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Mainstream Indicator, November 16

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


Joseph Ribkoff

Joseph Ribkoff

Joseph Ribkoff autumn 15 collection

Zaidha Roscoe, manager of Flamingo in Preston, Lancashire

Joseph Ribkoff dresses have been selling brilliantly (£210), as have lightweight jackets with fringing (£160), especially in black. We are also seeing demand for dresses from Frank Lyman (£180) and Gina Bacconi (£199), the latter particularly in black and red. We also sell a lot of casualwear, such as Betty Barclay T-shirts (£40). This season has been really strong, which I think is a combination of improved economic conditions and things we have done within the business. For example, we did a 10% off promotion at the beginning of October to the customers on our mailing list, which went very well.”

Liz Hope, manager of Shirley’s & His Essentials in Alderney, Guernsey

Pomodoro dresses (£50 to £52) and Marble narrow-leg jeans (£45 to £55) are selling well at the moment. Currently, we’re not selling a lot of heavy clothing but a little bit of glitter as we go towards Christmas. We stage late night pre-Christmas shops as we’re trying to encourage customers to shop in store and not online. The next event on November 25 will incorporate an artisan street market.”

Debbie McDermott, manager of Velvet Exclusive Ladieswear in Ramsbottom, Bury

We introduced Lebek for spring 15 and we’ve probably already got a sell-through of 98% on its jackets (£109 to £139). I think customers like the fact that they are really versatile and can be worn all year round. Robell trousers (£50) have a fantastic fit and are very comfortable. Frank Lyman shift and wrap dresses (£150 to £190) are selling well because of the fit and the fact they don’t crease. We’re considering offering 20% discounts for Black Friday, only because everyone will be getting involved.”

Irene Mackie, manager of Bentleys of Banchory in Aberdeenshire

Just White Design by SE shirts (£96 to £124) in greys and checks are selling well. I stocked the Tinter style jacket by Bariloche (£150 to £180) a couple of years ago, but since I’ve re-introduced it for autumn 15 it’s been very popular. Knitwear from Rabe (£80 to £120) is in demand, especially the lightweight jumpers in soft grey and taupe as they’re really transitional pieces. We are also seeing demand for dresses from Joseph Ribkoff (£200 to £260) and Frank Lyman (£180 to £240), as well as James Lakeland fur gilets (£129). Frank Lyman (£250) trouser suits are popular too.”

Alana McCabe, manager of Butterflies in Blackburn, Lancashire

Frank Lyman sleeved party dresses are proving popular (£145 to £300), as are Pomodoro long-sleeved everyday knee-length winter dresses, which you’d wear with tights and boots (£75). As the weather has got colder over the past week or two, we’re seeing a lot of people coming in looking for Christmas party dresses. We’ve also just launched our new website, which we’re really excited about.”



JayLey autumn 15 collection

Sue Ellis, manager of Seasons of Alnwick in Northumberland

“We’re seeing demand for Saint James coats (£200) and trousers (£90), as well as Bianca jeans (£89 to £140). At the moment our customers are loving fox fur and fake fur gilets from JayLey (£50 to £130). For autumn 15, we introduced knitwear brand Sophie’s Wild Woollens, which uses Cumbrian wool (£180 to £200). The beauty of this brand is if somebody likes the style I can have them made to order. I benefit from the fact I’m the only fashion shop of its kind in a very small market town. Shoppers are beginning to realise that if they don’t use us, they’ll have nowhere to shop in their town.”



Michele autumn 15 collection

Jenny Hakim, buyer at Manns of Cranleigh in Surrey

“Recently, we’ve seen a lot of demand for Michele magic slim trousers, which allow the customer to wear a size smaller. We’ve sold out of black, although we still have grey and navy (£95 to £120). Slim-fit Robell trousers are also popular (£59 to £110) in classic colours and patterns, and with turn-ups so you can wear them with boots or flat shoes. People are really beginning to buy bits of fake fur and embellishments for parties. They definitely want a bit of glamour at this time of year.”

Cocoa Cashmere

Cocoa Cashmere

Autumn 15 collection from Cocoa Cashmere

Nancy Hamilton, buyer at Gerrards in Reigate, Surrey

“We’ve had a nice winter drop from Second Female of tops, dresses and little jackets for the evening. Tops have been most popular in petrol blue and black (£72 to £99), which are really nice day-to-evening pieces that you can wear with skinny jeans. In the window I’ve been styling the embellished, three-quarter-length-sleeve evening jackets (£125 to £140) in a grungy way, with heels and little grey T-shirts. Our customers have also been loving Samsøe & Samsøe knitwear, especially the brand’s long-line cardigan (£125). We’ve introduced Cocoa Cashmere for spring 16 in bright colours (£150 to £200).”




