Hauber climbs higher
Diane Sykes, Hauber’s new UK sales director, shares with WWB her thoughts on the brand's ongoing reinvention.
The recent opening of a new London showroom and a return to Moda in August were the start of a new phase of UK development for German label Hauber.
When Hauber opened its UK showroom on West London’s Wells Street earlier this year (2011), there was one essential factor at the forefront of the interior design: A look that was exciting, enticing and fitting for the new phase of development of the label - and a wow factor that was befitting of the collection in question.
It’s an ethos prevalent throughout every stage of the brand’s sell-through process and a business model the label aims to replicate from the buying interaction at the showroom and at Moda Woman, right through to the stores themselves.
It’s why the brand describes its retailers not as stockists but partners and the raison d’etre for a label that still designs every collection to be as fresh and inspirational as its first offering in 1870.
For Diane Sykes, Hauber’s new UK sales director, the ongoing reinvention of the brand is the secret to its success. While remaining committed to its core consumer, the label adapts its signature style season after season, keeping the brand identity at the forefront of contemporary trends.
“Although this season has been an exciting time for Hauber, I would still describe the development as an evolution rather than a revolution,” says Sykes, who came on board in a sales and marketing capacity to realise the growth potential of Hauber in the UK.
Having arrived in the UK more than 20 years ago, Hauber has a substantial presence throughout Britain, but plans to increase this. “I am eager to spread the vision of the Hauber brand to a wider audience,” says Sykes. “Both Hauber and our sister label Luisa Cerano are surrounded by a fabulous buzz right now and I’m keen to run with that excitement.”
Design-wise, Hauber takes a new direction from s/s 12 onwards, a decision that was taken to reflect the perceived changes in the attitude of its core consumer.
“Our core demographic doesn’t change, but she is dressing in a more youthful way,” says Sykes. “We have moved towards a softer and more feminine look for that reason. Timeless fashion, but at the quality our key consumer has always expected from Hauber.”
Specifically, the spring line focuses on colour. Comprising five key style groups, designed around soft, feminine pastels, the latest collection fuses colour into wearable prints for an easy-to wear look. “It’s the biggest leap in terms of where we want to be,” says Sykes. “Colour has been lacking of late, and Hauber has remedied that in one season.”
Despite its new design influences, however, the cut and fit of each garment will remain the same, and it is something the design team feels passionately about. “Our fit is always true, and our Hauber woman relies on that,” says Sykes.
Such a commitment to fit is the reason Hauber does not have an e-commerce website and has no plans to launch one any time soon. “We trade on quality, fit and beautiful cuts,” says Sykes. “That doesn’t translate to e-commerce for us because that is a different level of trading.”
That’s not to say e-commerce has passed Hauber by. The brand has launched a retail e-commerce site, dedicated exclusively to its wholesale partners. The site allows retailers to re-order online and check stock levels daily. It’s something that is instrumental to the brand’s philosophy of building relationships with retail partners and goes hand in hand with its commitment to only ever selling through its portfolio of stockists.
“We don’t have any standalone stores, and we have absolutely no plans to open any,” says Sykes. “We feel our allegiance lies with our partners – the retailers – and our growth will be with them.”
With a presence in more than 30 countries worldwide, it’s an approach that has stood the label in good stead since its inception in 1870.
Proudly family-owned and run, Hauber has evolved into a globally-recognised brand, which counts labels such as Basler, Airfield and MaxMara among its main competitors.
Never one to stand still, however, Hauber has its sight set on next season and beyond - and on the ongoing expansion of a successful label.
“Accessories have proved popular with our sister label Luisa Cerano,” says Sykes. “Beautiful handbags and belts that complement the core range have been a great success, so that would be a natural transition for Hauber.
"However, while we will always evolve, we will never lose sight of our Hauber woman.”
- Established: 1870
- UK showroom: Wells Street, West London.
- Global presence: Established in 30 countries worldwide including the UK, China and Russia.
- Future plans: To introduce a range of accessories and develop a B2B e-commerce site for retailers.
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