London own-label womenswear independent Number 35 has unveiled its second store, on Fulham Road in west London.
The store, owned by former Next product manager for London Andrea Cohen, opened four weeks ago and sells only the Number 35 own label.
The business’s other store, on Highgate West Hill in Highgate, north London, opened three years ago.
Cohen is the managing director and designer of the Number 35 label, which she described as having “classic, timeless elegant designs”. She added that she launched the label because was frustrated at being unable to find simple, elegant and well-fitted clothing.
Before launching her own business Cohen worked at high street retailer Next in London, where she gained “fantastic retail experience,” which has proved useful in setting up her own business.
Cohen said she opened the Fulham store because she could not pass up the opportunity of such a great location, despite the tough economic climate.
“It might seem crazy, but if you are expanding in a recession you can get better deals and negotiate tougher terms. You come out of the other side a stronger business,” she said.
The Number 35 stores put a strong emphasis on customer service, according to Cohen, which she feels is key in the current trading climate.
“We offer service how it used to be and how it should be,” she said. “We offer alterations and made-to-measure; if someone is a size nine we can make that. In terms of the collection, we offer something unique. There is nothing on the high street at the moment that you look at and go ‘wow’.
“We want people to buy one or two special pieces; we’re not about throwaway fashion.”
Cohen said price levels at Number 35 are comparable to womenswear brands such as MaxMara and Joseph, with trousers starting at £175 and shirts from £150. She said her bestsellers include a white shirt with panel collar and brightly coloured high-waisted trousers with ribbon detailing.
Looking ahead to the final months of the year, Cohen said: “At Highgate we’ve been up all year, but October was down and November will be mixed.”