Stiletto design wins Molly competition
By Nicola Hyde A SCHOOLGIRL has won a design competition that has seen her shoes go on sale in boutiques across the UK – with a price tag of almost £300. Molly James, 15, entered the Shoe Designers Of The Future competition launched by Daniel Footwear that was open to anyone in the UK aged between six and 16. The idea was to encourage budding designers to design and draw a shoe that would fit appropriately into the 2012 Autumn/Winter Daniel collection. Molly’s design – an elegant Italianmade stiletto – won the national prize after she was shortlisted from thousands of entries to be put before top footwear industry experts for the judging – including celebrity shoe designer Jimmy Choo’s niece, Lucy Choi. Managing director Daniel Buck said: “We tweaked Molly’s design, but only a little bit, and the shoes were
made in a factory near Milan which produces shoes for a host of top brand names like Prada and Vivienne Westwood. “It’s great to see such enthusiasm from young talented individuals with a passion for the fashion industry. We can’t wait to see Molly’s Courts on display.” Thousands of entries were made to the competition from detailed calf boots to cute ballet pumps. Now, the ‘Molly court’ will go on sale in 30 stores across the UK and online, priced at £299 a pair. Molly has now been offered work experience at the company’s production centre in Italy. She is a student at Withington Girls’ School – who did the footwear challenge as part of a classroom project. Withington boasts an impressive list of graduates – including Sarah Burton, creative director of Alexander McQueen and designer of the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress.
Molly James with the stiletto shoes she designed to win the Shoe Designers of the Future competition.
Babycham uses retro interest Showtime Pages 4-6 Putting the final touches to the giant shoe made of liqourice allsorts.
Liquorice shoe is star attraction A GIANT shoe made out of liquorice allsorts was the star attraction at a shopping centre’s celebration event.
Site gives tired shoes lease of life Page 7 June/July 2012
McArthurGlen Designer Outlet, in the East Midlands, created the twometre high shoe in partnership with Bassett’s sweets of Sheffield to celebrate a bumper first quarter of accessory sales at the outlet.
The shoe features 22,000 liquorice allsorts and could fit over 250 pairs of shoes inside it – the same number of shoes sold at the outlet each week in the first quarter.
year, with handbags and jewellery up an average of eight per cent and shoes up a huge double digit ten per cent.”
Marketing manager Donna Goodwin said: “We’ve seen a nine per cent increase in accessories sales compared to the first quarter last
The giant sweet shoe took over 160 hours to make and included 1,700 pieces of black liquorice to create a 39 inch heel.
A brand which made its debut at Pure last season is preparing its first Autumn Winter collection with plans to capitalise on the nostalgia surrounding its name. Out On A Limb editor Nicola Hyde finds out what’s next for Babycham.
Babycham uses retro interest in latest collection THE Babycham brand launched a Spring Summer collection at Pure and Micam – showing that no longer would it be known just for vulcanised pumps but that it was making waves in the style stakes. Tony Evans, managing director of the Jacobson Group, obtained the licence for the brand a year ago after the firm that had previously held it went into administration. Babycham had been known for vulcanised pumps, selling in places like Schuh and Office, but the group saw potential for expansion. Tony said: “We looked at the brand as an opportunity because it didn’t conflict with any of the other brands we do. It was younger, quirkier and we really felt we didn’t have anything that it would conflict with. “We knew immediately that we wanted to take it into a new area, with a more structured style but
Tony Evans, managing director of the Jacobson Group
what surprised us was the response when we made the debut at Pure. “We expected to get some good sales on the vulcanised side, because that was what it was known for, but we got some great sell through for the constructed side as well, which we weren’t expecting.” Being a new concept, the group plans to keep the collections quite tight but it has already added wedges, brave satin designs and cute kitsch flats for Autumn Winter. And the designers have capitalised on the retro element, incorporating oversized bows, rosettes and ribbon details with the addition of contrast printed linings. Tony added: “There is a real interest in nostalgia at the moment but the interesting thing for us is that a lot of our customers who buy the shoe don’t even realise that it is a drinks brand – they’d never heard of Babycham the drink. “We have to be careful that we don’t market it to under 18s so we have no children’s sizes but a lot of customers don’t recognise it because they are too young to remember. “We wanted Babycham because it’s a great name, it sounds young, fun and happening which is one of the reasons it’s been so successful. “We’ve got some of old imagery of the original Babycham fawn and we plan to make much more of the archive material to make the brand even quirkier. This brand was huge in the 60s and 70s and to bring that
back to life in a different way is really exciting.” Babycham is targeting independent retailers in the UK to take on its new collections and is also planning an overseas push to target Europe and America. There are also plans to develop an accessories collection which would include bags, jewellery and belts. Babycham will be showing its Autumn Winter 2012 collection at Pure.
New show planned for August A NEW trade show for urban, street and action footwear will launch at Birmingham NEC in August. The event – called FLIP – will run from August 12 to 14 and will showcase major names and niche brands alongside spectacular live shows featuring some of the world’s best bike riders. It is particularly aimed at
boardsport and activewear stores and will include apparrel. It has been organised by ITE Moda and will sit alongside the Moda show. Jamie Harden, event director of FLIP, said: “We’re really excited to get involved with such a vibrant area of the fashion industry. We know from our conversations with
both brands and retailers that this sector of the market has been in need of a credible trade show for some time and we’re pleased to have been able to create this for these dynamic brands.” One of the early labels to sign up was British brand Animal. Head of marketing Joel Pickering said: “The introduction of FLIP
gives us a perfect platform to showcase our brand in the right environment remaining true to our brand values and strong action sports heritage. “Moda’s timing and location are perfect for the industry and the addition of FLIP will complement the show for both new and existing customers.” Showtime
Chelsea boots and cognac are the must-have RESEARCH from the March edition of international shoe show GDS shows a strong trend for Chelsea boots and Cognac colour tones. Statistics from the show reveal that two thirds of buyers placed advanced orders at the show, which featured over 1,200 exhibitors from 44 countries. According to buyers, the most important materials for the Autumn/Winter season were leather and suede, with half looking to buy cognac or red/orange tones. And Chelsea Boots are a must have for next season, according to the findings. GDS spokesman Werner Matthias Dornscheidt says GDS is aiming to attract more international brands to the next season in September – capitalising on a relationship with the British Footwear Association. He added: “Our approach is international and so is our concept. Our strength lies in creating a winwin situation for both sides. Our cooperation with the British Footwear Association is a good example of this: young, up-andcoming firms can open up new sales markets through GDS and our visitors see brands they may never have discovered otherwise.” BFA sales and marketing director
Zandra Rhodes will return to Pure with her original pieces. Statistics have shown that two thirds of buyers placed advanced orders at GDS.
