. The shop has a laid-back and approachable atmosphere and we want our customers to feel at ease. There is no better feeling than seeing someone who leaves feeling confident and happy with what they have purchased. Our team is focused on making sure people get the right training and development. The girls who work for us have been sent on various courses, and we try and book them on brand training when possible. It enables them to be equipped with the right knowledge, and gives them the confidence to sell our products. The last 12 months have had lots of highs and lows. One of the key challenges was when the town had major roadworks, which affected footfall for around three months. During this time, everyone in the community got together and came up with an incentive to keep customers coming despite difficulties with parking. It was encouraging to see the town working together to keep the high street open for business. Our next big project is the launch of our transactional website, which will go live in October, and we hope it will be another successful dimension to Hengelo. While the last year has not been without its tough days, it is extremely satisfying to see the results of our hard work and perseverance. The positive comments from customers is highly rewarding and provides encouragement and focus for the coming year. —

Tara Knapp, founder, Love From Australia

Kate Payne, co-owner, Hengelo, Haslemere




Mila Perrone

Hoss Intropia’s new wholesale director tells Isabella Griffiths about the brand’s new UK set-up and plans for further expansion. —


Isabella Griffiths: You joined Hoss Intropia six months ago to lead the new in-house wholesale division of the brand. What has been the main focus of your role since? Mila Perrone: Hoss Intropia’s set-up in the UK changed at the end of last year from an agency format to in-house wholesale division, following the closure of the agency we had previously been working with. At the same time, Hoss Intropia has been going through some changes; the company was investing in its image and different projects. I was brought on board to execute the strategic development and selective distribution of the brand in the UK, increase profitability and raise the brand’s profile, focusing on a contemporary, mid-luxury positioning. I come from a luxury monobrand background, so my goal is to use my knowledge of managing these labels and bring how they operate into the arena in order to further develop the brand. The in-house division was set up to keep true to the brand DNA, to have complete control over the distribution, brand image, representation, budget and so on. With multi-brand agencies, you’re often one of so many labels that there isn’t the capacity to focus as specifically on one label as you can when you operate in-house. IG: What exactly are you working on in terms of Hoss Intropia’s brand positioning and development? MP: I work closely with Hoss Intropia’s multi-brand director in Spain, Graciela Oviedo, who is an inspirational woman with a strong knowledge of the label and its position in different markets. We want to focus on Hoss Intropia as an entry-level brand to the premium market. We don’t want to be over-distributed, and we want to offer competitive price points; we see Hoss Intropia as a great entry-level price point brand for mid to high-end stores and e-tailers, as opposed to a lot of high street brands these days, who have become expensive and are yet overly distributed, such as the likes of Ted Baker and French Connection, for example. IG: Is Hoss Intropia’s upper mid market positioning a crucial element in the



strategy? Do you feel it is a “safe” market level to be in? MP: I would say so, as much as you can be in today’s climate. The market conditions are challenging, and it is clear that the higher, mid-luxury market is suffering. Of course, you have the superbrands such as Louis Vuitton, Alexander McQueen and Chanel who are doing amazingly well – you would think they are selling tube tickets, that’s how in demand they are, and people are just grabbing them as if money is no object. But, further down the spectrum, brands like Moschino Cheap and Chic are suffering. They’re expensive, but they’re not the superbrands. Hoss Intropia fills a good gap in the market. I would see our brand adjacencies alongside the likes of Twinset, By Malene Birger, Patrizia Pepe and Vanessa Bruno, and similar international brands in this bracket. IG: What are your plans in terms of distribution? MP: We’re hoping for a mix of independents, key department stores and e-tailers. We showed at Scoop earlier this season and had a great response to the range, which was encouraging. Currently, we have around 70 accounts, but we should be able to take it to around 120 over the next two years. We want to work with higher end independents and establish good, long-term relationships with them that are build on mutual trust, and ensure that Hoss Intropia is well-represented in the stores, that collections are bought in a way that reflects the proper image and direction of the brand, and it sits next to good labels in-store. The UK is the second most important European market for us after Italy, so it’s crucial that we get it spot on. IG: You are quite active in terms of customer support and working closely with your stockists. Is this a consequence of the difficult trading conditions? MP: To be honest, Hoss Intropia has always been a flexible company – it is, after all, an ethical company, so there has always been a strong emphasis on stockist support. I think it’s the way forward and essential in establishing a cooperative relationship with our clients. We

offer stock swaps, events, staff training, VM help and total support via press and retail events to ensure maximum sell-throughs. IG: How would you describe the USP of Hoss Intropia? MP: Hoss Intropia’s signature is feminine and romantic; there is a strong ballet theme to the collection. It’s contemporary, and our staples are our high-quality Italian fabrics, exclusive prints and lots of colour. IG: What does the s/s 13 collection contain? MP: Our s/s 13 collection has been inspired by Pop Art, a return to 60s chic and style icons such as Twiggy and Mary Quant. Abstract geometry is also a strong theme, and you can see geometric, graphic prints and motifs in block colours and daring combinations of stripes and horizontal and vertical bands. Our colours are beautifully intense this season with lemons, reds, ivory and black, as well as pastel colours in tones such as rose, aloe and cobalt. Mixes of fabrics are important this season, with knitted cotton and linen twill with sequins and knitted crep-de-chine silk. Our silhouettes are fluid with a sensation of elegance and finesse. IG: Hoss is an ethical company that supports a multitude of socially responsible projects. How significant is this element of the company to its appeal? MP: The fact that Hoss Intropia is an ethical company adds to its appeal – there is a feel-good factor in knowing the clothes you are wearing have not been produced in sweatshops and that the profits support charitable projects. This is important for us, and we want to make sure we stick to our values as a socially responsible, non-exploitative company that cares about the working conditions of its suppliers, the environment, the clients; a company that is not just driven by profit alone. It’s a caring company, which makes working for it a pleasure.

INFORMATION – Mila Perrone has 15 years’ experience in wholesale, having worked in the luxury sector for the likes of Iceberg, Helmut Lang, GIambattista Valli and most recently managing Aeffe UK, the in-house wholesale agency for Alberta Ferretti and Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti. – Hoss Intropia is a Spanish company offering three brands – Hoss Intropia, Hoss Intropia Silver Collection and Hoss Intropia Miguel Palacio. – The company was founded in 1994, and today is present in 48 countries with over 1,500 points of sale between its own stores, including three in London.



IS YOUR STOCK PAST ITS SELL-BY DATE? Thierry Bale, managing director of business consultancy Global Fashion Management, explains how retailers can keep fresh goods coming in without losing cash. —


ny grocery retailer will tell you that ensuring their goods are sold within the sell-by date represents a significant amount of time and effort. If only the same were true of more fashion retailers. The ugly truth is, in fashion – as in food – if your stock remains on the shop floor for too long, it becomes stale and nobody wants to buy it, which means less profit for you and less available cash for buying new stock. If you’re finding the going tough at the moment – and, frankly, very few retailers are laughing all the way to the bank – it’s time to take action. When I talk about sell-by dates for fashion, it’s not just a question of months – we’re talking days. The point is, the fashion sell-by date is usually 60-90 days on the shop floor. However, if you have a young contemporary product, you are competing (intentionally or not) with fast-fashion retailers such as Zara and H&M. In this case, your sell-by is only 30-45 days. Recently, I was invited to attend a trade show in Paris as a visiting retail expert. The Fédération Nationale de l’Habillement shared the results of a study which showed that goods were identified as being “old” once they had been on the shop floor for 70 days. The same applies to the US market. So with this time frame in mind, get your team together and go around your shop checking which goods are getting close to their sell-by date. Make sure you take action on goods that are not selling well after 60 days. The point is, if you do nothing, the “old” goods will simply end up costing you money as you will have to discount them heavily at the end of the season. Work smart, however, and you can turn the situation around earlier on. Here are some actions you can take to clear old goods:

– Incentivise your staff to push the old goods – Request the brands’ support – swapping slow-moving goods for hot styles (some brands do it, however you need to act early, so may be within 30 days) – Email your customers and offer a promotion on this brand/style – Create “VIP goods” where the customer will enjoy a discount on specific goods

– Work these goods as free goods or offer a free item with the purchase of old goods. You just need to work the margin out carefully – Offer gift certificates to be redeemed on these goods A healthy, thriving business can be driven by frequent deliveries of fresh goods. Why is this? – Because staff and customers alike want to deal with new goods as they get excited by them – Newness is the reason for customers to come back to your shop every week or month (another reason for this is so they can pick up some discounted goods, but then your profits are down) – Fresh goods can be sold at full price and generate not just cash but profits – Having fresh goods will usually allow you to have a full-size break down Bringing freshness into the shop during the season provides you with a great opportunity to connect with your customers (by phone, text, email) and invite them to your shop. An important issue about freshness is bringing in new brands. In the current economy, it seems safe to keep your usual brands in the shop. However, the old brands will not get the customers as excited as newly discovered ones. Remember, customers have two key questions in mind – what’s new and what’s on a discount? However, having only stale goods in your shop means one thing – fewer customers. Research shows that women may shop every two to four weeks in the same shop, so if there is no sign of freshness, they will go elsewhere. Merchandising, or putting goods elsewhere on the floor might work briefly, but shoppers are more savvy than that and will soon lose interest – all of which begs the question, “How can you move your stock and keep fresh goods coming in without losing cash?”



