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Wholesale booms at Rare Fashion

Young women’s fashion group Rare Fashion has tripled wholesale accounts for its major brands following a pre-pack administration last year.

Liverpool-based Fashion Finder, set up in 1999 by Rajesh Talwar, went into administration in April last year owing nearly £2m. It owned women’s young fashion brands Rare London, Opulence England, Coco’s Fortune and Paprika, which were transferred to Rare Fashion.

Rare London and Paprika were maintained as wholesaling brands following the administration, with Paprika trading as a sub-brand on the Rare London website. Opulence England and Coco’s Fortune will be re-launched, with the former returning to eight Topshop concessions for autumn 14 and the latter set to return for spring 15.

Post-administration, Rare London has nearly tripled its stockists to 400, up from 150. This includes a return to previous customers Topshop, Shop Direct and Asos, as well as adding new accounts such as US-based Nasty Gal. Around 250 accounts have come from retailers in international territories such as the US, Scandinavia, Italy, Germany and Austria.

It is now looking for more UK and international distributors for its spring 15 range and plans to show at Bread & Butter Berlin and Pure London for the autumn 15 editions. Reena said growth is being pushed in the US in particular, with a New York showroom planned in time for autumn 15. A London showroom will open in the spring next year, but he declined to say where.

Reena Talwar was Fashion Finder’s wholesale director and is now company director of Rare London. Though she declined to discuss specifics, she said Rare Fashion had grown turnover every month for the past six months as a result of the rapid growth of the Rare London wholesale business. She added average sales growth was approximately 4.5% each month and it is aiming to reach a turnover of £50m within the next three years.

Fashion Finder’s last annual turnover was reported as £15.5m for the year to May 31, 2012, with operating profit of £612,000, according to documents filed at Companies House.

The short-order Rare London brand now focuses on party dresses and separates, producing around 600 pieces per season. It has reduced its exposure to other ranges such as outerwear and swimwear, with Reena noting its product offering had grown too broad before the administration. “We’ve gone back to our heritage,” she said.

Wholesale prices, which are 20% to 25% lower than pre-administration prices, range from £11 for a T-shirt to £23 for a maxi or prom dress with a mark-up of between 2.7 and 2.9.

Reena said former suppliers had been “fully supportive” during the adminstration process and many continued to work with the company: “We have 10 key suppliers, a handful of whom have been working on Rare products since day one.”

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