“The key, leading brands for us are Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Givenchy,” said Hazel Catterall, group head of women’s wear buying at Harvey Nichols as she laid out the store’s buy for the fall season.
“We have worked with them years and years, and they are big volume, internationally recognized brands,” she added. The store plans to launch Loewe with a dedicated space in June.
Gucci ready-to-wear sales on the shop floor were up 40 percent year-over-year for spring, with the brand’s logo T-shirt selling out within two days of arrival. Following the news of Riccardo Tisci leaving Givenchy, the retailer said it saw a surge in sales.
Balmain was up 50 percent year-over-year with brand’s logo T-shirts selling out upon arrival. The retailers said designer sneaker sales remain robust, with Balenciaga’s Race Runners selling more than 400 units in an eight-week period.
While big may be beautiful at Harvey Nichols, the store is also filling its floors with smaller names and exclusive buys, and bulking up specific categories.
Catterall said there is a growing demand for “elevated contemporary” names such as J.W. Anderson and Preen, while outerwear remains a “really, really, big category for us. We felt this is such an escape for this season. So, in every collection, we found these statement coats.”
To wit, the store will be carrying coats from Dries Van Noten, Stella McCartney and Isabel Marant.
Among the U.K. exclusives for fall are Loq, Neous and Samuele Failli. The store will carry Neous’ handcrafted mules and Loq’s ankle boots with an exaggerated square heel. It will also carry laser-cut suede heels, by Failli, a veteran of Azzedine Alaïa.
New labels include Gabriela Hearst’s day and eveningwear and Khaite’s pared-down staples. The retailer touted Toronto-based label Vejas and Y/Project’s exaggerated silhouettes for men and women.
In the contemporary and denim department, Harvey Nichols has picked up Aviu’s embellished tops and dresses, Cecilie Copenhagen’s colorful printed tops, and Izaak Azanei’s cashmere knits.
It will also carry Little Juggernauts statement T-shirts, Madeworn Ts, Uzma Bozai’s sweatshirts, Stand’s faux-fur outerwear and Danish brand Gestuz’s day and evening wear. The retailer has also brought back Australian brand Ksubi.
In accessories and footwear, newness will come in the shape of Coccinelle’s color-blocked suede bags, Eytys’ sneakers Mr & Mrs Italy boots and sneakers and Nicole Saldana’s loafers and boots. The retailer has also brought back Ann Demeulemeester footwear.
The store organized its fall buy into several themes, including Cosmic Cool, a compilation of shimmery prints and iridescent metallics as seen on the runways of Dries Van Noten and Christopher Kane.
The buy included Christopher Kane’s black graphic spaceship T-shirt, a metallic pink Dries Van Noten knee-skimming skirt and Stella McCartney graphic T-shirt.
The Grunge Guys theme was a nod to the Nineties, with orders including pieces with shearling, plaid checks and floral frocks. Shoppers will see an Isabel Marant shearling coat, a long plaid dress from Vince and a floral printed dress from Acne Studios.
Berry Good includes rich berry tones as seen on the runways of Roksanda and Mary Katrantzou, with the buy including a J Brand x Bella Freud “Gangs of Love” top, a Y/Project overcoat and Paige denim jeans.
Velvet Underground features soft velvet pieces from Vince, J Brand and AG Jeans. Tuft Love focused on tactile materials such as faux fur and shearling at Monse and Isabel Marant.