We caught up with Richard Lill from Ladybird to find out what we can expect from the brand at London Bridal Fashion Week 2020
Wow! So much has changed, as you know we are now part of the Pronovias Group, which is amazing and so far, the transition has gone incredibly well. It’s like finding an extended family you never knew you had. They are so open to new ideas and we share experiences and knowledge, but I guess one of the best things is that Ladybird like all the other brands in the group retains its own identity. Being part of the Pronovias Group means the portfolio of collections on offer to retailers is probably the most comprehensive in the world.
Being the Vice-Chair of the BBSA I get to hear about the industry from many perspectives (suppliers and retailers alike) and I think on balance most “held their own” in a year where there was so much uncertainty in the UK. So I was delighted that we came in with a 4.2% increase, it may not sound much but I was chasing massive figures after realising a 51.9% increase in 2018 so you have to be realistic.
I think this year will be an interesting one. We should at least get some clarity with Brexit finally happening and whatever the reality of it brings at least the country can move forward. For us, we have made some changes by introducing a pre-launch collection that consists of 90 new styles. We will premier this in the UK at London Bridal Fashion Week and we are super excited!
The pre-launch is part of our full 2021 collection of approximately 400 new designs, which will be showcased in its entirety at our Dealer Event between 4th-6th April held at the five-star beachfront Grand Hotel, Noordwijk, Holland. The collection will also be showcased at major international exhibitions, culminating in the UK with The Harrogate Bridal Show in September.
I think Ingrid and our design team have surpassed themselves this time. They have refined every design, giving us a superior collection in all aspects. Due to the size of our collections, it’s so hard to articulate because it captures so many trends and design features. However, to give you some of the key features they would be minimal trains, sleeves, fine drapery, spectacular laces and beadwork. Each gown has been designed to allow the bride’s body to steal the spotlight.
Since launching in the UK Ladybird’s unprecedented European success has transited to the UK very well. One of our key decisions was to be present at all the National Wedding Shows, after all, there is no more direct way to get your name on the lips of actual brides than that.
From a retailer’s perspective, I don’t think there is any doubt that they love what we do and being repeatedly listed as one of the best for customer service is the greatest accolade for us. We quietly develop the brand making sure we have happy retailers, which is achieved by our straight-talking, honest, upfront approach.
Once we have a shop that has a genuine interest then we make sure that the partnership starts from day one by being totally upfront about what we can offer and what rewards they can expect.
Honesty is the best and only policy for us, one of the ways we demonstrate this is by having a map on view showing all our current stockists so they can see if we are being genuine with our offer of exclusivity. Only once you have conveyed the benefits of dealing with Ladybird can you move on to the dresses, which is the easy part, with so many amazing styles to choose from the only hard part is trying to bring the order down to a manageable size, making sure that the stockist does not unnecessarily overcommit themselves.
It’s always a source of amazement for me that some companies only seem to care about the initial order rather than forming a true partnership. If only one side wins then ultimately there is no winner, happy retailers equate to sales and profit for both sides.
No! We advocate that we would rather our stockists have the right dresses rather than having to have the right number. In my many years in this industry, I have seen time and time again that there is no real correlation between the number of samples versus the number of bride’s orders. Many times I have had a shop that has a hand full of samples but their repeats, sample investment return and profits are “off the chart”.
Read More: Plus-Size From Ladybird
We will continue our managed growth in the UK, constantly assessing and communicating with our stockist to make sure Ladybird is still right for them and helping them build their business any way we can. We love meeting new retailers even if we can’t supply them now! We also love showing off what we do, we say “you never know what the future holds” so take a look.
This year we will be showing at:
Later this year all our shipping will move to the Pronovias Group state of the art warehousing facility in Barcelona. This will allow us to hold even more inventory to better serve the short lead wedding and “ready to wear” brides.
Ladybird will be exhibiting at London Bridal Fashion Week on Stand E52. Make sure you register for the event here so you don’t miss out.