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Mint Design relaunches womenswear

Accessories brand Mint Design is poised to reintroduce a womenswear collection.

Mint, which used to be part of womenswear chain East before a management buyout in May last year, expanded its “accessories clothing” line, featuring kaftans, wraps and scarves, for autumn 09.

It now plans to relaunch a full womenswear wholesale range, potentially as soon as autumn 10.

Mint Design was launched in 2004, initially as a wholesale-only younger sister brand to East. A Mint Design clothing line was trialled but dropped after two seasons, as the company opted to focus on jewellery and accessories.

Mint Design sales director Simon Rapley said: “The last clothing range we did was spring 06 and it was very well received. There’s a market for it among our stockists.”

The plans follow a successful spring 09 season, when Mint achieved a 20% increase in sales compared with spring 08, driven by a 100% rise in scarf sales and a sell-out introductory range of kaftans. Rapley expected a 30% year-on-year sales rise for autumn 09.

Mint will also introduce a premium collection of accessories called Mint Boutique at double its mainline retail price point. Necklaces, for example, will retail from £20 to £60. The pieces will include precious metals, leather and embroidery and will be introduced “in a couple of seasons’ time”, according to Rapley. He added: “We’ve successfully trialled pieces at this price point.”

Mint has 650 stockists in the UK and Republic of Ireland, including department store chain Fenwick and several indie department stores. It plans to grow its UK business via more concessions.

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