Whistles Ready To Enter Male Market
Further details have emerged of Whistles’ first menswear collection, scheduled for launch this autumn. The 120-piece line, announced late last year, had its first outing at an intimate dinner recently. Company CEO Jane Shepherdson revealed the move on the brand’s blog back in October 2013. However, news of what exactly it would contain was being closely guarded. It has since been confirmed by Shepherdson that a “tightly edited core of familiar pieces”, including outerwear, knitwear, cashmere, denim, tailoring, accessories and footwear, will make up the debut range. The former Topshop Director said it was something the high street name had been planning since her appointment back in 2008. Whistles, which has 40 stores across Britain, plans to stagger the roll out of the line headed by Design Director Nick Passmore. Seventeen key stores, along with selected premium stockists and department stores such as ASOS and Harvey Nichols, will receive the menswear arm as part of the first phase. A further eight stores across the UK have been lined up to follow in the months after. At the time of the original statement, bosses at the retailer confirmed the hire of strong design talent to work under Passmore, who also joined from Shepherdson’s team at Topman owners, Arcadia. Whistles is acting on a six-year plan to expand its popular womenswear offering to the male market following reports the label had doubled its earnings in recent years. While many still wait on an exact launch date and price points, Shepherdson did say the collection will sit “below designer level but above the mainstream”, suggesting similarities with Whistles’ womenswear. Both Shepherdson and Passmore will be hoping to buck the trend of other unsuccessful expansions. Monsoon and Nicole Farhi have retreated in the past after sales failed to live up to expectations. Whistle’s attempt to translate success of womenswear comes shortly after market research analysts Mintel announced a twelve month rise of just under five per cent in menswear, leading the likes of Aquascutum to open a dedicated store. Several of the brand’s retail locations in London, including the St Christopher’s Place flagship, and stores in Oxford, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and York will welcome the collection first, which could come as early as August. If mirroring the female line, prices could range between £35 for t-shirts and £600 for leather outerwear.