Thierry Bale

Successful retailers will tell you that, as in so many areas of business, information is power. More than this, it will put money in your pocket. When I work with retailers to help turn their business around, I always use an Open To Buy plan (OTB). Why? Because it tells us how much to buy and when to bring the goods in. It shows the planned sales and stock for your shop and compares them with your actual sales. Immediate action can take place on classes lagging behind or classes that are understocked. It enables you to increase sales, profits and customer traffic. I make no apologies for being evangelical about the OTB plan. The point is, it helps you to run a profitable business by telling you what is working and what isn’t. You need an accurate sales and stock forecast per product class each month to take the right actions. It makes an enormous difference to your profitability. Bear in mind, however, that there is little point in having sales and stock forecasts if you don’t follow them and act on them. Imagine the OTB plan in the dress category tells you to buy £15,000 this season but you decide to buy £20,000. At retail price, we are talking a difference of £13,500 (using a 2.7 mark-up) of overstock that can only be cleared with a discount. Let’s say 30 per cent. You would therefore give away £4,050. See what I mean? Still on my sales analysis hobby horse, I have to share some accounting horror stories with you. How many times have I seen financial statements where the stock value at retail represents around six months of sales (both excluding VAT)? Is it right? No, it is wrong, because it means you are not turning the goods quickly enough. On several occasions, the company shows profit (with a big stock), but there is no cash to pay the

taxman. Why? Because you apparently prefer to keep the goods until next season. Buyers may be tempted to bring too many goods in too soon but, whether you buy forward order or not, make sure you divide the s/s 13 season into several delivery groups. If you bring goods in regularly throughout the s/s or a/w seasons, you use your cash wisely and give customers a good reason to visit and revisit the shop. Think about some of the ideas I’ve mentioned and try them out in your shop. And please, remember, if your goods aren’t moving, take action before it is too late.

TOP TIPS: TIP 1: Every month, check styles that are not selling and take action to clear them (this includes end of lines). TIP 2: Take action today and lose 5 to 20 per cent; take action at the end of the season and lose 30 to 70 per cent. TIP 2: To clear goods, there are many marketing ideas, so there is more to it than just putting a “20% off” in the window.

For more information, contact Thierry Bale at Global Fashion Management on 020 8576 6233, email or visit



STYLE FILE This month’s product news —

▲ AXEL DAVID GETS REVAMP Dutch handbag label Axel David has been rebranded this season as Axel David Vintage, with a new brand image and a stronger focus on heritage and design elements. Raw washed materials form the basis for the bags, while zippers, handles and buckles add extra detailing. —

SOFT FOCUS German lifestyle label Gwynneds is promising the ultimate experience in soft dressing, presenting a range of wardrobe must haves for lounging around, going to pilates or travelling in style. Luxurious day-to-night pieces are key elements in the collection, which includes tees, dresses, sweats, shorts, trousers and skirts. —

STYLE FLASH — The English Tee Shop has launched a special-edition collection of tees inspired by the Olympics, featuring four styles hand-printed with idioms connected to sport. —

▲ FROW STYLE Front Row Society is a Berlin label specialising in scarves, and is making its first foray into the UK this season. Every month, the brand hosts design challenges using specific themes and colour palettes, with a group of creatives picking the top 10 designs, which are put into production, making for a quirky and individual take on fashion’s latest It accessory. —

Dutch lingerie brand Undressed by Marlies Dekkers has unveiled its s/s 13 collection, consisting of its signature edgy styles, vibrant colours and eye-catching STYLE FLASH — prints. Hunter has launched a revolutionary foldable —

wellington boot, perfect for travelling, festivals, camping or backpacking. —

Having rebranded this season as Ross X Bute, the label continues its mix of rock ’n’ roll meets Chelsea girl, adding a sense of twisted luxury, with key pieces including smart but edgy separates. —

Meet Juliette US denim brand Hudson has launched the Juliette (pictured), a mid-rise skinny jean with zips in front of the ankles, designed to fit perfectly when teamed with high heels. The jean comes in black and blue denim, as well as black and merlot leather, and was exclusively launched in Trilogy stores last month, before being rolled out nationwide over the next few weeks. —









SPOTLIGHT — Dramatic lace makes a return for a/w 12 in classic black and navy, shot through with base tones of gold and nude. Shapes remain fitted, and details minimal, for extra wow-factor. —

SPOTLIGHT — Studs, leather and crucifix motifs feature heavily this season. Look no further than Versace for inspiration on merchandising these elements together in-store for a glam goth look. —



A new wave of gothic styling is on its way for a/w 12, and nothing sums up this mood better than a touch of lace. Check out WWB’s selection of key pieces, available to get in-store now. —



01 Almost Famous, £49, 020 7637 2622 02 By Malene Birger, £52, 020 8960 6161 03 Kelly Love, £86, 07500 297789 04 DAY Birger et Mikkelsen, £79, 020 7432 8088 05 Goldie London, price on request, 020 7404 8748


06 Little Mistress, £19.20, 020 7436 8332 07 Darling, £16, 020 7636 6868 08 Charli London, £29, 020 8440 1321 09 Ross X Bute, dress £96, slip £32, 020 3176 2820 10 Vila, £14.10, 020 3205 0312

Importers, Exporters and Wholesalers of the latest Fashion Jewellery, Scarves and Bridal Accessories

Perfect choice for


Visit our showroom: 71 Berwick Street, London, W1F 8TB Showroom opening hours: Monday - Friday 10am - 6pm, Sunday 9am - 3pm Minimum order ÂŁ100 (excl VAT) All orders placed online will be carriage paid (UK Mainland Only) Telephone: 0207 734 1698 | Email: ORDER ONLINE TODAY AT



COLLAR WORKER WWB takes a look at the collar necklace, one of hottest accessories buys of a/w 12, with styles available to get in-store now. —



SPOTLIGHT — A perfect statement piece when worn with any round-neck top or dress, the collar necklace is here to stay from a/w 12 in opulent gold, silver and black velvet. —


03 SPOTLIGHT — Filigree detailing, sparkling diamante, contrast fabrics and a touch of classic pearl are key style details customers will be looking for this season. —


-01- Gemma Lister, £25, 020 7503 0953 -02- Alice Menter, £175, 0117 373 5155 -03- Jewelcity, £6.60, 01494 444200 -04- Emi Jewellery, £9.95, 07891 440758 -05- Dannijo, retail price £470, 0016 467558909





A new UK launch, Perla Blanca has exploded onto the market with a quirky collection at competitive price points.

French brand Et Compagnie is on an ambitious expansion course, with the UK a key market for s/s 13.

Established: 2009

Established: 2004

Signature style: A contemporary womenswear range with trend-led separates that tick all the right boxes in terms of commerciality and style.

Signature style: Et Compagnie is a quintessentially “French chic” collection based around high-quality fabrics, key silhouettes and adaptable ready-to-wear pieces.

Following a successful launch at last month’s Moda Woman, Perla Blanca produces its collections in Turkey, allowing for a quick turnaround and affordable price-points, with average retail prices for garments between £20 and £90. The brand produces four collections per year, as well as a seasonal flash range, each of which consists of 100-plus styles and variations. The label’s s/s 13 collection is centred around a nature theme, with romantic patterns forming the basis for many styles. Cotton, linen and satin are key fabrics, with added sequins, jewels and foil prints creating eye-catching effects. Colours are vibrant and stretch from earthy neutrals, bright orange, turquoise, red and fuchsia to on-trend neons. —

Offering a versatile product mix, Et Compagnie has managed to establish itself as a key womenswear player in just a few years in its home market, and can be found in department stores and multi-brand boutiques across 10 countries, with ambitious plans to also open 16 stores by the end of 2012. The label is currently expanding in the UK and has its eyes set on key womenswear indies. Over the past few seasons, the brand’s look has evolved to a more minimalistic, refined city-life style, with a strong urban signature and easy-to-wear pieces. The collection is aimed at the 30-plus customer and balances colourful vibrancy with sensual sobriety to create a stylish mix that will take the wearer from day to evening. —

Contemporary Women’s Clothes at High Street Prices • No minimum order • No deposit payment • Free UK delivery • Pick & Mix sizes • Made in Turkey Showrooms in London, Manchester and Dublin. Tel: 020 3286 9357 Email:



TREE OF LIFE People Tree is one of the original ethical fashion brands and has revolutionised a whole sector. Founder Safia Minney shares with Isabella Griffiths how clever design collaborations have helped to put the brand firmly on the fashion map, for its design credentials as much as its Fairtrade merits. — People Tree Orla Kiely


here aren’t many true pioneers, but Safia Minney is one of them. The founder of ethical fashion brand People Tree is one of – if not the – leading figures in socially responsible fashion, and her label has arguably pathed the way for many others in the sector that have followed since. British-born Minney launched People Tree 20 years ago in Japan, where she lives with her husband and two children, and debuted the label in the UK in 2001. A decade on, and not only the brand has come a long way, having developed from the fairly basic initial collections to sophisticated ranges with real fashion kudos, but it has also revolutionised the fashion industry as a whole and created an entire new ethical fashion arena. “Since we started, a lot has happened,” says Minney. “Ethical fashion has very much become a sector in itself, and a lot of the values have been incorporated by other fashion companies. Consumer interest has driven real growth in the Fairtrade sector.” People Tree’s remarkable success is very much down to its fashionability teamed with commerciality – the fashion content has never been compromised for the sake of its ethical credentials, and vice versa. Minney is well aware that in order to be taken seriously in the fashion world, the brand has to first and foremost deliver on the design side, and that its Fairtrade merits alone aren’t going to drive significant growth and consumer acceptance. “Product comes first, and the Fairtrade aspect is a secondary consideration [for consumers],” says Minney. “It’s a bonus that there is added value to the ranges, but no one would buy the brand just

because it is Fairtrade if the actual collections weren’t appealing.” People Tree’s prices are often on a par with high street prices or just above. A typical dress will retail on average between £55 and £120, making it affordable and a viable option for those consumers who are looking for alternatives to the throw-away mentality. “People Tree is affordable, and the pieces are unique, so this is where we are picking up a lot of customers,” says Minney. Whether consumer interest has driven the fashionability of People Tree, or a more sophisticated fashion offer accelerated demand for the brand, the fact is that over the last few years People Tree has seriously upped its fashion ante and has produced beautiful collections to a quality standard that has often been deemed by critics as impossible to achieve for an ethical brand. Minney attributes this to the continuous work with the people who produce the collections and the efforts put into developing their skillsets. But she also credits fashion supremo Jane Shepherdson, formerly creative director of Topshop and now CEO of Whistles, who is consulting for the brand, with a more refined offer. “Jane has helped us immensely by making the case for stronger product,” says Minney. “It’s easy to get distracted by the day-to-day business, but she brings the passion for the product to the table. She’s got a great antenna for product, and has really pushed us on that side, even down to the presentation of the collection, photography and so on.” Collaborations with high-profile designers and celebrities, including actress Emma Watson, who has been modelling and designing



