DECEMBER 2013 — ISSUE 233 WOMENSWEAR BUYER
— MUM’S THE WORD Isabella Oliver’s 10 years of success —
— SHOW AND TELL A look behind the scenes at Claret Showroom —
— EXHIBITION CALENDAR The shows not to miss for autumn/winter 2014 —
— SCOOP INTERNATIONAL Our comprehensive guide to next month’s event —
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7 EDITOR’S COMMENT — 8 NEWS — 14 BACKSTAGE The other side of womenswear — 16 TALKING POINT — 48 RETAIL FORUM The latest news from the industry — 50 ADVICE Experts answer your questions — 54 UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL With Geoffrey J Finch —
18 Q&A With Isabella Oliver’s Baukjen de Swaan Arons — 28 SHOW BUSINESS A sneak peek around Claret Showroom — 30 EXHIBITION CALENDAR The key shows for a/w 14 —
22 STYLE FILE — 24 FASHION RADAR — 35 SCOOP INTERNATIONAL — 45 PANORAMA — 46 BREAD & BUTTER — COVER: GUSHLOW & COLE —
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Editor Isabella Griffiths firstname.lastname@example.org — Contributors Victoria Jackson email@example.com Laura Kirkpatrick firstname.lastname@example.org Christina Williams email@example.com — Sub editor Amanda Batley firstname.lastname@example.org — Design & production Michael Podger email@example.com Clive Holloway firstname.lastname@example.org James Lindley email@example.com Richard Boyle firstname.lastname@example.org — Sales manager Sam Shaw email@example.com — Subscriptions Caroline Mackinnon firstname.lastname@example.org — Production director Gill Brabham email@example.com — Portfolio director Nick Cook firstname.lastname@example.org — Marketing director Stephanie Parker email@example.com — Managing director Colette Tebbutt firstname.lastname@example.org — Reprographics/printing ImageData Group 01482 652323
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“IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR …”. FOR ONCE, THE SENTIMENT OF THIS SONG MAY ACTUALLY RING TRUE, AS ANALYSTS ARE PREDICTING STRONG WEEKS OF CHRISTMAS TRADING IN WHAT FOR MANY REMAINS THE MOST IMPORTANT SEASON OF THE YEAR. — Retail analyst Conlumino goes even as far to say that this Christmas looks to be the strongest since the recession hit, with consumer confidence the most optimistic since the start of the downturn. According to Conlumino’s figures, this time last year confidence levels were at -20.9, whereas this year confidence stands at -3.5, a marked improvement in just 12 months. With consumers feeling better about their finances, Conlumino predicts a reasonable level of growth, with expenditure to rise by 1.2 per cent. This is still under the performance of pre-recession trading where, in the years between 1993 and 2007, volume growth across the years averaged at 3.8 per cent, but no doubt it is going in the right direction. The clear winners once again this year are multi and omni-channel retailers, who give their customers options and flexibility as to how to buy, when to buy and how to receive their goods (see also our main news analysis on page 8). With more and more indies running slick e-commerce operations, the indie sector is just as well-equipped to
offer the consumer the convenience they seek, but with the added bonus of impeccable customer service and personal relationships. Let’s hope that the predicted increase in consumer confidence translates into healthy consumer spend and has tills ringing up and down the country. On that note, I wish you all lucrative Christmas trading, and a successful and prosperous 2014. As always, we’d like to hear your thoughts, opinions and experiences, so please email me or tweet me @wwbmagazine to share your views.
Isabella Griffiths, editor
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“MAKE OR BREAK” FESTIVE SEASON Online set to be saviour of Christmas trading as revenues are expected to exceed £10bn. —
With online retail revenues set to break the £10bn mark this Christmas, UK retailers are preparing themselves for the battle to gain the custom of price-cautious and time-starved shoppers. According to a report by industry group IMRG, consumer spending with online retailers will reach £10.8bn through December. With online purchases predicted to rise sharply compared to the same period last year and those buying online after browsing reaching a five-year high of five per cent in the run-up to this Christmas, many retailers are trying a new multi-channel approach to track customers through their smartphones in and around stores and learn more about their preferences from their shopping behaviour. “For the first time in three years we expect annual e-retail growth to exceed the level recorded in the previous year, with 2013 sales on target to achieve 15 per cent growth on last year,” says Tina Spooner, chief information officer at IMRG. “We are seeing a number of retailers ramping up their online offering in the run-up to Christmas. Click and Collect, next-day delivery and even one-hour delivery slots are just a few of the options on offer to attract the lucrative festive shopper at this highly competitive time of the year.” According to latest data from IMRG and Capgemini, almost one in five (19 per
cent) of multi-channel online sales are now Click and Collect, up from 13 per cent last year. Both the convenience and certainty of not missing a delivery that Click and Collect offers have become important factors in the popularity of the service, driving the overall growth of e-commerce sales further. Despite the positive forecast, for many retailers the Christmas trading period is a time of “make or break”. And this year, for those with an online retail arm, careful planning and forethought is vital in order to maximise on opportunities available during this time. The shopping days from Black Friday through Cyber Monday to Christmas Eve are the most important of the year for retailers, and one thing is clear – they need to use every available method at their disposal to increase revenue. Stores are using mobile tracking technologies to increase their level of consumer engagement and improve the customer shopping experience. But the ability to track customers on their smartphones in and around stores could help bricks-and-mortar retailers tackle the online threat in other ways, too, according to retail technology entrepreneur and CEO of mobile payment specialist Powa Technologies Dan Wagner. “It’s all about offering the consumer something extra,” he says. “Geolocation is clearly part of that picture and it’s something a physical retailer can leverage that an online
“For the first time in three years we expect annual e-retail growth to exceed the level recorded in the previous year, with 2013 sales on target to achieve 15 per cent growth on last year”
retailer can’t. If a customer transmits their location to a retailer, the retailer could let them know they have a shop 300 yards away, for example. The store could then send a message telling the customer to drop by in half an hour when their goods will be ready to collect. Amazon can’t do that.”
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OLSEN ACQUIRED BY VELDHOVEN GROUP Dutch fashion house Veldhoven Group, parent company of Sandwich, Turnover and DEPT, will take over womenswear brand Olsen on 1 December. This will secure the future of the ailing German label, which had been looking for an investor since it went into administration in the summer. Veldhoven Group will initially maintain Olsen’s independent status while assuming responsibility for the brand’s foreign subsidiaries, with Olsen’s management reporting to Martijn Veldhoven, CEO and shareholder of Veldhoven Group. The acquisition is set to create synergies between the existing organisations, which are expected to share knowledge and best practices during the integration process. “Olsen enhances our positioning and increases our overall brand presence, enabling us to reach many more female consumers,” says Veldhoven. “Despite the difficulties the company went through recently, Olsen has a strong organisation and brand value to build from.” —
MINA PARMAR Mina Parmar, who passed away suddenly on 6 November, was both a key member of the WWB team and a well-known face across the fashion industry. Working hand-in-hand with our editorial teams, Mina was instrumental in steering WWB through one of its most significant periods of growth. With over almost 10 years as senior sales manager, she forged lasting relationships with both businesses and individuals at all levels of the trade.
Having initially trained in sales at Trinity Mirror Group on its regional daily, The Huddersfield Examiner, Mina started her career with WWB publisher RAS Publishing in November 1997, moving from classified sales manager across the company’s full portfolio of trade titles to senior sales manager on CWB, the only trade title for the UK childrenswear industry. It was from here that Mina took up the post of sales manager on WWB, a role she held from June 2004 until her untimely death last month. WWB editor Isabella Griffiths worked with Mina throughout her time on the title, collaborating on countless editions and visiting numerous trade shows across Europe. “Mina made a huge contribution to WWB and to the business, but more than that was a much-loved member of both our team and the womenswear industry,” she says. “Mina brought a genuine passion to everything she did, and while she was dedicated to her role and to her clients, it was when talking of her love for her family that she was the most animated and vibrant. Our thoughts have been with her family since we received the sad news, and Mina will be missed by us all.”
STREETWEAR SHOW THE LEDGE POSTPONED Action sports and streetwear trade show The Ledge has been cancelled for the up-coming autumn/winter 2014 buying season, citing “conflicting dates with production deadlines and clashes with similar events and locations” as the reason. The Ledge has always been co-located with LondonEdge, which will be continuing its autumn/winter 2014 show, running on 2-4 February 2014 at London’s Olympia. — BUSINESSES REMAIN UNCONVINCED ON IMPACT OF INDEPENDENCE Three quarters of Scottish small businesses would vote to remain part of the UK next year, but 60 per cent felt information was still lacking on the potential impact of independence in several areas, according to figures released by the Forum of Private Business. The results come ahead of the Scottish government paper, outlining how independence could boost the country’s economy. It suggests that the Scottish government still has considerable ground to cover to convince firms of the benefits of an independent state. On the economic benefit of Scottish independence, 49 per cent of businesses questioned see it as a threat to the country’s future economic growth, while only 17 per cent see it as a potential opportunity. Businesses struggling with increased costs identified uncertainty as a significant problem when it comes to future business planning. — DENHAM LAUNCHES NEW DENIM CAPSULE COLLECTION Denim specialist Denham has launched its latest range of denim product, Category 5. The collection comprises classic five-pocket denims in four new fits for both women and menswear, from unwashed to progressive washed, based on vintage pieces from the brand’s archives. —
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JOULES PUSHES EXPANSION WITH LDC PARTNERSHIP British lifestyle label Joules is driving forward with expansion plans, following a £22m minority investment by private equity specialist LDC. The brand has enjoyed success in the UK market over the past 12 months, doubling EBITDA to £7.4m. With 76 own stores nationwide, international expansion is a key focus – Joules has successfully launched in Singapore and South Korea – with continued expansion in existing French, German and US markets. “It is such a fantastic time for Joules to welcome the many opportunities we have as a lifestyle brand and, with the support of LDC, we can accelerate the next steps of our journey,” says Tom Joule, CEO. —
BRITISH MANUFACTURERS RAMP UP PRODUCTION British manufacturers are seeing the fastest growth in production in 18 years, a survey by the Confederation of Business Industry (CBI) reveals. The findings show growth in orders and level of output are at their highest level since 1995, highlighting the rise in confidence in British production. Output volumes over the three months to November rose in all but one sector – electrical engineering – while 11 per cent of firms said order books were above normal in November. “Manufacturers finally seem to be feeling the benefit of growing confidence and spending within Britain and globally,” says Stephen Gifford, CBI director of economics. “But British exporters need government support to break into high-growth export markets to reduce their vulnerability to any Eurozone flare-ups.” —
Johnstons of Elgin
JOHN LEWIS HEADS TO WESTFIELD LONDON John Lewis is to open one of its largest stores to date in London’s Westfield shopping centre in Shepherd’s Bush, spanning 230,000 sq ft. Built on four levels, the store will hold more than 350,000 lines, and is estimated to cost around £30m and will create 600 jobs. The new John Lewis store will be part of a £1bn extension of the shopping centre, which will also see the construction of 1,500 new homes as part of the regeneration of the White City area. This is expected to be completed by 2017. — NORR LAUNCHES TO THE UK Danish retail concept Norr has launched concessions at four House of Fraser stores in an exclusive partnership to introduce the Scandinavian chain to the UK. Norr will be available at House of Fraser stores in Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Guildford in Surrey, as well as online. Norr is an innovative retail offering that unites contemporary womenswear and luxury homeware from some of Denmark’s most coveted fashion and lifestyle brands in distinctive shop-in-shop environments. Key womenswear brands include St-Martins, Six Ames, S’nob de Noblesse and Suit, while directional furniture and home accessories come from in-house label Norr 11. — KARL LAGERFELD TOUCHES DOWN IN LONDON Luxury brand Karl Lagerfeld is set to open its first flagship store in March, located on 145-147 Regent Street. The shop will be the latest addition to an international roll-out, which has seen openings in Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich, Antwerp, Shanghai and Beijing. The store will combine the brand’s aspirational and accessible luxury collections and iconic design aesthetic with cutting-edge digital technology. It will span 250 sq m, making it the biggest European Karl Lagerfeld store to date. —
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UKFT HELPS WITH CARE LABELLING LICENCE FEE
ILSE JACOBSEN HORNBAEK LAUNCHES FIRST UK BOUTIQUE
The UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT) has introduced a new membership initiative that could help retailers save thousands in annual care labelling fees.
