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Shoppers still willing to spend on quality pieces

Luisa de Paula

There is no doubt that it’s not been an easy 18 months and we have all had to work hard for success in the branded fashion industry. There are those who say we are coming out of a recession and we can already see the green shoots. There are others who say we have not been through the worst of it.

What is clear to me, however, is that in these circumstances, people don’t buy fashion because they need it but because they want and aspire to it. With this in mind, My-Wardrobe’s approach to buying for autumn 10 was that we had to truly love every piece we bought and that we had to buy it with conviction. Although, there is less disposable cash around, people have to feel emotionally engaged, inspired and seduced by a product to part with their cash.

We bought commercial pieces which form the backbone of any wardrobe, but we also bought a lot of amazing pieces at higher price points. Our belief is that the consumer will spend more on one amazing piece and see it as a good investment. They are less willing to spend on a cheaper, mediocre product.

In womenswear, we have bought some very luxe pieces: shearling aviator jackets, Mongolian sheepskin gilets, leather leggings, statement coats and luxurious knitwear. On menswear, we have invested more in contemporary collections and have worked with a number of brands on exclusives that will really appeal to the collector mentality of the fashion-forward customer.

Next season will still be tough, but we feel confident that we have taken the decision to take a more directional approach, which fuses design content and quality, thus engaging the consumer.

Luisa de Paula is buying and merchandising director at premium etailer My-Wardrobe

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