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Psycho Cowboy

The Danish streetwear brand is back in the saddle and lassoing UK stockists with a sophisticated look.

The story behind Danish streetwear brand Psycho Cowboy may well be apocryphal, but its UK sales agent, Reiver Clothing’s Dean Batty, is sticking with it. “Apparently, the guy behind it was an orphan. He grew up, made good and started the brand in the 1990s. But he was always a wild card – he lived fast, died young and left the brand to his orphanage.”

The way Batty tells it, the orphanage was never up to running the business and so the brand’s lifeblood ebbed away.
Five years ago it was picked up by BTX Group, the Danish fashion powerhouse behind brands such as Blend, B Young, Gestuz and Fransa, and relaunched for autumn 08. “Those guys know what they’re doing,” says Batty. “So, if they are putting money into a brand, you can be sure it’s worth it.”

But in a market where established brands are going toe-to-toe with each other for every last creaking inch of consumer spend, and where more wannabe brands spring up every season, what sets this one apart is a combination of product, price and marketing. “Just look at the name to begin with,” says Batty. “Psycho Cowboy – come on. I wish I’d thought of it.” It’s certainly designed to grab attention, but the collection itself speaks in more understated tones.

While the spring 08 range had plenty of neon graphics on jerseys, the spring 09 offer is undercut with a sophistication more redolent of the brand’s Danish roots. Think ruffle-front tops, leather dresses, high-waisted jeans, biker jackets, silver leggings and cotton dresses for women, while men get long-line cardigans, checked flannel shirts and tailored shorts. For both men and women, lightweight nylons add a futuristic edge. Denim is mostly of the raw variety but with 1980s influences.

And there are more prosaic elements to the brand’s appeal. Batty says that the three-times mark-up is a vital draw, while the low minimums and free delivery make it easier to buy into the collection throughout the season. Prices sit at about £10 for T-shirts, £20-plus for jeans and up to £35 for outerwear. It is a price architecture and design aesthetic that has lured about 30 accounts for autumn 08, the brand’s first season in the UK since its relaunch. Going into spring 09 it will be stocked by young fashion chain Republic.

Batty says the Republic deal will galvanise the brand’s future with indies. “There was a time when indies would drop a brand if it went into a multiple. But now having a chain like Republic buy into a brand gives indies more confidence in the brand.

“So we will be looking at all the little places where there isn’t a Republic or another competitor and talking to stockists.”
Batty believes a UK turnover of £20 million is easily within Psycho Cowboy’s reach, and adds that there is plenty of potential for standalone retail openings. But that is all in the future.

Psycho Cowboy 07966 460066

250: Number of pieces in the Psycho Cowboy range
1: Number of years since the brand was resurrected
3: Times mark-up offered by the brand

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