Danish lifestyle label Ilse Jacobsen Hornbaek has opened its first UK concept store today, located on 6 High Street in Tunbridge Wells. The brand has recently experienced strong growth in the UK through its wholesale channels, with the retail store marking a new phase in the brand’s development.
The UKFT recently absorbed the Home Laundering Consultative Council (HLCC) into its organisation, a UK member of the international body GINETEX, which owns the trademark of the five basic wash care symbols that are used in garments throughout the world. As these care labels are registered trademark protected in over 50 countries, their use requires a licence fee, which can amount to hundreds of thousands of Euros per year. Thanks to the new organisational structure, UKFT offers its members the option to use the care symbols throughout the world without incurring any further charges by joining the UKFT Retail Partner Programme, which is open to any retailer who sells its own brand or label outside the UK. —
The store covers 900 sq ft of retail space and offers the label’s clothing, shoes, accessories, as well as wellies and rainwear. Ilse Jacobsen Hornbaek is known for its trendy handmade rain boots and classic functional raincoats, which follow a distinctly Scandinavian design tradition. —
MODA NOIR OPENS ITS DOORS Leading womenswear trade show Moda Woman is launching a new, dedicated section for evening and occasionwear at its next edition, taking place on 16-18 February Birmingham’s NEC.
Moda Noir will host a carefully edited mix of specialist evening and occasionwear brands, with industry heavyweights such as John Charles, Mascara and Linea Raffaeli signed up. The dedicated section will have its own look, creating a destination that will enable this growing industry sector to shine within a focused environment. “We believe it was the right move to bring this sector together within its own setting and highlight the strength of the sector as well as the wealth of labels and collections it offers,” says Sarah Moody, event director, Moda Woman. “We feel it will enhance the brands’ exposure and strengthen Moda’s increasing portfolio and position as leading national fashion trade show.” —
NIGEL CABOURN DEBUTS WOMENSWEAR Luxury British heritage label Nigel Cabourn has expanded its product portfolio with the launch of a womenswear line for s/s 14. Strongly influenced by the menswear collection, the range encompasses clothing and accessories and remains true to the brand’s identity, using authentic military fabrics, handcrafted finishes and technical details. Key styles give a nod to vintage suits, blouses and workwear, with classic shapes reworked with a modern aesthetic. — BARBOUR OPENS FIRST INTERNATIONAL STANDALONE STORE British heritage label Barbour has opened its first international standalone store, situated between London’s Piccadilly and Jermyn Street. The new store measures 3,000 sq ft over two floors, and showcases the brand’s biker fashion range including CE-approved armour jackets, knitwear, footwear and accessories for both men and women. The new store opening is part of Barbour’s ongoing expansion plans for further retail growth in key markets such as the UK, Germany and the US. — BJÖRN BORG INTRODUCES WOMEN’S APPAREL COLLECTION Swedish underwear brand Björn Borg has launched a new women’s performance apparel collection for s/s 14 for tennis and fitness. The range is based on styles that are lightweight, breathable and wick moisture, with the colour palette consisting of bright pop hues such as electric blue, neon pink and oiled patents. Prints feature heavily and take inspiration from the elements of nature and reptiles in the jungle to create a powerful and provocative collection. —
1 9 - 2 1 J A N U A R Y 2 014 S C O O P - I N T E R N AT I O N A L . C O M LONDON Venues: Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, SW3 4RY Phillips, Howick Place, SW1P 1BB Image: Catarina Vasconcelos. From the project “Metaphor or sadness inside out”, video and photography 2013
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BACKSTAGE The other side of womenswear —
DISNEY AND HARRODS TEAM UP Harrods has collaborated with Disney UK to host the Cinderella-inspired Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at the world-famous department store, marking the first time a Disney Parks and Resorts offering has been re-created in the UK. The WESTWOOD experience forms the centrepiece BIOGRAPHY of Disney at Harrods, which — includes a bespoke Disney Vivienne Westwood is one of Store and new-look Disney the icons of our age and, for the Café. An immersive first time, her story will be told in all its glory in an storytelling experience for authorised biography, due to children aged 3-12 years has be published next year. been created, set in a fairytale — castle enclosed within the Harrods walls. Children are met by their very own Fairy Godmother in Training to learn the qualities needed to become a Princess or Knight. —
CLIMBING A MOUNTAIN FOR CHARITY ITE MODA’S (PUBLISHER OF WWB MAGAZINE) VERY OWN COLETTE TEBBUTT IS TAKING UP THE ULTIMATE CHALLENGE IN JANUARY, WHEN SHE WILL BE CLIMBING MOUNT KILIMANJARO TO RAISE FUNDS FOR BOWEL CANCER UK. THE CHARITY’S MISSION IS TO SAVE LIVES AND IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR ALL THOSE AFFECTED BY BOWEL CANCER, AS WELL AS TO ENCOURAGE EARLY RECOGNITION OF THE SYMPTOMS FOR THE BEST CHANCE OF SURVIVAL. DONATIONS WILL BE VERY GRATEFULLY RECEIVED AT WWW.JUSTGIVING.COM/ COLETTE-TEBBUTT. —
Cashmere and fine wool specialist Johnstons of Elgin unveiled its Royal Warrant during an in-store event at its Elgin site. The company was recently granted The Royal Warrant by HRH The Prince of Wales for the manufacture and supply of Estate Tweed cloth to the Royal household.
(L-R): Shawn Pean, Saks Fifth Avenue Buyer; John Roberts, Dents; Jim McKenry, Dents exclusive Sales Agent USA
Brits in New York Leading British glove-maker Dents was recently invited to its Saks Fifth Avenue store to train staff at the iconic New York retail haven. Dents’ marketing consultant, John Roberts, held a seminar at the store, explaining the intricacies of glove-making, its history and how modern leather gloves are made. The seminar was part of Dents’ continual drive to increase exports, with the entire Saks accessories sales team, buyers and store manager in attendance during the detailed presentation. —
VIRGIN START-UP LAUNCHES AT BOXPARK Virgin Start-up, a loans scheme for young entrepreneurs, was recently launched at pop-up shopping destination Boxpark in London’s Shoreditch, where members of the selection panel, including Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, met with Boxpark CEO Roger Wade, who himself is committed to helping young entrepreneurs and small independents. Wade addressed guests during a conference, encouraging the panel to support small independents and the loans scheme. —
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TALKING POINT Key industry players give their views on the issue that affect womenswear. —
BRANDS AND RETAILERS HAVE TO WORK AS A TEAM
CREATING RETAIL THEATRE REALLY PAYS REWARDS
I can’t believe another year has come to a close, and what a year it has been. Key challenges certainly include the ongoing recession, the weather, the move towards high-street labels and throwaway fashion, and the continuing low interest rates, which are affecting the spending power of an ever-growing sector of the population.
When you’ve re-ordered your sparkliest dresses and jackets three times before the Christmas season has gathered momentum, it’s clear that customers are ready to enjoy shopping again and eager to have some fun.
The recession has, of course, hit retailers hard. Many womenswear independents are closing due to falling footfall, or not renewing their leases due to greedy landlords doubling and tripling their rent. Many shopping areas in affluent towns have sadly lost their middle-market women’s boutiques, and consist now of cheaper-end clothing multiples, charity shops, coffee shops and discount shops. This is, of course, disappointing to all brands to lose good accounts, and we have to concentrate on supporting the accounts in the areas that have not been affected as badly. Brands have to be stronger than ever in satisfying retail customers’ requirements. Customers are looking for good styling, quality and pricing and, with the economic climate over the last few years, they are seeking smart and casual daywear that is wearable, durable, washable and affordable, without losing the quality that the brand is famous for. Brands have to provide a consistently good collection and offer their retailers quality and value for money. At Bianca, we provide an excellent customer service and support to our customers, and will assist with stock turnaround where possible to increase sales for our stockists. We also have a good never-out-of-stock programme that is very popular with our clients. We had a strong s/s 14, picking up many new and sought-after accounts at Moda, and increasing the buys of our regular customers. The line was strong and commercial, the quality was good and the pricing realistic. So we are entering 2014 with high expectations, and feel customers are looking positively to the future. We are told that we have turned a corner and that the economic climate is set to improve. Certainly our sales for s/s 14 reflect this. In difficult times, brands should work more closely with their retailers and offer flexibility where possible. Retailers need to know that the brand is working with them to obtain the best possible sales, and that the brand and the retailer are a team. Visiting stores to help with merchandising, staff training days, shop fits and effective point-of-sale material, support at fashion shows, charity events and promotion days all help towards this goal. In this vein, here’s to a successful and prosperous 2014!
