Ethereal, inventive designs from Down Under are proving a hit with UK contemporary womenswear indies.
Despite launching only five years ago, Australian contemporary womenswear brand Something Else already boasts a handful of accounts with the kind of trend-setting retailers many brands dream of acquiring, including Harvey Nichols, Asos and Urban Outfitters.
Designed by Natalie Wood, former designer for surfwear brand Insight, Something Else’s mission statement is to offer a street chic look using musical, art and popular culture influences via graphic prints and artist collaborations. The result is a range of layered separates which veer from dark and edgy through to whimsical and ethereal.
While for autumn 09 the brand opted for a celestial feel, conjuring up dreams of space exploration via futuristic graphic prints, spring 10 is inspired by the ancient Egyptian sun god Ra. The collection serves up charcoal and steely grey skirts, dresses and tops with bold metallic stripes. More feminine colours such as lemon and peach sorbet, hot pinks and busy floral prints are used on camisoles and draped dresses.
Standout pieces include a hot pink asymmetric silk dress with a ruffle collar, a cotton sateen hazy floral print dress and a white sequin-covered draped T-shirt.
Prices for spring 10 start at £16 for a T-shirt and go up to £102 for a coat, with a mark-up of 2.5.
“Our price points are very well accepted for the style, fabrication and individuality we offer with every piece,” says global brand co-ordinator Gabby Bemrose. “The sell-through globally is proof of this.”
Something Else has 11 accounts in the UK and is stocked in more than 100 stores worldwide. Steve English, managing director of streetwear indie Cooshti in Bristol, which stocks the brand, says: “We’re very impressed with a lot of the stuff that is coming out of Australia. Something Else gave us something a bit different. We tend to buy fairly small amounts but we have a 100% sell-through with it.”
Sarah Lawton, womenswear buyer at Thomas St Post Office in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, which has stocked the brand for two seasons, adds: “It’s an interesting conceptual brand. There is good energy behind it, [driven by] Natalie Wood. They do strong prints with interesting artists.”
Bemrose, together with global brand manager Mana Mawlai, travels to the UK three times a year to sell the label. Something Else’s sales and customer service operations are run from Sydney in Australia, but the brand is on the lookout for an agent to distribute the collection in the UK and Europe.
Mark-up on the brand’s collection
Number of UK accounts
Number of pieces in the collection
Something Else 00 61 2 9662 8838, www.something.net.au