Nicholas Parry-Billings said: “18 months ago none of our exhibitors had entered the German market yet. Just three seasons later half of all the exhibitors on our area have been able to establish their businesses in Germany. “This is a great figure and good advertising for GDS. Moreover, our exhibitors were very pleased to see that a large proportion of GDS visitors are decision-makers in the sector.”
Zandra plans handbag relaunch THE FOOTWEAR section at this year’s Pure London has grown in size and will offer new sourcing areas for Spring Summer 2013. The event, which has been moved to August 19-21 due to the Olympics, will see the footwear and accessory halls divided into four key sections – design and trend led footwear, accessories and premium accessories.
Stitch adds streetwear STITCH is expanding this season with a new area dedicated to streetwear. For Spring Summer 13, Stitch will launch the Switch show which gives the flourishing streetwear market a platform to showcase its new designs. That section of the show will feature DJs, live music and even a tattoo parlour. Ross Cottingham, the owner of Out Of Step Ltd, said: "In recent years we've seen a great rise in demand for premium streetwear in the UK. Many of these brands have grown through their online presence, numerous social media channels and word of mouth. Showtime
“Whilst this is a great vehicle for brand awareness for the consumer, one area that hasn't kept pace is a suitable forum to match up the brands, either directly or via distributors like ourselves, with retailers under one roof. “There are shows that fulfill this remit in the US and Germany, but until now nothing in the UK. We've shown at the main Stitch show before and whilst we've already had positive experiences, we're optimistic that a cohesive designated section is going to really take things to the next level.” The show will be held at the Islington Business Design Centre on July 15 and 16.
Celebrity favourite Jeffrey Campbell will be launching his latest collection of footwear at the show. His designs are already being worn by celebrities including Jessica Alba, Rihanna, Sarah Harding and Jessie J. Chinese Laundry made the headlines after winning ‘Women’s Footwear Brand of the Year’ at the Drapers Footwear and Accessory Awards and will be showcasing strong, trend led designs. Others exhibitors include the flirty rocker label L.A.M.B. designed by Gwen Stefani, and UK designer Rae Jones; which both are set to be top favourites at the show. Combining individuality with the contemporary, Poetic Licence will return, whilst new brand Penny Loves Kenny will display their collection of edgy footwear which
includes ankle boots, power pumps and colour-pop heels. Buyers can browse the eccentric new footwear collection from Melissa and newcomer Peter Kaiser who will showcase a range of statement heels. Pure London’s Accessory gallery will offer over 120 brands, including Ally Capellino handbags, Tatty Devine with their unusual laser-cut Perspex jewellery and Lola Rose, Ruby & Ed, Sam Ubhi and Paul & Joe Sister. Zandra Rhodes handbags will be re-launching. Pure London’s event director Sarah Lawrence said: “We’re delighted with this opportunity to further increase the show’s offering as we continue to invest in Pure London. “We will be creating a brand new catwalk offering even more great content as well as specific scenes dedicated to footwear and accessories. This season we plan to go even further in terms of fulfiling our buyers’ needs for more new and international brands as well as offering an extended seminar programme with topics and speakers who will tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing retailers today.” The show will be held at Olympia. June/July 2012
Customer service tips to feature in Moda’s seminars TIPS on improving customer service as well as getting to grips with social media will be included on the seminar programme for the upcoming Moda show. Claire Rayner, the retail champion, will cover customer engagement with tips on how to use PR and marketing to attract customers, why having the right product, pricing, promotions, visual merchandising and stock levels enable customer conversion, how to retain customers and much more. Commerce expert Warren Knight will look at social media and cover how to use Google to increase online sales. He will be explaining the benefits of the
different social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn. The session will guide retailers through driving free target traffic to an online store, how they can maximise their online business as well as how to design a strategy with analytics to track and measure information. Ray Buckler and Nick Pratt, of Sitemakers Ltd, will consider the future of online retailing, looking at how smartphones and tablets can provide a new ‘shop window’ to businesses and how technological advances can help develop business. The event returns to Birmingham NEC on August 12 - 14.
Footwear first for Chic FOOTWEAR will be shown for the first time at the Chic Fashion and Accessories Fair due to buyer demand.
brands emerging over recent years and we are really excited that so many of them have chosen to launch at Chic.
The show – which is held July 1 to 3 at the Ricoh Arena – will feature handbag, jewellery and fashion accessory suppliers plus footwear.
“We hope that everyone will support them and encourage a growth in awareness for such beautifully made products, especially this year when there has been so much publicity given to Mary Portas’ drive to ‘Buy British’ and capitalise on national pride and additional tourism due to the Olympics and Jubilee celebrations.”
It will feature the UK launch of Doca who will be showing clothing, shoes, bags, jewellery, scarves, hats, and wallets. Organiser Michelle Chappell said: “It is great to see a lot of new British
Julian scoops award ARCHITECT Julian Hakes has scooped a major footwear industry design gong for his Mojito shoe collection. The Mojito took the footwear industry by storm when it launched last season after Julian used software that he’d previously designed bridges on to make the unusual shoe that has become instantly recognisable. He used a 3d prototype system that is used in Formula One and aeroplane design – and had the prototypes made up by a company that usually made medical instruments. He has shown his show at the major trade shows and has now
been named the Best Designer Of The Year in the Drapers Awards. Julian is already working on his next collection – he’s hoping to have a Swarovski crystal version, animal prints and python print.
Chatham in deal with Force India A FOOTWEAR brand has secured a high profile relationship after a chance meeting at the Moda show last season. British brand Chatham – the brand renowned for its deck shoes – has become the official provider of team travel shoes to the Sahara Force India Formula One team. The team gave the shoes their first outing en route to the Australian Grand Prix for the opening of the season and at the Chinese Grand Prix in April. Philip Marsh, managing director at Chatham, said: “This is a fabulous association for us – and in fact it started at Moda. It’s the perfect showcase for our footwear,
reinforcing our strong tradition of style and quality, and will drive our brand awareness in deck shoes. “Plus, as part of our ambitious plans to expand further into international markets, this partnership provides a potentially exciting business opportunity in India. We are looking forward to supporting the team as they continue their fight to work their way up the highly competitive Formula One grid.” Chatham has supplied all travelling staff with footwear from the current deck shoe collection. The 93-strong team will be wearing the classic style Deck in chestnut – the company’s most popular deck shoe for the last 20 years.
