Outerwear brand Belstaff looks to be revaluating its distribution across independent retailers and has axed stockists in an attempt to move more up market.
Indies told Drapers that Belstaff had refused to stock them any longer in a move to become a more premium brand.
The owner of one premium menswear indie said: “They’ve said we can’t have it, black and white. We were a fairly minimum spend but we still wanted it. They’re going very very premium.”
He added: “I don’t know if they’re trying to protect it, this winter was the first time I’ve seen Belstaff [products] getting big discounts online. It was an awful winter for outerwear but I was surprised by the level of discounting. Perhaps they want to rein it in.”
Another young fashion indie said despite spending £60,000 a year with the brand it had pulled the plug on distribution for autumn 12.
Belstaff’s move into a more premium position could be triggered by its new owners Labelux, the Swiss luxury goods group, which acquired the brand following a €110m (£97.9m) transaction. Labelux also owns luxury footwear and accessories label Jimmy Choo, Swiss luxury accessories label Bally and US clothing label Derek Lam.
In January it was announced that Belstaff had set a record for the highest rent around Bond Street, shelling out £3m for a 25,000 sq ft store. The brand took on a 20 year lease for the Grade II listed six-floor building at 135-137 New Bond Street, which will be re-named Belstaff House.
Belstaff cemented it position on the luxury fashion scene earlier this month as the brand presented its first men and women’s collections at London Fashion Week.
Belstaff declined to comment.