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New MD to drive growth at womenswear firm WTR

The new managing director of womenswear brand and retailer WTR, Vanessa Toms, is planning to expand the firm’s retail and wholesale presence in the UK and internationally.



Toms joined WTR last month from Perry Ellis, where she was retail director for three years. She wants to open five new stores for the contemporary label over the next three years, including a second in London later this year, followed by one each in Barcelona and Paris in 2017.

WTR currently has one store in west London’s Westbourne Grove, which opened in October 2014, the year the brand launched.

Toms said Westbourne Grove was the “ideal location” for the brand as it had a “village atmosphere” and she would look for similar types of areas for the retail rollout.

Toms said WTR was fit for expansion because it understands its customer better than it did two years ago: “She is a regular traveller and she’s looking for luxury fabrics like cashmere and silk.

“We’ve thought carefully about who our customer is and what we should be, and the brand has really found its identity now: it is contemporary luxury and above all a lifestyle brand.”

WTR, which stands for Wear the Robe, began to wholesale for spring 16. It currently has a “handful” of independent stockists in the UK, Italy and the Ukraine, but is in talks with potential partners, including UK department stores, to expand for autumn 16.

Wholesale prices range from £30 for T-shirts to £310 for coats.

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