Attire Accessories - May/Jun 2018 (Issue 70)

classic black leather, which remains a bestseller. We still focus on our teardrop silhouette and have over 350 variations in a huge variety of colours, patterns, fabrics, and sizes. We collaborate with renowned British textile designers, including Margo Selby and Melin Tregwynt. How often do you launch new lines and what are your best-selling designs? Tell me about your recent campaigns. We refresh the range twice a year with seasonal collections comprising a number of limited editions and complementary new colours to our core ranges, which we are researching 18 months ahead. Our SS18 collection has three key themes: Hot Tropics, which features a mix of bright tropical shades, Industrial Evolution, which is a palette of rich neutrals, and DigiPastel, which combines intense electric colour with pale pastels. What trade shows do you attend and which ones work best for you? MODA is always great for us, and we have exhibited at every show since 2006; this is where we meet a lot of our footwear retailers. We have recently returned to Top Drawer at Olympia, which is a great opportunity to meet home, gift and fashion buyers. We also show at INDX Accessories, and OTS, the UK outdoor trade show, which moves to Manchester EventCity this year. When was the website launched and how does it support the business? We’ve had a website since 2004 and are currently in the process of our fourth complete rebuild, but it is constantly evolving. We see it as our shop window and it serves to reinforce our brand to trade and consumers alike. We’ve had a major creative overhaul over the last year and are really pleased with the results.The trade section of the site is a key resource for our UK and European retailers as well as our overseas distributors providing admin support, brand guidelines, point of sale and imagery. What have been the key milestones in the business? There have been three; the first was when our volumes grew to the point that we could deal directly and independently with our factories, rather than managing development and production in conjunction with our US parent company.The second was when the UK company took over global business development, as our focus and branding strategy was more in keeping with the needs of new markets. Another, ironically, may have been the recession; our product is not considered a frivolous luxury, it is high quality, accessibly priced and good for you – these attributes continue to chime in a period of belt tightening and greatly increased awareness of healthy living. Our customers are discerning and will invest in a product that is well made, looks good, provides great price value and actually benefits your health. To quote Dame Helen Mirren, “I love this bag – utilitarian AND chic!” How do you view the current market and what trends, in both product and business, do you see emerging over the current months? The current UK retail landscape is tough as we all know. Our retailers have to work ever harder to get customers through their doors, but businesses that have weathered the last few years are generally leaner and better run than ever before. We are devoted to supporting independent retail and as we a multi-channel brand there is plenty of opportunity. We continue to seek out retailers where we will fit, and who appreciate that we are a bit different – and that we haven’t sold our souls to any online giants. Social media is an important tool for us, and we use various platforms to support our brand and engage internationally with our HBB community. Our blog covers wide ranging topics, and has gained a significant audience. What are your future plans for the business? World domination! Joking apart, we will continue our expansion both at home and internationally and are now active in 26 countries. Don’t get me started on Brexit. However, despite currently being in limbo and all the uncertainty, our business in Europe actually grew last year and we have recently partnered with a new distributor in Scandinavia. Closer to home, we have now finalised our AW18 Collection, which will hit stores in August, and we are now working on SS19. A Contact The Healthy Back Bag Company +44(0)207 812 9800 ATTIRE 61 PROFILE