Find out what’s selling now in premium fashion
Velvet by Graham & Spencer spring 16
Natalie Burridge, Assistant buyer at Turners in Colchester, Essex
Our best sellers are the Armani Collezioni made-to-measure suits (from £1,700). They’re very popular at the moment for Ascot and for the wedding season, and we’re one of only four independents in the UK that offer a made-to measure service. Other popular brands include the Boss Orange polo shirts (£65) and most of our Stone Island range (T-shirts from £89 and sweatshirts from £145). Bright colours, such as burnt orange, are very popular this summer, and many of our customers are opting for crisp white shirts with bright accents such as colourful collars. The weather changes so frequently that you can’t rely on it for sales. We constantly get new stock in so that if it’s raining one week, we offer coats and sweatshirts, and if it’s sunny the next we still have T-shirts and shorts. This is the first time we’ve had items from across all the seasons in the store and we’ve had to work closely with suppliers to keep up with customers’ shopping habits and the unreliable weather. We are up from this time last year and have definitely seen an improvement.
Alfie Hope, Manager at Capital Collection in Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire
Crisp white shirts from our most popular brands True Religion (£120), Vivienne Westwood (£150) and Versace (£125) are our top sellers at the moment. We’ve noticed that customers are shopping less but spending more, with footfall down about 40% from last year. We had a phenomenal year last year, and when people buy high quality clothes they want them to last. A £300 shirt isn’t a one-wear item, so I can see why people are shopping less if their previous high quality items are still lasting. We have introduced Comme des Garçons to our store and DSquared2 is coming soon. A Sale is planned for the end of August.
Paul Dafforn, Manager and Buyer at Zagger in Chelmsford, Essex
John Smedley knitwear (fine knit pullovers around £140), Sunspel jerseys (from £59) and Magnanni loafers (£299) are the top sellers for this summer. We’ve noticed that variations of blues have been very popular with our customers. We are on par with business this time last year, and the weather is not impacting us too badly. We have some great outerwear collections coming in at the end of July for autumn 16, with a Sale planned for mid-July.
Tony Stuckes, Director at John Anthony in Bath, Somerset
Stone Island jackets (£300) are very popular, along with our Armani Jeans jeans (£115) and Boss Green sweatshirts (£110). Basic crew-neck styles are selling very well at the moment. Classic navy, black and white are still the top sellers. Business is very good compared with last year. The seasons are out of sync with the weather at the moment, so we have bought very responsibly. New brands for autumn 16 include Kenzo and trainers from ETQ.
Kayleigh Jones, Ecommerce Manager at Sue Parkinson in Broadway, Worcestershire
Velvet by Graham & Spencer has been very popular (tops from £130). One Season tops (£75) and dresses (£100) have also been selling well. Another top seller is the Escentric Molecules perfumes (from £27). Prints with pink, white and pale blue have been very popular in our womenswear for this summer. The weather hasn’t affected us too badly, but nicer weather does help and we’ve noticed shoes don’t sell as well when it is rainy. We are up from last year, with a summer Sale planned this month and new brands, such as Raoul shirts, Bella Freud and Kate Spade, joining us in August.
Alison Lepine, Manager at Aristocrat in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire
Our bestsellers are J Brand jeans (from £175). The distressed and high-waist styles are the most popular. Moschino tops (£200) and dresses (£600) are selling well. The brighter colours in the collection, including the pinks and lime greens, are appealing most to customers. Another top performer is Diane von Furstenberg. The embroidered dresses (£700) and lace dresses (£300) are selling very well for events such as Ascot and summer weddings. Adding hats to our store has definitely helped boost sales, which I think is mainly down to the summer wedding season and the fact there is little to no competition in our area for occasion hats. We are bringing back our own-brand shoes, which are made in Italy, and we plan to introduce over-the-knee boots planned for autumn 16. Our summer Sale started on June 29.
Julia Jaconelli, owner of Courtyard in Guildford, Surrey
One Season tops, particularly the Giselle (£115), have been very popular. Another brand performing well is Róisín Linnane, with the Louise dress (£270) one of our top sellers. Our range from the Italian linen brand 120% Lino is selling very well as a whole. We have noticed that pastel colours and vibrant prints are very popular and we plan to introduce Cacharel for autumn 16. May was a bad month for us. Sales were about 10% down, probably because of the terrible weather, but now we are in June we have started to see a rise once again. Our summer Sale started at the end of June.
Rag & Bone
Anna Park, owner of Anna in Primrose Hill, London
Our top spring 16 sellers are Rag & Bone jeans (£200) and knitwear (£200-£500). Light summer dresses, gauzy loose tops and linen boxy T-shirts from Velvet by Graham & Spencer consistently sell well. Pieces from our own collection, Primrose Park, such as the open-front shirt (£95), the silk folk blouse (£135) and the dresses (from around £200) have also performed well and the collection has remained in our company top five throughout the season. Last year was our best year during our entire trading period of 22 years – we had an outstanding year, so this year doesn’t compare. We’re on par compared to 2014 but I can’t say that the first months of this year have been easy. I am always scouting to improve the business in every way. I have loyalty to my existing brands but I also only continue with a collection if it works for our client. A new brand for autumn 16 is the Isabel Marant Étoile collection.