People Tree Peter Jensen

People Tree main line

“We know every farmer, supplier, producer and artisan, and we try to work within the parameters of the skillset of the producers, but the skill levels and quality control have delivered beyond even our own high expectations” Safia Minney her own range for People Tree since 2010, or design collaborations with Richard Nicholl, Bora Aksu, Orla Kiely, Zakee Shariff and Peter Jensen, the latest designer to work with the brand for s/s 13, have contributed to People Tree’s commerciality. A younger range, the Aimee collection, aimed at the late teenage market, has also been launched to notable success. “The turning point for People Tree came five years ago when we collaborated with Richard Nicoll and Bora Aksu,” says Minney. “It was like the official acknowledgment that Fairtrade fashion can be design-led, and it fuelled a real appetite for ethical fashion. Since then, we have been working with more designers such as Orla Kiely and Peter Jensen, who we are very excited about, as it’s proving that ethical fashion can be desirable, too.” In each collection, the starting point is Fairtrade, organic cotton and handwoven textiles, which are often hand-embroidered or hand-printed. People Tree works with 50 Fairtrade groups and organic cotton farmers and artisans in 10 countries around the world, providing some of the most marginalised communities in the world with sustainable living. Minney maintains close relationships with each of the many groups forming the supply chain. “We know every farmer, supplier, producer and artisan, and we try to work within the parameters of the skillset of the producers,” says Minney. “But the skill levels and quality control have delivered beyond even our own high expectations. We’re very transparent with our supply chain; we want our customers and stockists to see the difference they are making to people’s lives.” Currently, People Tree is sold through its own website and has

around 65 wholesale accounts with fashion boutiques in the UK and 80 in Europe, with further expansion planned across both the UK and globally. The brand is spreading its wings in Germany and The Netherlands, though Minney concedes that in a global comparison, the UK is quite advanced and more receptive when it comes to ethical fashion. She does admit, however, that the global economic climate has had an impact on the Fairtrade sector, too, and that it’s “certainly slowed growth” since 2008 when the global economy took a spectacular tumble. But she is, nevertheless, positive about the future of Fairtrade fashion, and her vision is to develop tools to manage a Fairtrade supply chain for the industry at large, as well as advancing People Tree further in order to help even more communities in developing countries to lead a sustainable life. Minney is undoubtedly a key figure in a new generation of “social entrepreneurs”, and her passion for environmental, trade and social justice issues is not just a philosophy, but a lifestyle. Asked where this energy and drive comes from, she remains humble. “I’ve always been sceptical about consumerism; my mum has always been socially active, so I kind of grew up with it,” she says. “It just feels like the right thing to do.”



STEPPING OUT The key s/s 13 trends from this season’s edition of Moda Footwear. —

-PhotographyKevin Peschke







Mustang, £25, 01642 318746 Moda in Pelle, £34, 0844 375 2232 Dolcis, £16.99, 01706 212512 Blink, £25, 0031 416562600 Mistral, €39, 07974 897248 Escape Footwear, £16.99, 0035 3(0)429743219


WEDGE HI-TOPS Another trend still going strong from last s/s, and inspired in no small way by the Olympics, was wedge hi-top trainers. Covetable looks ranged from leather and suede mixes to more flashy glitter, mesh and metallic combinations. _








PASTEL SHADES Pastel shades remain big news for s/s 13, with brands offering a line-up of sophisticated styles at Moda Footwear. Pink, blue and lilac were the most popular shades with metallic highlights. _





Blink, £20.90, 0031 416562600 Wonders, £38.40, 01455 203222 Ravel, £26, 01706 212512 Rockport, £35.42, 020 7629 2980 Sachelle Couture, €59.50, 01536 310447 Marco Tozzi, £11.25, 0049 5231605159








TRIBAL RHYTHM The tribal trend took a new twist this season with traditional animal prints, replaced by exotic printed silks and patterned raffia and cotton fabrics. An abundance of texture came in the form of towering espadrille-style wedges to plaited rope accents. _



Ravel, £26, 01706 212512 dollybird, £34, 01562 887646 Coupleof Shoes, price on request, 0161 773 6160 Morah Morah, £88.36, 020 8123 5810 Bourbon, The Amy Huberman Collection, £29.99, 0035 3(0)429743219 Geox, price on request, 020 7833 8811






NEON FLATS Last season was all about bright colour pops, but s/s 13 goes one step further with a neon palette. Ballerina flats showcased the trend perfectly at Moda Footwear in eye-catching green, pink and orange. _


-01- SPM, £10, 0031 0416650814 -02- Nina, £38, 0844 251 0858 -03- Dolcis, £7.99, 01706 212512 -04- XTI, price on request, 0034 968718313 -05- Peter Kaiser, price on request, 0049 63317160 -06- Sugar Shoes, price on request, 01633 654040 -05-







SUMMER SANDALS A host of brands at Moda Footwear offered feminine summer sandals for s/s 13. Neutral colour palettes and floral detailing were key across the board, with most styles adopting suede and leather uppers with espadrille or low, comfort heels. _




-01- Wrangler, £16.50, 01536 710707 -02- Toni Pons, € 22.25, 020 8744 2800 -03- Art Footwear, £31, 07774 722757 -04- Tamaris, price on request, 0049 523160500 -05- Lotus, £17.39, 01604 593600 -06- Vidorreta, £23, 0035 3876545000



HOT ON THE HEELS Following in the footsteps of key ready-to-wear trends, this season’s shoe collections are bright, quirky and fun, ranging from laid-back canvas moccasins to fierce and on-trend heels and platforms. WWB sums up the key collections. — J SHOES J Shoes’ s/s 13 collection is inspired by seaside nostalgia, showing a strong focus on detailing. The look is relaxed and laid-back, featuring footwear classics such as boat shoes, moccasins in lightweight canvas and splashes of navy. Women’s styles come as open or full options, with wedges, flats, sandals and chunky flat-forms key. —

RUBY SHOO Inspired by classic vintage style, Ruby Shoo is a quirky collection aimed at customers who like to be noticed. The Dorothy shoe (pictured) has been the most popular style in the s/s 13 collection, thanks to its combination of red trim detailing and navy with white polka dot cotton uppers, giving an eye-catching finish to any outfit. Embellished with fine details and finished in quality fabrics, the collection features 12 styles, as well as the launch of limited-edition bags to complement the range. —



FURY Making its debut with a fierce footwear offering, Fury presents razor-sharp stilettos, courts and sexy boots with a distinct rock ’n’ roll spirit. Studs and zip-pulls inspired by a cursed sword from Norse mythology feature along the brand’s signature origami swallow, which is emblazoned on every outsole. The collection is crafted from luxurious leathers and skins, including snake, calf and pony. —

DOLCIS Having launched its first wholesale collection at Moda Footwear this season, Dolcis’ offering is focused around super-high wedges and cork heels available in a range of summer shades, along with ballerina and boat shoe styles in pastel shades and colour-block options. —

ROCKET DOG Delivering a quirky collection of retro heels, casual flats, fun flip-flops and boots, Rocket Dog embraces colour blocking in a big way this season. Key colours include the primary trio with added splashes of pink and turquoise. Bold prints sit alongside stripes, polka dots and daisy patterns, which are utilised in many ways across the range. —

LISA KAY Key features in Lisa Kay’s collection include shimmering fabrics alongside mirrored metallics, sharp patents, smooth suedes and supple leathers. Colour is key, with tangerine, mint, pearl and berry sitting alongside blushed nudes and more classic monochromes and two-tone palettes. Look out for pointy styles, ballerinas, wedges and sandals, as well as on-trend designs featuring metallic tips and toe pieces. —




GANT Gant makes a bold statement for s/s 13 with trendy wedges in a rainbow of colours to replicate its apparel collection. Colour blocking and 60s-inspired multi-colour stripe uppers with espadrille or cork-wedge soles are key. The range also includes a variety of other style options such as open-toe, sling-back, buckle and ankle-strap designs. —

TAMARIS Variety and innovation are the theme at Tamaris for s/s 13, with the German brand offering a diverse collection. Key features include contrast designs, colour prints and delicate pastel shades to loud neon accents, tie-dye patterns and gleaming metallic finishes. Platform soles, toe-cap designs, pointed pumps and T-bar styles, as well as high-top trainers and ballerinas, make up the collection. —

