What is the overall theme behind your FW 21/22 outerwear range? From which big trends do you take your inspiration?
Being based in Torquay Australia at our Bells Beach studio we learnt pretty quickly what a COVID-19 lockdown meant to our supply chain and retail base in the Southern Hemisphere and our concern for what might happen in the Northern Hemisphere.
Whilst we could see the reports of summer sports and related outdoor product booming in the Northern summer, we were experiencing a restricted snow resort Winter COVID-19 lockdown down south.
Out of this unknown situation the Rojo 21 range concept of “Tread Lightly” and “Positive Change” was formulated.
We knew from the Southern Hemisphere, that during COVID-19, buyers have been reluctant to take risks, hence the term “Tread Lightly”. In an acknowledgement to our “Positive Change” philosophy of reducing our carbon footprint and impact on mother Earth we also knew that the concept of “Tread Lightly” ticked our goal of waste reduction in the fashion industry which we feel is imperative to our Rojo community in a post COVID-19 world.
To give buyers support in a post COVID-19 world we decided to carry forward many silhouettes and styles from Winter 20 to Winter 21 with a small injection range of new colours to support this concept but which have been refined based on a full sustainable audit which we undertook during our COVID-19 lockdown.
What new fits / silhouettes are coming out in FW 21/22? What pant and jacket styles are most important in your range?
We have kept FW21 to ROJO Outerwear’s best-selling, tried & tested silhouettes to give buyers certainty that residual inventory will not have to be cleared and can be carried forward.
Many of our new snow jacket and pant silhouettes have been held over to FW 22 but we have introduced new COVID-19 essential wear for lockdown periods such as Organic Cotton sourced sweat fleece hoods and track pants plus a new outdoor lifestyle range to build on our Rojo mantra of Born in the Mountains Lives by the Ocean.
In our Snow range we are loving our Bailey pop over jacket as a fun tran-seasonal multi-functional jacket and our Snow Day Bib which is designed to be more flattering and cute for the gals than looking like you are wearing a guys bib.
What new colours / prints are you bringing to the FW 21/22 collection?
In our women’s line we are loving tone on tone colours this season, so our three key looks are 1- Snowscape print which is photographic pastel and icy water colours and matched with tonal blues, white and black. 2- Royale, a beautiful tonal pink vintage boho look floral with a black base which is layered with dusty pinks and black. 3- Jasper, a hand drawn larger scale floral of curry and white which matches back to all the neutrals in the range.
Throughout the range and in our new Organic Sweat Fleece cottons we have our usual Rojo Outerwear retro flavour as a nod to our heritage and which embraces our history of Born in the Mountains Lives by the Ocean.
Any *NEW* technical stories with regards to fabrics and materials?
FW20 saw the introduction of some new key recycled fabrics and yarns which was a great start to our Positive Change philosophy. COVID-19 whilst devastating has given us much needed downtime to reflect on and review our supply chains. We have looked at a sustainable approach to the clothing “loop” ensuring that all fabrics and trims meet and where possible exceed Global Sustainable practices.
With our “Tread Lightly” injection pieces we have introduced polyester recycled insulation and linings across the range, recycled base layer fabric and a range of organic sweat fleece.
It is our solid commitment that all our new sourced fabrics going forward will be sustainable as part of our Positive Change brand goals.
It is our hope that all of this will allow our community to “Tread Lightly”, replace guilt with pride in their purchasing decisions and live their best “Born in the Mountains, Lives by the Ocean” life.
What are the three most important products in your FW 21/22 range? Why? Please tell us about them.
With our commitment to positive change our garments will now be on average approx… 70-95% recycled or organic fabrics (taking trims into account) across the range of outerwear, gloves, base layer, mid layer, and fleece. This is so important to us so I can’t choose just one product!
Any trends that your brand is moving away from?
Non recycled options in fabrics and product inputs will be phased out. We are also focusing on our core product lines which have been tried and tested rather than offering an all product category assortment.
What are your top marketing stories for FW 21/22? This will help us to put some focus in the right place.
“Tread Lightly” in conjunction with our “Commitment to Positive Change.”
Our original mantra “Born in the Mountains, Lives by the Ocean” lifestyle.
BASE LAYER FOCUS
What’s your base layer strategy for FW 21/22? Please let us know your tech innovations, materials, colours and price points.
We have been making base layers for several years and for FW21/22 we are proud to say our fabric is now a beautiful 92% recycled poly spandex.
Our base layer is co-ordinated with outerwear prints and colours in our most loved styles. We have reduced sku’s and introduced only one style, which is a cute funnel neck ¼ zip with a retro taping down the sleeve designed by our founder Jo Buckle and which acknowledges our mantra of Born in the Mountains Lives by the Ocean.
WIDER MARKET FOCUS
Please provide an overview of how 2021/22 is shaping up for your brand. Has COVID-19 affected your line? If so, please explain the changes you have made, and how you came to these decisions.
We feel we have summarised the impact of COVID-19 at the outset of this survey and throughout. COVID-19 is the greatest impact to our business and indeed all snow businesses. The positive though is that has given us time to review, reflect and determine how our business will look at the other side of COVID-19 across all elements of Rojo. The endless time spent on design, product development time lines, trade show dates , brand presentation deadlines, mark down allowances and business expectations have been put under the microscope based on a simple question of what do we want Rojo to look like on the other side of COVID-19 in respect of each of these topics. How do we want to communicate, talk, and reach our consumers and more importantly what is the impact of what we do on our planet. So perhaps some key business themes may change for the better as we become a more focused label working with all partners who are part of our Rojo Community.
Our normal timeline had been to release each range first in the Southern Hemisphere and then deliver to the North. Based on working with our Southern Hemisphere retailers we changed our timeline to give them time to breath which we applied to our Northern Hemisphere retailers as well. We all must work together as one snow community which is imperative for all to survive in a post COVID-19 world.