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Brandwatch: Hoss Intropia

As the quirky brand opens its third London store, it is seeking to deepen its diverse wholesale base

This spring, Spanish contemporary womenswear brand Hoss Intropia will open its third UK standalone store, in London’s Covent Garden, joining its two other stores in the capital in Regent Street and Sloane Square. The opening will coincide with the brand’s wholesale debut in luxury department store Harvey Nichols, and these events reflect the growing recognition in the UK of this gently quirky Iberian brand.

The brand’s UK manager, Paulette Cohen of distributor Wahl Fashions, says: “The brand awareness is strong - partly because of the retail stores in London and also because fashion editors love it. We get lots of coverage in the glossies like Marie Claire and Vogue.”

Now stocked by 200 UK accounts, Hoss Intropia was founded as Hoss Homeless in 1994 by Paloma Vázquez de Castro, a former costume designer to the National Ballet of Spain. Well established in its domestic market by 2006, the company changed its name to improve brand perception internationally.

With a collection characterised by its easy-to-wear versatility, the brand has a staunch fanbase among 30-something women. Cohen cites “sweet little dresses, amazing coats and original knitwear” as the pillars of the brand’s popularity but is also keen to emphasise its versatility at retail. “The types of stockist really vary - for some premium retailers it’s an entry-level brand but we have others for whom it’s the ceiling. It mixes well either way.”

Jan Shutt, chief executive of premium womenswear indie Sunday Best in Rawtenstall, Lancashire, agrees, attributing the brand’s popularity to the fact customers “can buy unique pieces to match existing clothes in their wardrobes, rather than whole outfits”.

Antonia Rodriguez, the brand’s retail manager, says it is happy with UK performance but that it plans to expand its account base. Because of this, UK consumer tastes are carefully considered at design stage.

Accessories, including handbags, footwear and costume jewellery, are a growth area, particularly in the UK, according to Rodriguez.

Retailers suggest the success of add-on categories is a sign of brand loyalty among customers. Dylan Ross, buyer at premium womenswear indie Question Air in Dulwich, south London, says: “The collections are quirky, the prints and shapes are always fun and feminine and the brand is a consistently strong performer.”

The autumn 10 collection should not disappoint. According to Rodriguez, the design team is working “a lot on textures, injecting colour into knitwear, leather and accessories.”

Essential

200 Number of UK stockists
£30 Entry wholesale price, rising to £140
400 Number of pieces in the spring 10 collection

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