Pure London AW19: Top brand picks
With some brands showing short order SS19 lines, the main focus was on forward order for AW19 at Pure London this week, and a sizeable chunk of the show featured brands focusing on vintage-inspired designs on the women’s side, with the men’s area generally still trying to find its feet as a menswear destination. Here’s a selection of what was on offer
Love ur Look London
Established for about nine years now, though a very first showing at Pure, Love ur Look London supplies a variety of boutiques – particularly those with a vintage-reproduction flavour. They also do their own vintage-inspired pop-up shops with other like-minded brands such as Salty Old Sea Dog. Using upcycled cotton from India for its dresses, which would have been a waste product, gives it a sustainability tick, especially given they work with a small family run business there where everyone is paid well. The newest pieces are the embroidered 1950’s Mexicana style jackets, and outerwear is brand new for AW19. The Melton wool ‘Princess’ swing coat with a cinched waist and shawl collar is so far proving popular with buyers.
Founded in Leeds almost 10 years ago, Brodie Cashmere manufactures in Mongolia using pure Mongolian cashmere for everything from classic crew necks and V-necks to more contemporary styles. New for AW19 are rainbow stripes down the sleeves, a stars and hearts design, and some printed and embroidered styles. They include leopard prints, colourful camouflage, lips and feather shoulder embroidery. Colour is key, with plenty of neon brights. It’s all machine washable, and wholesale prices start at £59, going up to £200 for a more lofty garment. “We now distribute all over the world,” said director, Anne Marie Holdsworth. “We’ve been doing Pure since the beginning, and it’s a good show for us. It’s where I get to meet our buyers face to face and understand their needs and what’s selling for them.”
Brand founder and designer, Tom Walsh, is also a retailer in Ireland – with stores in Dublin, Galway and Cork, under the Carousel name. Carousel used to be a multi-brand store, but when retail got tough Walsh switched his attention to doing his own brand, and that’s when Circus took over. “It became a brand in February 2014, when it got its own identity and I started to wholesale it to other people, though I was sourcing product before that,” explained Walsh, who used to be a womenswear buyer at Selfridges in London in the 1990’s. “The wholesale business really came about to support the numbers for our retail, but now the wholesale is surpassing the retail business.” The look is very much vintage-inspired, with lots of prints, dresses, tops and skirts, as well as new outerwear for AW19. The styling is a nod to Walsh’s past, as when he left Selfridges he had a vintage stall at Camden Market. “I used to sell a lot of original vintage, and a lot of these shapes come from that,” added Walsh.
Mat de Misaine
Established in 1989 on the Vendéecoast in St. Gilles Croix de Vie in France, Mat de Misaine is a nautical inspired brand for the more elegant female dresser who likes life by the sea. Signature pieces include short peacoats, loose-fit striped Breton-style Tees and tops, sailor jumpers and water-resistant parkas. Small details, natural materials and high quality finishes are key. Export manager, Simone Meyer, said: “We are celebrating our 30thanniversary this year, and we have some exclusive Liberty print blouses. We are very well received here in the UK, and we supply a lot of independent boutiques, especially in seaside resorts and tourist areas. It’s a marine-inspired look, but we also have complete collections and it’s very modern, elegant and high quality. Also, we only manufacture in Europe.”
Bright & Beautiful
Established five years ago, and a sister brand of Collectif – also showing at Pure, Bright & Beautiful is still vintage-inspired, but more 1960’s and 70’s as opposed to the 1940’s and 50’s rockabilly pin-up looks of Collectif. “We originally launched it here at Pure, and it’s grown through the years. We started with some very 1960’s and 70’s mini-skirts, but now its’s evolved in to more urban and bohemian styling, though still with a hint of 60’s,” said senior designer, Talis Bell. For AW19, there’s a dipped hem check swing skirt, shorter at the front than at the back, flared check trousers, a shaggy 70’s inspired coat with bright striped lining, and cord A-line mini-skirts, which Bell said are definitely “back in.” She also said corduroy trousers are making a comeback, and Bright & Beautiful’s take on the trend sees a multi-pleat waist, loose leg and tapered ankle with turn-up. Another key piece for the new season is a more stand-out take on a duffle coat, with a bigger 70’s collar, cinched in waist and longer length that kicks out. “Everyone loves it,” added Bell.
George and Dotty
Tucked away and situated towards the back of the hall at Pure, George and Dotty is a made in England brand specialising in Yorkshire Tweed ponchos, capes and gilets, with certified faux fur collars and hems. “George is our daughter, and Dotty is her dog,” said brand owner Richard Ellis, who also owns Belvoir Rug Company, specialising in horse, pony and dog covers. “We’re based in the middle of the countryside in Nottingham, so we’ve developed this country wear brand to reflect where we’re from.” Richard and his wife, Karen, also brought their own model to the show to really give buyers an idea as to how good their pieces look. Classic, chic and elegant, and something you could probably envisage Audrey Hepburn wearing on a chilly evening in town or country.
The popular buy-from-stock tailoring brand, and double-winner of Drapers menswear brand of the year, Marc Darcy appeared to be the busiest stand at Pure’s men’s offer on day two. Sales agent for the South, Chris Pegram, said: “We do a lot of mix-and-match suiting that can be sold as separates, and there’s some great Tweed options. The brand is also backed up with a lot of advertising and photographs of well-known faces wearing it, such as Manchester United footballer, Jesse Lingard, photographed in a Marc Darcy three-piece check suit.” The brand’s showroom is in Salford, so Lingard didn’t have far to go. The real appeal to retailers are the price points, with jackets wholesaling at £50 and retailing at £125. “I’ve got it in to some great stores, such as Red Menswear in Chatham, who’s putting it in between Hackett and Gant as an entry price point,” added Pegram. “Then there’s Warwicks in Windsor, who sell £1,500 suits but put this in as their starter price. Our three-piece suits sell for £300.”
Gabicci head of sales, Kamla Patel, said that day one of Pure on Sunday actually saw quite decent footfall, much better than they had anticipated, though day two was much quieter. “We did write some orders on Sunday though, and got some good leads to follow up,” offered Patel. Showing the more niche Gabicci Vintage line, with limited edition pieces such as its renowned ‘Yardy Cardy’ with suede-look pockets and collar tipping, as well as its more classic mainline, and the more mainstream fashion driven Maddox Street by Gabicci of London offer, retailers had the brand’s full offer to view. The Maddox Street line features printed shirting, check Crombie coats, striped wool three-button Mod blazers and a Harrington. “It’s been quite interesting to see cross fertilization from customers who would normally buy from the Vintage offer, also picking up from the classic range – and vice versa,” added Patel.