The Danish womenswear brand is expanding its fanbase with new sub-label CCDK Limited.
Contemporary womenswear brand CCDK is riding the crest of a wave. After luring export manager Heidi Svarre from fellow Danish business IC Companys at the end of 2007, the brand has launched CCDK Limited, a new sub-label for autumn 08. So despite widespread economic gloom, the mood at CCDK is buoyant.
“We’re feeling really positive about the brand at the moment,” says Svarre, here in the UK for the final buying meetings of the autumn 08 season. “CCDK’s handwriting has changed a lot over the past four seasons, moving away from just being known for basics and loose-fitting silhouettes towards a more feminine look, with greater focus on detailing, colour and fabrications.” This evolution has resulted in the launch of CCDK Limited, an 18-style sub-label sitting at the upper end of the CCDK collection, concentrating on more luxe fabrics and extra embellishment.
The range sits at a 10% to 15% higher price point than the rest of the collection, but UK agent Sarah Norris says the price has not deterred buyers. “Limited has done amazingly well. Because we only supply to independents, their customers are used to paying a little bit extra for quality and individual product.”
When asked how the collection stands up against the slew of Danish brands infiltrating the UK market, Svarre is keen to point out that CCDK does not subscribe to any Scandinavian style stereotypes. “I don’t think we are a typical Scandinavian brand,” she says. “We are less romantic and bohemian than brands such as By Malene Birger. By trying not to follow a specific national aesthetic and keeping CCDK clean and classic, the product is more internationally marketable.”
Overseas expansion is Svarre’s speciality, and she is enthusiastic about the brand’s success. She says: “The Middle East is particularly profitable for us at the moment. We have a very solid franchise structure there, with a second store opening in Kuwait this month, two more already in Dubai, one in Egypt and one in Lebanon. The purchase power is very strong there. While we are suffering the credit crunch and tightening purse strings over here, new shopping complexes just keep popping up out there. We want to make sure we are placed to take advantage of that.”
Plans do not stop at the Middle East. Russia and the Ukraine are also key targets for Svarre, and CCDK’s launch in Spain two seasons ago has already resulted in 60 accounts.
As for the UK, the plan is to keep servicing the independents which form the core of CCDK’s business. “I think our customers like the fact that the brand is only available in independent stores,” says Norris. “It gives us an exclusive feel which goes hand in hand with the service customers expect in an indie.
“Department stores are a fickle business. Customers become just another anonymous face and as a brand you can easily drop out of favour. We make good quality product and we want the stores we supply to see it as such.”
CCDK 020 7354 2442 www.ccdk.com
100: Number of UK accounts
6: Number of standalone franchises in the Middle East
200: Number of styles in CCDK’s autumn 08 collection
4: Number of CCDK collections a year