Buyers Pre London Fashion Week Buyer-Supplier-Agent Meet and Tradeshow
Pynck recently attended the Pre London Fashion Week tradeshow at London’s fashionable Courthouse Hotel. It featured many interesting new brands, as well as some experienced suppliers who are already experts in their industry. Brands that stood out in particular for their versatility and reflection of current trends were Unique21, Zohara, and Jheez.
Zohara is a Northern Irish brand specialising exclusively in women’s accessories. Initially their handbags were only in leather, but they now also have some models in suede. Zohara uses the beautiful landscapes of Northern Ireland to inspire its designs. As a result, the bags have a tangible sense of authenticity. For example, its ‘Port Collection’ aims to reflect the wildness and immensity of Northern Ireland’s awe-inspiring seascapes and harbours with the natural colours of the bags, as well as their simple and wearable designs. Each bag is also named after a specific location, to ensure every model is unique. The authenticity of this brand has made it very popular in Northern Ireland, as consumers are able to feel a personal connection to the landscapes and places after which the bags are named. Zohara are currently expanding to the rest of the UK market. These bags are relatively affordable, considering the extremely good quality of their materials, retailing at around £150 for smaller handbags, and £200-250 for larger models.
Key pieces include The Arcadia, The Black Glen and The Hezlett, each pictured below.
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Jheez is a sportswear and street wear brand, started by young designer Jay Gill, originally from Birmingham, at the age of 17. Featuring menswear, womenswear, as well as accessories, this edgy brand can be described as urban and energetic. Distressed denim jackets are clean cut and simple, but stand out as individual pieces in this collection. Jheez is a youthful and thoroughly energetic label, and the founder Jay tells Pynck he keeps the brand unique by only making 50 units of each item, meaning that as soon as it sells out, it’s gone. This ensures constant demand and prevents repetition and uniformity. From the brand name right down to the items themselves, Jheez is light-hearted and cool, and appeals to a younger market of street style enthusiasts.
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Unique21 is a modern Manchester based brand, whose new range features soft autumnal hues, along with classic floral pieces. Clean cut and sharply tailored trouser suits are designed to suit the working woman both in and out of the office, in a youthful rose shade (pictured below), so as to avoid being too severe. On the other hand, its floral midi skirts and satin evening dresses are bang on trend and ready to be dressed up or down for any occasion, and are perfect for early autumnal evenings before winter sets in. Versatile and elegant, Unique21 has captured the essence of the modern woman who can have it all.
Wrap floral dress with open back
Wrap tie side blazer in dark rose (matching trousers available)
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Also at the Pre LFW Tradeshow this year were many interesting seminars on topics as wide-ranging as the sustainability of leather, how YouTube can be used as an effective marketing tool, and female consumer fashion. The latter was given by Sophia Matveeva, founder of the retail shopping app “Enty”, started in 2016. This app allows users to receive expert advice from professional stylists, as well as its ordinary users, about new purchases they are making, or even just their outfit of the day. Sophia also spoke about the changing nature of the female consumer retail experience, and suggested the growing sphere of so-called Instagram “influencers” has altered the trend cycle, taking over from traditional celebrities (such as actors and models). She also spoke about the growing popularity of plus-size fashion, and asked why so few labels have altered their collections to suit such a large part of the female demographic (especially in the US). Overall it was an interesting seminar about the ever-changing world of fashion, and technology’s role in it.