Hoss Intropia’s showroom manager talks to Ana Santi about the Spanish brand’s wholesale strategy.
Hoss Intropia has taken its wholesale distribution in-house for spring 13. What does this mean for the brand?
We’re now working to a tighter distribution, looking for more established retailers. We’re very supportive in terms of stock swaps, PR and retail events, and we don’t enforce huge minimums.
Hoss is a Spanish brand. Do you edit the collection for the UK market?
Yes, we’ve taken out about 30 or 40 pieces and we think about the colours. Like picking the right green so that it doesn’t remind you of school. Or mustard – it doesn’t work for a UK customer, but the Spanish and Italians love it. The UK customer likes easy, simple, unfussy shapes that take them from day to evening. And layering, because the weather changes so much.
What spring 13 pieces do you think will prove particularly popular in the UK?
Lace will do really well, like the bright red lace shift dress at £230 retail. Knitwear and prints are also really strong for next season.
How are buyers adjusting their spend in the current climate?
Since 2009, they’re more cautious. Before that, they’d look at a red dress with ruffles in a [European] size 48 and say, “I’ll take 50 of those”. Now, collections can’t afford to be good; they have to be amazing. And you have the [competitive] high street in the UK, which we don’t have anywhere else in the world. You need a point of difference and competitive prices. We’re open to doing capsule and exclusive collections with stockists.
What made you move to Hoss from Alberta Ferretti in March this year?
I used to walk past the Hoss shop in Chelsea on my way to work at Alberta Ferretti and I thought it was different from everything else [on the high street] in terms of its stores, the interior, its image. The product was quite unique – the prints, the laser cuts, the embellishment – there is a playful element to it. You can personalise the collection.
What’s it like to work at Hoss?
Hoss [senior management] really listens. We ask for longer lengths on shirts and sleeves, for example, and they listen. It can be hard for design teams to listen to commercial teams sometimes, but they always do.
What other brands do you admire?
I’m a big fan of Paul & Joe Sister. It’s a fun brand with a very distinct look. I like Lanvin a lot, too. Alber Elbaz is doing new things you haven’t seen before. You can do so much more with fabric innovation than shape these days. And I love McQueen.