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Older women find a saviour in Davies

Lauretta Roberts

In a week where we’re celebrating some of the nation’s brightest up-and-coming talent, with news of the latest crop of designers to secure Topshop and the British Fashion Council’s NewGen sponsorship for London Fashion Week (page 6) and a report on the best of the best of Graduate Fashion Week (page 58), it’s interesting to see one of our most experienced talents announce a comeback.

George Davies, who brought us some of the most revolutionary fashion retail formats in the form of Next, George at Asda and Marks & Spencer’s Per Una sub-brand, has revealed details of his latest venture, GIVe. This new brand will target the woefully underserved 35-plus womenswear sector via stores and department store concessions.

Davies is promising high-quality, fashionable clothing at competitive prices, positioning the brand at bridge level between the high end of the high street and the lower end of the designer market. He has also pledged to ensure that only one GIVe store will be present in any one town or city to make it much more of a destination.

Our industry’s obsession with the apparent glamour of youth has led many other retailers to distance themselves from this market, leaving many women with good money to spend with nowhere on the high street to spend it. The recent repositioning of Whistles, from what sounds very much like Davies’s stated vision for GIVe, to a trend-led mecca for fashion-conscious 20-somethings, conveniently opens the door even wider for Davies. If he gets it right, and chances are he will, we can expect many women to flood through his doors when he opens them.

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