We're nearly two.
We're about to embark upon buying for our sixth season.
And although we pride ourselves upon knowing our customers pretty well we thought we'd apply some analysis. Just a little added science to see if we could be doing anything better. So we commissioned one of those customer profiling thingies.
And it told us, with lots of pretty coloured bar charts and spreadsheets that made our eyes hurt, that our biggest customer group is those people who are liberal minded (with a small 'l' obviously). Naturally it told us lots more than that because it was very clever indeed but essentially it said that people who love to wear young British designers are open minded and love to live their lives to the full.
Lots of our customers are industry leaders and creatives forces. Barristers, psychiatrists, hot shot lawyers, film directors, photographers, celebrities and all types of media types. Many performing at the top of their game. All enjoying the thrill of the new and largely undiscovered. All having the confidence to create a unique style statement of their own. Not all are earning a fortune either, we have many students who save to buy one unique YBD piece to wear out loud amongst their High Street edits. And all get a kick out of buying and supporting homegrown talent.
Just over half of our customers are UK based followed by the US and Europe then Japan and the Far East. We love the surprise of random orders arriving from Russia, Slovenia and the Ukraine and then working out just how to ship a pair of over-the-knee Sophie Gittins boots over there!
The feedback from all countries is always so positive for our designers: "In Europe fashion is so predictable, we love everything British. It’s just so cool!"
And what about our age range? Might you have thought that young British designers are worn mostly by, well, the young? No. Far from it. We have customers aged 17-70. This is testament to the fact that the desire to wear young Brits is about a state of mind and not a certain age constraint. One of our customers worked for a famous photographer back in the 60's. She wore new designers then and still does now as a very beautiful 71 year old: "You can’t beat young British design, it's just so full of energy and recklessness, it always makes me smile".
With London Fashion Week a hop, skip and jump away we'd just like to reassure one and all that the very best kind of people are buying our UK designers. That if the designers themselves had to choose what kind of person they'd like to see wearing their brand then they might answer, as J.W.Anderson does: "Free". And that seems to be just who does seek out and celebrate wearing emerging fashion: free thinkers, freely creative visionaries and confident individuals. Of all ages, shapes and flavours.
P.S We have chosen Kelly Shaw to accompany this post. Kelly joins us for SS13 and her brand ethos is everything we (and the world) adore about young British designers:
"Fashion designer Kelly Shaw is all about questioning the status quo and pushing the boundaries of today's increasingly bored, conservative culture.
Working with influences including Grayson Perry, the Occupy movement, The London Riots, the fashion of the interwar years and George Orwell, Kelly Shaw is fascinated by ruins, extinction and obsolescence; sassiness and mischief; sweetness and subversion.
Her clothes are about the layering of history, connecting the past to the future in radical, transgressive ways and fighting for what you believe to be right."
Who else but a young Brit could have written that?