CLARKS Clarks has gone back to its archives to be inspired by chic detailing and silhouettes of the past. Sophisticated raw-edged leathers, premium suedes, luxe patent leather and textured snake are the key ingredients in the collection, which offers a variety of low and mid-heel options in colour blocking or subtle nude tones. The range encompasses its signature comfort styles, alongside some seriously fashionable statement shoes. —



Key styles in Lunar’s occasion footwear range include high and mid heel platform pumps, sling-backs and peep toes. Also on offer are several low-heel designs, including a stylish selection of elegant ballerinas in a choice of vivid summer brights. —

Pastel shades and pop colour, tribal prints, textured heels and structured shapes sum up the direction at Ravel this season. The collection incorporates a multitude of key catwalk trends, with cork wedges, super-high platform heels, raffia sandals and espadrille-inspired pumps forming part of the range. —






LINDSAY PHILIPS BRAKEBURN A new launch for s/s 13, Brakeburn is a footwear and apparel brand inspired by street culture, active and board sports with a fashion edge. Targeted at both sexes in the 16-35 age bracket, highlights from Brakeburn’s s/s 13 collection include a new and original take on athletic sneakers. —

Lindsay Philips is a footwear concept that uses snaps and velcro applications that allow the wearer to interchange and accessorise the look of the shoes. Key additions to the brand’s latest collection is the Liz ballerina style (pictured), a foldable design with a memory foam inner sole and available in three colourways and quilted finish, complete with a grosgrain ribbon. —

PRETTY BALLERINAS Embellishments, patterns and a mix of materials form the basis at Pretty Ballerinas for s/s 13. Colours are vivid and bright, while new fashion materials have been introduced. Elsewhere, the brand’s popular quilting, spots and stripes are having a comeback. A splash of bright, fluorescent details adds interest. —

IRON FIST Having grown significantly over the last few seasons, lifestyle brand Iron Fist is retaining its bold and edgy approach to fashion. Three key themes run through the women’s footwear range – Havana Affair, Pretty Tough and Party Animal. Bright colours and directional designs sum up the look of the season, with skyscraper heels, ankle boots, pumps and wedges with graphic prints and studs key. —



THE “IT” BAG The days are gone when one It bag graced the arm of every shopper, but the idea of owning one standout style guaranteed to turn heads still lingers on. Whether it is slouchy and fringed or box-shaped and structured, designers have pulled out all the stops this season. —

BARBARA BONER Barbara Boner’s s/s 13 Freedom collection is a meeting point of archetypal strong shapes melded with Native American cultures. Utilising fine goat leather, python and plaited pony skin, the luxurious materials are used to craft a range of handbags and accessories featuring the brand’s signature long fringes. —

BRACHER EMDEN Appreciated for his geometric 3D style, designer Richard Emden does not disappoint with updated signature pieces in embossed Italian leathers. Gold, sand, black, lime and cream hues complement structured evening clutches and large day bags finished with metal embellishment and laser etching. —

BOTTLETOP Bottletop’s debut painted line provides a welcome pop of colour for s/s 13, and consists of hand-coated ring pulls in a choice of neon green, neon pink, pearl and shiny black. The newcomers are available in a slouchy messenger shape, a boxy holdall, a handheld clutch and a long chain strap design. —

MAKKI Makki’s s/s 13 collection has a distinct 50s resort feel, which can be seen in its use of hot colours and structured but playful shapes. Popular designs such as small grab bags, zip purses and envelope clutches make a welcome return. This season also sees the expansion of Makki’s existing eel skin collection, to include a soft cow leather range. —

MINNA PARIKKA Minna Parikka’s s/s 13 collection is a leap into fresh colour contrasts and multi-material combos in sharp shapes and dash of Art Deco references. Pressed leather flowers, triangle shapes and cat and bunny ears playfully feature across both bag and shoe designs. Popular tones include yellow, denim and grey, as well as dashes of fluorescent. —

ZAYAN Zayan is a contemporary, luxury ready-to-wear brand that also produces a range of accessories such as eye-catching handbags and leather goods. The s/s 13 narrative features deer and bird silhouettes in a variety of interpretations including neon jacquard figure appliqués and neon prints. —



THE PEARLY QUEEN S/s 13 sees an explosion of pearls, gems and bling across fine and costume jewellery. There is no hard and fast rule, with styles inspired by different eras, from Art Deco to modern minimalism. —

AMISHI S/s 13 for Amishi is all about subtle elegance with a particular emphasis on pearls. The inspiration is Audrey Hepburn and statement pieces with feminine appeal. Layered pearls, chunky crystal and lace-effect beads feature across the full edit of necklaces, bangles and bracelets. —

CABINET Cabinet’s latest collection builds on the label’s a/w 12 line of dress collars and necklaces with a few exciting additions and a close partnership with Swarovski elements to develop a “cruise” colour palette. Launched in 2009, the luxury brand is inspired by the surroundings of its studio in Somerset, and the s/s 13 collection is entitled Destination Wonderland. —

DAINTY DAMSEL Costume jewellery label Dainty Damsel’s collections for s/s 13 take inspiration from femininity. Early spring sees bows made up of pure Czech crystal with faux pearl. For high summer, meanwhile, starfish rings, necklaces and headpieces are holiday must haves. —

DISAYA Inspired by the tale of The Nutcracker, Disaya’s s/s 13 collection features a cast of charming characters, including the Sugar Plum Fairy, ballerinas, ponies, deer, and peacocks, across earrings with glass-pearl elements. To finish, the snow globe ring and pendant show the Crown Prince and Clara dancing happily ever after. —

KONPLOTT Two distinct trends emerge from Konplott this season. Paisley African takes its influence from tribal cultures, with multi-strand beaded necklaces and bracelets the highlight pieces. In contrast, a retro, vintage theme comes through in the form of Dangerous Liaisons with intricate carved detailing in simple in black, white or coral. —

PETER LANG Three stories come into play from Peter Lang for s/s 13. Snow White Moon features crystal, white opal Swarovski and off-white plastic faceted stones. Royal Rose Crystal Gala is more traditional and feminine with pink tones, while Medieval Metal is the final trend with a modern take on an Aztec and medieval feel. —



THE STATEMENT SCARF The statement scarf has longevity beyond one season, but it hasn’t stopped designers updating s/s 13 styles with new vibrant colourways and eye-catching prints with diverse inspirations. —

AGE OF REASON S/s 13 inspiration for Age of Reason spans from designer Ali Mapletoft’s memories of an African childhood, mixed with a quintessentially British humour. Subtle 90s new-punk vibes, in which punks embrace flower power in soft feminine pinks and blue-greens, are meshed with African motifs. —

BAY & FYFE Bay & Fyfe is an Australian concept label, collaborating with artists to create pieces of art inspired fashion, including limited-edition silk scarves. The s/s 13 collection, Pastel Zoo, features four iconic prints, printed onto styles over one metre in size. —

BECKSÖNDERGAARD When creating Becksöndergaard’s s/s 13 collection, the designers scoured their archives for photos, vintage and iconic prints, and used them in new interpretations, merged with modern graphic, hand-drawn illustrations and new colour combinations. Other featured prints include sailor stripes in maritime colours, raindrops and stars. —

PASSIGATTI Hippie, Graphic Colours and Clear Vintage are the themes in the new s/s 13 collection from Passigatti. Colour is a central aspect of the new look, with strong, rich shades impressing in their intensity, while delicate pastels provide femininity. —

ROSEMARY GOODENOUGH When Rosemary Goodenough overheard someone say, “If that painting was a scarf, I would wear it” at a 2011 art exhibition, an idea was born. Images on scarves are variations of the designer’s oil paintings digitally printed in Italy on heavy silk twill. Colours range from wild to subtle with black, hand-rolled hems that “frame” the picture. —

TAISIR GIBREEL Designer Taisir Gibreel’s prints are a mix of subtle and bold colours and abstract patterns and prints inspired by her current home, Scotland. From the colours and shapes of the Highlands to the geometric structures found in the Parliament building, designs are based on hand-drawings then transferred to square or long silk scarves. —



THE GETAWAY Fashion has always been enamoured with using travel and exotic lands as a form of inspiration. This season, influences from Latin America and Ibiza make for interesting viewing and a vivid colour palette. —

BY NIYA By Niya jewellery is made using a mix of unusual mediums; mesh tubing and a selection of loose, precisely cut crystals, including vintage Swarovski and Czech glass, finished with Sterling Silver closure. The s/s 13 collection is called Colourful Years, and uses a rainbow of crystals to create a vibrant shimmer. —

ELLIOT RHODES For s/s 13, belt maker Elliot Rhodes progresses the themes developed in s/s 12, but evolves with colour and texture. Vivid tones of red, sunflower, aquamarine and sporty brights such as lime and fuchsia feature across brush-off leathers such as cordovan and textured suedes that imitate the feel of woven fabric. —

GINA STEWART COX The latest collection takes Gina Stewart Cox’s designs to the next level, exploring colour with precious metals in new ways, and feels more grown-up while still appealing to loyal fans. Strong shapes define the range, and the bar hanging necklace (pictured) is a key piece that moves on from last season’s bangle bracelets. —

PINK POWDER Pink Powder jewellery is characterised by a combination of unexpected materials and unusual shapes and textures that lend a feminine yet exotic vibe to collections. Semi-precious stones, sterling silver and silk fabrics are in focus once again for s/s 13 in fresh, vibrant colours. —

