Women’s eveningwear specialist Ariella has reopened its wholesale business to independent retailers, offering a capsule collection of 44 dresses for immediate delivery.
Ariella London’s Kimberley dress
Ariella used to wholesale to 300 indies in the UK and Europe. However, when manufacturing moved off-shore in the late 1980s and minimum docket sizes increased, it became “uneconomical” to supply smaller retailers, said the brand’s founder and chief executive Achilleas Constantinou.
Ariella has since focused on supplying large multiple accounts, including John Lewis and House of Fraser in the UK, El Corte Ingles in Spain and Portugal, and French department store chain Galeries Lafayette.
But Constantinou said the phone “hasn’t stop ringing” with indies asking if they can buy some of Ariella’s styles.
It has now made 44 options from the Ariella London collection – comprising cocktail, evening and special occasion dresses in sizes 8 to 18 – available for smaller retailers to order online for immediate delivery.
“Indies traditionally go to a trade show see a dress they love, place an order and delivery is four months away. With Ariella, they can see now, buy now, receive now,” explained Constantinou.
Wholesale prices for the styles currently on the site range from £19 for a jersey wrap dress to £85 for a full-length sequined version. Other styles will be available in the coming months.
Last spring, Ariella restarted its bricks-and-mortar retail division after almost 30 years, opening a 2,400 sq ft store in Brent Cross shopping centre in north London. It is close to signing on a second store in the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent.
It also launched concessions in the House of Frasers in Westfield London, Oxford Street, Birmingham and Reading last year, and in Dundrum this week. More will follow in Manchester, Cardiff and Belfast next week, and in Glasgow by the end of month. A new head of retail operations, Stephen Kutner, joined in January.
Ariella launched a separate division, the Cocktail Clothing Company, last April to supply white label eveningwear to retailers including Marks & Spencer, Coast, John Lewis, Debenhams and House of Fraser.
Ariella London’s Shyla dress
Ariella London’s Kora dress
Ariella London’s Melody dress