With Christmas around the corner, we are going all-out to inject the shop with more sparkles, and we have to thank the suppliers who carry sufficient stock in-season to allow us to do this. As has been said many times, a good supplier-retailer relationship consisting of mutual support is priceless. During October we sold the same sparkly long evening dress from Gina Bacconi three times in two days which, for a shop our size, is very revealing about what customers are wanting. Frank Lyman and Gina Bacconi have been exemplary in finding us replacement stock while the demand is still there. With the market share so divided across the multichannel landscape, creating an in-store shopping experience that exceeds expectation and exceeds what the multiples can offer has become paramount. When a brand can offer us lifestyle products and promotional materials, it helps enormously. The recent version of the Frank Lyman perfume and the merchandising display unit they have provided adds to the retail theatre of the shop as well as enhancing the product mix. I sometimes wonder about the impact that assailing all the customers’ senses must have at the point of conversion. It clearly makes a difference. Candles, smiles, seating, displays, “props” and music – the levels on which we can communicate with and influence our customer are endless. We recently introduced the Boom Box music system from Amazing Instore. It has not only saved us the PRS fee, but has also provided the perfect soundtrack to the shopping experience, which we can control and tailor as and when. Naturally, we will be rocking out to the festive playlist very soon! During a difficult trading period. we’ve become quite philosophical about why and when things happen. Invariably, the troughs are followed by some sort of peak, and vice versa. As such, we could not be more delighted to be welcoming Marc Cain to Ambiance this month. Not only is it a new collection for us with a strong following, but it also coincides with a major high point for the brand – its 40th anniversary. Of course, it would be disingenuous if I didn’t admit there’s a certain element of pressure involved when a brand has such an impressive track record across the board. But independent retailing will never be anything other than challenging!
Liz Desterre, UK brand manager, Bianca
Melissa Wheeler, co-owner, Ambiance of Colchester
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Baukjen de Swaan Arons — THE CO-FOUNDER AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF MATERNITYWEAR BRAND ISABELLA OLIVER AND READY-TO-WEAR LABEL BAUKJEN CHATS TO ISABELLA GRIFFITHS ABOUT 10 YEARS OF SUCCESS AND HER AMBITIOUS FUTURE PLANS FOR THE BUSINESS. —
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Isabella Griffiths: You recently received investment of £1.4m from Santander’s Breakthrough programme. What does this mean for the growth of the company? Baukjen de Swaan Arons: The investment from Santander means we can start pushing the company to the next level via marketing, sales and overall improvements in systems and processes. It’s an exciting testament to our potential and what’s next for the company. We are investing in a number of areas, including technology – adding features such as Olapic, fits.me and eStylist; people – adding a CMO; as well as marketing more aggressively to all of our regions. It’s an exciting time for our business. IG: Are you looking to grow Isabella Oliver and Baukjen to the same degree, or does one segment have more potential than the other? BDSA: Both of our brands have fantastic and distinct potential, targeting different audiences. But there is a lot of crossover in the areas I mentioned – technology, people and marketing. So we can take advantage of efficiencies when it comes to growth, while capturing the distinct opportunities to grow each brand individually. IG: You have seen consistent growth since your launch 10 years ago – to what do you attribute this success? BDSA: We are incredibly passionate and ambitious. We’re also relentlessly focused on quality and exceeding our customers’ expectations. This has been as true on day one as it is today. We’re also consistent in our approach and realistic about growth. IG: You have put a lot of emphasis on new technologies. Are there any specific developments that you are working on? BDSA: We have recently launched Olapic, a social curation tool that showcases imagery of customers, bloggers and celebrities wearing our garments. The imagery is displayed via galleries, which increase engagement and allow for one-click
“CUSTOMERS EXPECT MUCH MORE THAN JUST THE ABILITY TO TRANSACT ON A NICE-LOOKING SITE OF A BRAND THEY LOVE. THEY WANT TO BE EXCITED BY DIFFERENT WAYS TO CONSIDER THE PRODUCT”
shopping; a move that has significantly impacted our conversion rate. We have also introduced Fits.me for Baukjen, with the view to developing it for Isabella Oliver at a later date. It’s essentially a virtual fitting room, allowing customers to identify the garment size most suited to their measurements so they can anticipate style and fit. IG: You have also recently launched the eStylist. Has it positively impacted on your conversion rates, basket value or returns? BDSA: The launch of eStylist for Baukjen has been a great success, with the returns rate 15 per cent down on overall rate and average order value 17 per cent up. It has become the go-to for styling advice, and will be imminently launching for Isabella Oliver to help support women during their pregnancies. IG: Do you feel these developments and investments are – and will be – increasingly important to e-tailers and the shopping experience they offer? BDSA: Customers expect much more than just the ability to transact on a nice-looking site of a brand they love. They want to be excited by different ways to consider the product. For us, it’s meant seeing it through social media (Olapic), getting better feedback on how it will fit (fits.me) and receiving real-time advice (eStylist). It’s only scratching the surface, though – we want to be on the forefront of new and better ways to help the customer engage with our product. IG: In terms of customer engagement, what do you feel are the advantages and disadvantages of being an e-tailer as opposed to a bricks-and-mortar store, and are the lines increasingly blurring? BDSA: The only obvious difference for us is the inability for the customer to immediately touch and feel the product. There are many benefits for us, including the ability to share styling ideas and reading customers’ reviews. The boundaries are definitely changing and it’s exciting to witness. IG: You’ve also launched a wholesale operation – how is it performing for you, and what are your plans?
BDSA: Our wholesale business has grown by over 500 per cent in the last season, and we can be found in some of the world’s leading department stores and independents such as Nordstrom, Galeries Lafayette, Bentalls and Harrods. It’s important for us to work with both, as independents provide more of a customer experience, whereas a department store offers convenience. We launched wholesale as a response to the demand we were getting from boutiques that wanted to stock the brand. With wholesale, however, we focus mainly on international markets, where we can be found in over 100 stores in 20 countries. IG: What are your ambitions in terms of international growth? BDSA: From the start, we’ve been an international business. For instance, Isabella Oliver is larger in the US than the UK. By focusing on our online business as much as catalogue, we’ve been able to see ourselves expanding globally rapidly. IG: You recently appointed Shannon Edwards [ex-ShopStyle, Shopping.com and Vestiaire Collective] as chief marketing officer – what are her goals for the business? BDSA: Shannon brings more than 20 years’ experience across a number of industries, but more specifically in the internet space and across multiple markets. Her goal is to increase the effectiveness of all our channels, introduce new ideas borne of her technology experience, and help us increase our presence in key markets such as the US. IG: Did you envisage the kind of success and global growth you’ve had when you started out 10 years ago? BDSA: We launched Isabella Oliver just after my first pregnancy. We spotted a gap in the market for maternitywear that was modern, flattered pregnancy curves, and that had a great fit and cut that would last throughout the whole pregnancy and beyond. We are passionate and ambitious, and have always had realistic aspirations with regards to growth. We’ve also been consistent in our approach. The brand has been worn by some fantastic celebrities, of whom I couldn’t have dreamed in the beginning, which helped to give us global recognition from the start. IG: What was your vision when you started out, and what is it now? BDSA: Right from the beginning, I wanted Isabella Oliver to be a brand that is a friend – somebody you can trust. There is a lot going on when you’re pregnant. Clothes play a small part, but I wanted it to be a warm and special part. I wanted Isabella Oliver to be a brand that designs clothes that flatter all the way through the pregnancy, has excellent quality, delivers great service and listens. Today, those principles haven’t changed – they’re still at the heart of what we do.
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FRESH FOR THE NEW YEAR 16-18 FEBRUARY 2014 NEC, BIRMINGHAM FRESH FOR 2014, MODA, THE UK’S LARGEST FASHION TRADE SHOW WELCOMES A HOST OF NEW AND EXCITING BRANDS AND FEATURES. WE HAVE THE EXCLUSIVE REVEAL ON WHAT’S SET TO MAKE MODA EVEN MORE OF A MUST-VISIT THIS SEASON. —
rom casual style through to high-end occasionwear, a host of big name brands from across the clothing, accessories, lingerie and footwear sectors will bring the hottest trends for women to this season’s show. In clothing, Moda Woman presents some of the best international names, with Saint James sporting a chic new Parisian-inspired take on its classic nautical look, while neighbouring Belgian brand Marie Méro’s latest designs combine fitted styles with a subtle combination of bright and soft colours taking casual wear to new heights of chic. They will be joined by new labels from the continent including German brand Brax and French label Coline. A wide variety of complementary add-on product is located next door in Moda Accessories with brands including DSUK and Bulaggi set to bring their new handbag ranges to the show, evoking the same high-end casual style reflected in the clothing sector. Meanwhile, exciting new brands including Peach Accessories and Poze Shoes, will join them in the area with a top-to-toe offer. Completing the full ensemble, the best from across the footwear and intimate apparel sectors will present their latest collections in Moda Footwear and Moda Lingerie & Swimwear respectively. The likes of Simone Pérèle, Passionata and Panache lead the roster in lingerie, while the season’s staple footwear is headed up by brands such as Rocket Dog, Ravel, Romika and Lisa Kay Shoes. Another Moda Footwear favourite, Butterfly Twists returns to the show with a new range of colours and patterns across its foldable flats and rain boots.
INTRODUCING MODA NOIR In addition to the solid line-up of international names and a wide offer of women’s product, Moda Woman will see the launch of a brand new area at the show dedicated to evening and occasionwear. Moda Noir will welcome the industry’s most prolific brands assembled around a central plaza, providing a new focal point for buyers looking to source the best in eveningwear from across the globe. Among the impressive line-up, industry heavyweights Mon Cheri, John Charles, Mascara, Dress Code, Renata and Linea Raffaeli will bring their latest collections to this brand new area.
FASHION FORWARD Contemporary area Moda White will take centre stage at this season’s Moda Woman as it moves to a new position, making it easier than ever for buyers to locate the best directional designs from across the womenswear sector. Brands set to return to the area include newcomers to last season’s show Paola and FDJ, while established industry names Sahara and Two Danes also join the line-up. Set to make an impact in the area and following the success of these labels, Léo Guy will debut in the area with its collection of feminine and fashion-forward designs. —
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EVEN MORE INFORMATION AND INSPIRATION In addition to the great line-up of brands and new features at this season’s show, find the ultimate inspiration for your store with daily catwalk shows at the Hall 17 Catwalk Theatre, located between Moda Woman and Moda Lingerie. Featuring the best of the trends from across the show Stylist Fran Lee will present the latest in women’s fashion, evening and occasionwear, lingerie and swimwear as well as footwear and accessories in the Hall 20 Catwalk Theatre. Moda’s Big Live Debate series returns after its successful launch last season. With lively discussions around the hottest topics affecting the womenswear and lingerie sectors gathering speed ahead of February, Moda has announced an additional Big Live Footwear Debate. Alongside a fantastic programme of business seminars, Moda is a hub for everything you need to know about the industry.
NEW PARTY VENUES Monday night at Moda just got even bigger, as the show combines its two parties to host one big social and networking event at the Punchbowl in Lapworth. A modern take on British Victoriana, the venue offers both picturesque surroundings and a fantastic menu, creating the perfect setting in which to relax and socialise after the show. Tickets will be available to purchase for the event. Visit moda-uk.co.uk for more details or email Caroline Mackinnon on caroline@moda-uk. co.uk or call +44 (0)1484 846069.
