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How Flannels is driving "Youth-Phoria" with new business focus

Tom Shearsmith
23 March 2023

Flannels is set to rebrand its Oxford Street flagship location as Flannels X, focusing its efforts on the next-generation consumer. The store is one of a number of initiatives launched today to build and champion a generation "obsessed with ability and ambition".

Flannels said it intends to "double-down on the business’ commitment to youth culture" - not only inspiring the next generation but also welcoming them into the business to shape its next chapter through activations, conversations and a tailored retail environment.

A new project, Youth-Phoria, examines next-generation excellence across fashion, music, and art, harnessing the uncensored voices and unique insight of the UK’s home-grown youth culture leaders.

A newly-founded Creative Council sits at the heart of the new Youth-Phoria project. The council features six "highly-respected" polymath creatives, each uniquely shaping various spaces and industries. Each member of the council will work with Flannels until the summer to curate an event at the Flannels X flagship store and launch a distinctive "creative playground".

The Council is formed of: Anita Chhiba; founder of community platform Diet Paratha, Elgar Johnson; Founder and Editor-in-chief of CircleZeroEight, Issac Poleon; Hair stylist and beauty industry disruptor, Leah Abbott; fashion and celebrity stylist, Raphaelle Moore; Head of Projects at Fashion East, and star of the UK’s art scene, Slawn.

The rebranded Flannels X store is set to see a number of events and exclusive product launches, including an exclusive pair of monochrome trainers from Dior and a limited-edition collaboration between MC Kano and C.P. Company. 

Speaking about the new direction, Marcus Jaye, Contributing Editor at, commented: "From a company which is taking the axe to many branded fascias at the moment it is interesting they are introducing a new one. If Flannels X is just for the flagship on Oxford Street, it makes sense, but if it is rolled out across the country then it might start to confuse things. Maybe ‘Flannels Z’ would have been a better name for the demographic it is targeting?

"The idea looks as though is mostly about in-store ‘consumer engagement’, highlighting collaborations and events featuring music or digital art or exhibitions. For a large shop with an unusual single door on to the street, a quiet store in such a premium position is increasingly hard to justify."


The current Flannels store exterior on Oxford Street, London.

Founded in the North of England in 1976, Flannels has constantly evolved into a nationwide pioneer of the contemporary shopping experience, most dramatically after its acquisition by Frasers Group in 2017. Across a portfolio of more than 50 stores in the UK, Flannels offers an unrivalled curation of ready-to-wear, accessories, and footwear, as well as more recently junior clothing and beauty products.

Flannels CEO Michael Murray is behind the scenes driving the business to new heights through expansion to regional cities and a continued strategy of innovation, such as the new Flannels X concept. Murray has been leading Frasers Group as CEO since May 2022, accelerating the group’s strategy to be a leading retailer in sports, premium and luxury fashion.

Describing his leadership, Murray said: “The market has an unmatched appetite for the type of luxury we do best. Flannels continues to disrupt and rethink retail, impressively demonstrating our vision and delivering a world-class shopping destination to key cities across the UK.”

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