The spring/summer 15 buying season for womenswear began in an encouraging fashion on the first day of Scoop in London yesterday (Sunday).
The premium brands show saw a steady flow of buyers to its two venues, but in the afternoon the sun seemed to be more attractive to some buyers than looking at new collections and exhibitors reported a slowing down in traffic.
Scoop reflected a general feeling that better-end womenswear retailers have had a satisfactory SS14 season, although it has not been a consistent or easy period of trading. “My stockists have done OK this season – well, at least the ones that haven’t closed,” one exhibitor told Drapers with a touch of black humour.
Julia Jaconelli, owner of premium boutique Courtyard in Guildford, was buying at the show and exhibiting for the first time as the agent for Austrian scarf supplier Mala Alisha. “I have had a good season and most retailers I speak with have been OK,” she said. “But I think we are all being very selective about what we buy these days.”
“The well-established independents have done alright, I haven’t heard any horror stories,” said Samantha Cradock of Brand Studio, the agent for Laurèl and Turnover. “They have had reasonably good sell-throughs, but early Sales mean that June is not a full-price month anymore. We are seeing them put more of their budget into autumn/winter because spring/summer is getting to be so short.”
Alex Bernstein of occasionwear brand Bernshaw confirmed that his stockists had enjoyed solid sell-throughs. “But they bought very carefully for this spring, so it’s not surprising that they sold out in some cases. But I’d rather have them buying too little than too much,” he said.
Many exhibitors confirmed that there had been marked differences in the regional performance this season. “The London stores have been good for us, but business has been hard in the North,” commented Aimee Brakes, womenswear sales manager for Danish brand Minimum. “But at least womenswear has not been hit as hard as menswear and buyers seem happy that things are not getting any worse.”
Some sellers were more upbeat. “I can smell the optimism,” Mauro Santa Barbara, UK sales manager for motorcycle-themed brand Matchless, remarked. “We are seeing no resistance from buyers for our leather jackets which wholesale at £349 to retail at £899. We are coming out of the dip and it will be even better by the autumn.”
Now on its eighth season, Scoop attracted its usual plaudits for the quality of the brands on offer. Founder Karen Radley presented almost 300 collections in all across clothing, footwear, accessories and fragrance, with about 180 on show at the Saatchi Gallery and the rest at the nearby Phillips Gallery. Scoop runs until Tuesday.