06 WOMENSWEAR BUYER — SEPTEMBER 2011
07 WOMENSWEAR BUYER — SEPTEMBER 2011
STEADY RECOVERY FOR RIOT-HIT RETAILERS A total of one in ten retailers were affected by last month’s riots. Around 65 per cent of those were thought to be independent set-ups with less than five outlets to their name*. Now, as retailers throughout the UK pick up the pieces in the aftermath of the chaos, the industry is reflecting on the lasting impact on an already struggling sector. —
SCOOP SET FOR GROWTH AFTER SUCCESSFUL SECOND SHOW London womenswear show Scoop reported a 36 per cent increase in attendance at its second edition, which took place last month at the Saatchi Gallery. Indies including Browns, Bernard of Esher, Joules B and Sunday Best, as well stores such as Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Fenwick and House of Fraser, were among those visiting the show, which played host to around 130 international brands. August also saw the announcement of a new joint venture between Scoop International Fashion and trade show oragniser and WWB publisher ITE Moda. ITE Moda, which has become the largest shareholder in the business, will now work alongside founders Karen Radley and David Moran on the organisation and development of future editions of the show. “Scoop was embraced by the fashion industry, and we’ll now be able to realise the show’s full potential from a UK and international perspective,” says Radley. “ITE Moda is a perfect fit for Scoop, with an established relationship with the womenswear market and a keen understanding of its needs.”
GARDEUR LAUNCHES PREMIUM LINE
With 28 town centres affected by last month’s riots, many retailers have been left counting the cost of the unprecedented events, with those who simply lost a day’s takings due to precautionary closing counting themselves as the lucky ones. For those who weren’t so lucky, however, the road ahead to recovery is set to be a long and uncertain one. Liz Pilgrim, owner of West London independent Baby E, is yet to re-open her Ealing store, following the damage sustained to the shop during the riots. “Our windows were smashed, the door was kicked in and the shop was looted,” says Pilgrim, who retails a range of maternitywear, as well as babywear and gifts. “The till and cash drawer were stolen, a hat stand was set alight, and my stock was strewn all over the pavement outside. I was angry and emotional but, since then, I have found it heartening to see the number of orders that we have received through our website because people want to help us. Now I am just hoping that we can reopen soon.” It’s a stoic attitude that has been replicated throughout the UK. Various clean-up operations were swiftly launched in the days following the riots, with organisations such as the Retail Trust raising funds through its
High Street Heroes campaign and independent initiatives such as Riot Rebuild and DeLoot London. For many of those directly affected by the riots, it was campaigns such as these – not to mention the dedicated individuals who arrived broom-in-hand to do all they could to assist – that restored their faith in humanity at a time when society showed its worst side. According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), however, the outpouring of public support was something that had to be matched by the practical support of the British government. “We asked the Prime Minister to put practical actions in place to support the rebuilding of our high streets and we are pleased to say that David Cameron listened to our pleas and satisfied the majority of them,” says BRC director general Stephen Robertson. “The temporary suspension of business rates for affected premises will offer some help for shops facing cash flow problems, while reassurance that stores with inadequate insurance will also be a lifeline to many small businesses.” However, despite the efforts of the public and relevant organisations alike, many retailers have still had their confidence shaken at a time when business was already tough-going, and fear their customers share their concerns. “The
German trouser specialist Gardeur has launched its first premium line, Gardeur Design, available for the s/s 12 buying season.
“Despite the efforts of the public and relevant organisations alike, many retailers have still had their confidence shaken at a time when business was already tough-going, and they fear their customers share their concerns.”
