What is your customer asking for right now?
Fashion has definitely returned and our customer is enjoying dressing up again. However comfort and versatility are still important to them and I think this high-low mix will continue to be reflected in how we all dress. One trend we have seen is that our customer is shopping for individual or extra special pieces more than ever. Whether it is our exclusive kilts from Chopova Lowena, crystal jewellery from JiaJia or one-of-a-kind pieces from By Walid, they want pieces that feel unique to them. We have also seen gravitation towards highly coveted pieces, such as Valentino’s optical cut-out sweater which almost sold-out on upload; and Saint Laurent’s canvas monogram bag. Strong statement fashion looks such as Simone Rocha’s leather biker jacket have also been popular but alongside this, they are choosing key wardrobing pieces from Raey, Toteme, Charvet and The Frankie Shop as well as transitional knitwear from Wales Bonner and The Elder Statesman.
How do people shop these days?
Whilst the majority of our global customer shops with us online, and continues to do so, our customers based in the UK have embraced being able to physically interact with the product again. We reopened 5 Carlos Place, our townhouse in Mayfair, when the restrictions lifted and it has been great to welcome our customers back. They have really enjoyed seeing items in their wishlist in real life and discovering new pieces they hadn’t discovered online. We’ve had private shopping appointments, ranging from work wardrobe edits to complete wardrobe makeovers as well as bridal & occasionwear appointments.
What are the challenges of Spring 2022 in terms of buying?
It is key to find the right balance between virtual and physical appointments. It is a new hybrid way of working but the team is excited to see collections in person and be meeting with our designers and brand partners again.
What have you missed about physical shows?
Fashion Weeks are so important for the team. It is where you get to see collections come to life, giving us the opportunity to discover new and emerging designers as well meet with our existing partners. Over the past year and a half we have really missed that interaction. Seeing the collections up close, meeting and engaging with creative, talented people helps us generate ideas and come up with exciting, exclusive ways to collaborate with our brand partners and designers.
How has this push forward to digital changed the way fashion is showcased?
However I think the pandemic has given brands a chance to really think outside the box and I hope this continues. I believe Fashion Week will continue to evolve, combining both physical and digital activations, and we will continue to adapt how we partner with brands. This more sustainable way of working has given the industry an opportunity to think about [different] ways of working, whether that’s cutting back on travel or producing innovative digital content.
What are you most excited about this season?
I’m really pleased to be back in Paris this season and in particular, I’m really looking forward to seeing Chloe, Valentino and Loewe.