Wom & Now to Open a Store in Barcelona Early Next Year
17 September, 2015
South Korea is the latest market that the firm Wom & Now has entered. After five collections, it already operates in the USA and Europe and is now working on getting into China.
Opening the 080 Barcelona Fashion show last July was the definitive boost for the launch of the new fashion firm Wom & Now. Established in 2014, in the first few months of life it strove to carve a place on a fashion market which it considers “tough and fairly well saturated”.
What is it about this company that makes its founders think there is room for its designs? We spoke to Wom & Now CEO, Antonio Montero. “The cut is our speciality. We make clothes that hang very well. A company offering good cuts was needed. We also work with high-quality fabrics and bring a certain something special to the design. On top of these three points, there is also the reasonable prices. We wouldn’t be able to compete on price alone, there are already companies that do that and do it very well”.
On the basis of that combination, Wom & Now proposes apparel grounded on very well-worked lines, with geometric patterns inspired by architecture and clean, crisp combinations. The designs are targeted at a woman of average purchasing power who likes sophistication and keeps an eye on trends, and have been welcomed onto markets such as North America, one of the label’s core globalisation destinations, and European countries including France, Italy, Belgium and Germany. Further afield, in Asia, Wom & Now signed a licensing agreement in September to market its models through the well-known South Korean department store, Lotte.
A team from this distribution giant on the South Korean market has come to Barcelona to film the promotional videos for the sale of Wom & Now designs, and while we talk with Montero, a camera operator and photographer follow him around on a tour of the leading sites of Barcelona and of the firm for subsequent broadcasting on the Lotte Home Shopping Channel. “Telesales in South Korea are just as or more important than online sales. It’s a very different model from the one we know here. The deal we signed with Lotte in September consists of selling our products via special programmes featuring well-known actors and other celebrities wearing the pieces. It’s a distribution channel with a strong penetration in the South Korean market,” says the head of Wom & Now, expressing his satisfaction with the agreement.
The firm uses the word Barcelona in its title and acknowledges that its roots are a major draw for new customers on international markets. Montero says that in addition to the fact that Barcelona is “very well known everywhere” Wom & Now products are nearly all made here. “We try to ensure that all of our products are made in Barcelona. The entire taffeta for the coats, for example, and the knitwear we make ourselves in our own workshops. If we can’t take on all of the production alone, we send some ítems abroad but the quality control and design are ours. Only a small part of the knitwear is made abroad, in Romania, and it is made to a very high quality and with good prices”.
The establishment of Wom & Now was the natural continuation of a prior business project, the textile group P-Mac’s. This company is now part of the RMT Group, one of the leading logistics companies in Catalonia, owned by Salvador Ros Moro.
With around fifty and twenty years of history respectively, P-Mac’s and RMT were the starting point for Wom & Now. “The firm was set up because of the personal concern of the head of RMT (referring to Ros) and thanks to the fact that we had a great deal of experience in designing and dress- and pattern-making for third parties,” says the label’s CEO, referring to P-Mac’s activity as a supplier to firms including Burberry, Prenatal and Nice Things, among others.
Although RMT’s core activity is logistics, where it has more than 60,000 square metres and around 600 people on staff during the busiest seasons, its entry into the fashion world is a firm commitment. On the one hand, the online store has been up and running since September and, on the other, the company has found the place where it will open
its first flagship store in February. “It will be on Rambla Catalunya. It’s a tourist hub that draws a huge number of customers and, particularly, the target audience we are aiming at”.
The firm’s sales strategy now involves a presence in multi-brand stores, but Montero says he does not rule out having more dedicated stores. “We want to build slowly and maybe after this first store we’ll go onto a second one, or a third. For us the real starting pistol was the 080 Barcelona Fashion show, which let us take off. Now we are going through a period of growth but the early years are always tricky and so it has been for us. That’s why it is important to take things slowly and surely.”