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Next supplier launches womenswear brand

Kirei, a wholesale supplier to high street chains including Next and Monsoon, has launched its own womenswear brand following encouragement from retailers.

The vintage-inspired eponymous label launched a 40-piece spring 15 collection online at Kireiclothing.com last week, as well as on the ‘Label’ section of Next’s website.

The autumn 15 range, which is the same size, is being sold by Drapers Independents Awards-winning agency Chiltern Street Studio. Kirei founder Hina Moss told Drapers she hopes it will be picked up by department stores including John Lewis and Harvey Nichols. Wholesale prices range from £17 for delicate lace tops to £80 for hand-embroidered kimonos.

Moss also plans to open a pop-up shop in London in May to test consumer reaction to the brand.

She told Drapers Next had been “incredibly supportive” of the launch. “I’ve been working with the high street for a long time and retailers like Next have always said, ‘Why don’t you do your own brand?’ We put a range together and it got a great reaction from buyers visiting the showroom. It was right to move forward and do what we are best at: creating premium pieces inspired by our travels.”

Moss spent nine years as a range selector for Marks & Spencer and three years as a senior buyer for Arcadia before setting up her wholesale business six years ago. She has since built up a network of strong relationships with factories in India, which she said made the launch of her own brand an “easier process”.

“We already have that infrastructure so it was easier for us to start up than other brands; we already have the systems in place so it makes lead times shorter,” she explained.

She said “newness” and transitional pieces will play a key role in all of the collections. “It’s very much a buy-now, wear-now society and that’s how we will operate going forward. People are buying into whatever the current climate is. Transitional pieces and phasing between the seasons is becoming more important, so will be adding new collections every six weeks.”

As well as working with Indian factories, Moss has signed a UK-based knitwear supplier for the autumn 15 range.

@jillgeoghegan

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