Do you know what Wolf & Badger is?
If you have your own label, this is a name you should be hearing a lot of over the next few months. Wolf & Badger is launching this November in Notting Hill, as a lifestyle store which provides a showcase for the best design talent from the UK and beyond, spanning fashion, accessories, jewellery and homeware.
From the moment you step through the door of the store site on the Ledbury Road, it's clear to see that this is no shoe-string operation. As the location suggests, there is nothing 'studenty' or 'wannabe' about this project, as is often the case with new start ups. Product and pricing will be firmly at the luxury end of the market, competing with stores in the vicinity such as Matches, Joseph, Zadig & Voltaire and Diane von Furstenberg.
I caught up with Directors, husband and wife team, Samir Ceric and Zoe Knight last week to find out more about the concept. Both industry veterans in the world of fashion and art - he as owner of Salon Contemporary, a gallery in West London, and she as a fashion designer who has worked with the likes of Jimmy Choo and Anya Hindmarch as well as having her own successful accessories label - the duo are looking to provide a totally unique platform for new labels to be seen by trade buyers, the media, shoppers and industry experts.
The difference with Wolf & Badger compared to other stores is that Ceric and Knight along with a highly professional team of experts, aim to provide advice and support within a nurturing environment, covering all aspects of perhaps what are the more difficult aspects of retailing - sales, insurance, security and stock management. This, together with mentoring, PR support and a web presence, is all included in a simple licence fee starting at £35 per week (depending on the amount of retail space each designer has), and contracts are on a flexible basis which means designers aren't tied in for a year.
The emphasis here is on SUPPORT for new designers, and making what might be their first foray into retailing as easy and pain free as possible - a really admirable and much needed concept from Samir Ceric and Zoe Knight.
It's fair to say that competition will be fierce to be selected for the store - Ceric and Knight are looking for the best of the best of up and coming design talent. They are not only looking for fabulous collections, but it's important that the people behind the clothes share a similar philosophy to them - professionalism and friendliness are absolutely essential attributes. As Ceric is keen to stress: 'No prima-donnas allowed here!'.
Applicants will undergo a strict selection process, consisting of a series of meetings between now and November - if you are interested in applying, get to the Wolf & Badger website asap, as first applications close on the 6th September! www.wolfandbadger.com
We wish Wolf & Badger every success!