Department store Debenhams is poised to launch a major campaign around a capsule range of eight white shirts designed by Jeff Banks.
The Definitive White Shirt Collection will be launched in September, priced at £25 per shirt or three for £60, with a campaign supported by consumer press including GQ and a “strong” window campaign across all 50 UK stores.
Banks told Drapers he had developed the two different fits – tailored and slim - “over many years” and that the selection of eight collar shapes offered “a wide variety of wardrobe choice for any man, no matter what age or style”.
Trading director Adam Creasey told Drapers the launch was part of a wider move by Debenhams to increase its market share in formalwear.
“In casualwear we are probably second in the market or equal to Next, which is the biggest retailer in the market, but in formalwear we are probably slightly weaker – maybe third. There is an opportunity within formalwear to offer something to the customers which we are currently wanting on.”
Debenhams’ existing Jeff Banks range is “far and away the biggest brand we stock now” and the new collection “keeps building out formal shirts business”. The department store estimates that it holds a 10% chunk of that market.
Debenhams was “really getting behind” the campaign said Creasey, with plans to run it over several years. “This is not a flash in the pan campaign – this is something that will have longevity.”
However Creasey also noted that male shoppers were upping their average spend and frequency of shopping, and that retailers were having to update collections more regularly than ever before to keep up with demand.
Banks added: “The passion for the white shirt comes from the current trend vision. Fashion wise, [it’s designed] for guys building up a wardrobe of white shirts that can be worn on any occasion with either jeans, chinos and a blazer, checked shorts, a suit with or without a tie up to the ultimate shirt for a wedding.”