PACHACUTI Pachacuti’s s/s 13 collection imagines a voyage across the continent of Latin America, where its Fairtrade Panama hats are hand-woven by a women’s association. The influence can be seen in the colours running through the range – aqua, lemon and rose – with multi-coloured woven ribbons, hand-embroidery and leatherwork. —

SHIMLA S/s 13 introduces a new range of bracelets to the Shimla range; a bright, bubbly line of woven and beaded adjustable bracelets made from semi-precious stones. Each piece of jewellery is handmade and, due to its unisex credentials, the brand has quickly become a firm favourite with celebrities. —



MODA WOMA Last month’s Moda Woman hosted one of its strongest line-ups of contemporary and mainstream womenswear brands, with collections boasting colour, prints and textures for s/s 13. WWB rounds up the key trends. —







BRETON STRIPES Breton stripes made a big comeback this season and not only complemented the ongoing nautical trend, but also looked great juxtaposed against more unusual combinations such as floral prints and brights. —







COLOUR EXPLOSION Orange, hot pink and coral were key to injecting a welcome splash of colour to spring/summer 2013, and were also used commonly for some vibrant colour blocking. Tie-dye effects also featured. —






FLORALS Always a popular summer print, florals were once again in full bloom this season, whether they were dainty versions or big, bold and oversized petals. —











TURQUOISE A new addition to the seasonal colour palette, bold turquoise came through as one of the most popular ingredients in womenswear, whether it was mixed into an array of prints, standing on its own in head-to-toe looks or as part of smart colour blocking. —







A BIT OF SPARKLE Metallics and sequins formed a more neutral counterpart to the otherwise vibrant colour palette of the season, not only adding an understated elegance, but also a touch of luxe, with a play on textures, threads and sheens key. —







YELLOW Yellow was to s/s 13 what mustard was to a/w 12, and rounded off this season’s colour palette while also being used across collections in combination with subtle grey. —



MODA: EXTRA TIME More than 800 guests came together at Moda’s Sunday Social, enjoying a hogroast, champagne and live music from the likes of Wideboy Generation, Happy Hour and singer Krystina Myles. The event coincided with the closing ceremony of the Olympics, which was screened live during the evening. Meanwhile, new surf and active sportswear show Flip made its debut in spectacular fashion, hosting a breathtaking display from the Animal Bike Tour. WWB sums up some of the highlights. 01











01 Lisa Williams, Apt Collections; Richard Reinhold, Emreco and Amanda Norburn, Chianti 02 Mina Parmar, WWB, with Oliver Streich, Doris Streich and Amanda Booth, Knights Fashion 03 Frank Bryan, Marci Hughes, Vicky Theobald and James Scorey, all Seasalt 04 Andre Luckoff, Justine Trend-Evans and Liz Davies, all Eugen Klein 05 Cos Costi, Michaela Louisa with Raffi Haytayam, La Marquise Lingerie 06 Ben Wheeldon and Karen Wild, Essential Collections 07 Jane Hearnden and Sharon Beatty, Cocomo Agency 08 Maxine Clements, Niall Scanlan and Elaine Hough, all Godske 09 Carole Fiddies, Fran & Jane, Sarah Moody, Moda Woman, and Nikki Schofield, Phil Day Partnership 10 Andrew and Carol Capener with Lisa and Chris Speet, all Carol C Collections 11 Maria Law and Sophie Law, Sweetling Lingerie 12 Shruti and Nikhil Bhasin with Noreen Puri, all Pomodoro


FLIP Showcasing some of the finest names from across the urban, street, board and action sports sector, such as Animal, Billabong and Quicksilver, new show Flip saw an impressive display of the Animal Bike Tour, which entertained visitors with its daredevil stunts and spectacular skills.



COPENHAGEN WWB takes its pick of the finest collections spotted at Gallery, Vision and CIFF during Copenhagen Fashion Week’s s/s 13 edition last month. —

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Danish label Foreign Affairs showed its first collection at Gallery. The concept, created by designer and founder Maria Meilgaard, is a full range for the modern-day business woman who travels the world for her job. Core items included soft stretch silk tops and blouses. —

GANNI During Copenhagen Fashion Week, Ganni received the Silver Thread award from Danish magazine Alt for Damerne for emerging designers with great potential. The s/s 13 range was inspired by Sofia Coppola’s movie, The Virgin Suicides, leading to plenty of lace and flattering, feminine shapes. —

HUBERT Designer Rikke Hubert’s s/s 13 collection, The Botanical Mechanic, featured graphic shapes combined with detailed simplicity. Standout pieces included silk dresses, hand-painted stockings, wool shorts, cut-out tops, a body stocking with hair skirt, wool jackets and dresses with anatomical patterns. —

SECOND FEMALE The Second Female spring range flirts with the idea of sporty vs feminine, utilising feminine prints such as bold florals with sports silhouettes. Other key pieces include sweats and jackets with contrast fabric sleeves, while the humble jogging bottom gets a luxe overhaul, complete with matching bomber jacket. —

TWIST & TANGO This season, Twist & Tango found its inspiration on the streets of New York, mixing modern classics with a retro vibe. Silk, linen and cotton clash with rougher surface textures on new fabric combinations, and the array of eye-catching prints were inspired by the cultural melting pot of New York. —

WACKERHAUS The Secret Garden is the theme behind the s/s 13 collection from Wackerhaus, which plays with the contrast between formalwear and women’s daily dressing-up. Silhouettes remain relaxed, with predicted bestsellers including a knit selection in a palette of light pistachio green and powdered pinks. —

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minimArket For spring 2013, Minimarket was intrigued by the Shangri-La myth of an earthly paradise. The colour scale and prints were built from earth observation photos of the area where Shangri-La may be hidden, leading to a mix of earthy tones and minerals, such as emerald and chalk, combined with fluorescents. —

minus Established in 1998, Danish label Minus has changed direction for s/s 13 to a younger, fresher feel. Silk and cotton pieces led to relaxed shapes such as drawstring pyjama trousers and simple finishes. Also known for its leather pieces, the brand did not disappoint with biker style jackets and long-line gilets. —

Prim i Am Inspired by photography, art and Nordic nature, women’s and men’s label Prim I Am mixes contemporary design alongside timeless styles. Paisley-print shirts, printed jeans, tie-dye T-shirts in organic jersey, dresses and jumpsuits were key staple garments. —

Whiite Powdery soft hues blended seamlessly with sharp, tailored silhouettes could be seen at Whiite this season – a contrast of gentle and strong of which the brand is known for. Notable styles included printed pyjama-style pants combined with soft, silk blouses. —

Wiksén The s/s 13 range from Norwegian label Wiksén was inspired by all things Motown. The colour palette comprised light green and clear blue mixed with silver, grey, white and nude. Leather was also prominent in dusty colours, mixed together with the floaty and light fabrics of which Wiksén is best known. —

Wood Wood Wood Wood’s s/s 13 collection was inspired by the Summer of Love that first took place in 1967’s San Francisco – the centre of the Hippie movement. A toned-down base of puce, brown, classic navy, white and grey was brought to life with blues and yellows and unique prints such as electric-coloured florals. —

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FLYING SOLO An increAsing number of indies Are tAking the Plunge to lAunch their oWn lAbels, With some becoming successful WholesAle collections in their oWn right. isAbellA griffiths tAkes A look At tWo Well-knoWn indies Whose oWn lAbels hAve Proved A vAluAble exPAnsion of their businesses. —


Ida is the newest addition to denim guru Donna Ida Thornton’s growing emporium of four specialist denim boutiques in Chelsea, Belgravia, Westfield London and Guildford, stocking brands such as J Brand, MiH Jeans, Goldsign, Citizens of Humanity, James Jeans and Paige. Ida was launched for s/s 13 as both an in-store and wholesale collection. What prompted you to launch your own label? I have always loved high-waisted jeans. They are chic, classic, give you a great shape and hold you in. My new label, Ida, comprises a collection of true-waisted tailored jeans, a little bit lady – a little bit rock ’n’ roll and lot of chic. How did you go about the practicalities of launching your label? I’ve had it in mind for a while, but I started researching and preparing at the beginning of 2012. I pulled together all the images that inspired Ida; the great icons of the past – Katharine Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and Joan Collins. In April, I started working on the branding and the product itself. How did you go about finding a supplier/manufacturer? I really wanted to produce as much as possible in the UK, so I’m pleased that all the tops are being made in England. The jeans are coming from Turkey. Who designs the collection and how does the set-up work? It’s my collection, ideas and inspiration, and I work with a designer to pull the collection together. I have a great team who have worked incredibly hard to hit important deadlines and bring Ida to market. How much of your extra time is required to do an own-brand? I’ve managed to fit Ida into my existing workload, but it does require more travel. I’m lucky because everything I do is always about denim, and each part of the business complements the other. What are the financial implications/requirements? A new venture is always a consideration, but in business you have to take calculated risks. I’m already designing a/w 13. What is the signature style? The collection comprises 18 high-waisted jeans, from classic blue straight legs to printed skinnies and the perfect pair of high-waisted flares. To complement, I’ve introduced 12 elegant tops for s/s 12. My personal signature style is jeans and a tee finished off with a nipped-in jacket. I wear this every day and it’s so versatile. I wear a lot of high-waisted styles; they are so flattering. Designing a range of high-waisted jeans to bring more shapes and colour options therefore seemed like a natural step to take.

