Farah is one of the fastest growing menswear brands in Europe. Its contemporary offering, which often feature exuberant color and print, is sold via high-end department stores, indies and young fashion chains. Entering the next phase of its development, footwear and accessories will be added to the repertoire for FW15, and plans for further stores are in the pipeline. SI caught up with Farah’s commercial director Mark McCann to learn more about the expansion plans. Interview by Emma Holmqvist Deacon

Farah is growing steadily. To what do you attribute the success?
The level of success we currently experience hasn’t happened overnight; we’ve seen good growth season-on- season ever since we re-structured the brand in 2007. We put in a lot of effort over a long period of time to position the brand correctly, finding the right balance between price point, design and quality. As a result, we’ve managed to sit comfortably within the young fashion, heritage and contemporary tiers of the industry.

Farah spring/summer 2015
Farah spring/summer 2015
What defines the identity of Farah’s fashion line?
It offers a point of difference; we’ve added a twist to the basic with the help of design features, color and in-house designed prints. We’ve gone further with our product in terms of quality than is the norm at our price level to make sure we’ve established a strong position in the market. In the past 12 months, Farah’s fashion line has surpassed that of the more mature Classics offering. Since it’s now the main part of the business, the fashion line is simply identified by a gold F. Previously, it was called Farah Vintage, but we found that this labeling was somewhat confusing as the collection is not a vintage collection.

Farah was primarily known for its trousers in the past – what categories are strongest today?
As a trouser heritage brand, we always have a strong offering of legs, and we’ve always offered season-specific variants, bringing out dense cottons, textured moleskins and wools in winter, for instance. The chino trend is coming back strongly; our key contribution is a version with five-pocket styling. Well-considered trousers aside, we are a complete fashion collection and we’re pushing forward by launching a new footwear and accessories range for AW15.

You opened a store in London’s Covent Garden in May 2014. Apart from being a landmark in itself, how does it slot in to the general brand strategy?
The new Covent Garden store and its sister shop in Shoreditch serve as pilot projects ahead of our launching full-blown retail locations. We’ve been able to test the waters, introducing a slightly higher price point via the Made in UK line that is produced on the home-turf. The stores have also allowed us to communicate directly with our consumers, and the feedback has been good. We’re planning to open further stores in the UK in due curse.

Which territories are you expanding well within?
Farah is doing very well in Germany at the moment and we’ve just been picked up by P&C in Frankfurt while we are also stocked at Urban Outfitters Germany and Zalando. Other important markets include Ireland, France, Italy, Switzerland, USA  and Australia. New markets for AW15 will be Spain and Benelux. We are also in talks with several additional territories for 2016.

What measures are you taking to remain relevant?
We always try to take steps forward in everything we do to maintain our individuality and strong identity.  The highstreet competition is fierce and many players fight for the same floor space; we need to defend our position on the home market and beyond and we’ll do so with the help of our trusted network of wholesale partners.