LONDON — Whistles, the British high street retailer, is expanding into men’s wear for fall 2014.
“This has always been at the back of our minds,” said chief executive officer Jane Shepherdson. “Whistles was originally called ‘Whistle & Flute,’ cockney rhyming slang for ‘suit’ and, after all the requests we’ve had from customers, press and our retail partners — as well as a lot of market research — we realized that now is the right time for us to break into that market.”
Shepherdson has appointed two designers to helm the new collection, which will be made up of roughly 120 pieces that will be revealed next year. “We’ve got lots of mood boards, pictures of the Whistle man customer. We’re making a good start [on profiling the Whistles man],” said Shepherdson. “He’s a guy that wants casual, understated design. He’s independent, confident, discerning; he wants accessible luxury; he wants nice fabrics, wants real attention to detail. He wants contemporary men’s wear but with a bit of a sports twist if you like.”
Price points will be in line with the women’s wear collection, with shirts starting from about 85 pounds, or about $137, and jeans going for about 100 pounds, or $161.
Shepherdson said the range would echo the principles of the brand’s women’s wear offering and be “understated, laid back and relevant to modern men. We’re looking at clean lines, but attention to detail on color, print and texture in contemporary shapes.” The collection will be “mainly casual” but will also feature suiting, accessories and footwear.
To begin with, the men’s wear will be sold alongside the women’s collections in Whistles’ existing retail stores although the brand is seeking a dedicated retail space. It will also be available on the brand’s Web site and sold at wholesale.
Launch plans are still being confirmed and Shepherdson said that she hasn’t ruled out the possibility of introducing the collection during London Collections: Men.
The brand said that sales in the 12 months to Jan. 31 grew by 24 percent to 49.3 million pounds, or $79.3 million, driven by 20 percent like-for-like growth.
Whistles has been focused on an international expansion strategy for a year. It is now carried at Printemps in Paris and in Germany at KaDeWe and Oberpollinger, among others. It will launch at De Bijenkorf in Amsterdam in November and, following strong sales growth at Tsvetnoy Central Market in Moscow, it will open additional concessions in Moscow and Kazan, Russia.
Shepherdson said that the Far East has become a very important market for the brand since it partnered with Lane Crawford, Hong Kong, in July. She said it’s the number-one premium brand on the retailer’s Web site. Whistles will be sold in Lane Crawford’s Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu, China, locations in 2014.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews