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Fenn Wright Manson design director joins Nougat to launch Project 40

Fenn Wright Manson’s former design director Claire Lawrence has been hired by womenswear brand Nougat to create a new brand aimed at the 40-plus market.

As head of design, Lawrence, who left Fenn Wright Manson along with directors Anju Mahbubani, Patrick Hollwey and Sharon Jones before it fell into administration in March, will lead a team of three to work on the brand, called Project 40.

The 150-piece contemporary range, which will debut for spring 13 and show at tradeshow Pure London in August, will comprise knitwear, casualwear, jackets and dresses, ranging from £60 to £150 at retail. Colour and print will be prominent, alongside natural fibres such as silk and linen.

Nougat chairman Harry Rogers, has set a target of wholesaling the range at 350 of its existing accounts in the UK and Republic of Ireland, by the brand’s second season, as well as adding new stockists.

According to Rogers, there is a gap in the market for affordable fashion for the 40-plus market. He sees the brand sitting alongside Fenn Wright Manson.

He added: “There are a lot of brands who have too many channels of sales and are undercutting themselves, selling wholesale to too many retailers. My plan is just to supply small indies and the smaller department stores so a bigger one can’t undercut the smaller.”

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