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Hope in the USA

So, last week I set out on Hope’s first international road trip to the US of A, we had a number of meetings and a packed schedule; 8 days, 6 flights, 4 hotels!

usa-map

Packing

First off what do you pack knowing the temperature is riding in the 30’s, you want to look like you mean business and yet feel comfortable. Well you take your own advice and start with Foundation which as we keep saying is perfect for traveling. It was, from the plane to the boardroom.

I packed 12 outfits altogether which thankfully folded into a neat pile as there wasn’t much room in my cases given I was taking lots of samples with me.

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New York, New York
We met with 2 potential new customers in NYC, they loved the concept and the product and wanted to understand where Hope would fit in with their current portfolio, which raises a great question for the brand. If you went into a department store in the UK where would you expect to find Hope? Which brands would you expect us to sit next to? I’d love to know your thoughts because it’s a question we are being increasingly asked.

We made time to visit the stores in NY starting with somewhere I have been itching to go to, the latest venture of my idol Donna Karan, her brand Urban Zen a lifestyle brand is simply wonderful, I enjoyed every moment of the experience, admiring the beautiful clothes, jewellery and artefacts. The store is in the Meatpacking district where the stores were fabulous, innovative and friendly.

Urban Zen

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Spots to visit in NY

In need of some liquid refreshment we stopped by Sugar Pop for non-alcoholic cocktails. The place was bonkers but great fun and definitely aimed at families celebrating birthdays and the like. 

We squeezed in a very late lunch at my favourite supermarket, which is really a Food Emporium called Eataly passing the amazing Flatiron building on the way.

Finally after 9 hours of visiting stores it was time to meet some dear friends in one the buzziest restaurants in town, Balthazar, hard to hear yourself talk but such fun!

sugar-popSugar Pop
EatelyEately
balthazarBalthazar
flatiron-building-1The Flatiron Building

 

On to Iowa

von-maur

My third meeting was with our first confirmed US customer who are based out of Iowa (a first for me). We launch in 5 of their stores in August and we are beyond excited, we’ll tell you more about that nearer the time.

After that time to head South to Miami beach and meet up with some of my Floridian Family who were kind enough to organise a ‘bit of a bash’ we had such lovely time catching up, reminiscing about days gone by and folks sadly no longer with us.

Back Home for the AW17 Shoot
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So, 8 days  and 12,600 miles later I was back in the UK and walked straight into our AW17 shoot here at the Home of Hope, we had an amazing couple of days and are delighted with the images and the collection, I can’t wait to share them with you but let’s not write the summer off before the kids have even broken up!

For those of you jetting off, travel safe and for those stay-cationing lets hope the weather is kind.

Have fun whatever you are doing,

nayna-signature-gold

 

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13 thoughts on “Hope in the USA”

  • Nayna

    This is truly amazing and showcases Hope in its glory.. the product is spectacular and women in the USA will not know whats hit them.
    Keep up this wonderful expansion and lets enable more of the world to see what Hope has to offer.

    Reply
  • Hi I would love to see what you packed for such a challenging trip. Would you think of placing yourself in the Eileen Fisher sort of area in a department store?
    Keep up the good work
    Margo

    Reply
    • Hi Margot, I was going to include all the outfits in the blog but we decided it made it too long but I am very happy to share, I will drop you an email with the outfits on Monday. Have a lovely weekend, Nayna X

      Reply
    • PS Apologies, I meant to say I completely agree with you re location, from the stores we visited an adjacency to Eileen Fisher felt perfect! Nayna X

      Reply
  • Hi - fab to see you are spreading your wings. I'm sure you'll do really well!

    I am really interested to see how you used the foundation for business-wear. Is this something you would share with us on a future blog?

    Love Gail xx

    Reply
    • Hi Gail, I think that's a great idea and you're the second person to ask so I will definitely write a blog about Foundation and business-wear. Thank you for the suggestion and have a lovely weekend, Nayna X

      Reply
  • Hi Nayna! I really enjoyed reading this blog post. I have good friends in New York and visit the Big Apple as often as I can. I have also been lucky enough to visit many of the states in this huge continent! The temperature changes make for challenging packing but the Hope foundation range and its layering concept is absolutely perfect. I am sure that Hope Fashions will find a market in this melting pot of different cultures, landscapes, climates and time zones! The fashion industry tries to cater for the differing tastes and needs across this vast land. There are the Southern Belles, the East Coast Preppies, the laid back beach style of the Californians, the mid- western working girls and the sophisticated city women. It seems to me that the American customer appreciates comfort, variety of sizing and style more than anything else. I discovered Eileen Fisher, Ann Taylor, Talbots and J Crew when I was out there. There was very little back in the UK that could match the quality and originality of Eileen Fisher until I discovered Hope Fashion. I wish you all the success in breaking into this market and believe you have much to offer the American customer.

