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INDIGOFERA

Husband and wife Nick Stavrakakis and Abby Cornelius tell Laura Jackson why their agency stands out from the rest

How did you first know you wanted to work in fashion?
Nick Stavrakakis
: Abby originally worked in advertising, but I’m actually a third-generation rag trader. There was never any question about what I was going to do, just how I was going to do it. My grandmother owned a factory on Caledonian Road [in north London] and my parents ran a retail business in Greece. When I left university I worked in Italy for luxury brands Fendi and Alberta Ferretti, where I worked in the export department, before moving to Athens in Greece where I started distributing footwear. I spent four-and-a-half years working at brand house WDT [which owns brands including Firetrap] before convincing Abby we should set up our own distribution business.

Why is Indigofera different to other agencies?
NS:
We really love the brands we work with. We have been working with PRPS [the premium denim label] since its early days back in 2005 and we have put a lot of effort into growing the brand across a big territory which includes much of Europe, Asia-Pacific, Russia and the Middle East. We make sure deliveries are always on time, the sell-through is good and the service our stores get is all they could want. We are always on the road, seeing our customers, and this makes us more approachable.

How many brands do you represent?
Abby Cornelius
: We have both the men’s and women’s collections for PRPS, and for spring 10 the brand is launching a diffusion line too, which will be about 60% more affordable than the mainline. We also represent Cold Method, which is a very clean, affordable luxury brand, and a T-shirt label called 2K, which features designs by artists and graphic designers.

What do you look for in a brand?
AC:
We always look for something with a story behind it, something fresh, with good integrity and authenticity. We want brands that don’t conflict with what we already have, but offer a different facet to our brand stable. Customers relate to originality so that’s really important to us. Our next target is to find a great womenswear brand to balance out the menswear.

What plans do you have for the future of Indigofera?
NS:
We launched a PR arm at the end of last year so we could offer our brands a more
full-ranging package.
AC: We never really needed PR before, as PRPS and 2K had great word of mouth. But with the women’s PRPS line, we felt we needed some press support. We hope it will grow
into a healthy subdivision and it already has extra brands on top of the ones we distribute. We view Indigofera as more of a boutique agency, with a personal service for emerging brands and new talent.
NS: We’re also looking to open our own warehouse. We work out of three different ones at the moment in Hong Kong, Turin [in Italy] and Tilbury [in Essex], but we’d like to bring that whole logistical side in-house.

Quickfire questions

What was the last thing you bought?
NS
A heritage Belstaff jacket from a vintage store, which has amazing stitching on the shoulders.

Who is your favourite designer?
AC:
I am quite simple in my tastes and tend to go for clean lines and colours, so I love Stella McCartney.

Where is your favourite place to shop?
NS:
The Comme des Garçons shop in Tokyo is one of my favourites. The staff are great and it’s just a lovely store.

Who is your style icon?
AC:
Karen O from the [New York band] Yeah Yeah Yeahs. She is super cool. Most people never pull off half of what she wears, but she does it so effortlessly.

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