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Bench to relaunch for SS20 and show at Pure London

Tom Bottomley
09 July 2019

Streetwear brand Bench, which was rescued out of administration by US investment company Gordon Brothers in July 2018, is relaunching for SS20 and will be showing at the forthcoming Pure London show at Olympia on 21-23 July.

Bench creative director, David Mallon, says: “Gordon Brothers bought the global intellectual property assets and Apparel Brands has taken the pan-European licence for the next six years. We source, design it and we’ve outlined who’s going to sell it. We’ve got a sales and distribution network across Europe in place, and we are working with Industry Brands to sell it in the UK.”

Originally launched in Manchester in 1989, this is very about taking Bench back to its roots. Says Mallon: “We’re bringing back all the personality and identity that we remember it for. It’s that functional and technical streetwear and sportswear vibe that went missing from it in recent years.

“We’re reinventing the brand in terms of the sensibility, but it has to suit what’s going on in the market now. We’re not going after a 50 year-old who remembers Bench from the late 80’s, it’s about making it relevant for a modern audience.”

The relaunch sees full category product groups across men’s, women’s and childrenswear, and the large new offer is split in to contemporary, main and core ranges to appeal to different market sectors.

Despite previously believing Bench was more of a men’s brand, Mallon says he’s now discovered that it was in fact bigger on the womenswear side, hence the decision to show at Pure London.

“From the history of the brand, I believed it was more male orientated,” says Mallon. “But from the information we gathered, particularly when we were going around Europe, was that 65% of all the sales came from women’s product. Pure seems to be the only show currently in the UK that has any sort of following or relevance so it seemed like an easy selection.”

Though the stand at Pure will feature about 70% womenswear, there will also be a small selection of highlight pieces from the menswear and childrenswear collections to give a taster.

In terms of driving sales and brand awareness, online is also going to play a major factor. Mallon concludes: “We’re going to drive it hard online and we’ll be launching a new website this October, as well as being busy on the social media side. Franchise stores and shop-in-shops are also going to be considered.”

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