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Autumn 10 mainstream womenswear

Drapers visited the London showrooms of 10 key mainstream womenswear brands to see what they have in store for autumn 10

Marc Cain

The collection There is a more glamorous edge to Marc Cain this season, with the second phase of its autumn 10 collection dedicated to eveningwear and featuring luxe fabrics such as velvet, silk, satin and fine cashmere layered under fur and sheepskin outerwear. Colours are rich, with chocolate, camel and soft pink complementing charcoal and berry tones. Dresses make up a higher percentage of the collection, with the tunic shape still strong layered over leather-look leggings. Trousers have more relaxed silhouettes - harem shapes are heavily backed.

Number of pieces Two programmes with a total of 500 pieces in the mainline and 300 in the Sport diffusion line

Prices £30 to £909

Contact 01704 823005

Key pieces

Jersey body with lace trim

Silver silk dress with grey cashmere horizontal panel and edging

Satin dress with layered ruffle effect and fine-silk top section

Buyer reaction has been good this season because we have daywear and eveningwear in one collection. It’s the first time in six years that Marc Cain has done eveningwear to such a large extent and it was reintroduced in reaction to customer feedback. Buyers are still cautious and are not trying new things, but people who do well with Marc Cain are buying more of it.

Chantelle Wilkinson UK agent


The collection With short dresses and long, draped knitwear featuring heavily for autumn, Jackpot presents a sophisticated, contemporary range that focuses on chalky colours and cosy, loose silhouettes. Utility styling is back for autumn 10 in the form of cargo pants and skirts, while soft jersey harem trouser styles also feature. Charcoal grey is the dominant colour but is lifted by muted turquoise, salmon and grape tones. The Danish brand is known for its organic cotton pieces, which make up about 20% of the collection. These include pretty printed T-shirts and long, loose-fit checked shirts.

Number of pieces Two phases with 290 pieces per phase

Prices £5.40 to £93

Contact 020 8871 2155

Key pieces

Short, draped charcoal grey dress with oversized external front pockets

Denim shirt dress with large pop fastenings

Belted lightweight grey mac with oversized white flower print

We’ve had an excellent reaction to the collection so far because people have been surprised by how it has evolved. Jackpot has a more directional edge this season and we’re picking up more new accounts as a result. Buyers are still spending cautiously but they’re investing in the styles they know work for their customers.

Rachel Johnson Label manager


The collection Knitwear in a range of different weights dominates Oui’s collection. Chunky cardigans replace outerwear when layered over fine knitted vests and dresses. Even leggings come in chunky woollen styles and are layered with leg warmers. Trousers have all but disappeared from the collection, replaced by leggings, jeggings and jodhpurs.In terms of colour, violet is strong and citrus yellow is also used to lift the charcoal, black and winter white staples. Black leather and denim in a range of washes underpin a rock trend, which is extended with bright citrus-coloured leopard-print tops, oversized tattoo-inspired prints and chain details along the neckline of long T-shirts.

Number of pieces Two phases with 200 pieces and eight deliveries per phase

Prices £11 to £115

Contact 020 7580 1474

Key pieces

Silk harem pants with elasticated waist

Long-sleeved fine-knit top with tattoo print and jewelled front

Long chunky-knit black waistcoat with large metal studs

Customers are still buying cautiously but are reducing the number of brands they stock rather than their spend per brand. In fact, our average orders are about 20% up on spring 10. Oui is becoming more of a co-ordinates-focused lifestyle brand and our adjacencies are changing - we’re being put with higher-end brands like MaxMara, Luisa Cerano and Marc Cain.

Geraldine Bennett UK sales director

Betty Barclay

The collection Betty Barclay’s autumn 10 collection is built around leggings, skinny jeans and tunic dresses, with both loose and fitted dress shapes layered over leather or jersey leggings or jodphurs. A rock look puts studs on everything from leather jackets to shoulders on blazers and as trims of classic collarless jackets. Waistcoats are also an important building block in the layered look and come with boho influences such as fur trims. These are merchandised with long shirts or flowing, printed dresses. Tailoring takes a back seat but is still present in soft, unlined jackets with structured shoulders.

Number of pieces Two phases with 280 pieces per phase, plus a never-out-of-stock collection

Prices £10 to £135

Contact 020 7580 3577

Key pieces

Classic black shift with studded metal belt

Grey swing-cut cardigan with wide sleeves and studded leather trim

Body-con dress with warped houndstooth print

Buyers appear confident and so far budgets are generally up on last year. They are buying more upfront than this time last year when the recession was just setting in and there was initially some panic. But in-season buying is still an important top-up, particularly the on-trend styles and our never-out-of-stock range.

Stacey Booth Chief executive, Betty Barclay UK


The collection Blocks of red, fuchsia, emerald and royal blue mean colours are bright but basic at Emreco for autumn 10. Monochrome also plays a part on Chanel-inspired houndstooth suiting. While knitwear still dominates the collection, Emreco has increased its co-ordinates offer this season, serving up woven trousers in both slim and wide-leg cuts, ruffled layered skirts and simple silk-and-cotton mix blouses. There is also more denim for autumn 10, with a line of jeans featuring a shape control mesh and concealed elastic waistband. Standout pieces include a Mexican-look intarsia poncho and leopard-print mac.

Number of pieces 160 in one programme

Prices £5.50 to £40

Contact 0845 345 1914

Key pieces

Button-front belted trench coat in leopard print

Fine-knit charcoal sweater with leaf print around the neckline

Large fuchsia-coloured chunky-knit shawl

We’ve picked up a few accounts with a younger target market this season because the brand has moved into more trend-led styles such as oversized jumpers and flattering denim. Buyers are still price conscious but we’re selling well because our price points are lower than a lot of the other brands in our market.

