Sell Clothes – and Candles Too!
26 October 2017
Author: Anton Dell
Retail is changing quickly and concept shops are now the hottest trends. It’s no longer just about the clothes – it’s about where and how you wear them as well. Retailers are providing the objects to create the ‘ideal’ lifestyle.
Here at Anton Dell, through our daily conversations with fashion agents and our travels to fashion trade fairs all around the world, we feel that fashion agents should think about selling additional products that go well with what they are already representing.
For example, an agent who sells small leather goods and scarves might also be interested in selling perfumes or candles. This may add to income and make products more attractive to retailers who are interested in exploring new directions. It’s a time-saver too, as they will be able to get more of what they need from the same person. Products can be thought-out so that they go together just right, which can be tough to do – but very rewarding.
A great example of how a concept store can work in new and interesting ways is French Blossom, in the city of Rennes in Brittany, France. French Blossom offers clothes, gifts, skincare, satchels, toys, and more for children.
If you represent clothing for children, maybe you could also offer organic skin products for babies or candles that are made for the nursery? How about sheets or blankets especially for sensitive baby skin? There are many exciting possibilities to think about.
Brands used to be encouraged to focus on one type of product… but that has all changed!
The founders of leading Danish concept store JUTTU describe what they do as “flipping through a magazine.” This may be a useful tool to help dream up what other products you might be able to sell. What products would be in the magazine where the items you already represent might be shown? Making a list might be a good way to begin a new way of working. We’re always happy to help our brands forward, to suggest ideas, or introduce specific brands to recommend to you.
Another intriguing example of a concept store that puts together diverse items is Atelier Mira in New York. Atelier Mira primarily sells handmade eyeglasses, but it also sells leather goods and fragrances. Those who shops at Atelier Mira can see better and smell better too!
Some concept stores focus on where items are made rather than the type of item which could be another way for you to approach things. If you sell several Made in Italy clothing brands, maybe you could take on Made in Italy leather goods. BEAMS in Tokyo takes this concept far. It sells Japanese-made clothing, skateboards, art, sneakers, traditional pottery, zines, books, toys, and more. BEAMS spreads across eight floors and is very popular and successful.
A concept store that has become an international success story is & Other Stories, a fashion brand owned by H&M. & Other Stories started with an idea to launch a premium beauty brand. Although H&M also sells a wide variety of products, from beauty, shoes, ready-to-wear, and accessories, the way that & Other Stories is presented makes it very different from its parent company. The idea of the brand came in 2010, before Instagram was set up, but the idea of personal style that inspires Instagram is behind the brand as well. The stores feel very different from what you would expect a space from one of the world’s biggest retailers to be like. They feel much more like a small boutique.
Sara Hildén-Bengtsson, the creator of & Other Stories, has some wisdom for brands and agents trying to think of selling additional products.
She says, “[& Other Stories] was a mix of things and hoping that people felt surprised. There wasn’t a direct style that was & Other Stories – there was a red thread through everything but we….. did lots of different collaborations. We had hits and misses but it was a lot to do with creativity and trying to have a good time and hoping that the customer would feel that there was an energy there.”