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Wade-Smith plans store for own label

Liverpool entrepreneur Robert Wade-Smith is to open a flagship store in the city for his latest premium venture which comprises ranges designed by and named after members of his family.

Wade-Smith, who famously operated his now-defunct eponymous five-store designer mini-chain in the 1990s before selling it to Arcadia for £17m in 1998 and then buying it back three years later for £7m, has again used his name to showcase his latest business venture.

Wade-Smith established the most recent incarnation, Wade-Smith Studios, in September with wife Angie, son George and daughter Helen. The business, which only trades a few days a week from a 1,200 sq ft store in Hope Street, sells separate collections aimed at each family members’ respective age groups and genders priced from £50 for a T-shirt and up to £1,500 for a tweed suit.

The Robert Wade-Smith menswear collection includes tweed suits, womenswear under the Angie Wade-Smith name features tailored pieces, men’s young fashion range George Wade-Smith includes T-shirts, jackets and coats, while the women’s young fashion offer includes dresses and coats sold under the Helen Wade-Smith name.

Wade-Smith told Drapers he would launch a mail-order catalogue and transactional website for the business in spring 11, followed by the flagship store later next year.

Wade-Smith also plans to set up an “on-tour pop-up shop” next year, which will move around the UK to help raise awareness of the brand.

Earlier this year, Wade-Smith axed plans to launch an independent store concept, which had been planned to work with brands on a concession model, after the business model failed to attract enough interest.

Wade-Smith said: “We only had six brands signed up and really needed another 15 or so to launch it.”

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