Now in its third season, the sister brand of Scotch & Soda is quickly carving out its own identity.
Scotch & Soda’s sister brand Maison Scotch is making waves in the contemporary womenswear market. Just three seasons old, Maison Scotch has already garnered an 80-strong UK account base, and stockists have averaging a 75% sell-through on the spring 10 collection, according to the brand.
Initially, the brand hung off the coat tails of Scotch & Soda, with retailers such as Psyche in Middlesbrough and department store Fenwick buying into the womenswear brand after already stocking its menswear counterpart. However, Maison Scotch is also making its own inroads, with the likes of womenswear boutique The Dressing Room in St Albans picking up the collection.
Former Ben Sherman brand manager Roger Gilmour, now sales director at agency Zone Two which handles UK and Republic of Ireland distribution for Maison Scotch, has the job of growing the Dutch brand in the UK. Against autumn 10, spring 11 orders are ahead 60%, and with the order books set to close on September 15, Gilmour is confident there are more orders to come.
Fi Lovett, owner of premium three-store London indie Fifi Wilson, has been selling the brand since its inaugural spring 10 collection. “It’s very natural and uses a lot of relaxed fabrics,” she says. “It has an effortless appeal and the margin is better than lots of other brands. It reminds me of a better-priced, less formal and more relaxed Ralph Lauren. It sits with other brands very easily.”
That is a flattering comparison for such a young brand. The hope among stockists such as Lovett is that Maison Scotch will continue to strike a balance between being a wearable collection and a compelling one as it matures in the market.
Gilmour cites premium brand adjacencies such as Toast, Twenty8Twelve, and Sonia by Sonia Rykiel for Maison Scotch. Wholesale prices start at £15 for a jersey top to £139 for a leather jacket, and the core range sits between £25 and £40. Gilmour says the spring 11 winners so far are lightweight short pea coats and parkas, bouclé blazers and a linen gilet, plus 1970s-inspired voile tunic tops.
Due to the brand’s short but steep growth trajectory, it seems to be just dawning on Gilmour how successful Maison Scotch could be.
“I guess we need to grow it. Selling spring 11 is very pleasant because we’re now selling to those who are getting sell-through information from previous seasons, so they aren’t buying blind and there is real positive thinking around the brand.”
Number of Maison Scotch stockists
Number of Scotch & Soda stockists
Entry price for the collection, rising to £139
Maison Scotch 0845 862 2056 www.scotch-soda.com