MOBILE MODA With Moda’s online Community and smartphone app, there have never been better ways to prepare yourself for the show. Available through the Moda website, the Community is a dedicated area where you can search for brands set up meetings and create an online profile. Keeping pace with your busy schedule the Moda app allows you to search brands, set your personal agenda for the show – with a full schedule of seminars and catwalks – as well as navigate the halls while on site with interactive floor plans.
For information on all the latest signings, full details of the catwalk and seminar programmes and to register for your free ticket visit moda-uk.co.uk.
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STYLE FILE The hottest brands not to miss this month —
STYLE FLASH — Australian accessories label From St Xavier is launching to the UK for s/s 14. The brand captures an ethereal bohemian essence, featuring semi-precious stones on rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and clutches. —
▲ LEGGING IT Candy Baker is a hosiery label designed and handmade in the UK. The brand captures the lost glamour of the 20s and 30s, but with a modern twist. All designs offer slimming and elongating effects, with the latest collection featuring eye-catching gold prints that will off-set and add glamour to any outfit. —
SLIM JEAN Denim brand MIH has launched a new bodycon jean, claiming to create the most slimming silhouette on the market. Through the use of innovative fabric construction, the denim holds curves in place while also smoothing them out. —
Desert Designs is a contemporary womenswear brand featuring prints by Australian indigenous artist Jimmy Pike. Originally conceived in the 80s, the brand has been reinvented with a youthful re-colouring of the prints into ready-to-wear and scarves. Each print has been carefully digitalised to create seriously vibrant and eclectic graphics, which form the backdrop to directional designs. —
▲ NEEDLE CRAFT British knitwear label Needle Craft has launched its first s/s collection, full of light luxury knits intended to add texture and statement to a summer wardrobe. The range includes a zip-through cotton cardigan and knitted tees, with all styles made in Italy from locally sourced quality yarns. — STYLE FLASH
Danish brand Muuse collaborates each season with respected trend scouts and tastemakers, in fashion capitals from Tokyo to London, to develop unique pieces in small editions that will have longevity. The styling is clean and luxurious with an emphasis on quality. —
— Thu Thu takes inspiration from the colours of Morocco for s/s 14 to create a sun-kissed womenswear line. Standout shapes include dungarees, crop tops, skirts and blazers. —
Predator style Adidas has launched a new range of women’s fashion sneakers, an evolution from its core line of Adidas Originals iconic trainers. The embossed Italian leather uppers flash tactile hide finishes including snake, shark, scale and feathers, etched out over contrast pop-colour linings and waxy smooth suede tongues. —
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FASHION RADAR The hottest brands to look out for right now —
The London brand effortlessly bridges the gap between sustainability and style, with a new focus on separates for spring/summer 20 14.
New LA denim label A.N.D. is making a mark on the jeans sector with an exclusive range targeted at high-end indies and department stores.
Signature style: The label is becoming known for vibrant prints created in-house, with silhouettes mixing classic and contemporary shapes.
Signature style: The brand’s Flynn style, a mid-rise skinny jean, has been making waves among denim aficionados and sums up the relaxed direction of the label.
Beautiful Soul was established as a luxury womenswear brand in 2009 before launching a ready-to-wear collection in 2011. The label was founded by designer Nicola Woods, who turned to fashion after a fast-paced career in corporate insurance. Woods is committed to sustainability with a conscious approach to fabric sourcing, environmental impact and local, UK-based production. The range focuses on exclusive fabrics, including British wool, British lace, organic and Fairtrade fabrics as well as unique signature prints. The collection includes day-to-evening dresses, heritage-style trench coats and blazers as well as versatile separates and accessories. The s/s 14 collection, Bee 4 Blossom, features a selection of separates for the first time, allowing customers to mix pieces together to create own looks, as well as being pitched at more entry-level price points. Wholesale prices range from £63 to £215. All pieces are Made in England. —
A.N.D was launched by Sean Barron earlier this year, after he had previously established two successful labels, Katayone Adeli and Joie. Barron’s ambition has always been to launch a denim brand that was not led by trends, but that would be based on true denim craftsmanship and quality. He developed an exclusive process to take raw and stiff denim and make it soft without using water, therefore creating a look that denim fans love, but also making it wearable and comfortable. Alongside the Flynn style, the Danny – a loose-fitting jean that tapers slightly – is also among the key styles, with the range expanding into further categories such as tops for autumn/winter 2014. The brand sits alongside the likes of Rag & Bone and J Brand, with current stockists including Trilogy, Harrods and Liberty. Pitched at the upper end of the market, wholesale prices range between £65 and £100. —
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SHOW BUSINESS Claret Showroom’s recent move to larger premises marks a new phase in the fashion agency’s development, with an expanding portfolio and increasingly international growth driving the fortunes of the business. Isabella Griffiths caught up with owners Claire Spencer-Churchill and Alex Lyles to find out what’s in store. —
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Nestled in a small mews just off Shepherd’s Bush Road in West London lies the impressive new home of fashion agency Claret Showroom. The 3,000 sq ft, two-storey open-plan space – which, incidentally, used to be designer Betty Jackson’s head office – has been completely gutted, remodeled and turned into an inviting and elegant showroom. It now houses 12 premium brands, including Madeleine Thompson, Unreal Fur, Mademoiselle Tara, Cameo, Bensimon, Libelula and Mara Hoffman, which are tastefully displayed on the ground floor, while the stylish office, accommodating eight staff, is located on the mezzanine level. The space is more than just a new office; it signifies how far Claret Showroom has come from its small beginnings eight years ago. The agency was founded in 2005 by school friends Claire Spencer-Churchill and Alex Lyles, who were both only in their mid-20s at the time, and had left their respective jobs at Paul Smith and a leading PR company to take the plunge. “We had been thinking of launching our own business for a while. We had nothing to lose, so went for it,” says Spencer-Churchill. Lyles adds, “I think, today, we would have probably been more cautious and have a formal business plan and all that, but back then it just seemed right and we went on our gut instinct.” Initially, the agency had an Australian angle, with the likes of Alice McCall having been one of the first labels to join the stable (and is still part of today’s roaster of brands). Over time, however, the brand list expanded with US, British and European labels, diversifying the portfolio. “We only take on brands if we really believe in them,” says Spencer-Churchill, and it’s a motto that has stood the agency in good stead, as many of the brands have been with the duo for a very long time. “We like looking after brands that are well-established within their own market,” she continues. “We know the infrastructure is there and that the product will be delivered on time. Otherwise it’s our reputation that’s on the
“WHEN WE WORK ON OUR BRAND MIX, WE WANT BUYERS TO FEEL INSPIRED AND GO, ‘WE WANT THAT AND THAT’ AND NOT, ‘WE WANT THAT OR THAT’”
Alex Lyles and Claire Spencer-Churchill
line.” And there’s no lack of brands who want to work with Claret Showroom. “We probably get approached by three or four labels a day, but they have to be right and have to fit into our product mix,” says Lyles. “A lot of brands expect miracles without putting in the work or investment, so we’re careful about who we work with. It has to be right for us and for them. Brands who offer more of a niche product seem to work well for us because they don’t compete with the high street.” Pointing at the tastefully displayed rails of clothes, Spencer-Churchill adds, “When we work on our brand mix, we want buyers to feel inspired and say, ‘We want that and that’ and not, ‘We want that or that’.” Claret Showroom serves more than 450 accounts worldwide, ranging from the best independent boutiques to high-profile department stores, and increasingly a raft of international e-tailers. “The structure of who we’re selling to has changed a lot over the last few years,” says Spencer-Churchill. “The majority of our orders used to come from bricks-and-mortar stores, but now we receive high-volume orders from e-tailers,” she continues. “This means the collections we are selling have to be standalone pieces that work well online, rather than just on a rail. Also, a lot of business is now done over e-mail, so product photography has to be spot on, and this is something we put a lot of emphasis on when we work with labels.” Recent growth, however, has not just come from e-commerce players, but also increasingly from international markets. The Middle East in particular makes up 30 per cent of the agency’s orders, while Russia, Germany and the US are territories to which Claret Showroom is extending its reach. “We are having huge interest from Middle
Eastern stores,” says Spencer-Churchill. “It was an organic process. When you work successfully with a brand and build a market for them, it’s a natural step for them to want you to do the same in a new market. So this is what is happening, and it’s nice to have another dimension to the business.” The agency’s clientele may be expanding, but Spencer-Churchill and Lyles remain committed to independents, and are obviously proud of the loyal relationships they have built with their customers over the years. “We love working with indies,” says Spencer-Churchill. “They are the ones who have been with us from the start, and there’s something lovely about dealing with boutiques. You get direct feedback and you are part of their success. The other day, an indie called just to tell me how well one of our brands was doing for them. That was nice. You’d never get that with a department store.” A lot of the success of Claret Showroom is evidently down to the good relationship between Spencer-Churchill and Lyles, with talents and strengths that complement each other. “A lot of what we spend our time on is strategy, for the business and the brands,” says Spencer-Churchill. “I have got a short attention span, whereas Alex is really thorough.” “But Claire will do everything, like, yesterday,” says Lyles, and it’s clear this is a personal and business relationship that is solid. “Yes, we feel lucky that we still enjoy each other’s friendship after such a relatively long and intense time,” continues Lyles. “I think it’s nice that we have grown slowly; it has been myself, Claire and our staff, without the need for scary investors and all that kind of stuff, so hopefully we have built a business with longevity.”
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EXHIBITION CALENDAR The key shows for a/w 14 at a glance. Sponsored by:
White 11-13 January Via tortona, 27 – Via tortona, 54, 20144 Milan, italy 0039 (0)234592785 www.whiteshow.it Sāo Paulo Prêt-à-Porter 12-15 January expo Center Norte rua José Bernardo Pinto, 333 Vila Guilherme, São Paulo 0055 (11)38976100 www.saopaulopretaporter.com.br CouroModa 13-16 January anhembi exhibition Center, São Paulo, Brazil 0055 (11)38976100 www.couromoda.com SeeK 14-16 January Kühlhaus, luckenwalder Str 3, Berlin 0049 (0)3062908511 www.seekberlin.com CaPSule BerliN 14-15 January Postbahnhof, Straße der Pariser Kommune 8, Berlin 0012 (0)122068310 www.capsuleshow.com
PITTI W 7-10 January Fortezza da Basso, Florence 0039 (0)53693425 www.pittimmagine.com — The 13th edition of Pitti W presents a new look for the Pitti Immagine project dedicated to previews, capsule collections and special concepts in women’s fashions. Last June the show relocated to the Fortezza da Basso and is now restructuring the layout with a new breakdown of merchandise categories. This season’s guest nation at the show is Ukraine, a collaboration with Mercedes Benz Kiev Fashion Days, which will present contemporary designers such as Anna K, Omelya Atelier, Paskal and Sasha Kanevski.
