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Ariella ploughs ahead with retail expansion

Women’s eveningwear specialist Ariella is expanding its retail footprint, while its sister company Cocktail Clothing Company has secured new wholesale accounts to supply high street multiples including Marks & Spencer and Coast.

The two companies, based in Hampstead, north London, have created 16 new roles since early May, comprising mostly retail sales positions but also including two pattern cutters, a quality controller and a new accounts executive – taking the total to 42.

Founder and chief executive Achilleas Constantinou told Drapers another 14 will be hired by the end of the year.

Ariella opened a 350 sq ft branded concession in House of Fraser in Shepherds Bush in late May, following the launch of its 2,400 sq ft Brent Cross store on April 8. It will open concessions in House of Fraser stores on Oxford Street and Birmingham on August 2, both of which are approximately 500 sq ft.

Cocktail Clothing Company was formed on April 1 to separate the wholesale business from the Ariella retail division. Cocktail Clothing Company supplies white label eveningwear to retailers including Debenhams, Phase Eight, John Lewis, C&A and El Cortes Anglais, with retail prices ranging between £100 and £300. It has recently secured contracts to supply M&S for its Best of British range and Coast for autumn 16.

Its white label offering is distinct from its branded offer, with Ariella London offering eveningwear ranging from £160 to £600 at retail, and the more detailed and exclusive range Ariella Couture is priced from £300 to £5,000.

Constantinou said the firm will also introduce a new red carpet occasionwear label called Ariella Haute Couture for autumn 16, priced from £10,000 up to £40,000.

@Tara_Hounslea

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