Formerly known as Oui Set, womenswear brand Set is ready to shout about its more aspirational repositioning.
Three years ago, Alon Junger and his wife Maya, chief executive and creative director respectively of Oui Group, began a marketing exercise which many brands are only just getting to grips with. At the end of the process the couple and their team had on paper defined the personalities of mainstream womenswear brand Oui Moments and its contemporary stablemate Oui Set.
Fast-forward six seasons and Alon Junger is convinced that Oui Set has, through more progressive designs, defined its bridge-to-designer handwriting. This trend-led, more aspirational look has been mirrored by an aggressive repositioning of the brand’s distribution channel spearheaded by UK managing director Geraldine Bennett.
Now the contemporary brand is entering a consumer-targeted third phase in its strategy led by a rebranding of Oui Set to Set. “This rebranding doesn’t mean anything for the collection or the distribution,” Junger explains. “We’ve been busy working on the repositioning of the collection and distribution of Set for some time. We needed to lose the Oui from the branding because of its mainstream connotations.
“Set has always needed to stand on its own two feet and we believe the time has now come for that to happen,” he adds.
In September Set will open a quasi-franchise store at 18 Thayer Street in London’s Marylebone. A joint venture with Alan Traub, owner of two-store contemporary womenswear indie Kit based in Fulham and Hampstead. The 540sq ft Set shopfit is being developed by Oui Group. In a separate area of the store Traub is opening a multibrand area stocking Marc Cain and Tara Jarmon.
The store opening will be followed next year by a consumer magazine and national newspaper supplements ad campaign to promote Set’s spring 09 range – the brand’s first season with its new name. The emphasis will be on developing a premium perception among the brand’s target customers.
“Set now has the same quality, finish and sense of luxury as designer brands, but challenges other brands on price,” says Bennett.
According to Junger and Bennett the Set customer profile is wide, but focused on an “international, fashion-forward woman led by her own sense of style,” says Junger. “She’s not trying to follow every trend, but she’s sharp, contemporary and urban. She’s also a working mum. Our customer is someone who is successful at home and at work.”
Set’s consumer profile is a tall order by any woman’s standards, although the brand’s rocketing success underlines how well it is engaging with well-heeled shoppers.
“The past three years have seen Set grow by 30% year on year, with £2.5 million sales generated via 143 stockists,” says Bennett. “We’ve hit an interesting point. The range has the wow factor, we have the silhouettes right, and the high performance and sell-throughs that retailers need. Now the challenge is getting that message to the consumer.”
Set 020 7580 1474 www.set-fashion.com
2.7: The margin Oui Group is offering its retail customers for spring 09, up from 2.6 for spring 08
143: The number of Set stockists in the UK
£6.6m: Oui Group’s annual UK sales