What is the price range? Prices for the jeans range from £150 to £195. How has the range been received by your customers? I’m surprised by how excited everyone has been. Our customer has always asked for high-waisted jeans, and I want to offer the best selection for them. I think there is a real gap in the market for high-waisted jeans. What has the wholesale addition brought to your business? Ida is adding to Donna Ida’s existing denim labels to offer a full range of options to the customer. I love that Donna Ida offers the best selection of designer jeans, from J Brand, Goldsign, James Jeans to MiH Jeans and Citizens of Humanity. What was the biggest difficulty launching your own label? Making sure everything was exactly how I wanted it, from the buttons to the label on the jeans and making sure the branding was right. It has all been a work in progress. What are the biggest lessons you have learnt from this process? I’ve learnt a lot from the whole experience and I’m not afraid of hard work. I would definitely launch a range again. What are your plans going forward for the range? Right now, I’m focusing on a/w 13, and hopefully the collection will keep growing. Do you have any plans to wholesale the range in the future? Yes, our s/s 13 collection is available from Chiltern Street Studios.

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bunty & co Bunty & Co is the wholesale brand of Nicola Scott, who opened her eponymous store in York in 2006, stocking brands such as Maison Scotch, Numph, Ichi, Blonde and Wise, Me & Thee, H by Hudson, Irregular Choice, Kiboots and Nica. This was followed by the brand launch in-store for a/w 2008 and its inaugural wholesale debut for s/s 2010.

What prompted you to launch your own label? I worked for three years at indie Sarah Coggles and helped to design and launch the first Coggles own-label range of screen-printed casual hoodies and tees. When I saw the reaction from customers that my designs were getting, I decided I wanted to do this for myself, so the idea for Bunty & Co was born. It began as a small collection of limited-edition hoodies and tees, which were all individually hand-embellished and embroidered. In December 2008, we launched the first run of screen-printed hoodies at The Clothes Show Live at the NEC Birmingham, and they were a sell-out. How did you go about the practicalities of launching your label? I knew of a great UK manufacturer from working at Sarah Coggles, so having my first collection manufactured was relatively straight forward. I also had a friend who knew a good printing company based in Derby, so my first designs were sent away to be printed. Since the brand has grown and the collection has become so much larger, I have found a printing company in York where I now get the vast majority of my designs screen-printed. A factory in Turkey turns around some of the more specialist designs. Who designs the collection? The collection is purely designed by myself. We often launch slogan competitions on Facebook to get new ideas from our loyal fans, and offer free garments to the winning suggestions. But, generally, I use slogans and designs that are quirky, funny and make people look twice. How much of your extra time is required to do an own-brand? I pretty much live and breathe Bunty & Co. It is difficult to switch off, and I'm often at the shop for hours after it closes designing as well as going through paperwork, invoicing shops and updating our Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep customers interested. It’s not a part-time job, but an all-consuming lifestyle.

What are the financial implications? Budgeting is extremely important and I’m still learning. The most difficult part is that generally all manufacture has to be paid upfront before you see any money coming back in from boutique orders. It takes a season or two to get on top of things and build up funds to expand. It’s very much a risk game unless you have endless pots of money. What is the signature style? The collection is based on easy-to-wear, comfortable, casual basics – vests, tees, jerseys dresses, sweaters and hoodies – which are timeless, effortless and appeal to a huge target audience. We find that they are also easy to sell online without the need to try before you buy. How has the range been received by your customers? We have a huge following for the label, which has developed over the past two or three years, and our York-based customers remain our biggest fans. We still sell more of our designs in our Pocklington boutique than we do online, although admittedly our online shop only launched a month ago, so it’s still early days. What has the wholesale addition brought to your business? Wholesaling our products has brought a much wider customer base, as it has helped to advertise our label nationwide. Our brand has become so well-known that the boutique needs to be a separate business, and we have decided to re-brand the shop as Paper Doll. We will be closing the doors to 61 Market Place and will relaunch next door at number 59. Bunty & Co HQ will be run from the second floor, and everything will be under one roof again. It’s very exciting and gives us the perfect opportunity to do a completely new and fresh shop-fit. What are the biggest lessons you have learnt from this process? The biggest lessons I’ve learnt are to start small, don’t overspend and, most importantly, maintain great relationships with manufacturers and stockists alike. I would certainly do it again now that I’ve learned how to source manufacturers, and I’ve toughened up with regards to chasing payments and budgeting. What are your plans going forward? To keep doing what we’re doing, expand the range, keep coming up with quirky prints and slogans and develop a larger website following. I’m currently planning the launch of Bunty kidswear – Bunty Pint-Size – which will launch online this month, and I'm hoping to branch into menswear in the new year. Hopefully 2013 will be a great success for our brand and website. — For an extended interview with Nicola Scott, visit

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effective brAnding is essentiAl to the success of An indePendent fAshion business. brAnding exPert dAve edgAr of bdA london outlines A checklist thAt smAll businesses cAn use, And urges them to tAke insPirAtion from their lArgest comPetitors. —

David Edgar

54 WomensWeAr buyer — sePtember 2012


ne of the best things an independent retailer can learn from their multi-national rivals and major brands is attention to detail. Fashion has become a sector in which presentation, identity and branding is the fundamental ingredient to success. Global retailing has made consistency of communication more important than ever. Think of global superbrands such as Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani, Polo Ralph Lauren, Dior and Calvin Klein, and you will know that communication with their client base is consistent across every continent, product and medium. Like them or not, you will know what these brands stand for and there will be a comforting reassurance – if you are a fan – that your experience will be the same wherever you are. While a small, independent retail business cannot afford the same branding expertise as a global superbrand, it can – and should – apply the same principles when it comes to establishing its own identity. Everything that your business does and says to your customer base, and every way in which you interact with your clients, should be well-considered, relevant and consistent. The reason for doing this is to make an individual statement that will attract, satisfy and retain customers. We are in an era in which only those organisations making highly competitive products will survive, and so products from around the world are becoming increasingly similar. Inevitably, this means the whole of the company’s personality will become the most significant factor influencing consumers making a choice between one company’s products and another’s. In most cases, an independent shop will reflect the personality, taste and

attitude of the owner. Quite often, the person’s name may even appear above the door. The challenge for an independent is to create an environment, an experience, that will set your business apart from the rest. Carefully selected product is a vital part of an independent’s success, but no one can make a living only selling brands that no one else stocks. Huge department stores such as Selfridges have a vast selection of product ranges that are at the heart of its identity, but virtually everything they sell is available elsewhere (especially in central London), and often at a cheaper price. So while the product selection is crucial, the environment and the experience that surround those products make Selfridges a highly popular shopping destination. Of course, not long ago, that was not the case. The Selfridges of 15 or 20 years ago was a rather dowdy monolith. When a new team, led by the Italian Vittorio Radice, began transforming the business into the hottest store on the planet, they did two things in particular that are worth noting. Firstly, they retained the name, and with it the 90 years or so of heritage. Furthermore, they chose as the new corporate colours a vivid yellow and a simple, strong black. Once Selfridges became trendy again, those bags were (and still are) a brilliant and unmistakeable moving advertisement for the revitalised emporium of style. Picking a suitable name is far harder than it sounds, especially as these days it will also have to work as a website address. If you are looking to re-energise an existing business, think carefully before you jettison the trust, knowledge and recognition that has presumably been built up over the years. Remember, at Selfridges, they changed the proposition, not the name. A name change can appear as a sign of desperation. There are

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Iconic branding: The vivid yellow and simple strong black of Selfridges’ corporate identity. — Selfridges was transformed from dowdy monolith to thriving destination store. —

surprisingly few successful name changes in our sector. Perhaps the most celebrated was when Lewis Separates became Chelsea Girl, and then some years later, River Island. Bernard Lewis, the fashion retail genius behind the unprecedented triple success, put his name above the window to begin with, then picked something that clearly resonated with the Swinging London of the 60s before going for a name that has no obvious connection with fashion. The early River Island shops were modelled on a Martha’s Vineyard style preppy holiday home, but that concept soon evolved. Today, who considers what River Island means? It works because the entire proposition works. Names should be simple to say, simple to read and simple to understand. They do not, however, have to be literal. However, you must remember that your business’ name is often the first point of contact or recognition for the customer. Consider it carefully. While finding a suitable name is somewhat crucial for a fashion business, there are so many other factors to consider when setting out to establish an enticing and memorable brand. The choice of house colours should be a time-consuming, well-considered process. Every business should aim to achieve the recognition for its house colours that Selfridges achieves with its yellow and black, Hèrmes with its orange or Harrods with its British racing green. Legibility is also important. Will that bold colour-on-colour combination that looks nice in foot-high letters over the shop window look quite so good on a hand-held mobile device? It is surprising how many names on shop fronts are not legible in daylight let alone in the dimness of an evening. The name and graphic style you choose must be carried through to every element of the company that will be seen by the customer – swing tickets, hangers, carrier bags, till receipts, compliment slips, staff uniforms (if applicable), staff name badges, loyalty cards, websites, Twitter and Facebook accounts and even email signatures. Each of these factors contributes to your company’s complete identity. Similarly, the interior style of your shop should have a distinct handwriting, something that helps establish and represent the unique DNA of your fashion business. The clever retailer will try to build in some flexibility to the system, because even a successful business should spruce itself up every two or three years. Rather than ripping everything out and starting again, you should consider a system that can be re-modified, moved around or simply repainted to give a fresh look. Your shop fit and your décor provide the context in which your customers view your product selection. Together, they will go a long way to creating your identity. While it is important for a brand to have a clear identity that is easily recognisable to the customer, it is not always essential for a business to make each of its stores identical. American lifestyle retailer Anthropologie is a fantastic example of this, where each store creates a unique experience for the shopper. Its store on London’s Regent Street amazes visitors with its

