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Kim Winser, is interviewed about her luxury womenswear business.

 

Behind the history of Winser London brand

Kim Winser OBE of Winser London:  “I wanted to build a brand and create a brand that’s all about style and I wanted it to be stylish whether you were 20 and starting your career, whether you were 50 and sitting on a board or whether you were at home doing dog-walking or taking the children on the school run – developing the new entrepreneurs of tomorrow.  I wanted it to be stylish for real women and for busy women.

This is not a hobby or a small business.  This is a new brand that is filling a gap that is hopefully doing a fabulous job for many women across every market. 

My career started with Marks & Spencer and there I learned very much about good value and reliability.  Then I moved into the luxury sector: Pringle of Scotland – I don’t think there is much I don’t know about cashmere – and Aquascutum – we really know how to cut a raincoat!  Then there was Agent Provocateur, so I know a little about the lingerie sector.  Then at Net-a-Porter, advising Natalie Massenet, taught me about the digital space.  So, in terms of the background for Winser London, these brands have all been fascinating for me and have all been part of my learning curve.

The quality womenswear with the maximum value in the product

Other fashion brands were taking the value out of the garments and putting it into profits or into supporting their business structure.  I wanted to do something the complete opposite.  I wanted to create a brand where all the value went into the products so there was no money wasted in between.  No middle partners, no agents – no money wasted between the fabric, the cut, the design and getting it to the customer. I love that.  I love that we are a real brand, working hard for real women.

I like to watch what’s going on globally.  I watch to see if customers are buying the same styles, colours, sizes, whether they are multiple buying.  The great thing about building the business to be online is that you learn so much about your customer.  That’s why we changed the name of the Miracle Collection – because we had so many women saying these dresses absolutely do miracles for us.  So we decided to call the collection ‘Miracle’.  That was driven by the customers – it wasn’t originally what we were calling that specific collection.

The passion for digital resulted into the engaging online shop

I’m absolutely passionate about not having boundaries, so it’s quite important that we try very hard to make it a very good looking website so that people can engage with the images.  But at the same time, just as I was passionate about digital, I wanted people to feel and try on these lovely fabrics.

The whole idea of launching pop-up retail with digital at the same time I felt was the perfect package.

I remember my mum saying to me “Just be yourself, Kim – just be yourself - because that’s the most important thing”.  And for me, I’m absolutely driven that I would love every woman to be really happy being herself. If we can give a little bit of help in terms of helping with the clothes, the styling, the dress, the packing…  Helping in any way to make a woman feel as good as she can, just from the clothes, then I’ve done a job.  For me, I love giving a little bit of confidence.”

As featured on Harpers Bazzar.

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