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Men’s indies hope short order can liven up autumn

Menswear buyers are backing prints and parkas for autumn 14 but many have been left uninspired by the collections on offer.

Retailers told Drapers there had been little development from previous seasons, saying brands were playing it safe. As a result, some have reduced their forward order budgets with the hope of finding better products in-season.

Oliver Tookman, co-owner of Robert Goddard, a lifestyle retailer with shops in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire and Spalding in Lincolnshire, said he had been underwhelmed by collections, particularly as palettes focused on shades of orange and green.

“I was surprised that with the upturn in the economy more brands hadn’t taken more of a risk but I suppose they were designing these before the upturn,” he said.

Darren Evans, owner of Smart Ass Menswear in Conwy, north Wales, agreed. “We’re cutting the budget by about 10% to 15%. I might do more short order because if there is a trend that arises then hopefully I can get hold of it as I don’t want to be holding lots of stock. It will be good to top up in-season if we’ve missed something.”

However Matt Horstead, owner of menswear retailer Dartagnan in Chichester, West Sussex, said he was impressed with product from many brands he stocked, picking out Hackett, Paul Smith and DSquared in particular. “I went with the intention to trim back on things that perhaps haven’t worked and I ended up well over budget,” he said.

Horstead said he has added new labels for autumn 14 including outerwear brand Canada Goose. “I got the impression people are fed up with being cold and they are ready to invest in a proper investment piece of outerwear,” he said.

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