It’s a growing category for the Browns. “We’ve been fortunate to see continued growth in our resortwear department,” says Holly Tenser, womenswear buying manager at Browns, who attended Aje’s show last week in Sydney, noting that it was a defining moment for her. “We expect and expect this growth to continue even more as travel has opened up far more extensively than in recent years as Covid restrictions ease globally.”
Resort wear is often priced more accessible than classic ready-to-wear, Tenser says, making it a less thoughtful and more enjoyable purchase, which means an opportunity to attract younger, fashionable shoppers. . “Our sales peak is more buy now, wear now in the UK and Europe, however, as a global company, we are seeing an increase in sales in the APAC region as they approach their summer season,” says -she. As the holiday season approaches, the Farfetch-owned retailer expects demand for resort wear to continue into late 2022.
Norris describes Aje as “accessible luxury” at a competitive price (a plain white t-shirt sells for £63; a structured maxi dress for £747). It’s for consumers who want products from an “ethical design company that they can afford…rather than buying a piece where [the consumer] must save for six months. Aje’s clients are generally between the ages of 26 and 45; 20% of customers are between 18 and 25 years old, depending on the brand.
The path to B Corp
Now that fashion week is over, Norris is refocusing on Aje B Corp certification in the next three to five years. “We all know sustainability is the future,” says Norris. “B Corp certification is the gold standard for sustainability and something we believe we can achieve. We are going through all of this. »
In April, Norris hired a sustainability manager and is building a team to accelerate Aje’s sustainability progress. The brand is working towards a 100% plastic-free supply chain with no polybags or plastic hangers. “I think trendy poly bags are one of the most useless aspects of our industry that nobody even talks about,” says Norris. “When you’re selling hundreds of thousands of pieces of clothing a year, you’re creating so much landfill of single-use plastic.” That’s why Aje turns to fully biodegradable polybags.
“What we love about Aje is the volume of each silhouette and their saturated color; the styles are always so uplifting,” says Julia Ferrar, buyer at Matchesfashion. “People are so excited to travel again that we’ve definitely seen a huge increase in resort wear and vacation outfits.”
Takeaway key: Australian brand Aje showcased its 2023 resort collection at Australian Fashion Week last week, its first return to the official calendar since 2019. The brand is betting big on resort wear, reporting strong interest outside Australia and from New Zealand as travel resumes and shoppers seek affordable items to appeal to trendy young shoppers.
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