Temperley London is in talks to kick off the next stage of its business with plans to move into lifestyle product. Alice Temperley announced the news yesterday evening at a London Fashion Week event organised by The Industry but stressed that talks are at an early stage.
It’s not yet clear exactly which categories will be added nor which products will be created in-house and which will be via a licensed model.
“I’m from a textile background and just to do clothes is quite frustrating,” Temperley explained, adding that the move is a logical one: “We want to be more of a lifestyle brand, one that’s quintessentially British. All of the pattern and the details and the colour will translate into so many other products so that’s what we’ll be doing.”
Temperley and her management team have spent the past six months restructuring the company, becoming “very tight on the management team and focusing on the price point offering for daywear, eveningwear and bridal.”
She said that “seeing the growth in those channels is very very satisfying and now I’ve got meetings about bringing in other things.”
Temperley is a notable British success story and one that is key to department stores globally. The bulk of its revenue comes from wholesale and this places enormous pressure on the team to deliver multiple collections and boost its sell-through in those stores.
Because of this it has reinvented itself in recent years, dropping its Alice diffusion line and aiming to give its department store customers a clearer Temperley vision.
“Department stores go on sell-throughs and numbers and unless your sell-throughs are high, they may like you but they won’t keep you there,” she said. “And unless you have new product on the shop floor four times a year clients will get bored because they need that newness. You could sell to smaller boutique but not to department stores.”
In order to satisfy the need for constant newness, the company now creates smaller, more tightly edited collections. And it has culled about 30% of its wholesale customers in order to focus on its top tier.
“Your top 15 wholesale accounts cover 60%-70% of your entire money from wholesale,” Temperley said. “By focusing on only the best, in the last few seasons we’ve picked up some amazing accounts who maybe avoided us because of the confusion with the Alice collection. We’ve pushed out across five Lane Crawfords in the last season and will be going back to America next year to support the business there with a flagship store. We’ll go back into New York. Our biggest spenders online are Americans.”
Digital engagement is also a key thrust for the company, particularly because it doesn’t have a huge budget for marketing. “Without any marketing spend and advertising it’s really important,” Temperley said, highlighting the firm’s digital innovation. It was the first (two years ago) to create a shoppable film for Net-a-Porter using US tech platform Cinematique.
And for this season’s London Fashion Week, it teamed up with social app Vero to make three of its new collection looks instantly shoppable, which appears to have had a good response.
But Temperley, who admitted to still being a little overwhelmed by the immense effort involved in putting together a runway show that lasts barely 10 minutes, said that not everything went right with the show. It seems one dress appeared on the runway worn back to front. “But nobody noticed,” she said, without giving away which one it was!
Alice Temperley was in conversation with fashion broadcaster Scott Wimsett, on behalf of The Industry, at The Grooming Room, The Century Club.