Chelsea Girl, the swinging Sixties young fashion emporium, which morphed into River Island in 1988 is to be revived. It will first be brought back to life in a pop up store this Thursday in Selfridges and then will be turned into a capsule collection across River Island stores from next week.
Chelsea Girl – a name derived from London’s then fashion epicentre,the Kings Road – the label embodied young, bohemian trend led fashion on a budget. Think back to the days of Mary Quant and the new rise of risque but at accessible price points.
Fitting with S/S 11’s return to pop colour and Seventies prints, the relaunch will take the brand’s heritage as it’s starting point; expect fluid, girly shapes, paisley, floral prints and an element of hippiedom.
River Island Designer, Lucy Moller, admits, ‘she doesn’t remember the original Chelsea Girl collection herself, but found old pieces in her mother’s closet.’ She also has done plenty of ebay research in respect to the original DNA – so new pieces will still include the famous old logo.
However beyond the excitement, Ben Lewis, chief executive of the privately owned British retailer, has used the opportunity to call for the Government to make UK manufacturing more competitive.
According to the Telegraph, Lewis said ‘the brand was a strong supporter of UK manufacturing and always has been. Anything the Government can do to aid manufacturing and make it more competitive will be advantageous to us.’
His comments come after Topshop boss, Sir Philip Green, said he would consider sourcing from UK clothing factories to mitigate soaring Asian wage inflation.
Lewis said domestic manufacture would benefit our home retailers as it would enable them to keep supply lines short and flexible.