Women’s eveningwear brand and supplier Ariella is restarting its bricks and mortar retail division after almost 30 years, having established a new company for its wholesale division.
A 2,400 sq ft store will open in Brent Cross on April 8, carrying cocktail, evening and special occasion dresses. It plans to open two or three more, if the initial store is a success. At its peak in 1986, Ariella operated 11 stores in London.
Meanwhile, the newly formed Cocktail Clothing Company, which began trading on April 1, will focus on creating collections for wholesale clients, such as John Lewis, Debenhams and House of Fraser, and supplying unbranded dresses to the likes of Kenneth Cole, Laura Ashley and Phase Eight.
Founder and chief executive Achilleas Constantinou told Drapers the business is also planning to launch a new in-house line specifically for independent retailers, titled LanaMarie by Ariella, for autumn 16.
Ariella was founded in 1966 by Constantinou, who is also a founder of the British Fashion Council and board member of the UK Fashion & Textile Association. The womenswear business employs 32 staff at its headquarters in Hampstead, north London.
In January Ariella signed a year-long deal to become the first UK fashion sponsor of Hollywood red carpet awards events, including the Oscars, taking over from French champagne producer Moët & Chandon.