area has been much quieter since the riots and, as much of our trade is dependent on tourists, this has had a negative effect on us, even though, fortunately, we were not directly involved in the riots,” says Micaela Philippo, owner of apparel and accessories independent 123 Bethnal Green Road. *Data sourced from Local DATA Company
Incorporating a men’s and women’s range, the collection focuses on high quality design, fit and finish, with wholesale prices ranging from £39 to £46. In comparison to the regular Gardeur collection, the premium line is more trend-driven, and attention to detail remains key. “Our premium collection Gardeur Design represents our innovation centre thanks to its high fashion aspect, its premium fabrics and highly crafted finish,” says Gerhard Kränzle, ceo of Gardeur GmbH. “We’ve always had the know-how and now that there is a market for such a collection, we can also show it. “We see great potential for a premium line, especially in our export markets, for instance, in the Netherlands and Russia. We used CPD, a premium trade fair in Düsseldorf, as an opportunity to sound the market, and the collection was extremely well-received.” Key pieces in the womenswear line include the Danya, a floral 7/8-cut trouser; the Dorin, a tartan high waisted pant; and the Delia, a white boot-cut longer length trouser style. The collection includes 35-40 pieces, and is distributed internationally and exclusively by fashion agency Dietmar Krause and Meine Lieblingsagentur. —
BY MALENE BIRGER REPORTS IMPRESSIVE YEAR Danish label By Malene Birger has experienced a 34 per cent increase in sales in comparison to the previous financial year. The figures reflect a ¤35.1m turnover, with the brand expanding into international markets over the past 12 months. Franchise boutiques have opened in Lisbon, Athens and Antwerp, with a total of 23 franchise/retail boutiques set to open worldwide. — TEXTILE SOURCING MOVES TO MOROCCO Morocco plays host to two new textile and apparel trade exhibitions – Maroc in Mode and Maroc Sourcing – on 16-18 November. Taking place at the Convention Centre, Hotel Palmeraie Golf Palace, the fairs offer short order, updated collections for s/s 12 and a/w 12 collections. The UK currently receives 12 per cent of knitwear from Morocco, with brands such as Marks & Spencer, Topshop and Next importing directly from the Moroccan textile industry. — BPF WELCOMES RIOT DAMAGE RECOVERY PLANS The British Property Federation has welcomed a package of measures unveiled by the government to help businesses recover from four days of rioting and looting across the UK last month. The measures include £30m funding to repair high streets and an extra 28 days for businesses to claim for damages. — DARLING EXPANDS INTO ACCESSORIES British clothing label Darling has expanded its product offer to include accessories for s/s 12. The collection includes handbags, purses, wallets and make-up bags. Incorporating vintage-inspired designs and finishes, large totes feature lace panelling, while intricate embossed metal work of birds, flowers, chain handles and photo-print onto studded leather are all prominent details. Wholesale prices range from £12.50 to £25. —
08 WOMENSWEAR BUYER — SEPTEMBER 2011
09 WOMENSWEAR BUYER — SEPTEMBER 2011
NEW DIRECTION FOR KEW.159 British womenswear label Kew is re-launching for a/w11 as Kew.159, realigning to focus on a younger, more trend-focused market. The new direction of the brand has been headed up by newly appointed creative director Sandra Clarke, previously of Coast. Clarke was keen to retain elements of the brand’s heritage, with the a/w 11 collection including a series of classics reinvented with modern twists – the pea coat has been updated with knitted sleeves, for example. “We aim to build a brand that has a consistent handwriting, significantly different to that of sister brand Jigsaw, with the aim of becoming the number one shopping destination,” says Clarke. The Kew.159 in-house design team has also created a series of exclusive prints that have been used on the collection’s limited edition dress range, each priced at £110. —
BUOYANT MOOD AT MODA Three days of strong sales and new names across the womenswear, footwear and accessories sectors at last month’s Moda exhibition left visitors and brands in a buoyant mood about the forthcoming season. An influx of new signings and the launch of three new product zones attracted key independent and department store buyers from across the UK and Ireland including John Lewis, Debenhams, Arcadia, Hoopers, Brown Thomas and e-tailers such as ASOS. Contemporary womenswear zone Moda White featured first-time appearances from labels including Mille K, Eva Tralala and Eliza & Ethan. “This is our first time at Moda Woman and the show performed incredibly well,” says Marc Lee, European representative for Eliza & Ethan. “With 15 new accounts, we’ve seen key independents from both the UK and Ireland. Moda White is a great concept, and we look forward to seeing it grow with the addition of further contemporary brands.” Nick Williams, director, Marble Fashion Designs was also pleased with the turnout of buyers and orders placed. “The new stand position helped as we had our busiest ever show, we were 35 per cent up on February 2011 and 40 per cent up on August 2010,” he says. The next edition of Moda will take place on 19-21 February 2012. —
UNCONDITIONAL OPENS STORE IN MANCHESTER Contemporary clothing label Unconditional opened its first regional flagship store in Manchester’s Triangle shopping centre in July. The new store covers 2,400 sq ft and joins the likes of high street retailers Jigsaw and Bravissimo in the shopping centre. The opening is in addition to the retailer’s inaugural store in London’s Covent Garden. — JAEGER FURTHER EXPANDS UK PORTFOLIO Jaeger continues to expand its UK store portfolio with the launch of seven standalone Boutique by Jaeger concessions within House of Fraser, as well as two further Jaeger London freestanding stores in Brent Cross and Newcastle last month. “This new development sees a major roll-out for Boutique by Jaeger, taking it to a wider department store audience, and supports the on-going growth of our Jaeger London freestanding concept stores which are performing strongly,” says Belinda Earl, Jaeger’s group chief executive. — BFC WELCOMES LAURA BAILEY ON BOARD The British Fashion Council has appointed model Laura Bailey as its new cultural ambassador. Bailey is the first of a number of young/cultural ambassadors that will be unveiled prior to London Fashion Week in September. “I am proud of my new ambassadorship with the BFC and I am thrilled to be working with and promoting young British talent,” says Bailey. “I think it’s a really exciting time for British fashion – via the shows, in the shops and on the streets.” — BETTY JACKSON LAUNCHES FOOTWEAR RANGE Womenswear designer Betty Jackson has launched her first footwear collection for a/w 11. Initially available exclusively through Debenhams, the seven-piece collection retails from £45. Key styles include pumps with bow detailing and wedges in suede and patent leather.