spectacular 200 sq m “living wall”, built up of real plants, scaling an entire wall of the store. While this is the only Anthropologie store to feature such a dramatic scene, it is still well and truly in keeping with the look and feel and, in fact, the whole philosophy of the brand. Estimates suggest that modern consumers are bombarded with more than 10,000 purely visual messages a day, so you now have to work harder than ever to get noticed. In these competitive times, brands are recognising that to become a truly memorable experience, all five senses ought to be targeted and thoroughly considered when designing store interiors. Making the most memorable assault on sight, sound and scent is Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) and its stablemate Hollister. A&F understands it must engage with its customers on more than one sensory level in order to evoke the cocktail of emotions needed to produce the desired high sales figures. A&F sells several distinctive fragrances, which are continuously pumped into their stores. The pounding club tunes coming out of the state-of-the-art sound systems are relentless, and the low-level lighting, under which it is often difficult to see the clothes properly, is remarkable. Clearly, this is a retail environment that is not for everyone, but it has proved extraordinarily successful on both sides of the Atlantic for its teenage and young adult target market. Music in shops is one of those areas that should be done right, or not at all. Although it should be obvious, the music should be played for the benefit of the customers, not the staff. Topshop is a great example of a brand that has managed to get the choice and level of music in its stores perfect for its customer group. Each store connects to a central playlist that is regularly updated with the coolest up-and-coming indie bands, creating a trendy and relaxed vibe in-store for both the staff and the customers. Urban Outfitters makes music central to its brand by selling the albums that it plays in-store. Remember, above all, a brand is a “living” element. In order to not only create a successful brand, but also to make sure it stays that way, it is important to make sure it is nurtured, grown and, above all, retains its personality. Analyse what the big guys do and learn from them. Dave Edgar is founder and CEO of BDA London, a branding agency based in London’s Shoreditch. He has more than 30 years’ experience in the fashion field, having worked on branding strategy projects for clients as diverse as Puma, Marks & Spencer, New Look and the Foschini Group of South Africa.

Buy 25 or more dresses and get FREE SHIPPING, VAT and CUSTOM DUTY on stock and reorders for the whole season. 13650 N. PROMenade Blvd. Suite B, Strafford, TX 77477 Ph 281-240-3311/ 877-402-2744 Fax: 281-240-3311 Email: Web:

58 WomensWeAr buyer — sePtember 2012

PromWeAr —

NIGHT OF THE PROMS still a buoyant sector, promwear is gaining in fashion status thanks to a more refined and sophisticated direction. WWb picks the brands to watch. —

ALEXIA Whether funky short tulle dresses with lots of volume or princess ball gowns with masses of sparkle, Alexia’s collection offers a vast array of designs, and has been gaining recognition in the prom market since it was launched three years ago. The spring/summer 2013 collection boasts more than 130 styles, featuring silky satins in a multitude of colours, as well as traditional ballgowns and quirky short cocktail dresses. —

YASMIN BY DYNASTY Spring/summer 2013 at Yasmin by Dynasty sees short prom dresses in key trend colours come to the forefront. Pretty pastels, sherbet tones and hot brights sit alongside lashings of lace and embellishments. Highlights include slinky diva satin evening dresses with beaded back details referencing the 30s. —

RUBY RAY Ruby Ray’s latest collection offers a juxtaposition of ethereal pastel looks and exotic, bedazzled gowns. An assortment of party frocks and dresses for any occasion, including an expanded selection of long gowns, are available. Meanwhile, the colour palette focuses on a mix of soft shades with primary colours. —

MACDUGGAL Key styles at MacDuggal include sparkling cocktail dresses, a one-shoulder satin gown with rouched bodice rhinestone and belted waist, high-leg slit and pleated shoulder strap off the sweetheart neckline, as well as cutout back, full-length gowns. The colour palette is trend-led and offers everything from subtle pastels to more vibrant shades. —

KARISHMA CREATIONS Karishma Creations offers über trendy cuts and colours for the young fashionista. The gowns combine glamour with comfort and are characterised by flattering silhouettes including short, long, with or without train, fitted and A-line. The range is vast and offers plenty of style choices. —

PROM FROCKS Prom Frocks’ 2013 collection is its largest to date, featuring an increasing range of eye-catching tulle ball gowns as well as dramatic short taffeta dresses, alongside elegant chiffon styles. Colours range from pale pastels to rich vibrant jewel colours. The service is backed up by large stock availability, and delivery is within 24 hours. —

60 WomensWeAr buyer — sePtember 2012

retAil diAry The growth of online shopping is giving some headaches to independent department stores such as Jarrold. We know we should have a great transactional site, but our USP is providing exceptional personal service. We have around 400 fantastic staff to serve customers across 100,000 sq ft of space on five floors. We like to think we provide a unique shopping experience. Given the rise of internet shopping, we feel we should raise our service game even higher to accentuate the point of difference, but it means we have two lots of investment to make at the same time – online and in-store. Jarrold has had a transactional site for just over a year, but it represents only a tiny part of our business. Of course, it would be nice to sell our goods to consumers all over the country but, like many independents, our catchment area is the local community. For womenswear, we have around 50 own-bought brands and eight concessions. We can’t possibly put all the merchandise on our site, so we have to try and give a flavour of most labels. The issue is the implications of our brands and concessions having their own transactional sites, too. It’s not sustainable for us to become a showroom for our suppliers’ own sites. We are concerned that some suppliers/concessions appear to be cutting back on replenishing stock in our store but remain well-stocked on their own sites. They don’t make the inter-branch transfers like they used to. I am aware that some concessions’ sales people are being encouraged to collect the email addresses of customers in our store. We don’t currently get any commission for sales from the brands’ sites to those customers, plus we are competing with department stores in the city that do have those concessions’ stock available on their website. The changes in the partnership between retailer and supplier has been a concern for the past year. We can deal with the competition from other bricks-and-mortar retailers, but the online phenomenon is relatively new and it is not going in our favour at present. It is helpful that through our membership of FAB and AIS, we are able to discuss important matters with our fellow independents and learn from each other’s experiences. Michelle Jarrold is development director of department store Jarrold in Norwich.

forum —


The latest news from the industry —

kiWi boutique turns three

THE HAMBLEDON LAUNCHES CONCEPT SPACE Lifestyle and fashion boutique The Hambledon has launched a unique concept space in its Winchester store, dedicated to Danish accessories brand Becksöndergaard. The brand will take over part of the mezzanine level, which the store uses as its special projects area. “We are excited to be working with Becksöndergaard in September,” says Victoria Suffield, owner, The Hambledon. “With our exclusive projects space, we commit to working with brands we not only love, but those who have a clear sense of their identity and who can make a space that engages our customers.” The a/w 12 collection will be available for six weeks, offering signature printed scarves alongside eel skin and leather bags and accessories. The Hambledon will also create a dedicated window display to showcase the brand’s offer. —

hAve you oPened A neW store, lAunched A trAnsActionAl Website, orgAnised An event or hAve Any other in-store neWs? then let us knoW by getting in touch At

Guisborough independent Kiwi Boutique recently celebrated its third year in business with a VIP breakfast for loyal customers. The store offered an “everybody wins” tombola, including in-store discounts, prizes and a styling consultation with the owner Sally Morgan. After a successful three years, Morgan plans to expand the business’ product offer and e-commerce website. “The first step is a further expansion in product to strengthen the ‘one stop shop’ idea and then we will begin to implement new marketing ideas for our e-commerce website,” says Morgan. —

61 WomensWeAr buyer — sePtember 2012

forum —


the editeur hosts blogging evening Last month, The Editeur in Chester teamed up with North West bloggers to host an in-store styling event. Bloggers were invited to style themselves in the current collections, the results of which were captured in a directional photo shoot. The event’s aim was to network with local bloggers and expand The Editeur’s presence across style blogs, with posts from guest contributors also having been integrated into the store’s own website. —

We ask four retailers this month’s hot question

BEAU EXTENDS ONLINE OFFER Independent online store Beau Boutique launched its new website last month, expanding its reach and customer service. The e-commerce site offers a “new in” section to view the latest collections along with a testimonials page to increase customer trust. “The new site is a lot more interactive,” says Hania McIntyre, owner of Beau Boutique. “New features such as being able to ‘like’ and ‘share’ on social networking sites help generate interest. I have already seen an improvement in sales in the short time the site has been live.” —

MY FAVOURITE SHOP... coco mArie by katie martin, sales executive south, soaked in luxury

yvette dAvies Owner, Thirty Three Boutique, Lymington — “colour is king. cobalt blue and coral feature strongly, and will definitely be present in our shop as they are both colours that complement a variety of complexions, especially after a long winter.” —

coco marie old Amersham, buckinghamshire owners: Jen Garrity and Jan Burton store opened: 2009 key brands: Soaked In Luxury, SET, J Brand, Twist & Tango, Becksöndergaard, Levi's Curve ID, MinkPink, Juicy Couture, Rebecca Minkoff, Superdry “Mother and daughter partners Jan and Jen buy together to ensure a slick edit of trends and looks each season. They are wonderfully fashionable and equally warm and friendly. The combination results in an inspiring and relaxed shopping environment, which is replicated on their online offering.” —

Alison goodmAn Owner, Fifi & Moose, Newbury — “We are loving the refreshing colour palette with wearable corals and fuschias. We’ve seen great two-tone clashing summer knits and more use of the ombre effect. We like the new take on the boxy jacket – a little softer and more feminine. We are also pleased to see the neon trend continue.” —

— “scarves are my accessory of the moment. virtually every collection has included them, and there are some wonderful screenprints in silk, cashmere and wool blends. they will be great for encouraging add-on sales. i'm also loving the lemon and sunflower shades that will be big for s/s 13.” —

sArAh hAnAfee Owner, Danielli, Dartmouth — “As we are a dress destination, a key shape for s/s 13 is belted floral dresses. they are feminine and, because of the cinched-in waist and a longer hem, they can be work-appropriate but still worn for many an occasion.” —

kAte Allden Owner, Kj’s Laundry, London W1U



ADVICE Industry experts answer your retail questions —



Pensions auto-enrolment is being introduced by the government to require all employers to enrol eligible members of staff into a qualifying pension scheme. Consequently, over the next five years, eligible workers and employers will be obliged to begin contributing to a pension scheme. Implementing this initiative will have a significant impact on businesses.