Louboutin celebrated THE FIRST ever UK exhibition to celebrate the career of Christian Louboutin is running at The Design Museum until July. The London gallery is presenting the retrospective in celebration of Louboutin’s shoes which – with their signature glossy red soles – are a fusion of fashion, craftsmanship, engineering and sculpture.
Website gives tired shoes a lease of life A NEW website which encourages customers to breathe new life into their old shoes has been launched by a Gateshead entrepreneur and has already featured in national magazines. Niki Virgo – who runs the Uneak Boutique in Whickham – only launched the Twinkle My Toes website at the start of the year, but she’s already been featured in NOW magazine. The concept is that a customer sends in a tired pair of shoes – and they are given a twinkle makeover, covered in glitter and ‘rescued’ from the rubbish bin. The website enables a customer to build a picture of how their finished shoe will look and has the option of changing the style, colour and which parts of the shoe they’d like transformed. Niki said: “It came about by accident – I was rummaging in the wardrobe and came across these gold shoes that I used to love. “But the heel was scuffed quite badly and they were past their best. My husband was convinced I’d be able to do something to them.”
The exhibition showcases 20 years of designs and inspiration, looking at everything from stilettos to laceup boots, studded sneakers and bejewelled pumps. One of Louboutin’s exhibits. Credit: Luke Hayes.
It features content from the designer’s personal archive with a special section dedicated to the shoes designed for ‘Fetish’ an exhibition at the La Gallerie Du Passage, Paris in 2007.
revealing how a shoe is constructed, from the initial drawing and first prototype through to production in the factory.
A spokesman said: “At the core of the exhibition will be a unique exploration of Louboutin’s design process, taking the visitor through every stage of the design journey,
“Looking beyond design and production the exhibition will also explore the company’s innovative store design in which Louboutin is always closely involved.”
Some of the shoes that Niki has transformed through her new Twinkle My Toes website.
Niki – a former art student – got some gold glitter and started practicing techniques to entirely cover the scuffed heels. “The most important thing about a pair of shoes is that they are comfortable, so you’ve got a pair that you’ve worn in, that fit you well – well you don’t have to throw them away.
“I’m a size 8 so it’s difficult for me to find stylish shoes so when I do have them, I want to hold on to them. The glitter covers a multitude of defects and makes them wearable again – which is really important as everyone is very tuned in to recycling, upcycling and making their money go further these days.” Twinkle My Toes charges £15 for a heel revamp and £28 for a full shoe. There’s a postage charge of £5.99 but that fee covers the shoes being reboxed and rebranded with a “Twinkle” sticker on the bottom. The shoes aren’t just given a glitter makeover either – rescue work is done on the soles and on improving slightly damaged areas. In future months, she plans to expand the business to add a customisation service that would include hand-painted designs and a Swarovski crystal element – though she has already done one premium pair for a bridal client that had over 1,000 crystals hand attached – a feat which took over three weeks. June/July 2012
One of the UK’s last manufacturing strongholds is campaigning to bring shoe manufacturing back to the UK. Out On A Limb editor Nicola Hyde speaks to the man behind the campaign.
Companies urged to keep it British ESTABLISHED for over 100 years and manufacturing shoes in Norwich for 75 of those, the Florida Group is leading a campaign to keep it British. Tony Linford, managing director of the Florida Group – parent company of footwear brand Van Dal – is campaigning for a resurgence of the Made In England ethos and has had meetings with major High Street multiples to convince them to get behind it. He said: “Over the last nine months or so we have had a large number of inquiries from companies wanting to use our manufacturing base to supply them with ‘Made in England’ shoes – this would be third party, nothing to do with Van Dal. “But in every case it has been for export – for us to make the shoes and send them overseas where there is a huge interest. “What has left me somewhat bemused was the fact that it is for export – there is a demand in the UK to pay a premium for products they know are made here and I’m just trying to get UK buyers to jump on the bandwagon and start banging the drum.” The Florida Group factory in Norwich is still one of the UK’s manufacturing strongholds,
The Florida Group has been manufacturing shoes at its Norwich factory for the last 75 years.
employing about 80 people who deliver around 15 per cent of the company’s goods (roughly 1,400 pairs a week). The family-run company has always sworn to remain committed to UK manufacturing, and says the gap between UK manufacture and China is ever shrinking. Tony added: “We need some of the big retailers to get behind the idea and make a concept out of it – to be fair footwear buyers are keen on it but it should have a much bigger vision and include everything from clothing to handbags, not just shoes. “It has become quite trendy but it needs to be more than just one thing.” At the moment, Tony estimates the gap in cost between UK manufacture and China/ India is around £5-a-pair cost to the wholesale price – adding around £20 onto the tag for consumers.
Florida Group MD Tony Linford.
Features Campaign aims to attract firms
New menswear concept launched
Cheaney Shoes has opened a new flagship store in the heart of London to showcase the company’s heritage of craftmanship. The store – on Piccadilly Arcade – boasts the brands 125 year heritage, with every pair individually handcrafted at their Northamptonshire factory from start to finish. Joint managing director Jonathan Church said: “This is now our third London store opening in three years and we look forward to building on our success.”
