Hilary Duff in Federation on the cover of NYLON's January 2010 issue
North Shore based skate/streetwear label Federation is currently experiencing gargantuan growth, having just picked up 38 new accounts across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. How? Directors Nick and Jenny Clegg took the collection up to Berlin's Bread and Butter tradeshow in January and signed them up on the spot. They'll now be stocking far flung locations like Italy, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Czech Republic, Lebanon and Japan. According to a press release, they're also currently in talks with Paris boutique department store Colette.
Sounds amazing, but it's not all quite as simple as that.
Rapid growth of this kind requires a seriously good production structure, and a crapola of cash to pay for it all. Then you've got to worry about stores cancelling their orders out of the blue and leaving you with (tens of) thousands of dollars worth of stock, which is the wrong season for New Zealand customers - when we're selling puffer jackets down here, the rest of the world wants bikinis. Finally (and probably most pertinent to designers experiencing this type of growth) if a label takes too long to deliver the order, the stores are within their rights to just send the clothes straight on back, usually at the label's expense.
When I spoke with Nick Clegg last week, he was confident that Federation would be able to produce and deliver all the clothing, based on one key thing - a 50% deposit that was demanded upon receipt of each order. He said he was still waiting on the money from several of the stores, but that he'd received a lot of cash up front.
But wait, there's more.
2010 started extremely well for Federation, with Hilary Duff appearing on the cover of NYLON's January issue wearing the label. The magazine's editor in chief Marvin Jarrett is also soon to launch a capsule collection with the brand, which will launch later in the year. And there's a tee shirt collaboration with DJ (and brother of Devon) Steve Aoki which will roll out into stores in the States in the next few weeks.
Best of luck to Federation with the international endeavours, it's amazing to see a New Zealand company growing at such a massive rate. Just make sure you call in all that cash upfront!
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