Thanks to the internet, retailers are now able to dip a toe into foreign markets and test the water before taking any expensive plunges into bricks and mortar.
Such has been the strategy of Irish brand A Wear, which started life as Gay Wear in Limerick just over 40 years ago, and has had a tumultuous journey to its current position since then, including two changes of ownership within one year.
But the brand has remained optimistic, spurred on no doubt by its position as one of the best sellers on Asos.com, and A Wear has finally made its physical retail debut in England, with the first of 10 store-in-store concessions at House of Fraser department stores.
Unsurprisingly, the brand snapped up the chance to open in London, specifically Oxford Street – one of the most famous, and visited, shopping thoroughfares in the world. Domestic shoppers and tourists alike will be able to stock up on the brand’s trend-led, youth-oriented staples.
Monochrome is a big story in the current season, a fact reflected on the rails of A Wear which positively groan with black and white pieces of polka-dot, check or striped persuasion. Hemlines are high and silhouettes are either slim with a bit of stretch, or feminine and flirty, while snakeskin, butterfly and Byzantine cross prints tick off some of the other big trends of the season. There is also plenty to please the more casually attired, too, thanks to denim, T-shirts and knitwear.
It appears that A Wear has its sights on the shoppers of the West Midlands, with three of the concessions opening in that area, while other locations include Manchester, Norwich and High Wycombe. It seems as though we’ll all have the look of the Irish this summer.