    Your call for where Hope fashion might be placed in a department store had me thinking about what had made shopping in the Eileen Fisher store so pleasurable. I can also site Talbots as being an equally delightful shopping experience. I can still remember walking into their store and feeling so much at ease -no panic, misery or boredom as I walked around the various 'concept' areas. I had a knowledgeable assitant to suggest outfits with no pressure to buy. All of the clothes seemed to be for me - I didn't feel as if I had walked into the wrong house. Too many of our department stores look like jumble sales with overloaded hangers and no sense of order or theme. I would put Hope somewhere between the underwear section and the Scandi design. The clothes need to tell a story, they need to make me understand what goes with what and how I should wear them. i want to know that I can make my purchases work hard for me and can be adapted to new seasons. I have Eileen Fisher jackets and trousers and tank tops that are 15 years old and still work in my wardrobe and in my life. Hope fashion is forever. it is price per wear and the items feel good and look beautiful on the body. It is sad to see new and adventurous lines like Modern Rarity and KJin lost between the more traditional clothing concessions of Whistles, Jaeger and Hobbs. The appeal of these lines is totally lost on the customer as they are often seen hanging clumsily off the rail or pinned onto a skinny mannequin with no real movement or life to them. The worst thing of all is that there is no stylist to suggest ways of wearing and enjoying the clothing. It relies on the customer having the imagination and energy to see beyond the lifeless garment drooping unattractively on a hanger. Hope Fashion deserves to be placed in an area that encourages the imagination. An area with space, light and room to see how the garments work together. The hangers should be well spaced with colours arranged attractively - the coral and grey would be a wonderful eye catching combo. Customers need to be encouraged to view garments as outfits and to see the various combinations. I loved the way Eileen Fisher laid out her collections, encouraging experimentation and play. Hope Fashion is more than just another label catering to a customer used to fast fashion and cheap materials. This label is looking to re educate the older woman and the woman who wants to live in, work in and feel amazing in her clothes. Encouraging her to buy is to make sure these clothes are displayed like she would wish her wardrobe to look - uncluttered, outfit ready and wholly desirable.

    Reply
    • Morning Elaine, thank you for such an insightful and thought provoking comment, you have certainly hit the nail on the head! Comments from both retailers I met in NY were in line with your view that Hope needs to be sold, needs to be explained i.e. the customer needs to be advised/educated as to how to wear it and outfit build. I came away thinking I had over-played the brand story and its USP's, to the detriment of a successful outcome maybe??

      It is a reminder that Hope wasn't created to be just another womenswear brand, the ambition was to give it a greater sense of purpose i.e. help women feel beautifully confident about themselves, which for so many of us, myself included it's a long time since we felt like that. Is it really too much to want to be stylish and comfortable? To have a solution to 'what goes with what' without it being hard work? Is it unreasonable to want to look AND feel good? It may sound fickle to some but I happen to believe it matters!

      Comments from customers & friends of the brand such as yourself help to convince me we are doing something right and I am very grateful for that, a heartfelt thank you Elaine! Nayna X

      Reply
  • Jacky Beagley 1st July 2017 at 2:02 pm

    I am so excited you are coming to the USA. I think Californians will love you, smart yet relaxed, easy to wear. travels well... Perfect :-)

    Reply
    • Jacky, thank you so much for the endorsement, I've had a hunch about Hope and the US right from the outset so we are delighted to have the opportunity to introduce the brand in a department store environment. We have everything crossed that American women will love it as much as we do, Nayna X

      Reply
  • My niece , a designer and manufacture of women's clothes in USA confirms Hope would sit next to Eileen Fisher

    Reply
    • Than you Dolly, that was our conclusion having visited a number of stores in the US, let's hope the American customer agrees with us! Nayna X

      Reply
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