This week we have two launches to announce. First, the fiercely competitive Drapers Independents Awards 2017 is now open for entries. Our strapline for this year is “breaking the mould”, underlining that this is a celebration of the most innovative fashion indies in the UK and Ireland.
Categories for the awards include womenswear, menswear, lifestyle, premium, young fashion and niche retailer of the year, as well as Best Store Design and Best Customer Experience. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the best menswear, womenswear and accessories brands, as well as the outstanding agency or distributor of the year.
This year we are introducing two new categories: Lingerie Brand of the Year and Brand of the Moment. The latter will recognise a brand that is having a “moment”. It may be emerging or established, but it will be the one that has been stirring up interest among buyers and getting people talking by doing something special, daring or just a bit different.
To see the full list of categories go to independentawards.drapersonline.com. The deadline for entries is 13 April and the lunchtime ceremony will take place in London on 13 September.
Also this week we unveil our pricing survey, which will examine brands’ strategies for dealing with the drop in the value of sterling following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union. It has been a hot topic of conversation at many of the UK and European trade shows this season – read the views from London menswear show Jacket Required here.
Our survey aims to tease out the nuanced ways in which brands are coping with the increased cost pressures, from making efficiency savings to passing on price rises to retailers. We will also explore the reaction from buyers and impact this is having on the industry as a whole, as well as how customers are feeling about the prospect of paying more for their clothes.
Please complete the anonymous survey and help us to get a full picture of pricing strategies in 2017. We will report back on the findings in the coming weeks.