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Winter Kate

Nicole Richie’s brand uses sophisticated silhouettes to stand out among the glut of celebrity-fronted labels

Contemporary womenswear brand Winter Kate, which was created by US reality TV star Nicole Richie, is a fresh addition to the plethora of celebrity-endorsed brands. Its sophisticated silhouettes and vintage-inspired prints have helped it to stand out.

Winter Kate is about channelling the much commented upon and copied commercial bohemian style of Richie, who is the figurehead and creative director for the brand.

Launched in the UK for spring 10 at department store Selfridges and etailer My-Wardrobe, the brand’s stockist list has grown to 29 accounts for autumn 10.

Its UK agent Claret Showroom has plans to build the brand further in the UK. “We want longevity from this brand and work very closely with our stockists to ensure their staff have training on the collections,” says Claret Showroom co-owner Claire Troughton. “We also do as much as we can to assist if a certain style is not selling or if reorders need to be submitted,” she adds.

The collection has expanded from its initial focus on summer dresses and casual jackets to include more separates and will continue to grow into new product categories. “We realised after the spring 10 season that it was important for us to offer a complete collection to stores. This is something we will be developing to improve the cohesion of the collection,” explains Troughton.

The autumn 10 offer comprises 50 styles and counts trousers, skirts and shorts among the collection. Key pieces include a peacock-print jacket, a black sleeveless wide-leg jumpsuit and a red sheer-sleeve silk-mix dress.

Autumn 10 will see the collection launch into Glasgow-based mini chain Cruise as well as in leading premium independents including Havetolove in Newcastle upon Tyne and Cricket in Liverpool. Winter Kate’s brand adjacencies include Twenty8Twelve and See by Chloé.

Richie’s Winter Kate clothing collection links closely with her House of Harlow jewellery and accessories line. Troughton says: “The two design teams sit alongside each other. Nicole spends three weeks starting off the design process and edits the finished range.”

Meanwhile, Winter Kate will offer pre-collections in addition to the four drops it currently has annually. “This was something suggested by Luisa de Paula, the buying and merchandising director of My-Wardrobe, to keep the momentum of the collection going. In June 2011 we will start to sell a capsule collection that will drop in November ahead of the core February/March delivery,” says Troughton.

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