Dutch label Clemens en August is part of the new anti-fashion elite, where no advertising, marketing, flagship store or celebrity brand ambassadors form the backbone of its sales strategy. Instead, the company’s seasonal “selling tours” in contemporary art spaces around the world, attract a
customer who values individuality and unique fashion over mass-produced pieces. Recent city tours have included New York, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Dusseldorf as well as Shoreditch, London, where the company brought its wares just last month.
Perhaps Clemens en August’s left-wing approach to retail sales and building a business makes it something of a cult brand, as designer Alexander Brenninkmeijer aims to be a step ahead of the ‘outmoded fashion retail system.’
Brenninkmeijer says that fashion today is focused on brands with budgets for catwalks and advertising and that smaller, more progressive designers are unable to keep up, with rents in key shopping districts becoming increasingly unaffordable, it excludes the possibility of young designers opening their own boutiques. Furthermore, department store buyers are pressured to buy across the ranges of the more powerful advertising brands and many shoppers are reluctant to spend their clothing budget on unknown brands and designers.
In an interview with Velocity Magazine, Brenninkmeijer comments on his retail concept and says: “Going direct to the market creates an exclusive customer base and also achieves greater distribution than the company might otherwise manage through wholesaling. High fashion sales are increasingly focused around just a small slice of each label’s collection sold through a few key shops sited in only the most metropolitan cities. Taking the whole collection around the world overcomes this problem.”
The exclusivity of the brand will appeal to the connoisseur shopper who will appreciate the pieces are all limited edition and each garment produced is numbered.
Register at www.clemens-en-august.com for email updates on the company’s latest tours.