But he says that gap is closing all the time. He added: “Freight rates are rising, as is the cost of oil all of which makes sourcing from Asia
more difficult. The business case for manufacturing here is becoming more meaningful. “For the last ten years our factory has been subsidised by the rest of the business but it is starting to make sense again and it’s an interesting change. I really do feel there’s a great opportunity in our own market – although it is frustrating that we haven’t got a big UK retailer really buying in to the Made in England ethos. “We found this ourselves – Van Dal explicitly calls its collection Made In England and we have had much more interest than we anticipated – all we did was change the way we positioned it. Independents bought it. Multiples bought it. Suddenly Made In England is a selling point. “In the past, the footwear industry has done a terrific job of shooting itself in the foot and educating customers that cheaper is better – but I do think we are at a turning point.” What do you think? We’d love to hear your views. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Campaign aims Made in England to attract firms A PUSH on the Made In Britain ethos has seen a campaign launched in a bid to attract high quality ladies footwear manufacturers to move to the UK. Richard Kottler, chief executive of the British Footwear Association, said the companies that already manufacture in the UK – like Gina, Van Dal and New Balance – do a sterling job, but that there is a gap in the market. In a speech at the Annual Footwear Dinner, he said: “With the shining exception of Gina who have just moved into a new, well equipped factory in London, there are virtually no factories capable of filling the continual and pent up demand from our designer brands who would love to make their product here and not in Italy, Spain or the Far East. There is a real opportunity here for some courageous and enterprising entrepreneur.” THE BFA is constantly pushing its Made In Britain ethos, and says the UK manufacturing sector has declined – in 1965, there were
Made in Britain
110,000 people employed in it making 200 million pairs, now there are 4,500 people making five million pairs. But, Richard added, there are some success stories.
HAVING launched Van Dal Vintage in celebration of their 75th anniversary the brand finds itself riding the crest of a tidal wave of British manufacturing revivalism. Very much in its heartland one of the key styles, made in their Norwich factory is Aurora II which retails for £90.
He added: “All producers are currently working flat out to satisfy the increasing demand for British made goods and the Northampton-shire factories continue to set the benchmark for high grade men's welted products.
Range celebrates events
“It is also interesting to note that the two biggest manufacturers of shoes in the UK are directly competing with so called low-cost countries and succeeding.
A COMPANY which was the first to manufacture and design soft leather shoes for children and babies in the UK has launched a new collection inspired by Britain.
“Both Hotter, which accounts for nearly one in three of all shoes made in the UK and New Balance, are reaping the rewards from making considerable investment in equipment and staff.
Daisy Roots – which was established in 1995 – are marking the Diamond Jubilee and Olympics with a range inspired by the Union Jack.
“In addition, it is heartening to see that in the past two years, at least three small making units have started up.”
Sales: 01603 787100 Web: www.vandalshoes.com
Made from chrome free leather with a non-slip sole, there is a traditional Union Jack shoe in red, white and blue, a hot pink and two paler, softer versions in pink and blue. A spokesman said: “We are
extremely proud of our British heritage and of our dedicated team and we know from customer feedback that it is these things that have played a huge part in our success.” All Daisy Roots shoes are designed and handmade in Northamptonshire.
Out on a Limb cover story
New concept in How can retailers comfort menswear keep ahead of the rest? launched in the UK Nicola Hyde Editor
THE face of retail is changing – we’ve known it for a while. And while many independent retailers have (sadly) been lost due to the difficult climate, we’ve still got some strongholds using their imagination and unique selling points to make themselves stand out from the crowd.
A NEW comfort product that can be customised by the retailer is being launched to the UK market at the end of June.
Those smart retailers have made the jump to e-commerce, supporting their shops with online sales. They’ve jumped on the social media bandwagon, using things like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to advertise promotions, special offers, clear stock and become more approachable to new clientele.
Sheval Shoes will be launching their Tredflex collection, which will be distributed through their exclusive wholesale partner UKD for AW2012.
choice of three different comfort features which can be used within any of the product available in the range.”
Simon Robertson and Angelo Marra have worked together to develop the range, which includes a range of formal shoes and boots, along with a collection of Desert boots.
That is the uniqueness of this product – buyers can decide which system they prefer in which style, effectively you can have three different formal styles each with a different comfort feature.
Even Out On A Limb magazine now tweets – offering an easier platform for contacting brands and keeping abreast of new changes (you can find us @ooalmagazine) But what’s next? How can retailers move forward and get ahead of the game? Forget e-commerce...the next big thing is m-commerce, with an increasing number of customers buying items on mobile devices like smart phones and iPads. Research shows that by 2015 more people will access the internet via a mobile device than they will a desktop PC. So how can retailers capitalise on that? Experts at Retail Assist reckon you can expect to see a major uptake in the use of mobile payments, where people can complete a purchase entirely on their phone, even in a shop. And the company also predicts a move away from fixed tills in store – they reckon instead that tablets (like an ipad) can add to in-store customer interaction.
Each style can be custom-fitted with three different types of socks – Air System which promotes air circulation and moisture absorption aided by Charcoal activated footbeds, Gel system with impact absorbing gel patches and Comfort system with added memory foam technology offering 24seven comfort. All styles within the range use a flex control insole board as well as the Tredflex Air Pocket Technology incorporated within the sole. Another important selling feature are the retail price points, which the company has worked to keep at £45 – £55 but still using Brazilian leathers, full grain leather linings and genuine Rubber soles. Simon said: “I had the idea about 12 months ago – looking at a lot of comfort products on the market at the time, I was convinced we could manufacture a premium product that retailed around £50. I also wanted to offer a concept that was different from what was already available at the time, and that is a system whereby the retailer has a
Dale Robertson, MD at Sheval added: “We were keen to develop the idea further and in December 2011 initial concepts were presented and the range evolved from there and we are now in a position where we can now offer a premium Comfort product which is extremely competitively priced. At the moment, a lot of comfort footwear retails at around £65+ we believe this plugs a gap in the market for a premium product at an affordable price.” Each Tredflex combination is supplied with its own branded swing ticket, so the retailer can fully explain the science within the shoe and in-store show cards are also available. If you would like more information on Tredflex, contact email@example.com or telephone 0208 1448275 for general enquiries. For wholesale enquiries email Pete.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01162 403 232. Alternatively visit www.tredflex.com Features
12 & 13 Pure
12 & 13 Pure
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Brand launches ‘sell or swap’ scheme CHILDREN’S footwear brand Skeanie has launched its new Autumn Winter collection – with a special offer for retailers. The brand – which is the footwear of choice for many celebrity mums like Nicole Kidman – has launched a ‘sell or swap’ scheme for retailers. It allows shop owners to replace any products which do not sell with new designs from the next season’s collection. This applies to Spring Summer 2012 buys – which can be traded for the Autumn Winter collection. Brand manager Mel Hearn said: “Since our launch in Europe we have been delighted with the sell through rates that our retailers have experienced. “We feel so confident that our family of retail partners will sell their shoes we will effectively replace any shoes that they do not sell at the end of the season with new shoes from our
Comfort the key THIERRY Rabotin’s Autumn Winter Collection showcases high fashion designs with a distinctive edge – comfort.
