Private Label

John Lewis To Launch New Womenswear Own-Brand Label

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Upmarket department-store chain John Lewis will launch its first luxury, ready-to-wear label modern rarity in time for the upcoming Autumn/Winter season.

"Redefining luxe for today's modern woman, it offers a move away from disposable, fast fashion and instead presents a rare take on luxury with an ethos of fewer, better pieces," said the retailer.

The wardrobe staples has sophisticated cuts, luxurious fabrics and understated silhouettes, according to John Lewis, with the label's contemporary look being dedicated to quality and design. The label will arrive in stores and on the John Lewis site on 8 September.

Designed in-house and created by Jo Bennett, head of buying, alongside Iain Ewing, head of design, the result is a luxurious 90-piece collection.

The label will release a new line for every season from this autumn. Modern rarity will seasonally invite guest designers to collaborate and give their own twist and build on the collection for that season - creating limited edition, rare finds.

Pieces in the collection include wide-leg herringbone trousers (£120), a funnel neck sweater (£75) and a belted long shirt in white (£150), camisoles embellished with sequins (£120).

For the brand launch, modern rarity has invited renowned shirt designers Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding to design five contemporary white shirts - priced from £100 to £150.

Speaking on the new private-label brand, Jo Bennett, head of womenswear buying for John Lewis, said: “To shape the modern rarity label, we set off with a mantra of ‘fewer, better pieces’, with the knowledge that our customers are wanting quality pieces that have design substance.

"We wanted to create a brand that could cater for everyday modern classics in a luxe way – pieces that are thoughtful, beautifully designed and crafted with care. I want our customers to feel that they are investing in a collection that celebrates and helps them to continue to build their own style."

Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding from Palmer//Harding added, "For a high street retailer to create a brand with this standard of design and quality is truly a rare thing - we’re really pleased our shirts have a part to play in this as it feels like the perfect fit.

"The heritage of the John Lewis brand alongside the vision and enthusiasm of Jo and Iain really comes through in the product produced.”

Ed Connolly, buying director fashion for John Lewis, added: “Developing the John Lewis womenswear proposition is a major strategic priority, as this is the area of the business we want to grow the fastest in the next five years.

He said that the retailer had been building its "fashion authority" in recent years through its own labels - using designer collaborations and its in-house design team.

"Modern rarity takes this ambition on again and represents our biggest ever investment in womenswear."

As the trend for fast fashion is fading, today’s customers desire beautiful design and great quality pieces that transcend seasons, he explained.

"Modern rarity is our answer to this and will, we believe, change the dynamic on the British High Street. The label offers a new way of shopping for women, moving away from the two-gear dynamic of Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter to focus on timeless style - providing them with a collection and palette to work from that they can style to become their own."

© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.

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