Ethical designer womenswear brand Noir is releasing a more competitively priced diffusion line to broaden its stockist base and widen its appeal.
Called Bllack Noir, the line is to be sold through Four Marketing in the UK, after Noir chief executive Peter Ingwersen inked a deal with the agency.
Ingwersen said: “We have been working on Noir for three years, carving a niche for stylish ethical clothes, and we felt it was time to broaden the brand and make it more accessible.”
He added that Bllack Noir’s look was inspired by glam rock. “It is all about the tension between rock ’n’ roll looks and a very eco lifestyle,” he said.
Four Marketing’s Gino di Prato said: “We have always admired Noir for its quality and style. It’s distribution is limited though so we were excited about the opportunity with Bllack Noir. The strategy will be premium-focused but the prices are very commercial.”
Like the Noir mainline, Bllack Noir will be manufactured in Europe. The only difference will be that the Bllack Noir pieces will not be as detailed as the Noir range and the supplier will source textiles, a job which is done in-house for Noir.
Ingwersen added: “Both ranges are ethically produced and comply with the UN Global Compact (a compliance project set up by former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan) but the Bllack Noir pieces will advertise that on the labels. All the care labels will explain the provenance of the individual pieces.”
Ingwersen said the consumer launch has been scheduled for October. “We are planning various stunts to raise the profile of the collection, but I can’t say any more than that at the moment.”
Bllack Noir will launch with a capsule collection of 40 styles that will be delivered on October 1. This will be followed with a full spring collection of 65 styles that comes with two deliveries – the first on December 1 and a second on February 1.
Styles in both collections include tailoring, skirts, dresses, jerseys and tops, but no denim.
Ingwersen added that the launch of Bllack Noir ties in with a growing awareness among younger customers of social responsibility.
For the spring 09 buying season Bllack Noir will be showing at Bread & Butter in Barcelona on July 2-4; the Gallery trade show in Copenhagen from August 7-10; Prêt à Porter in Paris on September 5-8 and from September 19-22 in the Estethica section at the Exhibition at London Fashion Week, an area which is devoted to ethical labels.