Friday, December 12, 2008

A Sign Of The Times - All Hail Hailwood

Oh bugger! Another one (shop that is) bites the dust. Today, Adrian Hailwood, one of New Zealand fashion's brightest stars has announced that his retail operation is to close in February 2009. Hot on the heels of a number of other rising stars turning the lock, the news is symptomatic of the difficulties facing emerging designers here and abroad. Hailwood says he will now focus on web-based sales - his t-shirt line can be viewed and ordered at and the current Hailwood Summer 09 collection can be viewed at

Although he’ll miss the daily interaction had with his customers, Hailwood says, “It’s not been a hard decision – retailing from this location in this market is simply not sustainable. To continue to do what I love doing I need to focus on keeping ahead of the current climate." Well said.

We can't help but notice interesting parallels to other industries too, that are not so much indicative of the recession encompassing the world but simply of a change in global behaviour. We know only too well that hard copy publishing faces an uncertain future - the online options are manifold, far-reaching, cost-effective and sustainable. The music industry no longer relies on CD and 'unit' creation to light the industry furnace, instead we see the rise of management companies, production companies and an explosion of live performance coupled with a direct and responsive online market.

The similarities? Online and 'live'. Perhaps, and we think this could be a good thing, this might mean a greater commitment to kick-ass fashion shows or events, coupled with a strong online strategy as the way of the future for fashion business. Of course, retail will always have its place, but surely, the times, they are achanging...

So all power to Adrian, may Hailwood online live long and prosper!