After a succesful first year, Sainsbury’s has extended its partnership with Gok Wan. Just what is it about his approach that has the tills singing asks Jill Geoghegan?
After his recent foray into Chinese cooking, style Guru Gok Wan is back doing what he does best, sorting the apple shapes from the pears, the hourglasses from the beanpoles and convincing the nation that when it comes to fashion its ‘all about the confidence’.
And it appears that women across the UK are showing more than a little confidence in Mr. Wan’s expertise as supermarket giant Sainsbury’s has signed up the flamboyant TV presenter-turned-fashion designer for another season- unsurprising perhaps given that his debut Gok for Tu collection became the store’s best-selling line ever.
In fact, the retailer attributes the Gok effect with boosting its fashion division by an impressive 17% last year, a figure which is all the more impressive when compared to the relatively stagnant 3% growth in the rest of the market.
So what is it about Gok that has us all rushing to the tills? Why has this collaboration succeeded where so many others have fallen short of the style mark?
Undoubtedly, his curve-embracing attitude has been key to his meteoric rise to the top of the celebrity-fashion food chain. Renowned for his love of unsightly but oh-so-wonderful spanx and his mantra of dressing for your body shape- whatever its size, Gok has tapped into a market that other retailers have failed to grasp.
Given that the average size of women in the UK is a 14, he and Sainsbury’s move to create a clothing line that encourages real women make the most of their assets and love their curves was a savvy one. The fact that as a stylist he takes a comforting, protective approach – in stark contrast to the tactic taken by some in his sphere – has no doubt translated into trust in the products Sainsbury’s is selling.
With his five new capsule collections set to fly out of stores in the coming months, other retailers could learn a thing or two about how women want to dress from the man who taught the nation how to look good naked.