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Bright colours, slim fits lift young fashion indies

Slim silhouettes and bold primary colours have boosted sales for young fashion independents this season.

Across both menswear and womenswear retailers polled by Drapers, light-wash denim, nautical and collegiate themes and product from established brands performed strongly in early spring, following the tough autumn season.

“So far this season our best-selling brands have been Lyle & Scott, Paul Smith and Boss Orange,” said Paul Platt, manager of Pockets in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. “Everyone is still going for the slim-fit look. Skinny jeans and slim-fit shirts are still the most popular items, and bright colour is key.”

Brands including Lyle & Scott, Diesel and G-Star were cited by retailers as being among those that had nailed the slim-fit silhouette for spring 09.

Jamie Welch, buying manager at Richmond Classics in Bournemouth, Dorset, said: “In Bournemouth, young guys are starting to make the transition from the looser-fitting clothes to the slimmer shapes.”

Sales of nautical and preppy-inspired styles, including slim-fit polo shirts and striped tops, have also stood out for independents, as bolder trends begin to pick up momentum.

Karina James, manager of Tempo Clothing in Swansea, south Wales, said that in women’s young fashion, Miss Sixty was selling particularly well. James said: “Miss Sixty does the nautical theme really well, which is something people are still going for.” Tempo also stocks Fred Perry and Lyle & Scott.

Shoppers have also responded to brightly coloured product, said Kashif Qazi, manager of Utter Nutter in Romford, Essex, which sells brands including G-Star, Diesel, Carhartt and Stussy. “Our sales have been up almost every week this year and have been boosted by key styles such as micro stripes on tops, with yellow, red and blue being popular colours,” he said.

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