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Drapers Fashion Summit: Luxury brand ‘fatigue’ could open market for new brands

New and niche brands could carve themselves a place in the fashion market, as consumers become increasingly “fatigued” by the current retail offering, a government official has said.

Speaking at Drapers’ Fashion Summit in central London today (November 21), UK Trade and Investment’s (UKTI) Lord Marland claimed “people are tired of high street fashion being owned by the same people”.

In particular he noted that certain luxury brands had now become ubiquitous at international airports, arguing that customers wanted something different that would stand out.

“It’s clear that fatigue is starting to develop,” he said. “Therein lies the opportunity for new brands or niche businesses to take advantage.”

Marland highlighted his own work with Wellington boot brand Hunter, which through focusing on its “core DNA and British heritage” had managed to grow to an £80m-turnover business in the three years he owned it, without spending “a fortune” on marketing.

For more established brands and retailers looking to expand overseas, Marland highlighted emerging oil economies such as Kurdistan and Angola, as well as Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania and Mozambique as top destinations.

“There are so many countries where, if you’re prepared to take the risk, you could make a killing,” he said.

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