Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Fashion brands merge for the masses

Ultra-chic designers join forces with the high street creating luxury labels for less.

Topshop managing director Mary Homer assesses the pieces which make up their new range.

The items on display here were designed by 26 year old British designer Christopher Kane.

It's part of a high street collaboration between the store and Kane.

He was showing off his upcoming Spring/Summer collection at London Fashion Week.

A favourite amongst the fashion crowd, the young designer produces pieces retailing at around 2000 pounds, more than 3000 U.S dollars.

At Topshop budding fashionistas can buy his inspirational designs for around 96 percent less.

Designer collaborations have been a success story for the high street chain - Homer said, due to Kane's high profile, he was the right man for the collection.

MARY HOMER, MANAGING DIRECTOR, TOPSHOP SAYING:

''So we decided that it would be right to bring the changes and do something quite different, and sort of showcase somebody. So the first person you know, or one of the many people that came to mind was obviously Christopher.''

Speaking at his show, Kane said his collection for Topshop had to be far more commercial in order to appeal to a wider market.

MARY HOMER, MANAGING DIRECTOR, TOPSHOP SAYING:

''The look that I put out for Topshop has to be much more commercial and it just needs to suit a whole wide audience.''

British retailer Philip Green and owner of Topshop said collaborations can only strengthen a brand.

PHILIP GREEN, BRITISH RETAILER, SAYING:

''We're a business operating in 30 countries, so it adds to the credibility of our brand. Christopher steps up to the plate and his collection is strong and it's good it adds to our brand.''

According to Verdict Research the European luxury market has declined by around 6 percent, with first quarter sales feeling the brunt of the recession.

The coming together of ultra-chic designers and high street shops is a popular trend.

High street chain Whistles worked with designer Roksanda Illincic, and fashion doyen Vivienne Westwood has been creating shoes for Melissa.

Consultants from Deloitte said stores appealing to people with smaller budgets is the fastest growing part of the British retail industry.

As more designers create capsule collections for the high street designer collaborations appear to be right on trend.

Basmah Fahim, Reuters.