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John Lewis scouts for designer tie-ups

John Lewis is scouting for more designer tie ups after signing a deal with Ghost founder Tanya Sarne to launch an exclusive range for the department store.

The range called, Tanya Sarne for John Lewis, will be heavily influenced by the Ghost brand with similar styling and use the same factories and suppliers. It will go into around 15 stores on May 13.

John Lewis fashion buying director Peter Ruis said that more collaborations were in the pipeline.

“Ghost was a label that a lot of our customers grew up with, love, and still talk about,” he said. “We’re not trying to do a Designers at Debenhams. This isn’t a diffusion line, it will be the same quality and purity that shoppers would expect from a main range.”

He added: “We are in talks with some other parties about a similar partnership, there are opportunities out there to do things with iconic designers.”

Prices for the 30 piece collection will range from £40 for a viscose top to £130 for a dress.

John Lewis has also introduced new brands for spring 09 including Belstaff, Anonymous by Ross + Bute, Paul & Joe Sister, La Martina, Blue Blood and 0039.

The retailer has also upped its fashion marketing spend and launched its second fashion advertising campaign featuring model Karen Elson this weekend.

John Lewis has launched the spring 09 campaign after the last autumn’s campaign helped boost fashion sales and resulted in the featured pieces selling out.

Ruis declined to say how much the business was spending on fashion marketing but said that sales had increased significantly as a result.

“We’re seeing a lot more return on investment than all the other departments,” he said. “We want to be a destination for fashion and I think we’re reaching the tipping point where the marketing is having an impact. Until last year we didn’t spend any central budget for fashion advertising.”

John Lewis is also using model Matt Avedon, grandson of fashion photographer Richard Avedon, for its menswear, with a larger campaign planned for the autumn.

The business will also launch a revamped fashion offer on its website  in September, which will feature tools for shoppers to help design looks, fashion editorial, and an expanded brand offer.

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