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Ross X Bute is Anonymous no more as it moves upmarket

Womenswear brand Anonymous by Ross + Bute is setting out its stall as a higher-quality label as part of its future strategy under the creative directorship of Madeline Press.

The business, which has been rebranded as Ross X Bute for autumn 12 – the first collection under Press, who last autumn moved in-house having previously worked on a consultancy basis – is positioning itself alongside premium competitors such as Joseph and Étoile Isabel Marant.

As part of the rebrand, the price architecture has been widened at the top end to incorporate the more luxurious fibres and fabrics, although the entry-level price point is only marginally increasing. The wholesale price range is now £45 to £220, having previously ranged from £32 to £140.

Managing director Stuart Newman said: “I came into the business about a year ago and felt it was a bit of a sleeping giant. Shoppers want a quality product and so we are focusing on exactly that, using lots more natural fibres.”

Newman emphasised Press’s experience working with natural fibres including cashmere and alpaca as a key factor in her appointment.

Press – best known as one half of 1990s womenswear design duo Press & Bastyan – told Drapers her first collection paved the way for Ross X Bute’s future, bringing “a strong core” to the range.

“One of the key areas for the brand has always been to mix textures, so I wanted to focus on that while bringing a more luxury element to it.”

As part of the rebrand, Ross X Bute will launch a new transactional website at the end of August as well as refurbishing its two London stores, in Chelsea and Marylebone, over the next three weeks.

The website will operate on a new platform by software provider Magento, which will tie in with the retailer’s stock control system for the first time.

The brand’s two standalone stores will reflect the new higher-quality approach, with different colour schemes and shopfits. Newman said the rebrand would help drive the brand’s wholesale arm internationally for spring 13.

“We are not looking to significantly build on our existing 40 UK wholesale accounts but we are seeing growth in both the US and Japan and want to build on that,” he said.

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