Fashion

Dispatch from Pitti

Courier’s guest writer, Craig White, found new brands, lots of flowers, a Dutch outerwear startup and Sir Paul Smith at the world’s biggest menswear event this week. It’s the second week in June and for me that means one thing: going to Florence. The Italian city plays hosts to the world’s menswear designers twice a year; the full gamut, from one …

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Two is the magic number: business co-founders share the secrets of their partnerships’ success

The relationship between business co-founders can be the most emotionally demanding in a person’s life. It can also be the factor which determines the success or failure of a company: the double act.  In 2009, the Blackberry was so popular it was being referred to as the Crackberry. It accounted for half of all smartphones being sold. It was even credited …

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Cover Story Fashion Lifestyle

Future faces: three British founders with a fresh take on black hair and makeup

We speak to three founders who are transforming the business of black hair and beauty. What? Makeup brand Why? To make lipsticks that cater to black women When? Founded 2013 Who? Florence Adepoju, cosmetic scientist Incumbents: Sleek, MAC, Iman, Bobbi Brown, NYX MDM Flow is a makeup brand – and a movement. ‘Three years ago I only cared about the product,’ …

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Black-owned, British-made and worth a fortune

The epic transformation of the black hair and beauty industry. Black hair is a big deal – culturally and economically. Black women are estimated to spend around six times more on haircare than other women, typically change their hairstyle far more often and spend hundreds of hours in hair salons. And yet, barely any mainstream UK retailers stock hair extensions, …

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Fashion International Workshop

Culture clash: overcoming language barriers with suppliers

Commissioning handmade rug designs from Moroccan weavers who don’t speak English or take measurements has been problematic for The Rug Trade. A year after placing her first order, Ella Jones, founder of The Rug Trade, decided it was time to meet her supplier in person. Jones had been buying vintage rugs and commissioning her own designs from a Moroccan weaver …

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Fashion Finance Food Lifestyle Retail Workshop

Chasing the god squad: meet the companies targeting Muslim and Jewish consumers.

Young Muslims and Jews are emerging as a lucrative and untapped source of customers. But how exactly should a business pitch its religious creds? Trying to ‘keep kosher’ or buy halal (consuming items that are ‘permissible’ in Judaism and Islam, respectively) has so far existed outside modern mainstream consumerism. Choice has been scant, quality has been poor and products have been sold through niche …

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Fashion Manufacturing Workshop

Big in Japan: How Neuba manages transcontinental clothing sales and production.

A British clothing startup, Neuba, has found itself sandwiched between a fashionable Japanese customer base on one side and traditional Indian weavers on the other. Neuba makes casual shirts and t-shirts using a team of eight weavers based in the Indian city of Hyderabad. The highly analogue nature of the production process has been a hit among a niche Japanese …

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How fitness got hijacked by fashion and lifestyle

Style and social media have become as integral as sweat to startup fitness brands. Blame LA. The health-conscious Californian city has been luring the fashion world to its sunny streets; perhaps as significant a factor as any behind the coming together of fashion, food and fitness. What used to be called ‘exercise’ has, for many, morphed into something far broader and …

Agi & Sam, menswear founders

Arts Fashion Retail Workshop

Picking the right collaborators

Menswear brand Agi & Sam took off in 2012 when they collaborated with Liberty and Topman. This stimulated growth but also had significant financial and operational repercussions. Its founders give their advice on what to think about when picking company partners. When recent graduates Agape Mdumulla and Sam Cotton met while working at Alexander McQueen in 2008, it was difficult to fathom how they …