The philosophy behind Black White Denim is one that is very close to my own heart. It is the belief that if you can get the essential building blocks of black, white and denim just right, everything else will fall into place in order to provide you with a wardrobe of stylish looks for any occasion. With a carefully curated collection of pieces from contemporary designers, Black White Denim's online store and boutique in the north of England (Wilmslow) gives inspired choices that are simple, classic, versatile and timeless.
Owner and founder Jo Davies had the idea for the concept store whilst attending a friend's baby shower. Playing a game in which she was required to describe the mother-to-be's wardrobe in three words, she chose black, white and denim; functional, stylish and perfect for a mum on the run. After many of the guests agreed that the core of their wardrobes might be described in the same way, Jo had a lightbulb moment that led to the inception of the Black White Denim philosophy and boutique.
I spoke with Jo about her brand, her customer and life in fashion:
How do you select the labels and merchandise for Black White Denim?
A lot of people think that Buying for Black White Denim is really easy, all I have to do is select the best black, white and denim pieces from the brands I stock. It isn’t actually that easy! All the brands I stock understand the importance of black, white and denim and so most of their offer is in fact in the three core colours of my concept. As a contemporary premium ladieswear boutique I have to ensure that the clothes hanging on my rails and on my website have a modern point of difference but are durable, functional and fit my philosophy of ‘buy now, keep forever’. I’m not one for throwaway fashion and so everything at Black White Denim has to be that something special.
What are your top tips for surviving Fashion Week?
First and foremost, ensure you have the time to do it at all. Fashion Week is a whirlwind experience and something everyone working in fashion should do once in their career, but it isn’t essential for the day-to-day retail business. However, if you’re going, take a pal. Fashion Week is one of the most crowded places but also one of the loneliest if you’re doing it alone. People are too busy, frustrated and fabulous to make friends so make sure you’ve got one before you set foot in Somerset House. Next, enjoy every moment. Sit in the Somerset House courtyard and people watch, catch the fabulous gallery exhibitions, ensure you do a spot of off-schedule shows and soak up London whilst you’re there.
Which labels would you love to feature at Black White Denim?
I am a very lucky retailer because my shop and online store is filled with the labels I love. However, I would adore to stock Isabel Marant in the future.
Who is the Black White Denim woman?
The Black White Denim woman is every woman who is stylish, busy and hasn’t got a team of stylists to do it for her. She might be the pensioner with a taste for something new, the mum who is desperate for something fabulous, the young career girl that needs her next cocktail dress or the woman who adores shopping but has not got a clue what she should wear. We cater for all and are happy to build the wardrobes of anyone who comes through our door or clicks onto our site.
Tell me about BWD.TV.....
BWD.TV is the name given to our online TV channel, hosted on YouTube. It is a fortnightly TV channel with all kinds of videos from styling tips from yours truly, snippets of London Fashion Week catwalks, video campaigns from our brands and coverage of the exciting events we stage throughout the year.
What essential qualities should a fashion boutique owner have? What are the best and what are the toughest parts of the job?
Anyone working in retail needs to know the difficulties of the premium market in the current economic situation. Times have never been harder and you need a very focused attitude if you’re going to survive the storm. Added to that, being able to build a strong and passionate team around you is the most important thing because you’re only as successful as your resources.
What lies ahead for Black White Denim?
Black White Denim has catapulted far further than I ever imagined in such a short time. We’re only just over one year old and I have enjoyed every second of realizing my dream. The website is the major focus for Team BWD for the future as we want to successfully capture the essence of our store, online.