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John Lewis chases trend-led women with JL Weekend label

John Lewis will add to its women’s casualwear offer with next month’s launch of its first trend-led casualwear own label.

JL Weekend, which will be available in all John Lewis’s 30 stores and at Johnlewis.com from February 1, is an 80-piece collection which also includes footwear and accessories.

John Lewis head of womenswear buying Jo Hooper said the label builds on the success of Collection by John Lewis, its women’s workwear own label, which launched in 2009.

“We found the right formula with Collection but thought our private label business needed much more of a fashion focus in terms of colour and offering the customer something a bit more casual,” she said.

Accessories are integral to the collection. Clothing, footwear and accessories will all be presented together in store, Hooper added, so customers can see how different pieces fit together. “We want people to buy the whole look, so putting the accessories alongside the clothes should help that,” she said.

In store, the brand, which will have its own branding, will sit close to other women’s casualwear brands including Joules and Barbour.

JL Weekend takes its style influences from the US and Paris and designers such as Isabel Marant.

“Colour is key to the collection, which is why it makes sense to launch in spring,” added Hooper. “We also wanted to focus on great quality fabrications. It seems to be so hard to find a good quality cotton T-shirt at a reasonable price so we wanted to cater for that too.”

Key pieces include coloured chinos, cotton T-shirts, cashmere cardigans, cotton shift dresses, leather tote bags, espadrilles, loafers and ballerina flats.

Retail prices range from £20 for a slub cotton T-shirt up to £100 for a cashmere cardigan. Large leather tote bags will sell for £150.

John Lewis will also begin selling premium Danish contemporary womenswear brand Day Birger et Mikkelsen for the first time. The brand will be stocked at John Lewis’s Peter Jones store in London’s Sloane Square from February.

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