BREAD & BUTTER 14-16 January Airport Berlin – Tempelhof, Berlin 0049 (0)302000370 www.breadandbutter.com — This season sees the launch of a brand new digital drive for Berlin’s biggest trade show, Bread & Butter. The exhibition’s latest concept – Ich Bin Ein Berliner – aims to celebrate bringing together visitors from across the globe to the city of Berlin for two weeks of the year. The new season also sees the launch of Bread & Butter’s inaugural online magazine, BBBMAG, which highlights industry news, products and interviews. Regular brands to showcase their latest offering include Ichi, Junk de Luxe, Liu Jo, Maison Scotch and Supremebeing.
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CAPSULE PARIS 17-19 January Cité de la Mode, 34 Quai d’Austerlitz, Paris 0012 122068310 www.capsuleshow.com BRIGHT 15-17 January Warenhaus Jandorf, Brunnenstrasse 19-21, Berlin 0049 (0)6966962157 www.brighttradeshow.com CAPSULE NEW YORK 21-22 January Basketball City, 299 South St (at Montgomery St), NYC 0012 (0)122068310 www.capsuleshow.com PROJECT NEW YORK 21-23 January Pier 94, 55th Street, 12th Avenue, New York City 0012 187407092 www.magiconline.com/project-nyc BIJORHCA 24-27 January Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, Paris 0033 (0)147562492 www.bijorhca.com
CPH VISION 29-30 January Lokomotivværkstedet, Copenhagen 0045 (0)39648586 www.cphvision.dk
PANORAMA BERLIN 14-16 January Berlin ExpoCenter Airport, Berlin 0049 (0)30208891340 www.panorama-berlin.com — Women’s and menswear trade show Panorama Berlin launches its brand new concept space, The Mall, for the exhibition’s third edition. Designed to showcase franchise store ideas, shop-in-shop designs, corner spaces and other innovative solutions for system space, the new hall will bring the exhibition space up to 28,000 sq m. The event will present around 60-70 different franchise models by international fashion brands over 5,000 sqm of floor space. Labels set to exhibit in the new area include Marc Cain, Gaudi, Liu Jo, Gelco and Repeat.
PREMIUM 14-16 January Station-Berlin, Luckenwalder Str, Berlin 0049 (0)30208891330 www.premiumexhibitions.com — International fashion trade show Premium prides itself on its innovation and evolving layout design, and autumn/winter is set to impress once again. With 900 brands set across a 23,000 sq m, the new season will see the relocation of the show’s Dissonance Area, which will move from Hall 7 to the street-side space formerly occupied by F95 Fashion Store. In addition, Hall 4, the exhibition for footwear and handbags, will be expanded to meet increased demand. The show will also unveil a collaboration with the Collect Showroom design collective – a selection of handpicked Berlin labels held in the Dissonance area.
GALLERY 29-31 January Forum, Copenhagen 0045 (0)33120930 www.gallery.dk CIFF 30 January – 2 February Bella Center, Copenhagen 0045 (0)32472213 www.ciff.dk
WOMAN LINGERIE & SWIMWEAR ACCESSORIES FOOTWEAR GENT
19-21 January Saatchi Gallery, King’s Road / Phillips, Howick Place, London 020 7596 5154 www.scoop-international.com — Returning for its seventh edition, Scoop will once again be showcasing around 400 collections across two spectacular venues, accommodating the rapid growth of the show. The show fuses fashion and art, and brings together the cream of international labels, niche designers and boutique labels, with this season’s show taking a strong focus on home-grown labels from across the British Isles. Brands not to miss include Emma Louise London, Nocturne, Goat, Madeleine Thompson, Needle and Marion Foale, while international entries come in the shape of Cameo, Day Birger et Mikkelsen and Sand.
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LONDONEDGE 2-4 February The National Hall, London Olympia 0116 289 8249 www.londonedge.com MOMAD METROPOLIS 14-16 February Pavillions 4, 12 and 14 Feria de Madrid, Spain 0034 (0)917223000 www.momad.metropolis.ifema.es MODA ACCESSORIES 16-18 February NEC, Birmingham, UK 01484 846069 www.moda-uk.co.uk
WHO’S NEXT PRET-A-PORTER PARIS 25-28 January 2014 Parc Des Expositions, Porte De Versailles, Paris 0033 (0)1410137483 www.whosnext.com — Over 2,000 international brands take part in Who’s Next Prêt-à-Porter each season, with the comprehensive offer covering womenswear, fashion accessories, shoes, young designers, urban and menswear. After last season’s Mexican theme, this edition’s The Toys theme promises to be an equally dynamic transformation. Key British brands to look our for include AngelEye London, Bench, Glamorous, Oxford Blue, Louche, Forever Unique, Orion London & Bonsui, Gina Bacconi, Bernshaw, Charli London, Base London, Miss L-Fire, Gola, Nica, Vendula London, Modula England, The Jacksons and Jianhui London.
PURE MODA LINGERIE & SWIMWEAR 16-18 February NEC, Birmingham, UK 01484 846069 www.moda-uk.co.uk BETA 16-18 February NEC, Birmingham, UK 01937 582111 www.beta-int.com CAPSULE LAS VEGAS 17-19 February The Venetian, Las Vegas 0012 (0)122068310 www.capsuleshow.com PREMIÈRE VISION 18-20 February Parc d’Exposition, Paris www.premierevision.com MAGIC 18-20 February Las Vegas and Mandalay Bay Convention Centres, Las Vegas 0018 775544834 www.magiconline.com PROJECT LAS VEGAS 18-20 February 2014 Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas 0012 187407092 www.magiconline.com/project-las-vegas
9-11 February Olympia, London www.purelondon.com — Pure London is launching a new look this season – following investment of its parent company i2i Events – which will see a rebranding and restructure of the show. At its heart are five re-edited sections – Aspire, Agenda, Allure, Spirit and Footwear & Accessories. Brands including Darling, Eva Tralala, Gaudi, Charli and Montique are among those showcasing their a/w 14 collections at the show. Pure’s dedication section for directional and streetwear, Spirit, will also return, with labels such as Forever Unique, Ruby Rocks, Silvian Heach and Nymph making an appearance.
MODEFABRIEK 26-27 January Amsterdam RAI, Amsterdam 0031 (0)204421960 www.modefabriek.nl — It’s the 36th edition of Modefabriek, which is presenting four new segments to the show – The Pavilion, The Frame, The Floor and The Square, which contains new platforms Salon and Stage – while The Blueprint, Mint, Chapter and Next platforms have been further fine-tuned. Overall, the show attracts more than 600 international labels, but it is its home-grown talent and up-and-coming niche labels that are most interesting to UK buyers. Regular brands include Augustin Teboul, Alexandra Kiesel, Filles A Papa, Claes Iversen, Sjaak Hullekes, Hope, Barbara I Gongini and Glenn Martens.
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ASIA APPAREL EXPO 18-20 February Messe Berlin, Berlin (852) 3588 9688 www.asiapparelexpo.com WHAT ABOUT SHOES 21-23 February Kopernikusstrasse 24, Berlin 0049 (0)3068910572 www.whataboutshoes.de CPM 25-28 February Expocentre Fairground, Moscow 0049 (0)2114396312 www.cpm-moscow.com THE HUB 25-27 February 2014 Asia World Expo, Hong Kong email@example.com www.thehub.hk ILM 8-10 March Messe Offenbach, Offenbach, Germany 0049 6982975513 www.messe-offenbach.de THEMICAM 2-5 March Fieramilano, Milan 0039 (0)249971 www.micamonline.com NOVOMANIA 5-7 March 2014 Shanghai Mart, 200336 Shanghai 0086 2161573942 www.novomania.com.cn THE LONDON BRIDAL SHOW 6-8 April Olympia, London www.thelondonbridalshow.co.uk TRANOI FEMME 28 February – 3 March Montaigne / Carousel du Louvre / Palais de la Bourse, Paris 0033 153018490 www.tranoi.com
WOMAN LINGERIE & SWIMWEAR ACCESSORIES FOOTWEAR GENT
LONDON FASHION WEEK 14-18 February Somerset House as well as various venues across London 020 7759 1990 www.londonfashionweek.co.uk — The schedule for this season’s show was unconfirmed at the time of going to press but, once again, London Fashion Week is set to present some of the finest UK and niche labels across a raft of catwalk shows and presentations. Its static show The exhibition @ LFW will again host an edited selection of contemporary designers and up-and-coming labels across accessories, footwear and ready-to-wear.
MODA WOMAN 16-18 February NEC, Birmingham, UK 01484 846069 www.moda-uk.co.uk — New at Moda Woman this season is Moda Noir, a dedicated area for evening and occasionwear. Welcoming some of the sector’s biggest names, such as Mon Cheri, John Charles, Mascara, Dress Code and Linea Raffaelli, the area provides a focal point for buyers looking to source the best edit of evening and occasionwear from across the globe. Elsewhere, contemporary platform Moda White also returns, hosting big name brands such as Paola, Latte, Sahara, Two Danes and newcomer Leo Guy. Other labels exhibiting at the show include Saint James, Brax, Coline and Marie Mero.
MODA FOOTWEAR 16-18 February 2014 NEC, Birmingham, UK 01484 846069 www.moda-uk.co.uk — Once again bringing together a strong line-up of directional, contemporary and mainstream footwear brands, Moda Footwear welcomes a raft of newcomers, including Doc Martens, Marian, Cara, Hispanitas and Pipduck, while the likes of Joules, Geox, Hogl, Peter Kaiser, Butterfly Twists and Mjus are among the regulars returning to the show. Moda Footwear once again runs alongside Moda Woman, providing a one-stop destination for buyers looking to complement their ready-to-wear with add-on products.
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19-21 JANUARY SAATCHI GALLERY & PHILLIPS Scoop International, the premium womenswear show for selected designers, is returning for its seventh edition, held in the spectacular venues of the Saatchi Gallery in London’s Chelsea and Phillips in close proximity to Victoria. This season’s theme, Rule Britannia, has a strong focus on home-grown talent from across the UK. A plethora of British designers and boutique labels will be making their appearance, including the likes of Beautiful Soul, Marilyn Moore, Libby London, Matilda & Quinn and Rachel Antonio, all of whom boast vibrant designs and a quintessentially English charm. They are joined by Emma Louise London, Goat, Madeleine Thompson, English Weather, Mariona Foale and knitwear brand to watch Needle, alongside Lavenham, Lowie, Sara C, Weston, Nadia Minkoff, Forbes & Lewis, John & Pearl and many more, all of whom are flying the flag for British design, quality and creativity. The show once again stays true to its original concept of fusing fashion with art, with this season adding another sense to stimulate – smell. To complement the offering of the show, Scoop at Phillips will feature a unique showcase, comprising aroma as art. Installation pieces that each epitomise one of a collection of exclusive artisan perfumes curated by Intertrade Europe, Celso Fadelli’s global art perfumery pioneers, will be presented, celebrating the unique power of the sense of smell. Of course, Scoop is also home to some of the best international brands and designers, and once again offers buyers exclusive access to designers not seen at any other UK show. A raft of new Faces from across the globe is joining the 400-strong brand line-up this season. See overleaf to view just some of the highlights this season’s show has to offer. For more information and complimentary registration visit scoop-international.com.
