Browns signals support by not cancelling orders to emerging labels
The economic outlook is tough, as the Covid-19 pandemic is forcing a significant number of retailers to cancel their orders of fashion products, but London multibrand retailer Browns has pledged it will honour all the orders placed with the designer labels it sells. Browns, renowned for the range of emerging brands it commercialises, has also launched the ‘Family Affair’ initiative in support of young designers.
“Our business is nurtured by our staff and our values. Our designers are the foundation Browns is built on. We have been supporting them for 50 years, whether they are established names or emerging, up-and-coming ones. This is why we are extremely mindful of the economic pressures weighing on younger labels. In order to help them minimise the current situation’s impact, we won’t cancel any of our orders,” said Holli Rogers, CEO of Browns, which was bought by Farfetch in 2015.
“We have decided not to cancel any of the orders we placed for the Fall/Winter 2020-21 season, unless we are asked by the labels themselves. We usually pay emerging designers before they start producing. We took this decision several years ago, since a shortage of liquidity is often a constraint for such brands. Our accounting department is sticking to this policy in order to give priority to the payments that are most needed,” said Ida Petersson, director of men’s and womenswear buying at Browns, talking to FashionNetwork.com.
“My team and I are making sure we are constantly in touch with our designers, so that we are aware of what we can do to help them. We are always available to talk and listen, and we do our best to find solutions. We are going to sell the Spring/Summer 2020 collections as normal, unless labels have specific requirements. With our partners, we are doing our best to make sure that deliveries are prompt and timely. ‘Buy now, wear now’ is going to be more important than ever in the weeks and months to come,” she added.
Petersson has already spotted changes in consumer behaviour: “they are increasingly interested in lifestyle and interior design items. I think this trend will continue to develop after the end of lockdown. People are going to invite their friends and relatives to visit, and will want to feel good about their homes.”
Browns, a ground-breaking retailer which in the past introduced designers like John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, also announced it intends to increase by 50% the financial aid it provides to the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund, a fund recently created by the British Fashion Council to help British fashion companies and designers survive the Covid-19 crisis.
Finally, with the Family Affair initiative, Browns is providing direct support to young creatives. Each week, the retailer is asking designers from the world of fashion and other fields to curate and produce content for its website and social media accounts - work that is duly remunerated. Among the first to be involved was British fashion designer Charles Jeffrey, who produced illustrations for Browns and for poet Kai-Isaiah Jamal.
“The project’s goal is to support young creatives in these lockdown times by giving them a platform to express themselves, at the same time generating inspirational content for Browns’s clientèle,” said Browns in a press release.
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