Menswear designer Patrick Grant told attendees at Drapers Next Generation event that opening a store transformed his business, allowing a greater insight into what his customers want.
Ready-to-wear menswear brand E Tautz opened its first store on Duke Street in June 2014, having previously been part of Grant’s other business, Savile Row tailor Norton & Sons. “We have learnt tonnes,” revealed Grant. “We learnt that 80% of our sales came from about 20% of our products,” he said, explaining that the direct feedback on product from customers has been invaluable.
By contrast he said in wholesale it is “difficult” to make significant margins and you don’t get the same level of feedback from stockists, but for aspiring designers it was “a start” in the road to building their brands.
He also stressed designers should stick to their design principles and “if you try to second guess the market, then you are on to a losing streak from the start.” He added: “You need to be really honest with yourself about what kind of person is going to buy your product, offer them something different, otherwise you won’t be successful.”