Manchester-based online retailer BoohooMan (part of the Boohoo.com online fashion empire) has announced its SS19 front-figure – American hip-hop artist Quavo. The songwriter and Migos star has worked alongside the e-tailer’s design team to create an exclusive collection that mirrors his distinctive, colorful style. We sat down with Samir Kamani, BoohooMan’s CEO, in the company’s London showroom to talk about the Quavo range–due to hit the virtual shelves 11 April–as well as the brand’s growth strategies and take on trends.
Tell us about BoohooMan’s expansions plans.
BoohooMan’s standalone site is currently live in the UK and the US, and we launched in Germany last week, with further countries in the pipeline–we aim to establish ourselves globally.
How would you define your target consumers, and what sort of pieces do they go for at the moment? Any shifts in their behavior since BoohooMan launched about two years ago?
They’re typically aged 16-24 and most are into streetwear and elevated iterations thereof, such as smart tracksuits, tie dye sets and co-ords of different sorts. Since BoohooMan launched, I’d say our customers have grown to like more elaborate styles. If they picked a plain denim jacket when they started shopping with us a couple of years ago, they’re now opting for oversized, drop-shoulder versions with back prints. And as for jeans, they’ve swapped basic fits for styles featuring distressing and a wider range of fits, such as the wide leg.
Which trends, denim and otherwise, are key for the current season and beyond? And how site-specific are the trends and styles you’re trying to push?
We always try to straddle many different trends so as to appeal to a wider market. Tie-dye will be huge for summer, and bold stripes are selling really well, along with the utility trend. Trend-adoption-wise, there is a definite affinity between the UK and the US – both territories love streetwear, whereas European consumers tend to favor smarter looks and subtler casualwear.
How are you approaching the sustainability issue–any news on this front?
We’re looking into ways of making the Boohoo group as a whole more sustainable, but this is something that the board of directors is handling. One step in the right direction is that we’ve introduced recyclable packaging, and we’ve also teamed up with ReGain, an app that encourages consumers to send in clothes they no longer use against a discount coupon to be used towards their next purchase.
How did the collab with Quavo come about and what makes him a good match for BoohooMan?
There are lots of reasons why we wanted to work with Quavo – we love his style and so does our target audience. He’s a good fit for us as he dresses in a very unique way. His signature look is streetwear-driven and fashion-forward, with a whacky and ‘out there’ vibe.
How much creative input did Quavo have, and what are the key pieces within the range?
He had a lot of input throughout. We invited him to take a look at our SS19 moodboard, and later on, he got to single out the designs he liked best, adding his unique finesse to some of these. The resulting range features statement streetwear pieces, bright colors and bold tie-dye sets you won’t find anywhere else, plus lots of festival-inspired looks. One of his favorites is a tie-dye denim jacket – he wore the same style in red at a concert a couple of weeks ago so that has a nice story behind it.
How important a growth driver is celeb endorsement and how do you approach this as a brand-building tool?
It’s very important to us – the projects we’ve done have all been key drivers for our growth. Last summer, for instance, we teamed up with hip-hop artist French Montana, and we’ve previously worked with the likes of Dele and Tyga. We’ll continue to team up with talent across the sports and music arenas we feel are right for the brand and can potentially help us break into new areas. In the UK and US, our partnerships tend to be music related. Each tie-up has its own objective – sometimes we partner with micro-influencers in order to attract a certain demographic. The Quavo collab is the biggest one to date and it’s a definite plus that he’s got lots of fans in territories we want to expand within, such as the US.
What other measures are you betting on to boost business?
We’ve launched plus size across many ranges, including the Quavo collection. In the US, we’re offering a wider range of plus size product as it’s a big market out there, and since we’re expanding within this territory, it’s a definite part of our growth strategy.