John Lewis has today launched a collection with blogger and YouTube star Jim Chapman.
Chapman & Lewis
The Chapman & Lewis collaboration will be accompanied by a multichannel campaign as part of a strategy to further grow menswear sales and improve John Lewis’s contemporary credentials.
Chapman has picked out several key looks for various occasions and will showcase his edit on social media and online, and through visual merchandising and point-of-sale material in stores.
The collaboration will run in three key phases: the first launches today; the second begins for autumn in mid-August; and the third commences in October for winter.
Chapman has 2.1 million fans on Instagram and 1.7 million on Twitter, compared with John Lewis’s 103,000 Instagram fans and almost 300,000 Twitter followers.
“It’s definitely an opportunity for us to optimise some of those channels,” said Nick Keyte, head of menswear buying at John Lewis. “Social media is inherently important to us now and it’s a two-way street. “We can interact with consumers but it’s also a way for people to get in touch with us. We launched [womenswear brand] Selfish Mother on the back of Instagram.”
He revealed that menswear sales are trading positively against last year’s figures, when it was the best-performing category within fashion for the year to January 30, up by 9% year on year.
“We’ve had a good few weeks and although every sale is tough to get at the moment, the slightly better pattern in weather has definitely helped,” said Keyte. “We’re not resting on our laurels.”
Keyte said that growth is mainly coming from “an increasingly contemporary assortment” from third-party brands including Hugo Boss, Ted Baker, Paul Smith, Scotch & Soda and Selected Homme, as well as its own brands, including Kin and John Lewis & Co.
“The reality is there is no divide between casualwear and formalwear any more – it is more of a mash-up of the two but we have seen investment pieces in formalwear doing really well this year,” he said.
He added: “The blue story continues to play out in suiting but we’re seeing a really fizz around grey too at the moment.”
He believes the Chapman & Lewis collaboration will appeal to consumers attracted to Chapman’s effortless, yet attainable style.
“Chapman & Lewis will live online but we’ll be communicating it digitally and in branches – it’s truly reflective of the whole multichannel piece,” he said.