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River Island parent to launch new women's brand

Lauretta Roberts
22 July 2019

River Island Global Holdings is set to launch a new online women's brand this autumn targeting the "forgotten customer".

Called Harpenne, the new brand is spearheaded by Fiona Lambert, River Island managing director of business development (whose career includes high profile roles at Next and George at Asda).

The brand is aimed at a more mature customer than the group's flagship chain and will be run as a separate business. It will offer limited edition items informed by a European sense of styling for "women who are rediscovering themselves and are embracing their sense of style".

The collection will comprise 120 ethically sourced pieces designed to flatter women of all ages and with a range of different body shapes. It promises unique prints and colours to suit all skin tones.

“Harpenne was created after noticing a huge gap in the market, we want to give the forgotten customer a voice. The pieces within the collection are inspired by culture and individuality. Aimed at women with attitude, Harpenne wants to revolutionise the retail offering so all women can embrace their sense of style and feel confident, no matter what their age," explained Lambert.

Priced at between £60-£100 for a dress and £25-£80 for tops, the collection will be sold from September at, where customers can already register their interest and gain exclusive pre-launch access.

Lambert joined River Island in October 2018 after a near two year spell as product director at Dunelm. Prior to that she spent 11 years at Asda, latterly as Vice President own brand development and design. Before joining Adsa she was womenswear product director at Next.

Earlier this year, The Lewis Trust Group, which is the investment arm of the Lewis family who are behind the River Island group, took full control of Mint Velvet, a 40-store premium fashion chain that targets a 30-plus consumer.

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