For independent fashion retailers, it is all about the service. Give your customers great service and they will come back time and again.

The scheme will be phased in from 1 October 2012. The date on which a company joins (its “staging date”) will depend on the number of individuals in its PAYE scheme at 1 April 2012, with large employers joining straight away and small employers (of less than 50 individuals) joining between June 2015 and April 2017. We advise employers to visit to ensure you are aware of your correct staging date and can prepare for the deadline. Contributions for defined contribution pension schemes, personal pension schemes and some hybrid pension schemes are being phased in from the date of the employer’s staging date until October 2018. Contributions from the staging date to 30 September 2017 will be 1% of an employee’s qualifying earnings (namely, earnings of between £5,035 and £33,540). From 1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018 it will increase to 2% and, from 1 October 2018 onwards, employer minimum contributions will be 3%. The duty to auto-enrol will apply to employees aged between 22 and state pension age (currently 65), those who are working in Great Britain, and those earning in excess of the income tax threshold (currently £8,105). Employers should conduct an analysis of their workforce, as the auto-enrolment duty will cover a wide range of workers, not just employed staff. The logistical requirements of auto-enrolment should also be considered in respect of your HR systems. Eligible workers are able to opt out of auto-enrolment, however employers will have a duty to automatically enrol workers back into the scheme every three years. For smaller companies, it is unlikely you will have to auto-enrol employees until a few years’ time. However, forward planning is crucial to prepare for the future impact of the scheme. Assess your workforce to ascertain the numbers to be enrolled. Ascertain your future pensions contributions and ensure they are provided for in your company’s budget. Review your current pension arrangements, investigate eligible pension schemes and start the process of setting up access for your staff. Review your HR systems, particularly in relation to potential amendments to payroll systems, and information compliance duties. —

How do independents ensure they offer personal service? For many, it is second nature; they know about fashion, what they are selling and what accessories complement what outfit. The tricky part is remembering your customers’ names, what they have bought in the past, what labels they prefer and so on. There is only so much you can remember, which is one of the reasons an EPoS system for independents is critical. Retailers can make notes about each and every customer – it gives the retailer the knowledge and confidence to offer a bespoke service to their customers. Many independents invest in an EPoS system to manage stock, enabling them to see what they bought last year. But, more importantly, what sold. Data such as what sizes were the bestsellers, what labels, colours and so forth, builds up a picture so that buying becomes more scientific. What’s more, stock becomes manageable, and retailers ensure they carry the right amount of stock through the seasons. But, EPoS isn’t all about fixed till points – retailers are beginning to use mobile points of sale (MPoS). If independents are thinking about investing in an MPoS system, they should focus on the benefits of the mobility aspect of the PoS systems. Moreover, on the shop floor, if a customer asks for a dress in a certain size, the retailer can simply check on a tablet there and then rather than the sales person having to disappear upstairs or downstairs to the storeroom. MPoS is about more than queue-busting in busy trading times, and it need not be restricted to merely taking payments. Retailers can stock-take directly in the storeroom or have a till at trade shows so stock is properly managed and payments taken and accounted for, access the back office and manage the business remotely. MPoS puts independents “in their business” and “in control of their business” no matter where they are. So EPoS systems need to be able to allow independents to offer a more personal service, ensure the buying is more accurate and stockholding leaner. And, of course, a good EPoS system should link directly to an independent’s ecommerce site and show stock across both sales channels in real time. But this season’s best of breed EPoS will be mobile and allow independents to access it from any location and any device so they can be truly mobile. —

Maxine Lavin is a trainee solicitor in the Employment department of Fox Williams LLP. Email

Ian Tomlinson is CEO of Cybertill. Visit or call 0800 030 4459.

64 WomensWeAr buyer — sePtember 2012

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65 WomensWeAr buyer — sePtember 2012

directory —

Agents WAnted

Gaudi is an Italian brand that launched last year in the UK and is having great success. We are looking for agents to cover the following areas: Manchester & Scotland. Please email:

French fashion label Sinequanone is an in-season brand. We are looking for agents to cover the following areas: Manchester & Scotland. Please email:



nAmes And numbers ADC 01626 998961 • Age of Reason 07949 135573 • Alice Menter 0117 3735155 • Almost Famous London 020 7637 2622 • Amishi 020 7493 9775 • Ana Nonza 01626 998961 • Apanage 020 7636 7111 • Ariana 02890 781195 • Art Footwear 07774 722757 • Barbara Boner 07531 936315 • Bay & Fyfe 0061 449021948, • Becksondergard 07930 539700 • Bianca 020 7580 0085 • Blink 0031 416562600 • Bottletop 020 7193 3013 • Bourbon 0035 3(0)429743219 • Bracher Emden 020 7397 9626 • By Malene Birger 020 8960 6161 • By Niya 07768 174536 • Cabinet 01460 68237 • Caractere 020 7631 4777 • Charli London 020 8440 1321 • Couple of Shoes 0161 773 6160 • Creenstone 020 7436 1701 • Culture 020 3432 6385 • Dainty Damsel 01430 424123 • Dannijo 0016 467558909 • Darling 020 7636 6868 • DAY Birger et Mikkelsen 020 7432 8088 • Disaya • Dolcis 01706 212512 • Dollybird 01562 887646 • Electronic Sheep 0035 318512538 • Elliot Rhodes 020 7348 7869 • Emi Jewellery 07891 440758 • Escape Footwear 0035 3(0)429743219 • Eugen Klein 020 7636 5477 • Gemma Lister 020 7503 0953 • Geox 020 7833 8811 • Gina Stewart Cox 0044 02077391414 • Goldie London 020 7404 8748 • Hauber 020 7323 6100 • Jackpot 020 8871 2155 • Jewelcity 01494 444200 • Kelly Love 07500 297789 • Konplott 01304 224288 • Latte 041 204 0699 • Little Mistress 020 7436 8332 • Lotus 01604 593600 • Makki 07855 277159 • Marco Tozzi 0049 5231605159 • Minna Parikka • Mistral 07974 897248 • Moda in Pelle 0844 375 2232 • Morah Morah 020 8123 5810 • Mustang Shoes 01642 318746 • Nina 0844 251 0858 • Pachacuti 01335 • Passigatti 0049 731985770 • Passport 020 7580 3202 • Pause Café 0161 238 8570 • Perla Blanca 07540 158020 • Peter Kaiser 0049 63317160 • Peter Lang 07739 518701 • Pink Powder 0208 874 4444 • Pomodoro 020 8961 4000 • Ravel 01706 212512 • Rockport 020 7629 2980 • Rosemary Goodenough 07880 540563 • Ross X Bute 020 3176 2820 • Sao Paulo 0031 102313344 • Sachelle Couture 01536 310447 • Seasalt 01326 640377 • Shimla 020 8438 4913 • SPM 0031 0416650814 • Steilmann 020 7291 0520 • Sugar Shoes 01633 654040 • Taisir Gibreel 07947 959926 • Tamaris 0049 523160500 • Toni Pons 020 8744 2800 • Tru Luxe 01626 998961 • Un Point C’est Tout 0161 238 8570 • Vidorreta 0035 3876545000 • Vila 020 3205 0312 • Wonders 01455 203222 • Wrangler 01536 710707 • XTI 0034 968718313 • Zayan 0097 143463393 • Zilch 0031 204222866

66 WomensWeAr buyer — sePtember 2012

the finAl Word —

HOW DO YOU WANT TO BE REMEMBERED? This month’s panel tells us what legacy they would like to leave behind. —

nicolA Woods Designer, Beautiful Soul — “i would like to be remembered for having strong family values, treating people as my equal and trying to turn negative situations into positive ones. i would also want to be remembered for having a positive, beautiful soul.” —

ginA steWArt cox Designer, Gina Stewart Cox

kim gordon Designer, Wildfox — “i would like to be remembered for inspiring girls to follow their dreams.” —

— “I would simply like to be remembered as a kind, generous person who helped and brought happiness to others.” —

clAire o’connor Sales manager, Ash — “i wish i could be remembered for world peace or such great things. but, ultimately, i’d like to be remembered for being true to what i represent, following a career i am passionate about and working hard to achieve my goals.” —

Avsh Alom gur Creative director, Maryling — “i don’t necessarily aspire to be remembered myself; it is more about wanting my craft, design and product to be worn and loved by its owners. ultimately, i want to be remembered for making the world a beautiful place.” —

dAnielle foster Designer, Danielle Foster

— “I would like to be remembered for my attention to detail when creating my designs. I have always hoped that each style will be strong enough to stand apart from the collection, but also fit among its counterparts.” —

WWB magazine  

WWB magazine is a UK trade title for the womenswear industry.