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THE BRIT PACK The best of British brands at Scoop. —
BEAUMONT ORGANIC Beaumont Organic produces timeless clothing, designed to have longevity and become wardrobe classics. Made from premium fabrics, the brand offers ethical and luxurious styling, mixing materials such as voile and jersey, wool, as well as linen and silk, which has become the brand’s signature look. —
JEWEL ROCKS Jewellery brand Jewel Rocks offers an eclectic collection of styles, handmade in Bali. The label is gaining an increasing fan base, thanks to its free-spirited and yet fashion-savvy designs with a distinct boho edge. —
BEAUTIFUL SOUL Beautiful Soul uses sustainable, organic and Fairtrade fabrics and mixes them with exclusive signature prints. Created by Nicola Woods after a sabbatical travelling around the world, the brand’s concept is not to waste any material, with every last thread of fabrics used in the creative process as eye-catching detailing, fastenings and embellishments. —
EMMA LOUISE LONDON Launched by Emma Cunnane in 2010, Emma Louise London specialises in print design. Around 90 per cent of each range is digitally printed onto quality fabrics, and perfectly off-set by simple, elegant silhouettes. The classic shift is the brand’s signature piece, which appears in new guises in every collection. —
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LAMA PEACH Lama Peach has been around since 2007, and has built up a reputation for its vintage-inspired collection of boots. The designs are always edgy and directional, using Italian leathers that are hand-finished to achieve the charming artisan and vintage feel. —
GUSHLOW & COLE Design duo and best friends Emma Gushlow and Katrina Cole started out selling accessories at Spitalfields Market with a small collection of accessories. Ten years on, and the brand’s collections – and especially its signature shawl scarf – have a fan base around the world. —
HEMYCA Hemyca was launched in 2009 and has become known for timeless elegance with a contemporary edge, exploring structural silhouettes and contrast through precision tailoring, detailing and quality. Classic statement wardrobe pieces are at the core, with black and white a dominating theme. —
New handbag label Mury is the brainchild of Anja Mury, who has spent the last 10 years earning her stripes at Vivienne Westwood, Pringle of Scotland and Peter Pilotto. The handbags are made from printed canvas specially developed in Italy, and is coated with PVC first before screen-printed and then texture finished, creating an eye-catching, three-dimensional look. —
Buba London’s collections are inspired by everything from the exotic colours and shapes of Goa to the fluorescent glamour of Ibiza’s techno scene. The brand was launched 13 years ago and specialises in bags, jewellery and homeware, much of which is handmade in Delhi by a group of artisans. Geometric patterns and vibrant colours are key, while embroidery also features heavily. — >>>
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PREVIEW — TRAFFIC PEOPLE Staying true to Traffic People’s signature style, the brand’s a/w 14 collection takes its inspiration from the 40s and 50s. Clean lines and luxe detailing are the key elements in bringing together stand-out separates. Old-school faux fur and modern metallic printed silks provide the glamour. —
PARKA LONDON Parka London is the antidote to fast fashion – it’s about effortless and timeless style, with the classic coat at the centre of the concept. Each design features something unique, whether it’s trims or details. Look out for detachable fur hoods, luxe linings, secret drawstrings and distinctive silhouettes. —
MADELEINE THOMPSON Knitwear designer Madeleine Thompson has been inspired by her upbringing, living between Hong Kong and London. The brand offers a full collection of knitwear and accessories, with key pieces including mini dresses, chunky scarves, cosy shawls, slouchy boyfriend cardigans and bold, striped maxi dresses. Thompson has also recently expanded into interiors with a line of cashmere throws and cushions. —
NOCTURNE Nocturne is a contemporary jewellery and ready-to-wear label led by a small team of London designers, with each piece of jewellery and clothing embellishment handmade by a group of skilled artisans in Nanzha, China. The brand is inspired by the spirit of the orient, and has a reputation for effortless chic and high-quality craftsmanship. —
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THE SOHO FURRIER
QUINTON CHADWICK Quinton Chadwick specialises in contemporary knitwear with quirky combinations of colour, pattern and texture using conventional knitting skills. The a/w 14 collection continues the juxtaposition of the traditional with the modern, taking inspiration from geometric patterns and folkloric games. The styling, meanwhile, has a 50s Ska and Mod feel with saturated accent colours. —
The Soho Furrier presents its fourth collection of luxurious fur pieces, designed to work for any occasion, whether teamed with a pair of jeans or occasionwear. The brand offers contemporary styling, with jackets and gilets at the core. —
AGE OF REASON Age of Reason is a UK accessories label specialising in scarves made in England. The brand’s signature is based around wearable luxury with a playful punk twist, featuring audacious prints and high-quality fabrics. Inspiration comes from Brit punk heritage and the streets of London. The range features scarves, pocket squares, hats and wraps. —
TANIA Lifestyle label Tania was created in 1997 with the intention of creating a feminine easy-to-wear cashmere line. The brand creates knitwear that can easily be transformed from casual daywear to sophisticated and chic evening dressing. The a/w 14 collection is based on 100 per cent cashmere pieces while also encompassing key materials such as pearl buttons, lace and floral embellishments. —
Pyrus was launched in 2005 by East London designers Lorraine and Ash Johnson, and has established an international fan base for its easy, effortless separates that are whimsical but versatile. The brand blends relaxed tailoring with delicate details, clean silhouettes and understated colour palettes. —
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NEW FACES The brands making their debut at Scoop. —
360 SWEATER US label 360 Sweater is the brainchild of husband-and-wife team Leslie and Bruce Gifford, who had previously run the Sweater.com business. With 360 Sweater, they have created casual yet dramatic luxury knitwear, combining East Coast chic with the West Coast lifestyle and effortless beach looks with sexy sophistication. —
KUDIBAL Danish brand Kudibal was founded in 2003 as a collection of exclusive scarves and shawls made from vintage fabrics. The range was expanded five years ago to also include clothing, and has since gained international momentum. The brand is launching to the UK this season at Scoop, with a collection based on stretch silk satin, wool and cashmere, with highlights including suits and knitwear. —
CAMEO Australian label Cameo was established three years ago and has since built up an impressive celebrity and fashionista following. The brand offers 11 directional collections per year and is stocked in some of the best boutiques globally. Each collection takes inspiration from movies and music, with eye-catching prints at the core. —
Launched last year, Ikkii Boots is a new label from Switzerland specialising in boots, with the interior of each style completely covered with lamb fur, keeping feet warm. The robust and water-resistant sole and edged boot with leather can be worn in even the coldest temperatures, while the additional inside shoe gives support and comfort. —
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COYE NOKES The US label was born out of the eponymous designer’s frustration of not being able to find stylish and yet comfortable enough shoes to fit a busy lifestyle. Launched in 2009, the brand has become known for sophisticated styles with an urban edge that easily transition from work to weekend. A/w 14 includes 20 styles featuring the brand’s classics, as well as new chunky mid-heel and low-wedge boots, which add great functionality. —
PETITE MENDIGOTE French brand Petite Mendigote offers a wide range of fashion accessories, comprising leather and canvas bags, pouches, wallets, scarves, hair accessories and footwear. The collection keeps up and responds to ready-to-wear trends while also being individual, young and edgy. —
Second Female was established in 2000 as one of the first brands to introduce fast fashion. The label has four annual collections, reflecting the key trends of the season while staying true to a modern classic look. For a/w 14, the brand blends countryside checks and business pinstriped looks with a feminine and classic feel, taking inspiration from menswear but with feminine silhouettes and details. —
ZOE CAROL Irish label Zoe Carol is based on uncomplicated tailoring, conveying a minimal, timeless modernity and lightness of touch. Texture and structure are always at the fore, underscored by a neutral, organic colour palette. Simple clean lines and functionality are a defining feature of these effortless wardrobe classics. The collection strikes a balance between separates, dresses and coats, with pared-down shapes exploring themes of juxtaposition and contrast. —
LUXALICIOUS Launched earlier this year, Danish brand Luxalicious is the new go-to label for bags, purses and scarves. Inspiration comes from vintage designs mixed with seasonal trends, but always with a minimalist, typically Scandinavian feel. —
SAND Danish fashion house Sand is making its debut at Scoop this season, showcasing its trademark Scandinavian understatement and cool while always being elegant and chic. The collection features dark hues, and plays with textures and detailing, creating timeless classics with an up-to-date twist. —
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PREVIEW — BY MALINA Swedish brand By Malina produces dresses in 100 per cent pure, hand-printed silk, with timeless cuts but innovative patterns key. Prints are a focal point of the collection, whether it’s bold, discrete, colourful, graphic or romantic versions. The dresses are made to be worn at any occasion, such as a wedding with heels or the beach with flip-flops. —
THE EDIT The brands returning to Scoop this season. —
BAUM UND PFERDGARTEN Print, playfulness and an element of surprise characterise Danish brand Baum und Pferdgarten. The label’s concept is based on the juxtaposition between sporty and feminine elements, the classic and quirky. New this season is a collaboration with Mismo on an exclusive range of bags. —
CHARLIE JADE California brand Charlie Jade has seen rapid growth in its three years since inception, thanks to its monthly drops of high-quality pieces on short turnaround. Prints are at the core of the brand, with each monthly collection featuring around 25-30 pieces. —
INTERTRADE Intertrade is a group of five companies supplying an exclusive range of perfumes across 19 brands. Each of the perfume labels have different characteristics, but share the high-quality, exclusivity of scents and craftsmanship of perfumery. —
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PREVIEW — UNREAL FUR Unreal Fur was launched last year as a collaborative and fashion-forward project between a diverse team of designers with extensive fashion background. The aim was – and is – to create a range of high-fashion pieces with ethical awareness, offering the highest quality fur on the market. The brand uses a composition of modacrylic to create a superior faux fur with a luxurious and directional feel. —
DAY BIRGER ET MIKKELSEN An exuberant mix of paisley and embroidery meets modern classics at Day Birger et Mikkelsen this season. The collection is inspired by the journey from East to West, expressing a laid-back style. —
LEVI’S MADE & CRAFTED Levi’s Made & Crafted builds on the 140-year-old denim heritage of the brand, designing tomorrow’s classics, using today’s best materials and construction techniques. Each season, the label develops new, innovative fabrics, with premium denims woven in the US, Japan and Italy, weaving cashmere and silk yarns with cotton and wool to create wearable luxury. —
MAISON OLIVIA Hailing from Italy, Maison Olivia is all about tailored and couture dresses in high-quality fabrics. The brand is returning to Scoop with an expanded collection that sees the introduction of skirts and jacquard sweatshirts. Geometric prints, pixel-effect materials and a colour palette of blues, acid greens, tobacco, grey and coral take centre stage this season. — DES PETITS HAUTS Des Petits Hauts started as a top specialist, but has since evolved into a full ready-to-wear range, though a strong focus on high-quality tops and knitwear remains. The latest line features oversized boyfriend jumpers, printed silk shift dresses, cocoon coats and shirts that can be dressed up or down. Strong colours are mixed with subtle shades throughout the brand’s a/w 14 offering. —
ZETTERBERG Zetterberg’s main focus is on dresses for both day and eveningwear, boasting an elegant, chic and luxurious direction. The range covers ready-to-wear, couture and limited-edition garments. —