Jack aims to make brand cooler Page 15
Lucy’s brand offers affordable luxury Page 20
The new collection features soft lambskin nappa uppers with flexible rubber injected leather soles and ankle boots made in stretch microfibre with colourful motifs. The collection uses a varied pallette and heel range with the TR logo engraved on golden metal buckles and chromatic choice going from bold colours such as burgundy, raspberry and prism purple, navy blue, caramel and icing sugar.
Skeanie has become the choice for celebrity mums such as Nicole Kidman.
next collection – meaning that they are sure to retain their full margins and not have to discount.” Skeanie has this month appointed top podiatrist Tracy Byrne as a
consultant. Tracy will provide input to product development and is developing a series of training courses for retailers.
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Hush Puppies will launch a new collection for Autumn Winter 2012 that is inspired by the brand’s iconic heritage. Out On A Limb editor Nicola Hyde speaks to Jack Hemingway – the designer who says he’s out to invigorate the brand.
Jack tasked with making brand cooler THE Hush Puppies brand was founded in 1958 and has been at the forefront of 50 years worth of fashion and subculture. Although now mainly seen as a mainstream lifestyle brand, at one time Hush Puppies were the symbol of a generation – the footwear of choice for the mod movement were Hush Puppies. And now, it’s returning to its roots with a heritage inspired collection created by design agency Hemingway. Designer Jack Hemingway – the son of Red or Dead founders Wayne and Geraldine – was tasked with making a range that appealed to a different clientele. He said: “Hush Puppies have a great business – their womenswear is good but the men’s had really grown old with the customer base. They wanted to get into a few cooler shops and get a younger customer and they thought we would be best placed to give it a crack.” It is Jack’s first ever footwear collection and, although he used to play in the Red or Dead warehouses as a child, he admits the hardest part of creating footwear was getting to grips with the unfamiliar spec sheets for shoe parts. He added: “Hush Puppies has heritage – it’s been through every youth culture we’ve ever had in this country from teddy boys to rockabilly to 80s casual. “They have been there and done it. “With this collection, we picked three key moments in time – we wanted that teddy boy look to be like a creeper but not as daunting, a bit more wearable and the desert boot, the Chelsea boot well, there’s not much you can change in the design but we’ve been working with colours and making sure we got some interesting new elements in there like the bespoke print on the sole unit which was the 1960s Hush Puppies logo that we cut up and Product showcase
recreated. “Their archive is great – I can’t wait to dig deep in there because I bet there’s loads of amazing stuff. Although these are new designs, they are influenced by the original.” Hemingway Designs has also looked after the concept for photography, promotion and point of sale for the brand – even sourcing 1950s record players to use as point of sale in shops. Jack added: “Hush Puppies as a brand is in a really good position – people are familiar with the brand. “This collection is quite far removed from the mainstream line but is adding some street style and, once we get in these cooler shops, it will entirely change the perception of Hush Puppies.” Jack is now working on a collection for Spring Summer and he hopes to add women's footwear in there.
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A new guarantee will be offered for Regatta footwear launching for SS13 that will cover everything from the outsole to the waterproof technology. The two-year guarantee covers the Isotex waterproof and breathable technology, hardwearing outer soles and fault free construction of our boots, shoes and sandals. A new lightweight Aquatrail shoe for men and women has been launched â€“ it dries quicker than a normal trail shoe, thanks to its open mesh construction and new sole unit with water drainage ports.
UK launch for wellness brand WELLNESS brand Therafit has launched to the UK market this month. Therafit is an impact reduction footwear brand that are made from light weight and flexible uppers and
outsoles. Every pair is delivered with two sets of adaptors that can be inserted into the holes in the heels to control the level of impact reduction, so the customer can decide which fit is best for them.
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Hi-Tec has launched a new collection which is aimed at women wanting shoes that cope with rugged outdoor and urban environments. The Harmony collection has a lightweight OrthoLiteÂŽ cushioned footbed and micro-fibres to draw away any unwanted moisture from the foot. The compression-moulded EVA midsole absorbs impact and the Vibramâ„˘ outsole delivers traction, comfort and durability. The collection includes a mid boot and low ankle hiking shoe.
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Firm celebrates varied collection TECHNOLOGY company Gore-Tex is celebrating one of its most varied collections ever thanks to its brand partners.
Introducing the Cushe Slipper – the most Cushe shoe ever THE Cushe slipper is the ultimate Cushe product – it’s relaxed, deconstructed, super lightweight and above all else stupendously comfortable. As soon as you slip your foot into one of these, you’ll be convinced that you’ll never put anything more comfortable on your foot. It’s the ultimate travel shoe, the ultimate kicking back shoe, the ultimate recovery shoe, in fact it’s just about the ultimate ‘anything casual’ shoe. It features a fully collapsible and
breathable textile upper with a relaxed deconstructed fit. It has purposely positioned elastic panels designed so you can slip-on and kick off with ease. Built on a deep cushioned super lightweight E.V.A outsole that’s so light, you’ll forget you’re wearing them. This shoe will change your life and your perceptions of what you thought was possible in deconstructed footwear. Sales contact: Geoff Andrews email@example.com +44 207 860 0399
Collections from brand partners like Clarks, Legero, Superfit, Primigi and Ara use the brand’s open sole structure that ensures 360 degrees of breathability and allows excess heat and moisture to escape through the sole as well as the shoe upper. The Gore-Tex laminate provides waterproof protection to keep feet dry and the rain out.
A spokesman said: “Gore’s brand partners are recognising the relevance and importance of this technology’s benefits to consumers and SS/12 sees casual collections engineered with it being showcased throughout Europe. “Clarks have included this technology in their casual ranges this season in seven of its men’s styles and one female style. “Legero and Ara offer a women’s and men’s range with Primigi and Superfit, offering ranges for children.”
Sustainable flip-flop brand Amazonas has launched to trade with its first ever collection for the UK market. Amazonas uses latex from the native rubber trees of the Amazon Rainforest, alongside recycled and recyclable styles in its collection. The rubber is biodegradable – bio rubber – taking only five years to decompose once disposed of, compared to 700 years with synthetic rubbers commonly used in flip-flops. Taking inspiration from Brazil and the Rio Carnival, Amazonas has created a collection bursting with colour.
