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Ella Moss

Youthful LA label Ella Moss is branching out with a luxe sub-brand and sexy swimwear.

If Los Angeles was a fashion brand, it would be impossibly energetic, colourful and easy to wear. It would look good, no matter how many times it had been on the spin cycle, it would be made of natural fibres and its name just might be Ella Moss.

Stocked by top stores including Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Question Air in Notting Hill in London, Ella Moss’s natural adjacencies are the likes of See by Chloé and Splendid, which like Ella Moss, is owned by LA brand stable Mo Industries.

UK sales manager Marianne Twohig explains that import costs mean that here in the UK Ella Moss is marketed at a slightly higher price point than in the US.
“Itis a young-looking label but not necessarily a young label,” she explains. “I would say that the core customer is in her late twenties to early forties and is looking for something fun and fresh.

The brand was set up five years ago by the then 26-year-old Pamella Protzel, and today the jersey tops and T-shirts are coveted by fans such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Cameron Diaz and Kirsten Dunst, and a dress was worn by Sarah Jessica Parker in TV show Sex and the City.

The brand’s maturing distribution and celebrity following are a long way from Protzel’s arrival at fashion college in LA without so much as knowing how to cut a pattern. “For me,” says Protzel, “the design process is organic. [When I designed the dress] I just wanted to create a feminine, flowy dress that had the comfort level of a T-shirt.”

As Marianne Twohig explains: “The appeal of the brand is that the pieces are easy, they wash and wear, and the jersey holds its shape. Bright colour is key to the brand, especially at the moment when everyone else is doing a really monotone dark palette.”

The brand works in two-month selling blocks and delivers 12 drops per year to keep the offer fresh in store. Each block contains six to eight groups, each with 30 pieces, and prices range from £20 to £70.

Ella Moss Black Label was launched in the UK by distributor Live Fashion three seasons ago as a sub-brand with silk dresses and tops dropping six times per year with 12 garments per drop.

For spring 08 the collection has grown to take in micromodals and silk/rayon mixes. Prices are about 50% higher than the mainline collection, at between £35 and £135.
Key pieces include a coral chiffon dress with ruffles and a bow, a purple maxi dress with swagged off-the-shoulder sleeves and an embellished neckline and a simple, knee-length asymmetric black dress with a slash detail at the neck.

To underline its beach lifestyle vibe, the brand is also offering a 20-piece range of swimwear for spring 2009. Prices are as yet unconfirmed but the range will include bikinis, one-pieces and beach cover-ups such as tunics and smock dresses.

Ella Moss 020 7613 2275 or www.ellamoss.com

Essentials:
70:
Number of UK stockists
12: Number of delivery drops per year
20: Number of pieces in the swimwear collection

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