Inspired by The Jam and devised by Liam Gallagher, menswear label Pretty Green is steeped in rock heritage.
With the commercial uncertainties of the recession forcing so many buyers to back trusted brands, it takes a compelling story to get them to engage with a new label. But that’s just what menswear brand Pretty Green has got.
Not only is it the brainchild of Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher but it was designed by the singer in tandem with doyen of menswear design Nick Holland of Holland Esquire. And with Dean West, an ex-director of Boxfresh, Ted Baker and Pilot, as sales manager, it boasts a persuasive-looking triumvirate.
The brand launched for autumn 09 and is being sold directly to consumers via its website. This initial offer, which consists of T-shirts, nylon windcheaters and knits branded with a 1960s-derived logo, will now function as a capsule range alongside a more sophisticated, higher-priced mainline which launches at wholesale for spring 10.
West is excited about the brand’s prospects: “It’s what I’ve been waiting for – an iconic British rock brand.” He says the collection draws on musical references with a heavy leaning towards 1960s mods – think striped boating blazers, button-down twill shirts, paisley shirts, tailored trench coats, polka-dot scarves, fine-gauge knits and heavy pea coats with branded metal buttons. The silhouette is fairly slim with a clean-lined aesthetic, a commercial palette and a high-quality ethos. Jeans use Japanese selvedge denim and a collarless bomber is rendered in butter-soft Kobe leather.
West says Gallagher insists on the great quality, noting that even the entry-level T-shirts use Egyptian cotton.
Still, some retailers are cynical about the rock star’s involvement. As one buyer says: “I love the clothes but I need to know the brand will have the longevity. Liam Gallagher is a millionaire rock star and could just walk away.” However, West insists: “This is not a whim, he wanted to do this. It was his idea and he loves it.”
The distribution strategy is simple, aiming for best-of-breed indie or department stores in each town. One of those could be Fenwick in Newcastle upon Tyne, whose menswear buyer Les Dales says: “It’s a lovely collection, understated and well presented.” But will he buy it? “I’ve got to decide how commercial it will be. The prices are no obstacle and we do have brand-hungry customers. So the question is how will it be marketed?”
Jo Cruickshanks, Pretty Green’s marketing consultant, says its website already has a 100,000-strong fanbase, thanks largely to Gallagher. While the Gallagher brand will remain key to the strategy, she expects the range to eventually also stand on its own.
Number of pieces in the spring 10 range
The stated mark-up
Starting wholesale price for the range, which goes up to £150
Year the The Jam’s Sound Affects LP was released, which includes the song Pretty Green
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