Focus on men’s footwear
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Quilted style pushed POD is celebrating its 36th anniversary this year with a push on its iconic quilted style that will join the English Soul collection. The Pod Heritage label is working with its original designers to stay true to the 70s and 80s design with development being down close to its origins in the traditional shoe manufacturing county of Northamptonshire. Jagger features thick crepe soles, rich leather uppers, heavy contrast stitch lines and the Queen’s 1977 Jubilee flag and will stand alongside other designs such as the original Pin-Punch shoe; the very first model
to roll off the production line in 1976. A Pod spokesman said: “We are keen to maintain an element of exclusivity, production runs are on a small-scale basis within a specialist factory, whilst distribution is directed towards niche stockists such as Scorpio Shoes (Newcastle Upon Tyne), Plum Soles (Derby) and Rubyshoesday (Hebden Bridge).” SS13 also sees the launch of the 80’s unisex T-bar sandal following demands on the brand’s social media platforms. The SS13 Pod Heritage collection will be at Moda in August.
A men’s footwear brand that topped a poll of independent retailers is ploughing ahead with its Cotswold Collection. Mir-Tex was named one of the top five brands in a poll by Footwear Today for its men’s range of formal shoes. They are waterproof and ergonomically crafted with soft leather uppers, bellows tongues and padded collars.
IKON embraces trends WHILST maintaining its on-going focus on semi-formal fashion wear, drawing on its deep rooted heritage and culture, IKON continues to embrace the latest fashion trends for its Autumn/Winter 2012 collection.
Focus on men’s footwear
Brogue styling is key, not only on shoes but also in the fashion boot category for the coming season. There is an increased representation of plain vamp shoes which aptly display new toe shapes, new leathers that incorporate new soles.
product showcase product showcase product showcase She comes from shoe royalty but with her debut collection, Lucy Choi is making a name of her own. The fashionista speaks to Nicola Hyde about why she decided to launch her own brand.
Lucy Choi’s debut collection will be stocked in 30 independent Daniel boutiques, as well as Harvey Nichols and high-end shops in Dubai and Singapore.
Lucy sets up own label to offer affordable luxury NOBODY can question Lucy Choi’s links to shoe dynasty – or indeed her experience in the industry. Her uncle is Jimmy Choo and her sister is Sandra Choi – the creative director of Jimmy Choo. Growing up, Lucy watched in the workshops, seeing how her artisan uncle made his shoes and she worked in the industry for 10 years, working for French Sole where she played a major role in design and product development. Even though she’d been around shoe design all her life, Lucy chose instead to go into the business side. She went to university and was a financial analyst for a while. She said: “I saw a lot in my uncle’s workshop about the making shoes from scratch and my sister helped out a lot with that. But I wanted something I could get my teeth in
to – I knew I could always come back to shoes in later life and I wanted to do more on the business and marketing side. “I had lots of opportunities to see my uncle and sister work and eventually it felt like the right time to set up my own label as I saw a gap in the market in terms of affordable luxury footwear.” Lucy’s debut collection will be stocked in 30 independent Daniel boutiques, as well as Harvey Nichols and high-end shops in Dubai and Singapore. She acknowledges that her maiden range is a simple design aesthetic, but says they are made special by the attention to detail and highquality materials used in them. She added: “I didn’t want to be too expensive or too cheap. I wanted people to still be able to afford
beautiful shoes. I designed for myself really, something that I can wear. I wouldn’t wear anything that was bad quality but I also wouldn’t want to pay £800 for a pair of sling backs. The most important thing to me is that the brand ethos is affordable luxury. “At the end of the day a peep toe is a peep toe but you add an extra something else by using the right materials and I am very particular.” Lucy is already looking for locations to develop a flagship store in London and – although she plans to keep her label exclusive – she is looking for more retailers to take the brand. She’s already developing a bridal range and wants to add a wider variety of sizes to the label. She added: “Coming from the background that my uncle created I
have been very lucky and that’s why I decided to use my own name for the brand as I thought it would be more impactful. “My family are very supportive and proud of what I have done because it is different to them, it’s a totally different price so I’m not trying to compete. “I have had a great opportunity to get a foot in the door.” Lucy’s target customer is women who have money to spend. Her retail prices hover around the £185 - £200 mark. She added: “My type of customers are the ones that can afford something more expensive but who want to be able to buy three or four pairs for the price of one. They can afford it – they just want to be a bit more savvy when they spend.”
Company scoops gong INDEPENDENT footwear retailer This Little Piggy has scooped another industry gong for its impressive business model. The children’s shoe shop – which has outlets in Perth and Broughty Ferry – won the title of Best Family Footwear Store in the UK as part of the Drapers Footwear Awards. Owner Pam Walker – who set up This Little Piggy in 1999 when she couldn’t find any shoes for her son, who had a high instep and wide feet – was
praised for her creativity and marketing skills. Past winnings for This Little Piggy have included: Best UK Children’s Footwear Retailer, Best UK Footwear Marketing Campaign, Women Ahead- Shooting Star, Winner of Bank of Scotland Business Excellence Award and more recently, last month, finalist in the Best Independent Children’s Retailer 2012 in the Footwear Industry Awards voted by its readers.
Pam Walker and her manager Lorraine Heggie collect their award from Big Brother, Little Brother presenter Emma Willis, sponsored by Clarks.
Range part of timeless design THE Bridge has launched a new collection of luxurious handbags as part of its timeless design eye. The company has been on the market for 40 years and uses Tuscan tradition inspired by saddlery reinterpreted with contemporary aesthetics to create “everyday glam.”
Chic launch for Doca GREEK brand Doca is launching its new collection at Chic this season. It will be showing a range of shoes, bags, jewellery, scarves, hats and wallets with wholesale prices ranging from £2 to £20.
The brand started over 20 years ago in Greece and has more than 20 flagship stores and thousands of outlets throughout the rest of Europe. The collections at Chic will be on stand H16.
A spokesman said: “Each model is the result of a specific artisan expertise according to old Tuscan traditions: from the strictly vegetable-tanning process, to the dying and finishing with amber rollers, that give the leather softness and elasticity. “Each bag is a timeless and unique accessory, beyond fashion, a mix of tradition and innovation.”