Gant autumn 15 collection

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

RM Williams moleskin trousers (£134.95) and William Lockie lambswool knitwear (£75) in blues, reds and greens in crew-neck and V-neck styles are proving popular. Gant shirts (£70) and moleskin and corduroy trousers are in demand (£115). The bestselling item from Schöfell is the Oakham gilet (£129.95).”

Dave Bulgin, owner of Astaires in Taunton, Somerset

“The weather is still quite mild and people aren’t really buying coats yet. Maddox Street tweed jackets are still very fashionable (£195), as are tweed jackets (£199-£225) and cotton chinos in caramel and navy (£69-£79) from Magee. Olymp shirts in white with a contrast trim are also very popular (£50).”

Charles Hobson, owner of Charles Hobson in Easingwold, North Yorkshire

Meyer casual trousers with contrast detail have sold well in sands and mid-blues, away from the obvious black, navy and greys (£85). We do very well with Magee suits in navy and dark grey (£350) and Barbour jackets are very good (£145). We tend to keep our head down with Black Friday as it doesn’t seem to be very beneficial for us.”

David Wink, owner of Crosbys of Seaford in East Sussex

Gurteen cords in lilac and burgundy (£75) are in demand, as are classic knits from Gabicci (£65). Lilac is traditionally a popular colour for us, but we’ve never done it in cords before and it’s taken off very well. Old Guys Rule T-shirts (£20) are popular, in particular the Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon parody T-shirt, which reads “Dark Side of the Shed”. The last three days have been diabolical because of the weather. Footfall is definitely down because of this wind and rain.”

Karen Herriot, menswear manager at Hourstons of Ayr in Ayrshire

“Classic and casual Meyer trousers (£90), especially in shades of denim blue and stone, are strong sellers. Brook Taverner shirts are popular, which we sell at four for £100, as well as the label’s sports jackets (£125). A lot of colours are brightening up, I think because guys are becoming more adventurous and willing to try something different. We always do Black Friday and last year was absolutely phenomenal. Just now we’re running a promotion where if you spend £40 you receive two £5 vouchers, for the whole of November.”



Eton autumn 15 shirts

Kevin Moore, manager of Mewes Menswear in Sunningdale, Ascot

“Current bestsellers are Ralph Lauren shirts and sweaters in browns and blues (£85), as well as Gant shirts in blue and brown with button-down collars (£85). Eton shirts are also selling well (£110).”

Jonathan Williams, manager of Montague Jeffery in Northampton

Olymp shirts (£50 to £55) are brilliant because they’re cotton and non-iron. Our customers like the trimming and detailing inside the collars and cuffs. They also really like Meyer trouser in autumnal shades (£100), which are more casual than formal. They particularly like the nice linings and trims on the pockets and belt loops. Hugo James single-breasted suits in navy, black, grey and bright blue are also proving popular (£400 to £500).”

Keith Warren, manager of R Scott & Co in Cirencester, Gloucestershire

“We’re a very classic menswear shop and we find Meyer fits our customer well (£85). Navy is always popular, as is grey and black. Our customers are also loving Magee classic tweed, mid-weight jackets (£250 to £350). However, we’re not selling as much outerwear and knitwear because it’s too mild. Olymp trim shirts (£40) and fine cotton styles (£50) in a slightly more modern fit are performing well in whites, blues and pinks, as well as blue and green stripes. I find these days our customers like colour and trim, as it means it’s not just a plain shirt.”

Daniel Fearn, owner of Stewart, Christie & Co in Edinburgh

Magee single-breasted tweed jackets are popular at this time of year (£295 to £350), as are Schöfell coats (£495 to £500) in olive green and sleeveless gilets (£130 to £140). We’re starting our own label of traditional pieces with a modern twist, which will be known as the Stewart Christie mainline collection. We’re at the sampling stage at the moment, but we hope to start manufacturing in the UK in the next week or so, meaning pieces should be available in late winter or early spring. Key pieces will include a military-style double-breasted full-length overcoat (£750) in a heavyweight grey melton and a three-piece British tweed suit (£575). The collection as a whole will range from £130 to £750.”


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