New footwear lines, including a women’s collection and a strong men’s outerwear offer, impress at Boxfresh.
Its north London office is one of the industry’s most enviable (we wouldn’t mind a swimming pool at Drapers’ HQ), so it’s no wonder the creative juices are flowing at Pentland Group streetwear brand Boxfresh.
After a year that has seen a 300 per cent increase in sales for the brand, and along with a recent Brand of the Year win at the UKFT Export Awards, its no wonder excitement is high at Boxfresh HQ. Last week a record number attendees at Bread and Butter previewed the collection of new footwear lines, a women’s collection and an even strong men’s outerwear offer, making it one of the most successful events ever for the brand. Let’s start with footwear.
Drapers was given a sneak autumn 12 preview ahead of Bread & Butter in Berlin in January, and there were highlights aplenty. Let’s start with footwear.
A new vulcanised men’s range offers an entry-level price point and comprises four styles, including a classic pump and desert boot. “It’s a more youthful collection,” explains footwear designer Chris Walton, picking up the sleek, lightweight, gum-sole desert boot in forest green. Earthy tones pervade the range, which starts from £17.50 at wholesale.
Boxfresh’s Sparko trainer continues to be the best-seller in the Memo range. “It’s going to start rocking big time,” enthuses Walton. “We really got the design and price right for spring 12. Prices went up at some of our competitors, but we were able to keep our manufacturing costs the same.”
For autumn 12, Boxfresh will introduce a tumbled leather Sparko trainer from £35, while Chip – a mid-cut boot – will join the Memo range. Grey, bitter chocolate and black will feature on basic leathers across the Chip range, while a shrunken, repeated Boxfresh logo is used on a quilted style. Meanwhile, spring 12’s toe-dip into women’s footwear will turn into a foray of 50 styles for next season.
Moving on to menswear, and senior menswear designer Gavin Skelton is “taking it back to old Boxfresh”. He says: “Workwear, military and heritage – that’s our recipe for perfect Boxfresh. We’re not relying on trends too much and the result is brand consistency.”
Outerwear stands out, with a canvas three-pocket jacket in khaki and a mustard waxed-cotton jacket among the key pieces. “But this is our daddy,” says Skelton, pulling out a three-quarter length, wax-cotton parka with a detachable Sherpa lining, over a herringbone lining, which wholesales for £62.
As well as outerwear, Skelton says “people are going crazy” for Boxfresh’s sweatshirt range, while Decmus trousers in tweed “are something a bit new for Boxfresh, for our higher-end customers”. Rounding off the autumn 12 collection – which has a palette made up of burgundy, mustard, blue, green and grey – are laundered, lightweight twill shirts and chambray shirts with stobby detail.
“Streetwear today is about heritage; it used to be about loud, brash logos,” says Skelton. “What’s coming next is a tasteful return to streetwear, with more attention to detail, a clean aesthetic, a touch of the technical and Scandinavian influences”
The new fashion footwear line for women at Boxfresh has already created excitement amongst women’s wear buyers, “people are excited by our quirky derbys and wedges” explains Kirsten Avery, Women’s Footwear Designer. Following in the footsteps of the men’s footwear line, there is a focus on sumptuous material and clever detailing with the strong Boxfresh aesthetic being applied to key silhouettes for the season.
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Number of styles in men’s footwear collection
Entry-level wholesale price point for women’s footwear
Entry-level wholesale price point for menswear, rising to £70
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