Lisa Williams UK sales manager


The collection Casualwear takes a more prominent role in Gerry Weber’s autumn 10 collection than in previous seasons. The core knitwear offer has a younger slant with fine, draped pieces with details such as crystals, studding and waterfall edges, while chunky pieces have fake-fur trims and large, decorative buttons. Leather also features heavily, including a studded waistcoat and a knee-length pencil skirt in soft black leather - surprising additions for this mainstream brand. With the exception of skinny jeans, denim has been largely phased out in favour of polyester stretch trousers, which are new to the collection.

Number of pieces Three programmes with 800 pieces per programme

Prices £10 to £80

Contact 020 7436 8383

Key pieces

Fitted fuchsia zip-up leather jacket with mandarin collar

Draped fine-knit cardigan with waterfall front, sewn over a vest

Abstract-print jersey top with knotted front

The classic womenswear market is still shrinking but we’re gaining market share. We’ve added more detail to give customers more perceived value. Budgets are still being managed very carefully. Some customers have increased them by a few per cent but any gains we’re making are at the expense of other brands.

Howard Ross Country manager UK and Republic of Ireland


The collection Basler has adopted a more modern silhouette for autumn 10 via longer, looser tops and long-line cardigans draped over leggings and stretch trousers. Basler’s early deliveries are dominated by taupe and peach tones, moving on to grape, jade and chocolate for drops later in the autumn. As with many of the mainstream brands this season, leather and fur play a big role but at Basler leather is often toned down with panelling in stretch jersey fabrics. Staple monochrome pieces use houndstooth and animal print, while prints in berry and jade tones have a fantasy graffiti-inspired look.

Number of pieces Three collections per season with a total of 1,300 pieces

Prices £25 to £225

Contact 020 7323 23 73

Key pieces

Soft peach leopard-print blazer with ruched front

Dark brown gilet in rabbit fur

Cropped leather jacket with jersey side panels

Orders have been flat against last year. Orders at some stores are up double digits but are down at others, so we still have to work hard for our money. Cashmere and fur pieces are doing well because they give retailers a good profit margin. We’ve cut the number of programmes from eight to six but we still have deliveries every fortnight to ensure newness.

Christian Lawaczeck UK managing director

Luisa Cerano

The collection A mix of embellished knitwear and studded leather characterises the autumn 10 collection at Luisa Cerano. Fine-knit tops and dresses are littered with sequins and crystals and finished with ruched silk edging. Knitted dresses are covered with oversized fantasy and animal prints, while a rock ‘n’ roll story includes leather leggings with a jersey back, studded knitwear and short studded leather jackets. Fur is also backed heavily in the form of shaggy coats, cropped gilets and rabbit-fur shrugs. Black and grape are the dominant colours but are lifted by selected options in rich purple and pink.

Number of pieces 350 split across two phases

Prices £42 to £211

Contact 020 7580 2644

Key pieces

Chunky-knit zipped cardigan with studded front and chains woven through the sleeves

Short knitted tunic dress with jewel print

Stretch trousers with leather patches on the inside leg

Buyers are still cautious and are keeping their budgets fairly flat on last year, but they know they can’t afford to stop investing in quality because that’s what consumers are looking for. Buyers are looking for more standout pieces and there is more detail this season and more luxurious fabrics such as fur and cashmere, which provide a good mark-up.

Joan Macdonald UK agent


The collection Knitwear is more prevalent at Sandwich than at many other mainstream womenswear brands this season, with long-line chunky-knit cardigans and shawls layered over jersey dresses and skinny trousers. Dresses are shorter and more body-conscious, with ruched styles to flatter larger shapes. Two-in-one pieces comprise a vest sewn into a wraparound or draped jersey cardigan. Jodhpurs have faux-leather patches and leggings come in all colours from the brand’s autumn 10 palette, including olive, lilac and teal. The footwear offer is expanded for autumn 10 and includes chunky short and mid-length boot styles.

Number of pieces 400 delivered in three drops

Prices £13.50 to £48

Contact 01342 830830

Key pieces

Long charcoal dress with button-front oversized collar and layered skirt

Pocketed cardigan with sewn-over vest

Slouch-neck jersey dress in sand with teal flower print and drop waist

Buyers became more price aware a year ago because of the poor euro exchange rate, but they had strong pre-Sale sell-throughs on Sandwich for autumn 09 so they aren’t cutting back on spend with us. The range is getting more casual. We still do one blazer but buyers would rather take soft suede jackets.

Charlotte McHardy Managing director of UK distributor United Clothing


The collection Passport once again delivers some strong staples in dark denim, knitwear and jersey but also nods to trends including fur trims, stud detail and leather leggings. There are three key colourways for autumn 10 - magenta, charcoal and turquoise - all of which feature in the core knitwear and jersey pieces as well as in some standout prints such as paisley, leopard print and tattoo-inspired prints. Knitwear features heavily with a broad mix of chunky long belted cardigans, shorter boxy styles and some fine draped pieces. Many styles are available in a range of cuts to flatter different figures and age groups.

Number of pieces Two phases, each with 300 pieces

Prices £15 to £89

Contact 020 7580 3202

Key pieces

Long leather trench coat with rabbit-fur lapels

Short grey cardigan with silver sequins

Short cowl-neck jersey dress with animal prints

Buyers are more confident than they were last season. There was a lot of in-season ordering for spring 10 but buyers have been ordering more upfront this season and I think that’s because they had good sell-throughs for autumn 09, partly because of the cold weather. They know where the money is and at the moment it is in everyday, affordable pieces.

Claudia Hughes UK agent






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