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Fleur B launches Fashion Springboard fund

Fleur Bird, owner of the Fleur B boutiques in London’s Chelsea and Duke Street, is expanding her wholesale collection for autumn 15 and has launched a fund to help emerging British brands develop their own collections.

Bird, who spent 10 years as a buyer for Next and Debenhams, launched her own label when she established her first store in Chelsea in March 2012. The small collection was initially created to supplement the branded offer, which includes Carven, Filippa K, American Vintage and Goat.

It has now grown into a 40-piece collection for autumn 15 focused on silk separates, outerwear and leather, which she will present at Scoop in London on February 1-3 and Coterie in New York on February 23-25. Wholesale prices range from £50 for a silk vest up to £200 for a coat.

“The range has grown from season to season,” explained Bird. “Everything is made in the UK, which is something I am very passionate about.”

Bird first introduced the range for wholesale stockists for autumn 14 at Scoop and Coterie and secured independents such as Love the Lot in Sheffield and Luxe Room in Kilkenny, Ireland. For spring 15, Fleur B launched a collaboration with high street retailer Anthropologie, comprising two printed dresses and a top, which will drop into selected UK Anthroplogie stores in April (with a later delivery planned in July).

Bird will start accepting applications for her new Fashion Springboard fund in May, when brands can apply for between £30,000 and £60,000, depending on their business plan and investment requirement.

“I am looking for talented new British boutique brands and designers who will be awarded a lump sum to launch or continue to develop a range,” she said. “I found the industry to be very supportive when I started, so I want to do the same. I will help with product development and brand creation, but I see it as a two-way street. It is about growing our business and helping other people to start theirs.”

Each case would vary but Bird would take a minority stake in the business, subject to negotiations, and would buy stock from the designers to sell in the Fleur B stores.

After establishing her 400 sq ft store at 8 Elystan Street in Chelsea, Bird opened a second store on 21 Duke Street the following September. She now has a team of seven, who work across retail and brand functions, and is looking for a site for a third store in New York, to open in September 2015.

The two UK stores stock own label Fleur B in addition to other brands, while the third New York store will solely stock the Fleur B range.

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