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Pink Soda

The womenswear brand aims for exclusivity for autumn 10, with luxe fabrics and signature embellishments

When Pink Soda hit financial difficulties in 2008 (currency fluctuations and late payments from some European stockists had crippled its cash flow), Greg Tufnell, managing director of Brand Acquisitions, saved the retailer from going into administration.

At the time, Tufnell planned to take the brand in a “younger, sexier” direction, but he has since changed his mind. The brand’s core customer is still the 25-plus woman, but Tufnell’s decision to focus on forward-order rather than short-order collections would have made it hard to compete with younger fast fashion.

So Pink Soda has repositioned itself, with its higher-end partywear and embellished knitwear, to compete

with diffusion brands such as Moschino Cheap & Chic and D&G - as well as with more traditional rivals like Ted Baker and Whistles.

Autumn 10 has three key stories: the first, Country Estate, mixes chocolate browns and charcoals with soft corals and pale greens; it features sheepskin gilets and angora jumpers. Silver Screen, the second story, features draped silk fabrics in muted tones of silver, grey and mauve, while the final look - Hard Candy - has a more rock ‘n’ roll feel, with corsets and exaggerated shoulder tops with detachable necklaces, paired with skinny trousers.

Key pieces include a grey draped silk-mix dress with sheer sleeves and heavy embellishment, and a navy silk-mix dress with jewel neckline.

The first full collection under the new owners was for spring 10 and, having just finished selling for autumn 10 - the brand’s showroom is on Eastcastle Street in central London - Pink Soda sales manager Christina Leventis says the brand has discovered what works and will develop the concept for spring 11.

“We found for autumn 10 that price was less of an issue if we were delivering on the attention to detail and signature embellishment, as these added value,” Leventis explains.

Before the Brand Acquisitions takeover, Pink Soda sold short order as well as forward order, but it will now only offer forward order. “The short order lowered the brand’s profile. We don’t want to be a stockhouse, we want to have an element of exclusivity to make it a more desirable brand,” Leventis adds. “Whereas the brand can sit adjacent to Ted Baker, Whistles and Karen Millen, we think our party pieces can sit at the entry level of designer diffusion brands.”

The brand’s longstanding design team will ensure Pink Soda’s signature embellished party dresses and tops remain a key part of its offer.

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