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Mainstream Indicator, January 30 2015

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

Womenswear

Eugene Klein

Eugene Klein

Mandy Dawson, owner of Amanda Fashions in Ashtead, Surrey

Michèle trousers have been brilliant, particularly their magic-fit jeans (£122), which have a generous fitting around the thigh. Our Bianca range of cardigans (£85-£90) and matching tops (£46-£47) flew out in turquoise and sage green, while the blue range was also really strong. Eugen Klein has an excellent stand-alone short lapelled jacket in apple green (£196), with the fuschia equivalent also selling nicely. We fortunately have not been affected by the mild weather, as we hadn’t stocked up on too many coats. We’ll probably be giving the Moda trade show [NEC Birmingham, February 21-23] a miss this year, as it can be a little overwhelming, but look forward to visiting Pure [Olympia London, February 14-16] to stock up on new styles.”

Susan George, co-owner of Anouk in Halstead, Essex

Out of Xile has always done very well but this season ‘The Coat’ (£269) – a long, pink-red pocketed overcoat with a black dogtooth pattern and a velvet collar and cuff – was the bestseller. The brand has a real following now and once people buy into its classic English country feel, they can’t wait to come back. Lime-green colours have been popular and The Masai Clothing Company’s frilly chiffon blouse (£89) in the colour sold quickly. Meanwhile, Mama B was a real star, with its tunic dresses (£119) in sophisticated colours and playful patterns. Taupe and grey were the key colours this season. We’re constantly looking to add new things and this spring is no exception, as we’ll be introducing Angels Never Die to our range.”

Postcard from Brighton

Postcard from Brighton

Deborah Walton, co-owner of Harlequin Ladies Wear in Longridge, Lancashire

The Masai Clothing Company’s shorter tunic range has sold even better than dresses. A particular favourite was a black long-sleeve chiffon number (£93), which can easily be dressed up or down. A Postcard from Brighton’s basics have been really successful but it was their cashmere ponchos that sold best this season (£69). This year we did less forward ordering so we could go with the flow of trends. Our real fur pompom hats (£36) from supplier Folia Manchester were a surprise success, ranking among our top sellers.”

Richard Broadbent, director of Broadbents in Stockton Heath, Cheshire

“We have been selling a lot of furry pompom hats (£17.95) and 130 calf-length, broad-lapel, soft-profile coats in boiled wool (£49) from unbranded Manchester supplier Studio. They were popular, as they were unstructured and unlined – so perfect for the mild winter – and came in seven colours. Pia Rossini ponchos (£39) were also a great addition for picking up sales. Despite weather-related sales troubles, our high-end champagne-coloured suede Concept coat (£299) still did well, as people were drawn to its sophisticated details including a faux fur lining. It was our first season with the brand and we were very happy with it. We’re excited for spring, as we’ll be reshaping our offering with several new brands. Shoppers should watch out for Tara Vao and Smashed Lemon.”

Mama B

Mama B

Kate Crisp, owner of Follies of Tarporley in Cheshire

Mama B tops (£100-£120) have sold well. They’re extremely wearable and incorporate a lot of lovely textures. Sahara dresses have also done well this season with their tartan jersey pocket dresses (£149) very sought after, due to their nice mixtures of colour and fabric. Before Christmas, ecological fabrics brand Grizas’ finer silk items were very successful, as they were easy-wearing without being too dressy. Their shift tops (£135-£140), for example, were a real hit – especially in darker colours. We have to work a lot harder, as we’re not based on the high street and therefore can’t rely on footfall. Christmas was amazing for sales though, as was the first week of January, when we started our Sales, which will last until the end of the month. We’re currently discounting at 50% but may drop some items to 75% later on.”

Barbour

Barbour

Gary Tillott, manager of Goddards in King’s Lynn, Norfolk

“We had a record December and a great Christmas, although the Sales (started December 30 and ended this week) have been a little quiet, with discounts ranging from 25% to 70%. Barbour has been having a very good season, with its chunkier crewneck knitwear pieces (£80) and T-shirts (£35) in earthy shades doing particularly well. Gant has been strong on more classic cable-knit pieces in light blues and pinks (£100), alongside tailored striped and checked blouses in matching tones (£75). A big change we noticed last season was that women were opting for separate pieces rather than full outfits. I’ll be attending the Moda trade show, which is the only one I’ll be visiting this year.”

Robell

Robell

Denise Coyle, owner of Barbara’s of Standish in Wigan, Lancashire

“We’re still selling a lot of Lebek casual mix-and-match tops (£35). They have three-quarter-length sleeves, V-neck and round necks, and come in all sorts of unusual abstract patterns. Comfy Robell stretch trousers (£49.50) with an elasticated waist are also selling well. The cold weather hasn’t really had an impact but they’ve just built a Lidl nearby, which meant they got rid of the carpark. This has caused a real problem, as we’re only a small village without a lot of places to park. My personal favourites for spring are from Doris Streich. There’s a beautiful silver-grey soft trouser and tunic combination (£114 for both), but you won’t be able to buy that until summer.”

Seasalt

Seasalt

Seafolly jacket

Tracy Harvey, managing director of Harveys of Halifax, West Yorkshire

“As always, The Masai Clothing Company’s tunic tops (£60-£80) were really strong, especially those on the neutral end of the scale. More striking colours, such as oranges and blues, didn’t do so well. White Stuff did an extremely popular knee-length reversible skirt (£50), which sold very quickly. It came in swirly prints in fun, bright colours – blues and reds were a favourite – and those with velvet detail did particularly well in the run-up to Christmas. The weather massively affected us, and we struggled to shift knitwear and warmer outerwear. Despite this, Seasalt’s waterproof hooded overcoats (£80) remained a success. The cream and blue style was a bestseller but green also did well. Finally, Olsen’s grey wool wrapover cardigans (£90) walked right out of the shop, as they were very similar to a more expensive Gerry Weber version.”

