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Contemporary Indicator, August 10 2015

Find out what’s selling now in the world of contemporary fashion.

Marta Vetra, manager of Monty Smith in Cheltenham, Gloucester

“We’ve been offering up to 60% off our spring 15 stock since the end of June. Replay jeggings (£89.99) and Hyperflex jeans (£145) are selling well, as are Emily and Fin dresses (£59.99 £75). For autumn 15, we will be stocking Collectif Vintage dresses (£60) and Peregrine wax jackets (£199), which will arrive at the beginning of September.”

Polly Leonard, owner of Polly in Aberystwyth

“Our customers are loving Sandwich knitwear (£65 to £85) and lightweight Seasalt macs (£140). Ethical clothing brand Braintree has really improved the shape of its dresses (£45 to £65) and tops (£35 to £45) to give it a younger fit, while the tactile organic cotton and bamboo fabrics really appeal. The best brands are the ones that send product in season through phased drops such as Braintree. I don’t want to have to sell winter stock in June; it just makes life harder for an independent.”

Jane Gill, manager of Lynx Womenswear in Harrogate, North Yorkshire

“We decided to hang back and wait to go on Sale four weeks ago. We started offering 40% off and have risen to 70% on slow sellers. Autumn 15 stock is already doing well, in particular coats from Pennyblack (£299) and Replay V-neck knitwear (£99). We added lightweight Made in Heaven knitwear (£225) for autumn 15 in 100% alpaca. At the slightly lower end, Maison Scotch silk T-shirts with a jersey back (£65) are selling well.”

Pamela Price, owner of Jessica in Fordingbridge, Hampshire

Tina Taylor floral cotton dresses (£105 to £135) are selling well, as are Enrico Coveri T-shirts, both plain (£9) and patterned (£35), and the label’s summer jumpers (£45). Lebek lightweight jackets (£129) and short skirts (£39 to £59.95) are also performing well. We manage to attract customers from outside the local New Forest area from places like Salisbury and the Isle of Wight, as we sell unusual brands they can’t get elsewhere.”

Kassie Le Marchand, owner of Fleur in Aldeburgh, Suffolk

“In our 50% off Sale, which started on July 18, Sandwich tops (£25 Sale price) and trousers (£35 to £50) are selling really well, as are Part Two linen tops (£37.50 to £50) and trousers (£37.50 to £45). There’s also lots of demand for mid-length printed Adini dresses (£27.50). We’ve introduced a selection of autumn 15 styles from White Stuff, Noa Noa and 7 for all Mankind as well as Selected Femme lightweight tops (£50 to £55) and dresses (£50).”

Nicola Scott, owner Paper Doll in Pocklington, North Yorkshire  

Ichi cardigans in dusty shades of olive green and ombre blue are flying out the door (£28 to £35). We’re also seeing lots of demand for bohemian Australian label Somedays Lovin, in particular a jersey playsuit (£49) and matching jersey T-shirt (£40), as well as a knitted dress with cut-out sides (£45). Our customers are also loving Kiss the Sky, particularly a cream peasant-style blouse with a lace V-neck (£32) and a fringed cropped top with cut-out sleeve detail (£35). We went on Sale earlier than ever, at the end of June, because of the pressure from the high street, with discounts of 20 to 30%.”


Tim Benns, menswear sales manager at Jarrold in Norwich

“For spring 15 Barbour flyweight wax jackets (£199) have been selling well. We have reintroduced Hilfiger Denim (shirts £65) for autumn 15, after dropping it from autumn 12, because we felt over the past two years since we refurbished the menswear floor we’ve steadily been attracting a younger, more fashion-conscious consumer. For autumn 15 we also have polo shirts from Gant (£70 to £75) and Hackett (£65) coming through.”

David Fairthorne, owner of Trapeze Man in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

“Our Sale started earlier than normal in June as we were led by the multiples, although it has helped to increase footfall. The store is now split between spring 15 at the front of the store for shoppers looking for holiday clothing with autumn 15 towards the back. Farah T-shirts (£20 to £25 Sale price), Adidas trainers (£39 to £70) and Stone Island jackets (£157 to £297) are performing well.”

Steve Robson, owner of Visual Impact in Newport, Isle of Wight

“Trade is up 5% on last year, I think because we’ve got a good brand mix and we’ve benefitted from more tourism over the past few weeks. Shirts from our staple brands like Farah shirts (£80 to £85) and Ralph Lauren (£60 to £85) are helping to drive trade. At the moment the shop floor is split 60% autumn 15 to 40% spring 15, due to the autumn stock being delivered sooner.”

Chris Lane, retail manager at Pritchards in Hereford

“While Fred Perry polo shirts (£55) are always good sellers, spring 15 lesser-known brands have come to the fore like Orlebar Brown, whose classic Bulldog (£135) swim shorts are proving really popular, as are its superfine Sea Island Cotton polo shirts (£72 to £110) which are fantastic quality and fit. I think customers rely on indies to offer sophisticated brands they cannot get on the high street.”

Dean Hunt, co-owner of Resonate Menswear in Birmingham

“Sales of Replay’s Hyperflex jeans have been amazing (£160), we’re nearly sold out. We’ve changed our delivery system to have more frequent, small deliveries. The old-school two-season drop doesn’t work any more. Autumn 15 stock is starting to arrive from Nigel Hall, in particular shirts (£100), knitwear (£125) and trousers (from £95). Other standout pieces for autumn 15 are Hackett’s Velospeed jacket (£375), John Smedley’s wool and cashmere cardigan (£240) and outerwear by Peter Werth (£130).”

Neil Raven, owner of Ravens of Southend-on-Sea, Essex

“We went on Sale at the beginning of July and that, combined with the good weather we’ve been experiencing, has helped drive trade up 4% year on year. Gant polo shirts (£65) and shirts (£80 to £95) are really popular, as are Lacoste polo shirts (£75) and shirts (£80 to £85). Camel Active jeans (£90) are also in demand.”

Craig Armstrong, owner of Armstrong & Kingston in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh

“We went on Sale with our spring 15 stock on June 25, which has pushed us up 20% on July 2014. Paul & Shark shirts (£115) and polo shirts (£85 to £120) are selling really well, as are Ralph Lauren shirts (£85 to £95) and polo shirts (£70 to £75). The weather hasn’t been great so we’ve been selling lots of lightweight outerwear from Gant (£185).”

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