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Ex-River Island buying manager launches womenswear brand

Karina Mitchell, former international buying manager at River Island, has launched a womenswear brand called Lost Ink into the UK.

Lost Ink, which is based in London, launched in Russia on etailer Lamoda for spring 15. It is now available in the UK on, Lipsy and Next.

Mitchell, who worked at River Island from 2011 until 2013, is brand director. She said Lost Ink will compete with high street retailers such as Zara, Topshop and River Island, as well as adding something different to boutiques.

“We wanted to create a product that would be unique but at the same time very wearable. The combination of its high street and boutique handwriting placing will place us somewhere in between the major fashion players like Zara, where you can find the latest trends with very competitive price points, and some eclectic designer boutiques where you could find truly special ‘one off’ pieces at higher price points.”

She added: “We are actively looking for further partnerships online and in bricks-and-mortar stores. There is no cap to the number of partnerships we are aiming for, however we are being selective as the retailer’s profile has to support our brand identity.”

The brand launched with 1,000 SKUs in its first season.

“With Lamoda we had a platform behind us that allowed us to launch a full range and to get a full marketing coverage at once,” said Mitchell. “At the same time we decided to focus our efforts on building our team and infrastructure to support a wholesale operation and its further expansion.”

Lamoda is part of Rocket Internet and financially supported by German and Swedish investment groups that run several ecommerce platforms, including Zalando.

Retail prices range from £15 to £45 for tops, £25 to £80 for dresses and £35 to £120 for outerwear. The firm declined to provide wholesale prices.

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