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PANORAMA 14-16 JANUARY BERLIN EXPOCENTRE AIRPORT Returning for its third edition, Panorama brings together contemporary international brands in women’s and menswear, spread over 21,000 sq m of surface area in the purpose-built exhibition centre, Berlin ExpoCentre Airport. — The show is divided into three main halls, with Hall A hosting the Young and Urban Universe, including brands such as Sand, La Fee Maraboutee, Turnover, Yaya, Vanzetti and Dept. Hall B is the home to the Best of Contemporary Fashion, with labels including Sportalm, Mac, Olymp, Roy Robson, Pierre Cardin and Daniel Hechter presenting their latest collections. Hall C, meanwhile, is dedicated to Casual Creativity, with the likes of Camp David, Arqueonautas, Wellensteyn, Garcia and MOD making up the line-up. New for this season is the addition of two sections, which are set to enhance the visitor and brand experience further. Hall D, with another 6,000 sq m of exhibition space, has been added, and will house The Mall, a new section dedicated to showcasing fashion franchise concepts, such as standalone stores or shop in shop solutions. The area has been created in response to the ever-increasing trend of brands’ own retail launches. Exhibiting labels will be able to present not only their collections, but also their whole store concept and brand experience, with big names such as Marc Cain, Gaudi, Liu Jo, Stefanel, Sandwich, Oui, Repeat, Laurel, Capelli NY and Gelco among the labels that have signed up. Furthermore, a/w 14 sees the launch of L’Hotel, a boutique environment based on a luxury hotel experience, dedicated to smaller and more specialised fashion, footwear and accessories collections. Located in Hall A, L’Hotel will imitate the look of a grand hotel lobby while also open-plan and luxurious. In addition to the lobby with the central Panorama Bar, there will also be showroom-like spaces available, known as The Suite, creating a more intimate atmosphere. Stretching over 3,000 sq m, the area features brands such as C’lou, Elfenhaut, Latini Leder, Levinski Fur, My Wallit, Orobianco, Piu Piu, Prima Base, Roberta Gandolfi and Rossana Diva. Opening hours: Tuesday 14 January 9am – 6pm Wednesday 15 January 9am – 6pm Thursday 16 January 9am – 6pm Registration: Visitors can register free of charge at www.panorama-berlin.com.
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BREAD & BUTTER Once again, buyers and brands are preparing to flock to Berlin for the a/w 14 showcase, with a carefully selected mix of denim, urban and streetwear labels hitting one of Europe’s biggest exhibitions, Bread & Butter. —
Iconic French label Aigle draws its inspiration from early 20th century workwear for its a/w 14 offering. Outerwear is key for the label, with highlights including the Honeystil short trench coat, which has been updated with a fishtail addition, available in a cotton blend. Its waterproof and breathable fabric and detachable hood provide protection against the elements. The collection’s signature parka, meanwhile, has been updated in a shorter cut with an adjustable waist to give a modern and feminine silhouette. In terms of print, camouflage remains a strong focus for Aigle, and is available throughout all product categories including apparel and footwear. —
Fast-fashion brand Little Mistress has experienced a meteoric rise in recent months, and is a firm favourite with its target audience of young, fashion-hungry style-hunters. The brand’s signature pieces boast hand embellishments and intricate detailing, with the core focus on dresses remaining. It is, however, complemented by a separates collection, which was launched earlier in the year to extend the product offering. Little Mistress produces eight collections per year, with 40 pieces in each range. —
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PREVIEW — YUMI A key womenswear label to showcase at Bread & Butter, young British brand Yumi returns with its a/w 14 offering. Interpreting key catwalk trends for the season yet retaining the label’s quirky and commercial signature, the latest collection is one of its strongest to date. Contrasting prints are teamed together, while surprising colour combinations give the a/w 14 line a directional twist. Split into four key trends, the range comprises Art School – a preppy, sports-inspired look; Girl With The Most Cake, which looks at the concept of heritage and nostalgia; Future Tribes, a trend that discovers the idea of tribalism in modern urban living with tribal decorative motifs; and Distant Galaxy, a futuristic trend. —
ELEVEN PARIS French brand Eleven Paris will return to the halls of Tempelhof this season with both its women’s and menswear offer. Retaining its signature Parisian design ethos – simple, classic wardrobe staples with a trend-appropriate twist – the label continues to develop its many sub-divisions. Spanning apparel, footwear, accessories and charity collaborations, the brand will continue its work with its brand ambassadors, singers Lenny Kravitz and Sky Ferreira, this season. —
ROCKET DOG Footwear label Rocket Dog unveils its latest collection in Berlin this January. Based around the theme of Rebellious Romance, the range incorporates a mix of prints and textures – camo, tartan, florals and leopard print, combined with an array of upper materials. The a/w 14 colour palette includes tonal greys alongside rich brown tones – from chocolate to almond – set against a backdrop of black. Comprising boots, flats, casuals and wedges, the latest Rocket Dog range aims to cater for every type of customer. —
BENCH After taking a two-season break, Bench returns to Bread & Butter with its focus directly on the wholesale market. The a/w 14 collection sees the British label driven by a demand for multi-purpose functional clothing, suited to the fast pace of the Bench customer. Split into two lines, the range provides options for the active and style-conscious shopper who requires apparel to perform to a high-quality aesthetic. The first of the two ranges – Multipurpose Life – brings together a series of functional yet stylish garments. The second range, meanwhile – Multipurpose Performance – utilises performance fabrics with features such as waterproofing and breathability while maintaining versatility. —
TIMBERLAND The focus for Timberland this season is on versatility, bringing the great outdoors to the city. Focusing on style that is rugged, refined and, of course, sustainable, the brand’s footwear range features weather-ready two-tone boots through to trend-led suede sneakers. Timberland’s apparel line, meanwhile, focuses on refined styling with functional detailing that is designed to take the a/w 14 line from the city to the countryside. Slim-tailored jackets, shoe boots, colourful ballet flats and weather-ready outerwear options stand as highlights. —
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RETAIL DIARY In a nutshell, I would say that trading has improved recently, and I’d even go so far as to say that a few green shoots can be seen on the horizon. The main problem is still a question of footfall. As far as I can see, customers are simply no longer making those journeys into the town centre as they used to do. — Our alteration service serves as a good example of this change in consumer behaviour. Our customers used to visit the store to collect their alteration, and they would invariably leave after having made another purchase. We find that we are asked to post the outfit to the customer directly, thus eliminating the extra point of contact with the customer in-store. We’ve reinvented aspects of our business to ensure that we are meeting customers’ needs. It’s important to take a step back periodically and ask ourselves, “Who is this new customer?, Where is she going? and What does she want?” Equally, there is no sense in adopting a “woe is me” attitude when times are tough. I have always endeavoured to take a removed stance and not rush into altering the business model to follow a trend. I was cautious at the start of this online caper. I feel strongly that, as smaller independents, we have neither the cash flow nor wish for the extra stock burden that a transactional website would entail. I believe that a successful business should either be a bricks-and-mortar set-up or function as an online model. If both channels are to be used, the business needs to have an identifiable niche. The Excel Fashions division of Maureen Cookson specialises in larger sizes and is very much a growth market for us. It’s run separately from the rest of the store and has a loyal customer base that spans the whole country. It’s for this reason that we will launch a transactional website for Excel Fashions from spring 2014, but have not done so for the other departments. As ever, it’s a case of knowing our customer. Segmenting our customer base has helped us in that respect. I would never launch into changing our business model purely because the rest of the industry is doing so. Indeed, I follow my father’s words of wisdom, “If you see a bandwagon approaching, you’re already too late.” Hilary Cookson is the owner of Maureen Cookson womenswear store in Whalley, Lancashire. She is a member of the Fashion Association of Britain (FAB) www.fashionsassociation ofbritain.co.uk
The latest news from the industry —
ACCENT ENHANCES ITS WOMENSWEAR OFFER
Jan and Andrew Clift, owners, with Dr Dawn Harper (centre)
FESTIVE FASHION WEEK AT FEVA
Accent Clothing in Leeds recently completed the first stage of expansion with a dramatic overhaul of its womenswear department. Tucked away in the city’s Queens Arcade, womenswear has been relocated from across the mall and integrated under one roof with the menswear offer. The retail space has increased considerably, with the new shop fit creating an enhanced shopping experience over two floors. “We wanted to create a premium shopping space that maintained the character and friendly personality unique to Accent,” says co-owner Louise Schneider. —
Cheltenham indie Feva held a week of fashion festivities last month, all in aid of charity. The week kicked-off with a pre-loved fashion sale in which customers were invited to donate their unwanted fashions to be sold off in a charity sale, which was followed by a special style evening hosted by TV personality Dr Dawn Harper, who is a regular customer of the store. Models were dressed to impress in Feva’s elegant eveningwear, while guests also enjoyed live demonstrations by hair and beauty experts on the night. The events raised £1,000 for the National Star College, a provider of specialist further education, training and personal development for young people with complex physical disabilities. —
Co-owners Louise and Martin Schneider with assistant Jack Schneider
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WHAT DO YOU PREDICT WILL BE YOUR XMAS BESTSELLER? —
BEIGEPLUS CELEBRATES 10TH ANNIVERSARY Plus-size mini chain Beigeplus celebrated its 10th anniversary last month with a party and s/s 14 fashion preview at its Holborn store. The retailer, founded in 2003 by Leanda Walters, has grown from a tiny 300 sq ft store in North-West London to having sites on New Cavendish Street, Holborn and Temple Fortune, as well as boasting a successful online space. Walters says Beigeplus is her “dream shop” and that the 10 years in the business are “a testament to the way our customers have positively taken to the brand, and proof there was a gap in the market to begin with.” —
ALEXANDRA BOARDMAN Owner, Alexandra’s Keswick
NEW-LOOK DRESSING ROOM St Albans indie The Dressing Room celebrated eight successful years by treating itself to new branding and a new shop front. And it’s not just the outside that’s had a makeover – the inside is also sporting golden lights that brighten up the cash desk, new chairs in the shoe lounge, and the comfy sofa has been given a facelift with a bespoke print. The website has also been overhauled in line with the re-brand, with new stylish packaging and fresh features including Stylists Pick adding to the shopping experience. —
MY FAVOURITE SHOP... LARIZIA by Eddie Benisty, founder, Fashion Edge
CHLOE MCCAIG “My Christmas Owner, Ruban Rouge, bestseller so far has Bridge of Allan been iBlues Fur Ponchos – they come in grey, black or brown and are one size, which always helps. Also, they are real rabbit fur, luxurious, timeless and guaranteed to please.” — KRYSHIA ADAMIEC Owner, Kryshia, Uppermill
“Knitwear has been selling well across the board, but a specific lace and jersey dress from Vero Moda has been particularly good. It’s because it had the right price – customers are definitely shopping on price.” —
CLAIRE WRIGHT Co-owner, Stripes, Worcester
“Jewellery is on course to be our strongest category alongside knitwear. Ingeniuous Jewellery in particular is doing well, as customers are buying it both as gifts but also for themselves.” —
Larizia 26 Temple Fortune Parade, Temple Fortune, London NW11 0QS, as well as Larizia Shoes, St John’s Wood and Larizia Bags, St John’s Wood, London NW8 Established: 1988 Owner: Daniel Buck Brands stocked: McQ Alexander McQueen, Ash, Balenciaga, Chloe, Gucci, Just Ballerinas, Miu Miu, Mulberry, Stella McCartney “One of my favourite shops is Larizia on St Johns Wood High Street. It has been going for 25 years and has always stocked high-profile brands. On the casual side there is also one of the finest selections of labels available in-store. Because there is a large choice of labels available at different price points, the shop offers something for everybody while always giving great advice and service – a must for any store operating on that level.” —
“Without doubt, socks. I know that socks at Christmas are often the butt of old jokes, but they do seem to fly out. Seasalt does a great range of individual and gift boxes of socks, and the cabin and sailor socks are our absolute bestsellers.” —
50 WOMENSWEAR BUYER — DECEMBER 2013
ADVICE Industry experts answer your retail questions —
HOW CAN I ENSURE MY STORE IS PROTECTED FROM THEFT AND LOSS?