Bags that are practical, individual, stylish and fun WHAT makes a great bag? Style, charm and individuality? Practicality, versatility and durability? Or simply being fun to have? We would say all of the above – and the Baggz® range holds the answer to every one of those needs plus more besides.
Range on show at Moda Page 22 21 June/July 2012
Whether packing for the beach, nipping out for a quick lunch or even heading off for a walk in the snow: Baggz® are ideal for any occasion, every outing and all seasons. Made from EVA material – which is soft and ultra-lightweight, yet rigid and strong – Baggz® are available in a choice of styles and colours, combining a variety of uses with eye-catching design. Also, the wide range of Bittz® accessories can be attached easily to personalise and complement each of the Baggz® styles. The Baggz® unique base sole design means that they stay upright when they are put down – no need
to worry about possessions scattering everywhere.
Quick and easy to clean – just wipe them down with a damp cloth.
Baggz® of benefits for all the family:
Bittz® accessories provide individuality for adults and fun designs for kids.
Suitable for a multitude of uses: pool or beach bags, shower caddies, toy bags, pet totes, lunch totes, baby bags, plus many more. Choice of three styles and five colours.
Available to order individually (subject to minimum order), as solid colour cartons or pre-packed mixed colour cartons.
Storm has embraced rich colours and inviting textures for the women’s and men’s AW12 bag collection. The women’s range includes berry colours, rich mahogany tones and tactile fabrics in autumnal hues. The silhouettes for the season include spacious shoppers, handbags, practical cross-body styles, clutch bags and purses. The collection will be shown at Moda.
Range on show at Moda Bags of style for AW12 THE DESIGN team behind Rocket Dog bags have created a new Autumn Winter collection that mirrors the seasonal fabrics of the footwear range.
The Autumn Winter range uses woven fabrics, tweeds, plaids, ethnic influences and earth tones completed with details including tassels, fringing and bows.
The bag designers say they have worked closely with the footwear design team in Los Angeles to capture the ethos of the brand and ensure a comprehensive collection.
Bag silhouettes vary from backpacks and cross body bags to bowling and shoulder bag designs and even purses and wallets. The collection will be shown at Moda.
BOXFRESH has launched a new bag collection for Autumn Winter 2012 which include styles like duffels and record bags. The collection uses leather, waxed cotton, canvas and wool in rich browns, smokey grey, black and forest accented by straps, buckles and trims. Plaids and corduroy fabrics also feature in the holdalls, backpacks, messengers and tote bags. Leather zip pulls, embossed sew-on patches and metal badges all feature the branding. The collection will be on show at Moda.
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New IT initiatives can make plans become a reality By Andy Tudor OVER the coming year, retailers who are already looking at the different ways in which their customers transact with them will start to introduce new IT initiatives to turn their plans into reality. Many are starting to espouse omnichannel, and see it as an allencompassing ‘win-win’ interface that enhances customer convenience and satisfaction whilst increasing the retailer’s ability to secure sales. Based upon the work being currently undertaken by the most forward-thinking of our clients, we forecast see the following developments: Mobile Payments – expect to see significant trials of mobile payments, marking a move beyond today’s mobile-optimised websites and mobile apps to focus on linking different channels. The goal here is a scenario whereby customers start to research purchases on their mobile ‘phone, then go into a store to confirm their choice, possibly completing the purchase on their ‘phone as well. Reduced fixed till usage – we anticipate a move away from fixed tills. We’ve already come across a number of tablet trials and, as platforms such as Windows 8 start to come out, we may see a real challenge to Apple’s monopoly. Tablets can offer a desirable, added level of in-store customer interaction. Having that one-on-one
Business and technology
experience with the customer is particularly important for retailers whose product price-points or overall basket values are high. Social Networking – social networking has already proved its worth by enabling retailers to better understand their customers. In extreme examples, we’ve seen executive board members respond to Twitter feeds and Facebook comments. At an operational level, we also see retailers studying live Twitter streams to gauge consumer reaction to new product launches. We predict that social networking practices will be widely introduced into the workplace and become an integral part of a retail organisation’s culture. International web sites – this is another exciting area and one where we foresee considerable expansion. We will soon see dedicated foreign language websites which will break down the barriers to international trade and permit customers logged on from anywhere in the world to shop in their native language and currency. But what about the economics of these new omni-channel initiatives? Can the retail industry afford them? At one extreme, we see some who have yet to embark on a mobile strategy, still trading via ‘bricks and mortar’ stores or on the web. At the other, we are working with businesses at the forefront of omni-
The society has opened the entrance examination for experienced shoe fitters with more than five years experience to allow them to gain the membership qualification.
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channel, which have already merged their channels and have achieved the goal of enabling customers to start product research using one channel, and make their purchase using another. Looking back three to five years, a retailer was considered to be at the cutting edge if it had a transactional website. In the past year or two, we’ve seen multichannel retailing become more commonplace, which has allowed customers to travel in different channels in their purchasing journey. Andy Tudor is head of multichannel solutions at Retail Assist.
Society launches new Pall-Ex entrance examination continues to deliver
A NEW entrance examination has been added by the Society of Shoefitters to encourage more shop owners to sign up their staff.
Is your business upwardly mobile?
A spokesman said: “Membership of the organisation is purely by qualification and experienced staff have been unaware that we offer an examination. Unfortunately the majority of shops employ staff who are retail sales assistants and not
A COMPANY is eyeing a UK expansion with its offering that allows timed deliveries to shops outside normal trading hours.
shoe fitters and therefore it would be nice to give their self esteem a lift, and give them the opportunity to qualify for membership of the organisation.” The entrance examination is £50 per entry. More information from www.shoefitters.org.uk
Pall-Ex is pushing its Retail Plus+ service that offers home deliveries, timed deliveries into retail outlets and deliveries outside of trading hours. A spokesman said: “This delivery technique is unique within pallet networks and is an example of us meeting the needs of our customers.”
Is your business upwardly mobile? By Ian Tomlinson In my last column I talked about mobile points of sale, on iPads and other tablets, but there is another type of mobile that is also changing retail. That is mobile-commerce, or mcommerce as it is better known. So why does m-commerce affect independent footwear retailers? Well it is affecting all areas of retail, including footwear. There are some startling facts too; the numbers of mobile internet users are predicted to overtake desktop users by 2015. That means by 2015 more people will be accessing the internet via their mobiles than their PCs or laptops. There are other figures that illustrate the move to m-commerce is inevitable: For example the total percentage of online sales that were through a mobile device in November 2011 was 3.9 per cent, up from 0.4 per cent in February 2010.
