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Ruby Rocks

The pattern-fanatic womenswear brand knows one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to stockists.

We don’t just do stripes and checks and florals. We do prints that get people talking. Flamingos and bananas are what we’re known for,” says Ruby Rocks managing director Jennifer MacDonald.

The short-order women’s young fashion brand uses quirky batik prints on everything from jumpsuits to dresses - its spring 11 collection is dominated by butterflies, sea shells and palm trees - but Ruby Rocks is equally known for its easy-to-wear shapes, for example the flattering cotton Martini dress, which has a drop-V front and back and nipped-in waist, and is a best-seller every season.

Ruby Rocks launched in spring 07, led by MacDonald and design and product director Izzy Przedpelski, and has quickly established 200 accounts. Most of these are indies, including Liverpool young fashion indie Resurrection, but it also sells to mini-chain Joy and

high street retailer USC. The brand has a strong online presence with etail stockists including off-price specialist GetTheLabel and Arcadia Group’s new plus-size womenswear site Style369. However, MacDonald hopes to secure department store accounts.

The brand creates one-off collections for its high street stockists to ensure they do not compete directly with its indies, and also offers indies the option of ordering garments in exclusive prints so they can stay competitive.

“About 90% of the time our bigger customers want new product development,” says MacDonald.

Garments are available in three sizes - small, medium and large, which translate to sizes 8 to 16 - but Ruby Rocks is prepared to produce dedicated plus-size ranges for etailers such as Style369.

Wholesale prices for its 60-piece collection range from £12 to £22 for dresses and £15 to £35 for blazers and trench coats, and the average mark-up is 2.5. Pieces are manufactured in Bali and Ruby Rocks takes four to six weeks to deliver orders, but holds some stock of key styles so selected in-season orders can be fulfilled within 48 hours.

Leather will be introduced to the collection for autumn 11, on fitted jackets including a “girly twist on a biker jacket” priced between £40 and £55 at wholesale, while the brand also offers a short-order, trend-led denim range via sub-brand Ruby Blue.

The addition of leather could be an important move. Ellie Thomas, womenswear buyer at Joy, which has 23 stores in locations including London, Bristol and Croydon, says Ruby Rocks is already a good performer, especially in the summer. If the winter range can reach the same levels of success, Ruby Rocks will be a force to be reckoned with.

Ruby Rocks 07973 718301

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