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Brave buyers get an autumn tip-off

Jessica Brown

I headed down to Oxford Street last week in search of a shearling jacket I’d coveted since the high street press days back in March and was, from a sales perspective rather than a personal one, pleased to find it had already sold out.

I headed down to Oxford Street last week in search of a shearling jacket I’d coveted since the high street press days back in March and was, from a sales perspective rather than a personal one, pleased to find it had already sold out.

“The truth is most of us have undercooked that trend,” one retail boss told me last week, while another fashion chief executive shared that repeating sheepskin jackets and ankle boots was already proving something of a challenge in spite of the fact we are only a few weeks into the new season.

Chilly unseasonal August weather has given retailers an early read on the season’s likely best-sellers and while it’s hardly surprising merchandisers held back on heavyweight outerwear so early in the season, this was always going to be a strong trend regardless of weather. Its potential was evident way back when Burberry first broke it on its London Fashion Week catwalk in February.

Ticket prices can be jaw-droppingly high when you are buying the real thing, but the look is classic and quality enough to play into the buy-now-wear-forever mood of the moment. Brave buyers who have gone for this trend with conviction should be rewarded handsomely, even though overall trading remains highly volatile.

Brave buyers are among those that will be recognised at the 20th Drapers Awards this November. We reinstated this category this year in recognition of just how important the buying function is in today’s climate. In fact, the standard of entries has been exceptionally high and it has been a pleasure to see so many businesses make such an effort to earn recognition.

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