Jenny Packham has joined Debenham’s growing designer roster and will launch her first high street collection for the department store in April.
The British designer, known for her bridalwear, will launch a diverse, 19-piece collection, featuring styles from maxi-dresses to organza prom dresses, starting from £85 up to £160.
Historically the category - Debenham’s most profitable per sq ft - has been dominated by its own range, Debut, while other Designers at Debenhams including Julien Macdonald and Ben de Lisi have created up to six occasionwear styles.
No. 1 Jenny Packham, however, will be the first dedicated to occasionwear and with the greatest number of styles.
The growth of the Designers at Debenhams across other categories was one of the motivations for launch, Debenhams group trading director Suzanne Harlow told Drapers.
Debenhams is the UK’s market leader in occasionwear, with a 10% share, ahead of Marks & Spencer, which has 7%, according to Harlow. Growing this is the aim.
“There is an expectation we have designer handwriting but it was an opportunity we hadn’t cracked. We don’t want to be bringing in branded occasionwear. This gives us a better and best offer and a credible range,” said Harlow.
Packham’s British heritage and global profile made her an obvious choice, Harlow added.
The collaboration also sees Packham’s first foray into kidswear, with the women’s collection complemented by a capsule bridesmaid offer.
No. 1 Jenny Packham will span around 8.300 sq ft across 72 stores initially before being extended to 56 more later this year.
The first eight dresses in the women’s collection will be available in stores and online in April with the rest launching throughout the summer.