This spring saw the launch of very stylish girl, a leeds based on-line brand offering a range of contemporary, affordable women’s fashion. Owner Helen Portas chat’s to H&N about the brand and what inspired her to launch an independent on-line boutique.
What inspired you to launch Very Stylish Girl?
Having worked in fashion marketing for over 15 years, I have seen many online brands emerge during this time selling inexpensive, young fast fashion. Whilst there is an array of higher end labels for the slightly older woman I, and my peers as women in our 40’s, found there weren’t many brands offering affordable, appropriate yet good quality fashion. This, alongside a keen personal interest in the industry, led me to pursue a lifelong dream of launching my own on-line womenswear boutique.
Whose style do you most admire?
The name of brand came from an iconic Hepburn film so it is fair to say that I love Audrey’s timeless style! I also admire the simplistic, effortless French way of dressing and no-one better reflects this than Jane Birkin, Francoise Hardy and, more recently, Caroline De Maigret. Hints of these influences can be seen within in the collection and also through the styling of the outfits.
Who is your target market?
The 30-plus woman looking for stylish, modern pieces appropriate for her age and attitude. Our customer doesn’t want to spend a lot on clothing equally she doesn’t want to compromise on quality. Whilst shopping on-line, she doesn’t have time to trawl through pages of product, she would like to browse a neat collection of versatile styles which could easily compliment her existing wardrobe.
How would you describe your product range?
Within the range, you’ll find easy to wear, relaxed looks to take from a weekday to a weekend through to unique, sophisticated pieces for a special occasion. The Very Stylish Girl customer doesn’t want skimpy clothing so the cut of each garment is considered alongside the quality of the fabric as I want to try my best to ensure they feel fabulous in what they wear. Plus, as the seasons aren’t as defined as they could be, a lot of the range is transitional so styles can go with you from one season into the next.
How are you different to other on-line retailers?
I strive to offer a boutique experience within an easy-to-use online environment. There is a Live Chat feature so you can talk to us about our products or ask for style advice whilst you’re on the site. I believe it shouldn’t end after a customer has ordered, so items are carefully prepared before they are sent out and we offer easy, free returns should anyone change their mind. I didn’t want to create a website but a destination where women feel they can build a relationship the brand and all these touches add to a service you would expect from an independent.
What are the future plans for Very Stylish Girl?
More beautiful product will be added to the site over the coming months and, longer term, I would love to open a shop in the local area so I can offer an even more Very Stylish experience for our customers.