WDT boss to lead fast-fashion overhaul
Asbed Momdjian, founder of World Design & Trade (WDT), the company behind young fashion brands Firetrap, Fullcircle and Sonneti, has outlined plans to turn the group into a specialist fast-fashion branded supply house and slammed the traditional two-collection, multi-brand retailer route to market as “dead”.
Following the announcement this week that chief executive Pan Philippou and Firetrap UK sales director Colin Clarke are stepping down, Momdjian, who is also chairman of WDT, told Drapers he had kicked off a 90-day strategy review at the branded fashion group.
Momdjian, who founded WDT in 1981, said his vision was to build it into a fast-fashion branded supply house with more in-season collections, quicker deliveries and replenishment systems to cope with the changing market. Under the new model, Firetrap will deliver new product to its stockists 10 months out of 12, replenishing winning lines on a six to eight-week basis. Sonneti, which has been rebranded to SC51, will have four main collections a year plus flash collections and stock-replenishment capabilities.
Momdjian said: “The old model of brands developing two collections a year and using the multi-branded retail outlets as a route to market is dead. The markets and consumer behaviour have changed irreversibly.
“The brands which are fast in all their activities will win every time and when the market turns around, which I expect to take place in the second quarter of 2010, these are the brands that will increase their momentum and market share.”
In spite of the recession, Momdjian said WDT’s UK wholesale sales had been flat over the past 12 months but the international wholesale business had shown “robust” increases.
“The key for any wholesale stockist is sell-through and we have put various schemes in place to help them,” said Momdjian.
Separately, Phillippou, who will leave the business on September 4, as exclusively revealed by Drapersonline.com (August 4), is understood to be in talks with various parties about his next role in the industry.
Meanwhile Clarke, who has headed up Firetrap sales for three years, is to join young fashion brand Fly53 as UK sales director. Fly53 is backed by venture capital firm Key Capital Partners (KCP).
For the year to June 30, 2008:
Sales +6% to £70.46m
Profit +1.8% to £4.39m
Brand breakdown by sales
Firetrap +7% to £46.7m
Fullcircle +14% to £12.5m
Sonneti -25% to £7.7m