London premium womenswear indie Austique is to wholesale its eponymous own label for the first time, with an accompanying ad campaign fronted by model and actress Florence Brudenell-Bruce.
The wholesale range will launch for spring 12, and Brudenell-Bruce – rumoured squeeze of Prince Harry – will front both the spring 12 and autumn 12 collections.
Austique director Katie Canvin said: “The wholesale collection is in response to overwhelming demand. Women want styles of dress and high-end contemporary brands they cannot find elsewhere. We hope it will go worldwide.”
The 60-piece spring 12 wholesale range will be priced from £120 to £600. Canvin described the collection as “London cool with a hint of Ibiza”, with pieces including draped jersey dresses, easy-to-wear taffeta and silk party pieces and cashmere sweaters.
Autumn 12 will be a capsule collection of 20 pieces, including wrap jersey dresses, taffeta coats and cashmere maxi dresses, at similar prices to spring 12.
Canvin said the label would target high-end boutiques and department stores, and that the collection would sit alongside contemporary labels such as French labels Paul & Joe and Sandro.
She added of Brudenell-Bruce: “Florence is how we envisage ‘Austiquegirl’ in character and style. The chic, London girl-about-town. Florence is the embodiment of this, which is why we feel extremely lucky that she is behind the brand.”
Austique has two London stores, in Marylebone and Chelsea, and as well as its own label it stocks brands including silk jersey label Mara Hoffman, contemporary label Zimmermann and casualwear label T-Los Angeles.
Canvin said Austique was going from strength to strength, thanks to its combination of hip niche clothing brands and in-store customer service. In May, the retailer introduced a personal shopping suite to its Marylebone store for private fashion consultations.
“We have found it is our personal care and attention to our customers’ needs that has kept them coming back time and time again, and sets us apart from big department stores,” she said.
Canvin was also optimistic about the retail outlook for independent retailers. “We believe we are in a privileged position, compared with the high street, as we are well placed to react to current events,” she said. “We are more agile in our buying strategies, with in-season buying a key part of our year and we can react to our client’s needs far more easily than a larger high street chain.
“Any indie with a strong brand identity, loyal customer base and great customer service is in a strong position whatever the retail climate.”