Germany's most desired fashion brand s.Oliver expands to Asia
A truly successful fashion brand reflects a cosmopolitan style, transcends culture and appeals to the different tastes of consumers worldwide. Creating real fashion for real people, family-owned fashion and lifestyle firm s.Oliver Bernd Freier is going more international.
The company is present in more than 30 countries worldwide. It has more than 600 mono-brand stores internationally and is represented in more than 6,200 multibrand stores. The fashion house plans to establish more mono-label stores in first- and second-tier cities globally. While opening showrooms in Canada and working on a joint venture in India, s.Oliver is also reaching out to the market in China.
There are 12 collections annually for the brands under the s.Oliver umbrella. The first and biggest business segment is s.Oliver Casual wear for men and women. The collection reflects an easy and down-to-earth style. Featuring a dressier and more business-savvy fashion style, the premium line exudes elegance and shows sophisticated smart-casual wear.
The company sees a bright future for these two brands in the international markets. "We are aiming high with these segments," says Neofit Vasilev, head of international sales. "We strongly believe they have very high potential internationally, particularly for the Asian markets. We believe they will be a good hit."
QS by s.Oliver targets a younger demographic with individualistic and trendy styles. The brand features hip shirts and funky denim products. As for plus-size customers, s.Oliver has assembled stunning casual pieces under the brand TRIANGLE by s.Oliver.
"There aren't a lot of plus-size labels that are fashionable and wearable at the same time," Vasilev says. "Under TRIANGLE by s.Oliver, we sell clothes that promote self-confidence."
The fashion house is the most desired brand in Germany, as revealed by an independent survey done by German magazine Der Spiegel. One reason behind this is that s.Oliver boasts a good price-quality ratio. The company offers the best value for money because it does not sacrifice quality and workmanship.
"It's the long-term strategy that makes a difference, a family-run business versus a stock-listed business where you have to maintain margins on a quarterly basis," Vasilev says. "We have the freedom to do what's best for the customer and not just the business."
The company is also looking for partners with extensive retail experience and a strong financial background to help s.Oliver lay the groundwork for long-term ventures. The fashion house also seeks partners who can help it establish its online business. The company is in talks with 360Fashion on the mainland about possible opportunities in combining online and brick-and-mortar businesses.
"We are very interested in learning more about the needs of Asian customers because this is our passion - creating fashion for different events and different needs," Vasilev says. "We want to learn first to deliver the feelings, the brand, the DNA to these markets."
Since its establishment in 1969, s.Oliver has always used artistry to create products that inspire people. Showcasing its flair and craftsmanship, the fashion house uses quality materials and employs sustainable practices in every garment, shoe and accessory.
For the brand's 2013 autumn and winter collection that will be available in stores starting August 29 this year, s.Oliver brings Chinese art to the global stage through its exclusive collaboration with Shanghai-based artist Qiu Shengxian. The artist, who has been featured by esteemed art institutions such as the Liu Haisu Art Museum in Shanghai, combines classic Chinese art with contemporary synthetic expressionism. Using cashmere and silk as canvas, the artist translates his "mother and son" element painting style into high-quality garments.
The collaboration with Qiu Shengxian is only the beginning. Through the collection, s.Oliver brings the mainland to Europe. Consequently, European quality will conquer China in the form of s.Oliver.