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MinkPink

This risk-taking brand from Down Under is proving a hit with womenswear indies looking to up their cool quota.

Antipodean brands have a knack of uncovering a niche in the market - think New Zealand contemporary brand Stolen Girlfriends Club, with its quirky knitted high-waisted shorts, or Australian boardsports brand Insight’s textured-print padded jackets.

There must be something in the water Down Under, as these brands take a risk. They are experts at mixing a vintage silhouette with an updated design aesthetic for a new breed of young woman who gets her fashion influence from street style blogs such as Facehunter.com and Jakandjil.com, as opposed to catwalks and the high street.

For autumn 11, Australian young fashion brand MinkPink and its delectable design twists should be added to that list. For example, on-trend leopard print is interpreted in velvet and the cape is taken one step further as an Aztec-print poncho.

Amy Louise Keating, buying director at young fashion indie Boudoir Boutique in Liverpool, which also stocks Darling and SuperTrash, says: “MinkPink has cool individual pieces that hit key trends from the street that many brands in the UK have missed. Australian brands seem to translate well to what the cooler kids want to buy and expect from Boudoir Boutique.”

UK invasion

With a strong presence in its native Australia and an annual turnover of AUS$35m (£21.6m), the brand is now looking to kick up a storm in the UK by doubling its stockist count to 90. Ambitious growth is planned for autumn 11, when the brand will target department stores Harrods and Selfridges and indies Sunday Best in Rawtenstall, Lancashire and Sarah Coggles in York.

Along with etailer Asos and the Urban Outfitters chain, stockists include indies American Pie in west London and Richmond Classics in Bournemouth.

The autumn 11 collection has two themes, Grunge Romantic and Lady Collegiate. Grunge Romantic feeds off the theme of contrast as sheer chiffon blouses are teamed with faux-leather skinny trousers, while Lady Collegiate is about soft tailoring with unstructured blazers and curved hemlines.

Silhouettes are long with maxi dresses, or super short with mini skater skirts and high-waisted hot pants. Leopard print is used throughout and red is the highlight colour. Key items include the Carnaby sheer maxi dress (pictured bottom) and the Double Agent fur coat (pictured top). Wholesale prices range from £11 to £30.

The brand is now in its fourth season in the UK and MinkPink sales agent Philip Lawler says its core customer is aged between 16 and 25, with a secondary target customer between 25 and 30. “It covers a diverse age range. For example Asos will take a younger edit while Urban Outfitters will take a more sophisticated edit,” he adds.

According to Lawler, mid-market womenswear boutiques are picking up on the brand,which is commercial and contemporary but still affordable. “The layering trend at the moment along with clashing patterns and colours is very current and fits the brand perfectly,” he says.

Keating adds: “The great thing about the brand is that it has monthly drops throughout the season to help keep the store fresh.”

MinkPink 01280 840440

minkpink.com

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