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Ghost

The womenswear label’s first wholesale offer in three years recaptures the spirit of its past.

When Ghost announced it was to revive its wholesale collection for spring 10, indie buyers sat up and took notice. Since the contemporary womenswear label’s previous owner, retail entrepreneur Kevin Stanford, pulled out of wholesale after its spring 07 range, Ghost has been a retail-only operation, running 33 stores in the UK.

In October 2008, Touker Suleyman, owner of shirt retailer Hawes & Curtis, rescued Ghost from administration, and this was the label’s first step on a return to wholesale. Suleyman vowed to bring back the feminine, luxury handwriting upon which the label was built. The comeback wholesale range for spring 10 does just that.

With draped dresses and a focus on premium fabrics such as satin, georgette and crêpe, Ghost returns to its roots with designs that are elegant and easy to wear for the 30-plus woman. Yet an injection of contemporary styling brings the collection bang up to date.

For Pauline Tyrer, manager of premium womenswear indie Fall Woman in Knutsford, Cheshire, the return to form is a good move: “It will work well as a wholesale brand because there seem to be so many pieces in the retail range, so if it is edited down by individual stores it will sell well.”

Spring 10’s wholesale collection is called Aviator and was designed as a follow-up to autumn 09’s Flight retail collection. It has been created in collaboration with Abdul Koroma and Andrew Jones, designers of London Fashion Week label Modernist.

Dresses are loosely inspired by parachutes and use silk and jersey. The colour palette is split into desert and oasis tones, the first comprising sand and neutral hues and the second strong on olives and khakis. Fresh sorbet and citrus colours liven up the range.

The brand has been approaching department stores and high-end indies, and price points come in below Ghost’s last wholesale range, starting at £20 for a top and going up to £80 for a long coat. The collection majors on floaty, feminine dresses alongside wraparound cardigans, parkas and slim stretch trousers.

“Modernist always plays with contrast and it crept in here too,” says Jones. “We wanted to make Ghost’s image younger and fresher. Even though the target is the 35 to 45 market, those women want to look 30. That was the problem with Ghost’s last wholesale range - it was too ‘garden party’ and a bit bland.”

Looking to autumn 10, Ghost brand director Heather Alexander says: “We want to expand the range of fabrics with a focus on knitwear, leather and more jersey.”

Essentials

2.7 to 3 Mark-up on the collection
70 Number of pieces in the relaunched wholesale collection
300 Number of stockists Ghost had when it last wholesaled

Ghost 0800 008 7772
shop.ghost.co.uk

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