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Psyche owner branches into young fashion

The owner of premium independent department store Psyche has opened a 8,000 sq ft shop dedicated to young fashion brands, also in Middlesbrough.

Steve Cochrane said Style Lab, which opened on Friday at 6-8 Wesley Mall in the Cleveland Centre, would promote young fashion brands with lower entry level prices, such as Humör, Religion and Cheap Monday. It will focus on denim, with the average price of jeans around £35 to £80, and is pitched at the Topshop/Topman and Urban Outfitters customer.

Psyche – which is much bigger at 35,000 sq ft and located nearby at 175-187 Linthorpe Road – will continue to focus on well-established premium brands, such as Hugo Boss and Armani Jeans. The average price of jeans there is £80 to £200.

“I don’t want to cannibalise what we’re doing at Psyche, which is more premium and aimed at an older, more sophisticated customer,” Cochrane explained.

He told Drapers now seemed like the right time to open Style Lab, as Psyche has been trading well and is “bulging at the seams”.

“I’ve often gone to shows like Gallery [in Copenhagen] and Jacket Required and thought, ‘I’d like to buy that, but we can’t fit it in’. And Psyche has such big names that you can’t put emerging brands between them; they’d never sell.”

Style Lab is set over two floors, with the 4,000 sq ft ground floor devoted to trading and the first floor used as an office and stockroom.

  • Steve Cochrane will be honoured for his outstanding contribution to Middlesbrough at an awards ceremony hosted by the town mayor on November 27.

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