British heritage brands get new appealMonday, 01 August 2011
On the back of this, a sector of the industry suddenly getting a new lease of life are British brands renowned for their heritage and old school appeal.
Barbour, once a label synonymous with country living and pursuits, has now seen its wax jacket reinvented as fashionista’s take to the street in it.
Following in its lead, British heritage brand, Burberry is now leading the way in bringing its collections into the new age; via live streaming and instant digital access. Whilst Mulberry, previously a fledgling old school label, has morphed into the hottest selling brand with a 526% rise in sales over the past year.
The reasons? Largely new found success and perception comes through young, talented creative directors and then young, fashionable, celebrity endorsement. Case in point: Pringle of Scotland and Aquascutum.
Both had old school, fusty associations until Claire Waight Keller and Joanna Sykes, respectively, with their classic but modern design talent brought the heritage style direction into the modern day. Since, they have both become London Fashion Week show favourites.
With big fashion names like Sir Philip Green calling for companies to bring their manufacturing back to the UK, a respect and aptitude for British heritage looks set to continue. Infact a host of smaller companies are already noticing the appeal of the British heritage aesthetic to international buyers.
PrivateWhiteVC is a new menswear label, based in Manchester, and designed around the everyday wardrobe of Jack White, an soldier awarded the Victoria Cross in 1918. His namesake label was relaunched by his great grandson, James Eden, and is manufactured alongside top labels like Paul Smith and Burberry.
Much of our success and survival can be attributed to the traditional values and determination of Private White, whose obsession for craft and quality lives on in the brand," says Eden, whose label has a utilitarian aesthetic.
Whilst the emphasis on history and endurance in the clothes and the stories behind them is attracting a plethora of foreign markets, particularly now in Japan and across Asian markets.
Brian Duffy, founder of Stitch menswear trade event also notices the 'pulling power 'of the British heritage brand, 'it's a big factor in attracting international interest.'
Image 1: Barbour
Image 2: Burberry