A host of celebrity fans are helping to build a buzz around the LA-based short-order young fashion label
The hype surrounding US premium young fashion brand Wildfox has put paid to the suggestion that the days of celebrity-endorsed brands are numbered.
Wildfox hails from Los Angeles, and with the brand being papped on the backs of celebrities Beyoncé, Megan Fox and, most recently, Cheryl Cole - who was pictured ahead of her impending divorce in the Wildfox ‘I left my heart in Beverly Hills’ slogan T-shirt - a buzz is building around the brand.
Wildfox tapped into the spring 10 trend for the vintage ‘worn-in’ look with a range of louche, long-line flared jersey vests and T-shirts emblazoned with fun graphic slogans and prints, which have enticed leading independents such as London’s Diverse, Sarah Coggles in York and Doll Boutique in Glasgow to buy into the brand.
Obi Ejiofor, owner of UK agency Self Service, the UK distributor for Wildfox, says there are many more retailers coveting the brand and that while its prices are at a premium - it wholesales from about £20 to £55 - it has developed a certain cool cache among hip young things.
“If you see a girl in Wildfox you get the feeling she is in the know and is plugged into cool,” says Ejiofor.
The womenswear collection is designed by LA-based childhood friends Emily Faulstich and Kimberley Gordon, who hang the Wildfox collections around a different theme each season. For autumn 10 the theme is witchcraft, with the design duo channelling white magic and ouija boards. Wildfox is due to launch a US-manufactured denim range for spring 11, and a line of sunglasses and footwear will follow.
The jeans from Wildfox will not be tight, bright and distressed but will be classic and clean, employing skinny, slim and bootcut silhouettes. Wildfox works towards a seven-week short-order model and is reliant on deliveries from the US to be able to deliver within that period.
According to Ejiofor, the fast-fashion model is essential to the brand’s success. “People like to refresh their stores regularly - I used to be a retailer, I know how it works,” he says. “Forward order is not a smart way to do business if you’re an indie with a 2,000-shopper catchment.”
Wildfox notched up sales of $44m (£30m) in 2009 but believes it can reach a goal of $100m (£68m) in the long term. The brand aims to increase sales by growing distribution and developing new product categories.
“This is a premium brand,” says Ejiofor, “and we want the high-quality regional penetration that boutiques give you.”
Wildfox 020 7725 5700 www.wildfoxcouture.com
Year the brand was founded
Number of countries in which the brand is distributed
The long-term global turnover target