What’s more the internet contributes to 8.3 per cent of the UK economy, a bigger share than for any of the other G20 major countries People carry their smartphones with them everywhere. I bet while you are reading your copy of Out On A Limb your phone is in your pocket or on your desk. Not only does this give you access to the world wide web, your emails and so forth, it also gives retailers an opportunity to communicate and engage with customers. I am sure many retailers will be thinking I’ve got a website, so why do I need a mobile website? How often do you try navigating a ‘traditional’ website via your phone? Retailers that don’t invest in specific mobile sites will see their website traffic fall and with it sales may stall and fall. For those that use “Google Analytics” there is a report that shows how many visitors were on a
mobile device and what that mobile device was. If you can, have a look as you will be surprised how many mobile visitors your site gets. Then if you are able run a report on mobile users over say a year and there is only one way the trend will be going, upwards. Ian Tomlinson is chief executive of Cybertill
What are the regulatory requirements for footwear? potential SVHC contained in the shoes you sell. In this instance, you shall be prepared to answer consumers’ questions about the presence of SVHC in shoes and provide sufficient information to allow a safe use of these shoes within 45 days.
By Jack Brown THE footwear supply chain is long and complex with the retailer, its agents and the manufacturers all striving to get the right design at the right price onto the shelves at the right time. Ensuring that the shoe fits, is made ethically, is fit for purpose and of good quality are key elements to keep returns and complaints at a low level and to improve customer loyalty and brand image. Sustainability and the environment are also increasing concerns. And in addition to all of the above, are the actual legal obligations of the retailer and its supply chain partners. But what exactly are these legal requirements from a quality and technical point of view? The main regulatory requirements for the footwear industry can be summarised as followed: 1. The European General Product Safety Directive (2001/95/EC) – producers and distributors shall take all the reasonable steps to ensure that the products they sell are safe. For footwear, this entails such as the heel attachment property of the shoe, the slip resistance of the shoe sole, the strength of straps and Business + Technology
seams when under stress, the adhesion of the sole to the upper to prevent dangerous flapping toes. 2. Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals or the REACH Directive (EU Regulation EC 1907/2006) – companies that place products onto the EU market including manufacturers, importers and retailers of footwear, need to ensure that their products do not contain substances that have been classified as Restricted Substances as per REACH Annex XVII. If you are a retailer of footwear, you need to be aware that consumers can request to be informed of any
3. The European Labelling Directive for Footwear 94/11/EC – shoes sold to the general public must meet either the written text or pictogram requirements of the Directive and the public must be informed at the point of sale what all of the symbols actually mean to allow them to make an informed judgement as to the material make up of the shoes. The health and safety of the consumer is still paramount as is compliance with the law. Litigation claims for personal injury are very common and unlikely to go away. It may be appropriate to introduce an “intelligent testing and due diligence” approach and target the most important properties of the product from a legal and safety point of view. In other words focus more on heel attachment, sole bond, slip resistance and REACH. Jack Brown is the footwear technical consultant at Bureau Veritas Consumer Products Services. June/July 2012
diary dates Chic Ricoh Arena, Coventry July 1 - 3, 2012 (www.chicuk.com) The UK's only specialist trade show for handbags, fashion and travel accessories, and now clothing and footwear due to buyer demand.
Stitch Menswear Islington Business Design Centre July 15 and 16, 2012 For Spring Summer 13, Stitch will launch the Switch show which gives the flourishing streetwear market a platform to showcase its new designs. That section of the show will feature DJs, live music and even a tattoo parlour.
ENKWSA Las Vegas 7 - 9 August, 2012 (www.wsashow.com) ENKWSA is a twice-yearly event that gathers footwear and
accessory exhibitors, showcases hundreds of brands, attracts leaders in the affordable footwear and footwear sourcing industry, newsmakers, designers, retail and distribution channels.
Moda Footwear NEC, Birmingham, August 12 - 14, 2012 (www.moda-uk.co.uk) Moda will include a seminar programme which will be free of charge to all visitors and exhibitors. The Moda catwalk show will present an overview of the seasons trends, providing an insight into key looks.
particularly aimed at boardsport and activewear stores.
Pure Olympia London 19 - 21 August, 2012 (www.purelondon.com) A showcase of over 1,000 directional womenswear brands, young creative labels, footwear and accessory collection plus inspiring seminars and catwalks.
London Edge London Olympia 2 - 4 September, 2012 (www.londonedge.com)
FLIP Birmingham NEC August 12 - 14, 2012
The trade show for alternative street and club fashion, footwear, accessories and giftwear with over 300 collections available to view.
The new trade show for urban, street and action footwear will showcase major names and niche brands alongside spectacular live shows featuring some of the world’s best bike riders. It is
GDS/GLOBAL SHOES Messe Dusseldorf, Germany 5 - 7 September, 2012 (www.gds-online.com Highlights will include high
fashion labels from international brands and the children’s footwear marketplace. Other events will include fashion shows, trend presentations and trend vision.
MICAM Italy 16 - 19 September, 2012 (www.micamonline.com) This international fair is dedicated to mid-to-high and high-end footwear. The show now opens on Sundays to meet the needs of Italian and international buyers and visitors
ISPO MUNICH Neue Messe München 3 - 6 February, 2013 The international trade fair for sports equipment and fashion. Over 2,000 international exhibitors present the complete selection of sporting goods, athletic footwear and fashions from the Outdoor, Ski, Action und Performance Sports to more than 80,000 visitors from over 100 countries.
Tony Barry – Sales & Marketing Director
Dominic Musgrave – Reporter Helen Williams – Reporter
Beverley Green – Group Sales Manager
Tel: 01226 734694 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(email@example.com) Avertising Contacts
Design & Production
Tel: 01226 734333 Fax: 01226 734477
Stewart Holt – Studio Manager
Editorial Judith Halkerston – Group Editor Nicola Hyde – Editor Christina Eccles – Reporter
Natalie Talbot – Graphic Designer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Circulation 01226 734695 (24 hour hotline) Email: email@example.com
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