The Hype: what’s hot and happening in premium retail this month?



Welcome to The Hype – our monthly digest of the hottest products, trends and innovations from the world of premium and luxury retail, hand-picked by our Premium Panel.



Lilly Pulitzer for Target

Last month, U.S discount retailer, Target, launched their highly-anticipated collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer, – a brand best known for its fun prints and chic resort wear. The 250 piece collection featured an affordable line of brightly printed clothing, homewares and cosmetics all created in Pulitzer’s distinctive neon prints.

However, within hours (even minutes in some locations), the collection almost entirely sold out, in stores and online and according to Target, it was one of the fastest-selling collaborations it has undertaken. This caused disappointment and outrage as shoppers discovered they couldn’t shop the items they had lusted after. Unsurprisingly, many items also appeared on eBay for more than double the original price.

The collaboration came under criticism from some fashion devotees think these collaborations are ruining the brands’ luxury aesthetic and the limited amount of product is simply a shrewd marketing ploy to create more demand for the brands.

H&M Exclusive Conscious

H&M is another brand that is well known for its sell-out designer collaborations. Last month, they launched a new collection of party wear as an extension to their existing successful Conscious collection. Entitled Conscious Exclusive, the debut range features an array of evening-appropriate clothing and accessories for both men and women. Each piece has been created from sustainable materials, including organic cotton, recycled polyamide and Tencel. The collection was modelled by actress Olivia Wilde, and unsurprisingly sold out online within a few hours. However, I spotted that since the launch, there are still limited pieces of the collection available online.

Endource launches

Last month, I also noticed the launch of a new fashion website called which was created by the co-founder of holiday website Secret Escapes. scours magazine websites and influential fashion blogs to bring shoppers the ultimate fashion directory that has been editor-approved, with the aim of replicating the experience of shopping with a personal stylist. If you follow fashion magazine’s and bloggers, then this website is the perfect place to find the most covetable and endorsed products in the fashion world.

Condé Nast to Transform into Global E-Commerce Player

Over the last few months, we’ve seen many traditional content creators realise their potential power to sell and evolve themselves into ecommerce platforms. Grazia famously bought London Boutiques, to develop its own branded ecommerce offering and now Condé Nast have followed suit and have announced that will be the home of their new ecommerce business.

The new platform – which is the first of its kind for the publisher – will launch this autumn in Britain and sell merchandise to consumers, including readers and users of its magazines and websites such as Vogue, Vanity Fair and GQ, targeting fashion brands as well as upmarket brands from other sectors such as beauty, travel services and technology.

Marks and Spencer’s sell-out suede skirt

Every year has its ‘It’ item and in 2013, Marks and Spencer’s pink duster coat caused a fashion frenzy, and now their brown suede skirt is fast becoming the must-have item for Spring 2015.

The 1970’s-style suede skirt with a price tag of £199 goes on sale later this month and currently has a waiting list of over 3,500 people. Demand has been so high that five times the original amount has been produced to satisfy requests. To cater to demand, Marks & Spencer have also set up a sign up page for the skirt until it’s release date.

The skirt received a huge amount of exposure on social media after fashionista’s Olivia Palamo and Alexa Chung were both spotted wearing it and it consequently featured in magazines such as Vogue, Red and Glamour which created a huge amount of social buzz.

The hype around the skirt will be regarded as a major success for the M&S, who are aiming to improve their fashion credentials to improve sales. Although a single item cannot save a struggling retailer, high-profile hits such as this will definitely help improve their brand image and appeal to a wider audience who may not necessarily shop there.

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