CATEGORY: WOMEN’S OUTERWEAR
INTERVIEWEE: PAUL WHITTLE (MANAGING DIRECTOR)
What’s the overall theme behind your 2017/18 outerwear?
We have a real focus on freedom of movement, we’ve worked extremely hard on the new range of stretch fabrics but also on the cut and styling of each design to ensure that the products are working with the wearer to enhance their experience.
From where do you take your inspiration? What other brands, designers, artists or collectives do you follow who influence the style of your brand?
We have taken the decision to put the consumer at the centre of our design process, we are able to communicate more directly with our consumers than ever before and it makes it easier to understand what’s working and what isn’t. Obviously, we will also take feedback from our retailers on what they see in the market place but our overriding ethos is whether each product is right for our consumer and for the brand. We haven’t looked to emulate other brands who operate directly in our space but have looked more to street inspired colours and styling.
What are the two most important products in your 2017/18 range? Why? Please tell us about them.
Pipe Dream Stretch Jacket: This jacket features our new 20k/20k stretch material, Recco technology, reflective piping and metallic look zips. Designed to really work with the rider, the fabric is lightweight and, we believe, our most comfortable women’s jacket to date. It also looks stunning.
Rapture Stretch Bib Pant: As with the Pipe Dream Jacket this pant features the new 20k/20k stretch fabric and Recco technology. This is the first women’s bibbed pant we’ve done for some time but we believe it’ll be a real winner. We’ve worked really hard on the fit of this to ensure it’s as comfortable as possible. It features an extended and shaped back which contours the body and the back of the bib is mesh to ensure you don’t overheat.
What percentage of your outerwear is sold online vs instore? What’s the best way to connect with customers who buy via both of these channels?
Roughly 30% online, 70% retail. The best way for the consumer to connect with Westbeach and see all we have to offer is through www.westbeach.com.
Are your price points going up or down?
Our prices have stayed at the same level but we have introduced some styles aimed at the younger rider which are more price accessible and the pricing hierarchy is so much more defined. Simplistically the range falls into 3 areas, 10k/10k, 20k/20k and 20k stretch and the pricing reflects each level.
What new fits / silhouettes are coming next year?
We’ve introduced some shorter length women’s jackets this year as we’ve been asked by consumers for this type of style. To complement this we have introduced pants with extended and padded lumbar panels. And, of course, we have our new women’s bibbed pant.
What’s new in colours / prints?
We have gone for two very different prints this year. A really subtle self coloured fairisle print and then a more fun multi-coloured stripe. Across the range we have gone for really rich, warm, autumnal colours.
Here’s the place to talk about fabrics, features and technical innovations. Here we’re principally interested in *NEW* technical stories that you haven’t offered to retailers previously.
We’ve really stepped up our use of stretch fabrics having had so much success with them last time around. Our new 30/30 fabrics have a really nice handle and obviously we’re using Recco now. Even our basic styles are now in a nice Oxford 10k/10k fabric.