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Brian from accounts, on a Monday morning, asks how was your weekend. And your first reaction is “What? Did you not see all the amazeball photos I posted on Instagram? How can you not know that I had a *totes* great time?” You say: “Er, it was nice. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. Whistles conquers the 'middle market' of British womenswear. While Marks & Spencer announced a 6.8% drop of general sales last month, another corner of the British high street has been quietly flourishing.
Whistles, the clothing brand set up by Lucille Lewin in the 1980s, announced this week that it had bought back the majority of its shares from the Icelandic government, a move which has underlined its growing strength. Whistles, which has been independent since parting ways with the retail group Mosaic in 2008, has gone from strength to strength despite a tough economic climate. Sales were up 13% in 2011 and there was "consistent double digit like for like sales growth," this year, according to a company statement. Whistles is also the bestselling premium high street brand on Asos, the online retailer.
It had been part-owned by the Icelandic government since the banking crises of 2008, when shares owned by the collapsed bank Glitnir were transferred to its ownership. Since then, the clothes have gradually gained a recognisable slickness. Whistles - Spring/Summer 2015 Ready-To-Wear - LFW. Whistles Continues Global Expansion with Department Store Strategy. LONDON, United Kingdom — British contemporary fashion label Whistles is set to launch in the United States with a shop-in-shop, opening today, on the second floor of the Bloomingdale’s flagship on New York’s 59th Street.
The move is part of a broader expansion strategy, kicked-off two and half years ago, that has seen the company partner with a number of premium department stores to dip its toes into international markets, including France, Germany, Russia and China. Since chief executive Jane Shepherdson, who made her name at Topshop, took the helm at the then-ailing middle-market womenswear retailer, Whistles has undergone a successful reboot, becoming known for its modern silhouettes and casual but on-trend pieces at affordable price points.
“We had decided that we would test the brand within a premium department store in all of the territories that we felt appropriate,” Shepherdson explained. Jane Shepherdson. Chief Executive at Whistles, Jane Shepherdson is the figurehead of our brand.
Originally from Bristol, she studied in London and worked as Brand Director at Topshop. With an uncanny ability to know what women want to wear, she has been working her magic at Whistles since 2008. Here, we find out a bit more about her world. Can you describe what you do at Whistles? WHISTLES. Our responsibility. Duchess of Cambridge's favourite high street label Whistles to launch menswear range. High street favourite is to launch menswear for the first time next autumnBrand is also expanding into Asia and shows at London Fashion WeekFans include Kim Sears, the Duchess of Cambridge and Samantha Cameron By Bianca London for MailOnline Published: 11:16 GMT, 13 October 2013 | Updated: 10:04 GMT, 14 October 2013 Whistles, the high-street brand beloved of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kim Sears and Samantha Cameron among others, is to launch its own range of menswear.
A new design team has been hired to work under Whistles design director Nick Passmore on the new range which will make its first appearance in stores next autumn. Speaking of the decision to launch a new range of menswear, Whistles CEO Jane Shepherdson told Vogue's website: 'We have defined our aesthetic, and achieved a consistency in our design.' Jane Shepherdson, Chief Executive Officer, Whistles. LONDON, United Kingdom — Perhaps it’s not surprising that, in her spare time, Jane Shepherdson does flying trapeze in Hoxton, smack in the heart of achingly hip East London.
Right from her earliest days in the fashion industry, Shepherdson has been known for taking risks and having her finger on the pulse of what’s cool. After getting her start as an assistant buyer at Topshop, back in 1984, Shepherdson spent twenty years working her way up the ladder to become Topshop’s brand director, effectively overseeing the retail, product, finance, HR and property departments of a company that, under her leadership, was transformed into a globally recognised brand, emblematic of the dynamic nature of British high street fashion.
But in 2006, one week after Topshop boss Sir Phillip Green announced a now-defunct fashion collaboration with Kate Moss, Shepherdson abruptly resigned. Shepherdson’s next move was closely watched. Whistles' first contemporary menswear collection is all about clean cuts. It’s tough getting menswear right – particularly in the upper reaches of the mid-market, the sort of clothes chosen by chaps with enough stylistic nous to know that boot-cuts are beyond the pale and the wherewithal to splash a tidy sum on natty knitwear and leather.
A newcomer to the menswear arena seeking to tick just those boxes is Whistles, which launches its debut menswear collection for autumn/winter 2014. A tightly edited wardrobe of classic pieces, the collection focuses on longevity and quality rather than flash-in-the-pan trends. That also reflects the ethos of Whistles’ women’s line. “We’ve been considering doing menswear ever since we took over at Whistles in 2008,” says Jane Shepherdson, the brand’s CEO who left a high-profile role at Topshop for the challenge of reinventing a boutique brand that had lost its way.
“We knew that we had to perfect the womenswear first and ensure that we had really developed the identity of the brand.” Photographer Joe Quigg Stylist: Lee Holmes.