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Fashion the future from your heritage

Jessica Brown

There’s something to be said for taking a long hard look back over the history of your business in the current climate.

Yes, there are hard lessons to be learned from past mistakes but there’s likely to be just as many good ideas that can be dusted down and updated for today’s challenging times.

A number of fashion companies are doing just that – recycling great concepts or ideas and looking to heritage brands to help differentiate them from the high street.

JD Sports Fashion is revisiting its Open concept while several independents featured in our Streetwear Special (page 38) share their spring 10 buying strategies – the recurring theme being that heritage sports and casualwear brands are much higher on their agendas.

Plundering the Drapers archives has taught me a lot about how this industry has evolved, but it remains a fact that certain shoppers flock to the comfort of trusted brands in a recession. Use that to your advantage.

Meanwhile, three of the biggest characters in the young fashion sector are working on an innovative new trade show concept for launch next year, designed to champion heritage brands and bring consumers and the trade together. This won’t be easy to pull off, but bold ideas should be applauded at this time.

Looking back must not be an excuse to play it safe though. Now is a time to innovate and experiment (within reason). Never stray from what has kept your customers loyal but be sure to deliver something knock-out new on top, be that product or experience.

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