The Chloé mainline’s younger, edgier sibling is ready to cash in as luxury shoppers rein in their spending
As autumn 09’s catwalk collections fell into a pattern of reworking past cash-cow pieces in a bid to cling onto doubtful, debt-ridden customers, See by Chloé instead has continued to deliver fresh designs based on a distinctive trend-led handwriting.
Launched eight years ago during Stella McCartney’s stint as chief designer of Chloé, diffusion line See by Chloé was born out of a desire to offer a younger, edgier arm to the Chloé stable.
Sitting alongside fellow designer diffusion lines such as Marc by Marc Jacobs, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel and
Vivienne Westwood’s Anglomania, the collection of distinctive trapeze-shaped dresses, bold prints and a feminine colour palette has grown steadily over the past few seasons.
Today, the label’s UK wholesale strategy is handled by London agency M&L Harris, which also represents contemporary womenswear labels Schumacher and Tara Jarmon. “See by Chloé stands out because it offers recognisable signature prints but is not dictated to by trends,” says Lucia Dimaso, brand manager for the UK and Republic of Ireland at M&L Harris.
“Yes, we have paid particular attention to the shoulder area for autumn 09, which is a big trend for the season, but we started incorporating it into the silhouette a year ago,” she says.
Layering is important for autumn, and key pieces include a gold Lurex dress with scallop-edged bib, oversized boyfriend blazers, a ruffle-fronted tartan shift dress, and plenty of detailing in the form of bow belts, pin tucks, box pleats and exposed zips.
“The See by Chloé girl plays with her own style and personality to create individual looks, and the versatility of the 200-piece range allows her to do that,” says Dimaso.
See by Chloé has 70 UK accounts and Dimaso is protective of its distribution. “Our accounts are spread evenly across the UK and Ireland, but we want to keep exclusivity so we only sign top-class doors,” she explains. These include Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Harrods, and etailers Net-a-Porter and My-Wardrobe.
“See by Chloé does well for us because it is quirky yet wearable, competitively priced and great quality,” says Joanne Watkinson, head womenswear buyer at My-Wardrobe. “The prints, winter outerwear and feminine colours are particular strengths for the brand.”
At 30% to 50% cheaper than the Chloé mainline - dresses start at £80 and coats go up to £220 - the See by Chloé range is even more pertinent now as its big sister’s customer looks to buy directional pieces without breaking the bank.
- See by Chloé 020 7580 5580 www.chloe.com
- 200 Number of pieces in the See by Chloé collection
- 2001 The year See by Chloé launched
- 70 Number of UK and RoI accounts