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Lazy Oaf

The young fashion brand offers forward order for the first time for autumn 11 and returns to Bread & Butter in July.

Young fashion brand Lazy Oaf began life as a short-order T-shirt brand, but after expanding its product categories it will return to Berlin streetwear show Bread & Butter in July after a two-season hiatus and has restructured to add a forward-order service to its European stockists that tend to prefer to buy further ahead.
Lazy Oaf began life as a side project for founder Gemma Shiel, who made up a handful of printed T-shirts for her university friends. Today it has 20 UK stockists and some 100 international accounts across the US, Japan and Australia.

For autumn 11 it launched its collection earlier than normal to give European buyers the opportunity to place earlier orders along the lines of a more traditional forward-order cycle. Each collection will now launch around six months in advance of the season, in line with forward-order brands, but it will also remain on sale to stockists throughout the season to serve those who prefer to buy it short order or from stock. The autumn 11 collection will drop in August.

Meanwhile, the spring 11 collection, which is available at short order, is inspired by 1990s California surf culture, and the brand’s signature bright and bold cropped T-shirts and body-con skirts are “flying out”, according to wholesale manager Shevone Bliss.

On the men’s side, the watermelon-print T-shirt (pictured) and printed sweatshirts are big sellers, Bliss adds.

Lazy Oaf offers a 2.5 mark-up, and wholesale prices range from £12 for a women’s cropped T-shirt to £35 for a men’s sweatshirt. New styles for autumn 11 include a knitted jumper dress with pom-pom detail and a men’s primary-coloured panel sweatshirt.

“The collection has matured to include details such as visible zips, contrast panelling and all-over prints. We are no longer purely a screen print on T-shirt brand,” says Bliss.

The brand is targeting indies such as Oi Polloi and etailer Oki-ni with the Lazy Oaf menswear collection, with current stockists including Selfridges in London, Manchester and Birmingham as well as indie Mimm in Nottingham. Boutiques including Thunder Egg in Manchester and Frank Boutique in Stirling stock the womenswear range, which makes up 70% of the brand’s total wholesale sales.

It has also recently launched a wholesale sales tool on its website which allows stockists to replenish stock online.

Lauris Tosh, co-owner of womenswear indie Beco Boutique in Dundee, spotted the brand at trade show Pure London in February. “Our store is mainly vintage and customised one-offs,” she says. “We particularly like the cartoon prints for spring 11, and have ordered one of most pieces in the collection with as view to using the online wholesale tool to order in as and when we sell.”

There are plans for the collection to expand further to include denim and perhaps blouses. Bliss says: “It’s about finding the right manufacturer, as it would be a new area and we would want to have control over our designs.”

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