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30/01/2018

East falls out of fashion and into administration

East falls out of fashion and into administration

East, the bohemian fashion retailer, has tumbled into administration, putting 314 jobs at risk.

The retailer, which was founded in 1994, has 34 shops and 15 concessions in department stores across the country after an earlier insolvency process three years ago slashed its store estate.

In 2015, the brand which is known for its colourful, Indian block print designs, closed 15 stores and five concessions in a pre-pack deal designed to offload loss-making shops and give it a more secure future.

However, the tough trading environment which has seen shoppers rein in their spending and high street footfall plummet has meant East has now appointed administrators at FRP Advisory, the firm handling the demise of BHS.

The number of retailers toppling into administration rose in 2017 for the first time in five years as companies struggled with rising wage costs, a weaker pound and soaring business rates. Furniture businesses Feather & Black and Multiyork collapsed at the end of November, taking the number of retail casualties to 118 in 2017, a 28pc increase to 2016, according to Deloitte figures.

Geoff Rowley, joint administrator, said: “Unfortunately East is the latest high street casualty following a tough trading period at the end of last year."

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26/01/2018

Coveteur Cofounder On Her Path From Side Hustle To Digital Fashion Startup

Coveteur Cofounder On Her Path From Side Hustle To Digital Fashion Startup

This is the first in a four-part series taking a look at what it’s like to work at an emerging fashion media company from a variety of employee perspectives. Coveteur was founded by Stephanie Mark and Jake Rosenberg in 2011 to tell the stories of the fashion elite, tastemakers and celebrities through their closets. We applied the Coveteur approach to their new office space. Just as a closet can reveal much more about a person than what they wear, so can an office reveal the lessons learned, productivity hacks and inspirations of the people who inhabit it.

Founder: Stephanie Mark, cofounder and editor-in-chief, Coveteur

Funding: Privately held

Hometown: Toronto, Canada

Education: Dallhouse University, Halifax, NS; Parsons School of Design, New York City

What I wanted to be when I was a kid:

There was never any option for me to do anything except something in fashion. Always. It was the only thing I cared about; the only thing that I wanted to do. My grandparents owned a women’s clothing store in Halifax, Nova Scotia. When we visited I would sit in the store for hours, fascinated by the women shopping.

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24/01/2018

From cutting room floo

From cutting room floor to CEO, how one New Yorker made her fashion dreams a reality

For Wen Zhou, President and CEO of 3.1 Phillip Lim, it wasn’t a question of if she would work in fashion, but where she would find solid ground and build her career, after migrating from China at age 12 with her family to New York in 1985.

“When I arrived to NYC, I worked in a sweatshop. My mum was a seamstress and my dad was a dishwasher. Six members of my family shared a little project that must have been about 450 square feet on the lower east side,” Zhou recalls of her first years in New York, taking on odds jobs and finally ending up as a swatch cutter before graduating to retail.

“The position had great potential as I was able to work with designers on 7th Avenue,” the mother of two acknowledges of starting out. After a couple of years learning the ropes Zhou launched her own textile company where she fortuitously met her future business partner Phillip Lim, in Paris no less, and the pair set out on a new venture, 3.1 Phillip Lim.

“Phillip was my client under his previous company called Development, and that’s how we met. I loved LOVED everything he designed. Each time I saw a new garment I was like, ‘I need that!’” Zhou recalls before noting she encouraged Lim to move to New York and in 2005 the paired launched the line at the age of 31.

After getting her children off to school in the morning, Zhou says no two days as a CEO are the same but notes her love of people and product gets her through busy weeks.

“Fashion is its own language and has an ability to transform. Fashion is one of those industries that is going to be here forever,” says Zhou, adding, “after 12 years, I am very happy that we continue to make incredible product and have a global footprint.”

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