Mint Velvet, the retailer created by Clarks chairman Peter Davies and the team behind the now defunct Principles chain, is to focus on casual pieces and separates for the 30-plus woman.
The 150-piece range comprises jersey mixes and chunky knits with leather jackets and trousers with embellishments, which Houghton said was designed to create a feeling of “relaxed glamour”.
Stand-out pieces include jersey dresses with silk panels featuring exclusive prints and Houghton said the key to the range was that most of the collection could be mixed and matched together, with easy-to-wear comfortable staples and on-trend features such as extended shoulder lines and drop waists forming the bulk of the offer.
Mint Velvet also has a 20-piece jewellery range and accessories such as bags.
Lead-in retail prices for dresses are £50 and Houghton said that Mint Velvet’s pricing would be about 20% lower than Ted Baker’s.
She said: “Our prices are towards the top end of the high street but below the likes of Ted Baker, Karen Millen and French Connection.”
She added that the range was far “younger and sexier” than Principles had been.
Although Mint Velvet is expected to compete with retail veteran George Davies’ brand GIVe when it launches in October, GIVe is expected to include more of a tailored element.
Mint Velvet did not show work-wear for autumn 09.
Houghton said: “Our range is quite personal to our style and what we think is missing from the high street.”
Former Principles head of design Jane Rawlings, who has been brought in as design director for the brand, created the range.
Mint Velvet had a tight production timescale and went to the Far East with its designs only at the end of June.
Houghton said that the former Principles team’s established relationships with suppliers helped turn their vision for Mint Velvet into reality swiftly.
“We had a clear vision of what we wanted to do so the suppliers have been very supportive,” said Houghton.
She also revealed that Mint Velvet was close to signing a deal for its first standalone store. The team is scouting for sites in market towns and plans to open up to 30 stores in the next few years.