HOW CAN I ADDRESS THE PROBLEM OF A SLOW E-COMMERCE SITE?
The countdown to Christmas is on – and nowhere is this more evident than on our high streets. As ever, retailers are doing everything they can to maximise sales and prepare for the festive surge, but this shouldn’t just mean ordering extra merchandise. According to a 2013 report, shoplifting represented the biggest problem to UK retailers, accounting for 36 per cent of total loss. Luckily, there are a number of preparations businesses can make in the run-up to busy periods to ensure the thieves don’t get the better of them.
Research by online retail specialist Summit has found that slow websites will cost UK retailers £8.5bn in 2013. For a retailer turning over £10m online, this could translate to a loss of almost £1m in revenue.
So what can retailers do to ensure their merchandise is protected? Security and merchandising technology play a key role. However, there are also a number of potentially underestimated areas. Firstly, and most importantly, we must look at merchandise, both in terms of its availability for shoppers, but also its accessibility to shoplifters. As Christmas approaches, we often see more and more products on display. This is great news for the consumer, who wants to physically examine a product before making a purchase, but it’s also handy for the shoplifter looking for an opportunity to steal. Fortunately, technology is available that allows stores to keep their products on display without compromising the customer experience or risking the losses associated with shrinkage. For fashion or apparel retailers, a number of security tags are available that have been specifically designed to attach directly onto small, expensive items. They are discreet and virtually invisible to shoppers and – when used with security antennae – perfect for raising the alarm when a shoplifter is about to leave a store with the stolen item. They are ideal when it comes to protecting a smaller, boutique-type store where aesthetics are key, as the store design can remain virtually undisturbed and merchandise can be left out on open display. In addition to physical deterrents, there are also a number of potentially underestimated techniques, which, when combined with other systems, have proven to deliver returns time and time again. At the heart of the issue is the need for a company-wide anti-theft culture. Everyone in an organisation needs to be on board with the concept of loss prevention and understand the role they play in helping to combat the problem. Staff also need to receive frequent training to ensure they are equipped to deal with potential theft incidents before they occur. The safety of employees is of the utmost importance, but individuals that can remain safe while also vigilant will bring the greatest returns. —
Neil Matthews, vice president at Checkpoint Systems
This paints a stark picture of lost opportunities, as frustrated shoppers view fewer pages and therefore spend less money. The impact on brand perception is more difficult to quantify, but no less damaging – frustrated shoppers have multiple ways to share their bad experiences. We’ve exposed the cost of slow websites to British retail and there is significant revenue to be recovered by making your sites work faster. In some cases this amount could be enough to open a brand new store. With a minimum of 30 per cent of retailers’ site traffic coming from mobile devices – where connection speeds are slower – a fast website is crucial to keep this audience engaged and shopping. A website’s front end is often the biggest contributor to slowing down page-load speed, and a creative feature that is heavy with CSS or beautifully designed pages with images that haven’t been optimised are usually the culprits. The challenge for most online retailers is to find the right balance between brand, design, user experience and performance. Running your site through a performance checker at various trading periods with very high peaks or low troughs will allow those to evaluate their current speed and measure this against the industry three-second benchmark. Hosting also plays a role in site performance. And as retailers, particularly those in fashion and apparel, expand internationally, they need to keep speed in mind when establishing their hosting infrastructure. Retailers can deploy content across multiple, geographically dispersed servers to make pages load faster from the user’s perspective. Lastly, including site speed in daily and weekly performance metrics is crucial in raising the visibility of this issue. This metric can now be found in Google Analytics. —
Hedley Aylott, CEO at Summit, specialist in online marketing and e-commerce
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52 WOMENSWEAR BUYER — DECEMBER 2013
STEAMERS AND IRONS
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NAMES AND NUMBERS 360 Sweater www.360sweater.com Age of Reason www.age-of-reason-studios.com A.N.D 020 7608 9100 www.fourmarketing.com Baum & Pferdgarten 0045 35301095 www.baumundpferdgarten.dk Beaumont Organic 0161 448 7204 www.beaumontorganic.com Beautiful Soul 020 8616 0316 www.beautiful-soul.co.uk Buba London www.bubalondon.com By Malina 0046 86604835 www.bymalina.com Cameo 020 7349 8887 www.cameothelabel.com.au Charlie Jade 020 7228 6818 www.charliejadeeurope.com Claret Showroom 020 7349 8887 www.claretshowroom.com Coye Nokes 001 646 213 www.coyenokes.com Day Birger et Mikkelsen www.day.dk Des Petits Hauts 07958 735872 www.despetitshauts.com Emma Louise London 01707 657027 www.emmalouiselondon.com Gushlow & Cole 01959 535066 www.gushlowandcole.com Hemyca 07768 383247 www.hemyca.com Ikkii Boots 07860 967383 www.zeitneu.com Jewel Rocks www.jewelrocks.com Kudibal 0045 33155599 www.oldstrom.com Lama Peach 0845 1303249 www.lamapeach.com Levi’s Made & Crafted 020 7837 2142 www.levi.com Luxalicious 0045 51960477 www.luxalicious.net Madeleine Thompson 020 7349 8887 www.madeleine-thompson.com Maison Olivia 0039 3396023789 www.maisonolivia.it Mury 07708 331387 www.mury.co.uk Nocturne 07506 413191 www.nocturne.co.uk Parka London 020 7424 6889 www.parkalondon.com Pyrus 020 7739 5000 www.pyrus-london.com Sand www.sand.dk Second Female 0045 28260240 www.secondfemale.dk Tania 020 7602 3168 The Soho Furrier 01483 274458 www.thesohofurrier.com Traffic People 01245 280878 www.trafficpeople.net Quinton Chadwick 020 8985 1486 www.quinton-chadwick.co.uk Unreal Fur 020 7349 8887 www.unrealfur.com.au Zetterberg 0046 317740033 www.zetterbergcollection.se Zoe Carol 0035 3872878279 www.zoecarol.com
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54 WOMENSWEAR BUYER — DECEMBER 2013
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL —
GEOFFREY J FINCH Antipodium’s creative director talks about the success of the Oz-inspired London label and becoming creative design consultant for Topshop. —
Alongside your “day job” as creative director at Antipodium, you have recently taken on the role of creative design consultant for Topshop, What are you hoping to implement in the role? It’s simple really – working with the wonderful Topshop team to deliver the best we can to the consumer globally. I’m excited about working with the Topshop team, including creative director Kate Phelan and head of design Emma Farrow. It’s rather dizzying how much genius there is in the business. How did the collaboration come about, and what are you bringing to the table? Topshop approached me about the position earlier this year and, with the shared synergy between the Antipodium and Topshop brands, as well as my love of retail, I was delighted. I’m bringing my aesthetic, experience in international markets and Antipodium values to the table. I’m relentless by nature so, with both Antipodium and Topshop, it’s the endless, and endlessly rewarding, challenge of constantly elevating one’s offer. You started out at Antipodium nearly 10 years ago on the shop floor, and you haven’t had any formal design training. Is your approach to fashion design therefore different? I think the consumer is the best teacher, and you learn a lot from listening to your customers and working on the shop floor. It gives you pragmatic insights as to whether a garment works or not. You should never underestimate the power of the purse string. How would you describe the Antipodium style? I would say it’s a mixture of London sensibility underlined with Australian nonchalance. There is a certain ease to the clothes – an ease that definitely comes from Australia and is a reflection of the more relaxed and informal lifestyle. But it’s a mixture of other influences, too. I take my inspiration mainly from a collective of people in London, but also New York, Sydney and Tokyo. I have a lot of creative friends, who inspire me and the style I create. What else have you got in the pipeline? There’s always lots going on, but we’ve always wanted to move into menswear, so it is something we are considering. Watch this space... —
INSIDER: Who is your style icon and why? Vogue’s style editor, Emma Elwick-Bates, takes the cake – chic, clever, hilarious and real. — Which fashion business do you admire and why? I’m obsessed with Paul Smith. Imagine expanding in Japan in the early 80s? And that LA shop? It’s incredibly impressive stuff. — What’s the best piece of industry advice you’ve ever been given? Cheer up; it’s only fashion. — What’s the one fashion item you can’t live without? Ritzy socks. I’m depleted without them. —