Menswear

Magee

Magee

Lorna Crawford, owner of Crawford’s Menswear in Belfast, County Antrim

“Our big sellers at the moment are the Magee tweed jackets made with pure wool, in herringbone and country-check styles (€199/£152 reduced in sale to €149/£114), as well as handwoven versions sold at €329/£250. The weather has affected us in that no big, thick jumpers are selling as the temperature has remained quite mild here in Belfast. Our Stetson hats are also very popular (€69/£52 to €109/£83) in materials such as tweed and leather.”

Glenmuir

Glenmuir

Andrew Knox, manager at Graham McGrath in Eastgate, Peebles

“Trade has been steady this season. Pre-Christmas we didn’t sell as many knits due to the weather being warmer than expected, and now with the snow and amber weather warnings, people are less likely to travel. Our top sellers are definitely shirts with brands like Olymp for their modern fit (£59) and Seidensticker for their comfort fit (£49) selling rapidly. Other big-selling brands we stock are Brook Taverner – popular for its casual and tweed jackets (£200) – and Glenmuir for its lamb’s wool sweaters (£75).”

Mark Clifton, manager at Clive Continental Menswear in Aberystwyth, West Wales

“Our bestsellers this month have been Scott jackets (£139-£165), waistcoats (£45-£55) and overcoats (£189), all in tweed that customers would match or contrast together. Colours combined green with a blue over, or charcoal with a red over, and velvet collars on overcoats proved very popular. Peter England shirts in red and green country check (£23.90-£37.50) and Helium lightweight leather jackets (£199-£239) have also sold well. Our Sale started the week after Christmas at 35% off but has increased in recent weeks to 50% as we get ready to bring in the new stock and freshen up the store around February 20. We will be visiting Birmingham trade show Moda [NEC Birmingham, February 21-23] but we plan to keep with our tried-and-tested formula this spring with the same brands and same quality that has kept our wide range of customers, aged 18-80, coming back to our store.”

Charles Hobson, owner of Charles Hobson Menswear in York, North Yorkshire

“We have sold a lot of Magee two-piece suits (£350) and sports jackets (£250), as well as Meyer trousers, which are a dark blue or beige chino (£85). In terms of weather, we are quite lucky where we are – nothing has been too bad. Our Sale started the day after Boxing Day with discounts from 20% to 50% but we plan to stop it towards the end of this month. Our main brands have been good for us, so we aren’t planning on changing them for spring. We have a loyal following of middle-aged-to-elderly gents; although we have noticed an increase in out-of-town shopping to the Vangarde Shopping Park, it is not a large threat yet and hopefully it stays that way.”

William Lockie

William Lockie

Karen Hume, director of A Hume in Kelso, Scottish Borders

“One of our top sellers at the moment is the Schoffel Oakham gilet (£129.95) and our current Sale on Barbour jackets is going well, particularly the Trooper (£229 reduced to £160) and Corbridge (£229 reduced to £160). With the current weather, people are after knit, lounge and outerwear to keep warm, so we have the right products on sale. William Lockie knitwear in autumnal shades and both V-neck and crew (£95-£110) have also sold well. We always have an end-of-season Sale of up to 40% off and our current one will come to an end in the beginning of February. Our new lines will arrive mid-March.”

Matthew Warnock, owner of Peddars of Sudbury in Sudbury, Sufflok

“Good sellers have been Brühl chino trousers in navy and fawn (£65-£85), Olymp shirts with stripes or checks (£39-£60) and Fynch Hatton shirts (£60) in bold, bright colours and their crew-neck knitwear (£62.50) in darker burgundies, navies and taupes. Because of the brands we stock, our Sale discounts range from 20% to 50%. We don’t plan on introducing any new brands for spring but we are contemplating visits to Moda and the brand showrooms that we already stock.”

Loretta Mylott, buyer at Gerard Anthony in Carrick-on-Shannon, County Roscommon, Ireland

“Top sellers for men have been Casamoda long-sleeve shirts, a classic men’s shape in a range of checks and stripes (€55/£42 to €60/£46), and knitwear, particularly the crew-neck styles in autumn reds and rusty oranges (€70/£53 to €80/£61). Superdry T-shirts (€25/£19 to €35/£27), shirts (€60/£46+) and hoodies (€60/£46 to €110/£84), as well as Tommy Hilfiger long-sleeve shirts (€65/£50), both patterned and basic with stripes in varying shades of blue, as well as mid-wash boot-cut denims (€110/£84), have also been popular. Our trade has been up from last year but I believe the flooding had an effect on people getting to us, so I think we could have brought in a lot more had that not happened. For spring we will be featuring the same brands but there are a lot more pattern and check styles coming through across all brands. Trade show wise, the owner Gerard Anthony is currently in Berlin and we usually go to Moda together.”

Stewart Christie

Stewart Christie

Vixy Rae, creative director of Stewart Christie & Co in Edinburgh

“A good seller at the minute is our Stewart Christie own brand, fully British and made in store. We hope to go wholesale eventually but are working on the brand’s launch online, which will be happening next month. One of the feature pieces is the Lauriston three-piece suit (£610) made with genuine Scottish cloth. Customers can choose from a navy or brown herringbone. Chrysalis’ BAS3 tweed shooting coat (£495), fully lined with fleece, and Magee’s tweed blazers (£295) and trousers in moleskin, needle cord and brushed cotton (£69), are always big sellers, as they’re ideal for outdoor pursuits. The weather has been good for us, as we’ve sold more outerwear but our bespoke tailoring is by far the most popular.”

 

 

 

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