Find out what’s selling now in the world of mainstream fashion
Jane Stanley Owner of Private Collection in Barnstaple, Devon
Marella dresses have been very popular recently, especially a black, long-sleeved knitted style (£299) that sold out almost as soon as we put it on the shelves. We have also been trading extremely well with fake furs despite the weather not being too cold, especially a grey fake fur parka (£499) from Pinko. Our customers have also been buying the Patrizia Pepe range, particularly the knitwear – they love one particular cardigan that has a tulle back (£299). Generally, trade has been good recently. We didn’t need to make any reductions for Black Friday, which is brilliant. We are one of very few independents left in the area, which is interesting. We have seen many changes over the 21 years we have been here. I’m expecting a really good Christmas period and I’ve got all of our wrapping boxes ready in anticipation for the busy trading period.
Melita Genziani Owner of Melita Boutique in Chobham, Surrey
Le Comte jumpers (£75-£90) and long-sleeved tops (£60-£80) have been selling very well recently. The skinny and straight jeans (£99) and shirts (£80-£95) from Brax have been popular with our customers. Frank Lyman is trading well, especially the navy and midnight blue dresses (£150-£220), and knitwear and jersey tops (around £150). I think the people are getting a bit bored of black eveningwear – navy and midnight blue have been very popular for cocktail dresses this season. Footfall is lower than normal, but when customers come in they are more motivated in their purchasing. It seems as though they are shopping more seriously recently. For Black Friday, we ran a 20% off promotion.
Shirley Allum Owner and buyer at Shirley Allum Fashions in Shaftesbury, Dorset
Jackets from Joseph Ribkoff have been strong sellers recently, especially a style with a patterned print and bell sleeves (£255), which comes in many different shades. A three-quarter length fur jacket (£385) has also been popular. Also, NYDJ has been selling well, especially the marine blue jeans (£139.95) and black and navy leggings (£139.95). Another strong selling range for us has been Brax, especially their trousers (£85.95) which come in a variety of shades. Forest green and red have been especially popular with customers. Overall, trade has had its highs and lows, but we’ve had some really busy days. We didn’t offer any Black Friday deals in store, but we also run a lingerie etailer, where we did some discounts. I am feeling optimistic about Christmas trade because, generally, we do quite well in the festive period.
Tricia Stirling Owner of Vanity Fair in Bearsden, Glasgow
Jackets (£240) and slim-leg trousers (£125) from Joseph Ribkoff have proved to be popular lately. Another top seller has Latte – its dresses and tunics (around £120), particularly in darker colours. The olive colourway has been the standout and has been bought by many customers. Generally, I can’t complain about trade – it’s been fairly steady. Over Christmas, we always do especially well with our accessories and gifts, so I’m not particularly worried about the festive period. It’s interesting actually, as we have just had some early spring stock brought in and it has been selling well.
Chris Pittham Manager of Charles Hobson in York
Waxed jackets from Barbour (£120-£150) and the brand’s motorcycling-inspired collection Barbour International (£159-£199) are currently popular with our customers. I think the affordability and quality of these waxed and quilted jackets has made them especially popular. The Oxford and winter check style shirts (£85-£89) and plain-coloured crewneck knitwear (£85-£95) from Gant have picked up sales too. Also, Fynch-Hatton has been attracting customers as it has a similar style to Gant but at a cheaper price. The shirts (£59-£65), especially, have been attracting customer attention. Generally, trade has been quite nice but a little quiet for us. But we generally do well over the Christmas period, so we’re just waiting for that to kick in and start keeping us busy.
Keith Warren Manager and buyer for R Scott & Co in Cirencester
Our bestsellers at the moment are jackets (£250-£325) and cotton cord trousers (around £120) from Magee, as well as jeans (£99) and autumn-weight cotton trousers from Meyer (£89.95-£105). The lambswool knitwear plain-coloured crewneck and V-neck jumpers (£69.50) from Glenmuir have been really popular. Since its recent rebranding and focus on affordability, it offers great quality at affordable prices. Trade has been pretty steady for us. Our location helps – we are an independent in the Cotswolds and people enjoy spending in our store because we sell the right things at the right prices. We are slightly up against our trade in the run up to Christmas last year, but we expect it to continue to be pretty steady. We are very much focused on our bricks-and-mortar business because, with menswear, people always prefer to come and try first. We’ve had three years of consecutive mild winters and now it seems we are onto our fourth, so I’ve cut back on our outerwear buy.
Callum Mackay Partner at Allans of Petworth, West Sussex
The range from Fynch-Hatton has been selling well, especially its button-down collared shirts (£69.99) and knitwear (£85-£125). DuBarry footwear, particularly the Chelsea boot (£249) and Galway boot (£329), have been very popular with our customers lately. We’ve had a good period of trading, after the very mild and subsequently quiet time we had during October. Ever since the clocks went back and the weather grew a bit colder, it has benefited business. We’re feeling pretty good in the run-up to Christmas. Our premium brands have been selling well lately and that makes me feel fairly confident about Christmas.
Raj Jain Owner of Preview Menswear in Worcester Park, Surrey
Generally, our bestsellers have been the jackets (£100-£130) from Lyle & Scott and the knitwear (£70-£90) from Gabicci. Also, Ben Sherman shirts (£45-£50) from across the board have been very popular, which I believe is because it’s a very well-known and recognisable brand. Trade has been quite inconsistent. We’ve had some very quiet periods and weeks where trade has really picked up, which reflects the wider economic environment as a whole.