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Ossie Clark label is set for revival

Marc Worth, co-founder of online trend forecaster WGSN, is to relaunch iconic 1960s womenswear brand Ossie Clark.
The brand, due to be unveiled during London Fashion Week next February, will be called Ossie Clark London and will also show during Paris Fashion Week. It is Worth’s first major venture since selling the WGSN site to Drapers publisher Emap in 2005.

Inspired by the original 1960s designs, the premium range will target high-end womens-wear retailers. Wholesale prices are to be confirmed, but Worth said he expected dresses to retail from £400 upwards.

The collection is likely to sit alongside brands such as Diane von Furstenberg and Marc Jacobs.

“It is more difficult reviving a brand than launching a new one because of the expectations people have from what they once knew,” said Worth. “Some people expect it to be the same as it was, others may think we will just sew the label onto a completely new look. We are aiming for a balance – we want to capture the spirit of Ossie Clark but bring it into the present day.”

The design team is led by creative director Avsh Alom Gor, who has previously worked at Donna Karan, Chloé, Roberto Cavalli and Nicole Farhi.

Knitwear will be a key category in the new collection, the responsibility of which will fall to senior knitwear design consultant Alice Wellbeloved. She will combine the new position with her current role at Aquascutum, where she is head of knitwear.

The Ossie Clark brand was established in the 1960s by eccentric fashion designer Ossie Clark and his then-wife, textile designer Celia Birtwell. They established a reputation for mixing flattering tailoring with romantic prints, which appealed to celebrities of the era.
The brand’s last collection was Ossie Clark for Radley in 1984. The label has been dormant since.

“Ossie and Celia created beautiful clothes for some of the most glamorous women of their time and launched a British designer brand way before any of us had heard of branding, marketing and ad campaigns,” said Worth. “I believe there are not enough people investing in the higher-end business of British fashion, creating inspiring and successful labels.”

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