HIGH STREET REMAINS INFLEXIBLE DESPITE GROWTH IN PLUS-SIZE MARKET Plus-size shoppers are left unsatisfied with high street sizing and choice despite the plus-size womenswear marketing increasing in value by 47 per cent over the last five years, according to new research by market analyst Mintel. However, the report revealed 80 per cent felt that too few stores offer enough choice in non-mainstream sizes. Two thirds of plus-size women also wanted to see larger models in clothing photographs and larger mannequins used in-store. “A lot of the progress in the plus-size market has been limited to online specialists, and many high street fashion outlets remain inflexible in their sizing policies.” says Michelle Strutton, senior FMCG analyst at Mintel. “Among plus-size shoppers, discontent continues to prevail over limited choice and the difficulty in finding clothes that fit. “However, the commercial viability of grabbing a share of the evolving plus-size clothing market is being recognised by some retailers – hence why the fashion offer catering to larger sizes has expanded over the last couple of years.” —
LIPSY EXPANDS TO THE MIDDLE EAST Young fashion label Lipsy has signed a multi-territory agreement with Alhokair Group to launch the brand into the Middle East. The Group, which operates franchises for retail chains including Gap, Zara and Monsoon, intends to open 40 Lipsy stores over the next five years. Locations will include Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia. “We have ambitious growth plans to develop Lipsy in the region, and believe its unique handwriting, glamorous fashion outlook and continuous celebrity endorsement will be a success in our markets,” says Simon Marshall, ceo of fashion retail at Alhokair Group. —
PINK LABEL RE-LAUNCHES AS RUBYRAY Spring/summer 2012 will see the re-launch of partywear brand Pink Label London under the new name of RubyRay. Originally created for fashion-conscious teenagers, the brand is now marketed at the 20-something woman, with RubyRay designed to reflect the new playful yet sophisticated direction. The label, currently available throughout the UK, Europe and Asia, is looking to expand and increase its presence over the next 12 months. Potential markets include North America and India. A revised marketing strategy will also be put in place, with the main aim being to increase the brand’s presence in the UK market including various Pop Up stores to be opened across the country in the run-up to s/s 12. —
WEB TAKING SHARE OF RETAIL INCREASE Online retail continues to position itself as a vital platform for modern shoppers as the high street looks to the web for new avenues, a report by the Office of National Statistics has revealed. The value of internet retail sales for the year ending July 2011 show that online purchases amount to £523.4m – 9.1 per cent of total retail sales. This is a two per cent increase on the year ending July 2010. — POSITIVE MOOD AT COPENHAGEN FASHION WEEK High levels of sales and healthy orders have contributed to the buoyant atmosphere felt throughout Copenhagen Fashion Week last month, despite a drop in footfall across all five fairs. CPH Vision did experience an increase in buyers and traffic, with buyers becoming more focused and looking towards new names. CFW also launched a new web platform designed for fashion professionals – cfw.dk. The site is designed to help buyers plan their next trip to CPH Vision, CPH Kids, Terminal 2, CIFF and Gallery. — BANANA REPUBLIC INSPIRED BY MAD MEN US label Banana Republic has launched a capsule collection based on hit drama Mad Men as part of a collaboration with the show’s costume designer Janie Bryant. Key pieces in the womenswear offer include a series of tailored dresses, high-waisted skirts and an animal print trench coat. The collection is available exclusively at Banana Republic stores, with retail prices ranging from £29.95 to £140. — RETAIL BUSINESS PREDICTS TOUGH AUTUMN Many small retail businesses believe the current difficulties they face will get worse – not better – as the year progresses, according to a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses. Two-fifths (37 per cent) of businesses said that, ignoring seasonal variations, they expected their prospects to be worse in the next three months compared to the 21 per cent who expect to see an improvement.