London multibrand retailer Browns has announced that it will be standing by emerging designer labels by refusing to cancel any orders placed for the Fall/Winter 2020-21 season, unless specifically requested by the designers themselves. The fashion industry has been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, with many retailers canceling orders and facing significant liquidity issues.
Browns, renowned for its unwavering support of emerging brands, is committed to minimizing the negative effects of the current situation on younger labels. By honoring their orders, the retailer aims to provide much-needed stability and support to these designers during these challenging times.
Holli Rogers, CEO of Browns, emphasized the importance of supporting designers, whether established or emerging, as it lies at the heart of the retailer’s values. “We have been nurturing and championing designers for 50 years,” said Rogers. “We understand the economic pressures faced by younger labels, and we want to help them navigate through this crisis. Hence, we are fully committed to honoring all the orders we have placed.”
Browns’ director of men’s and womenswear buying, Ida Petersson, explained that the retailer typically pays emerging designers upfront, as these brands often face liquidity challenges. The decision to honor orders was made in recognition of the urgency of these payments, and it has been implemented for several years.
Moreover, Browns has launched the ‘Family Affair’ initiative as an additional means of support for young designers. Through this project, Browns collaborates with designers like Charles Jeffrey to curate and produce content for its website and social media platforms. This not only provides a platform for young creatives to showcase their talent but also generates inspirational content for Browns’ clientele.
The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly led to changes in consumer behavior. Petersson noted an increasing interest in lifestyle and interior design items, predicting that this trend will continue even after the lockdown ends. Individuals are expected to shift their focus towards their homes and create inviting spaces for friends and family.
Demonstrating its commitment to the fashion industry, Browns has announced a 50% increase in its financial aid to the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund. Created by the British Fashion Council, this fund aims to provide support to British fashion companies and designers during the crisis.
Browns’ proactive measures, such as honoring orders, increasing financial aid, and providing a platform for young creatives, showcase its dedication to supporting emerging talent and the fashion industry as a whole. By taking these steps, the retailer aims to help the industry navigate through the current crisis and emerge stronger on the other side.