The SuperDry brand has been described as fashion for people who appreciate clothing but aren’t interested in fashion with a capital “F”. The brand and design director of the trendy fashion brand is James Holder. With Julian Dunkerton, founder of Super Group, the parent company, the brand has seen a tremendous growth cycle, becoming known to millions around the world.
An interview I conducted with James Holder last month as he spent some time in Dubai revealed some interesting sidelights about the man and his career. His career began with marketing self-designed skater tees and has been transformed into an empire with celebrity clients and customers in 54 countries that have SuperDry Stores. Customers in more than one hundred countries have access to the clothing line via the brand website at SuperDry.com.
Holder says he begins his daily routine with a run to clear his mind. The pace at SuperDry is very dynamic, according to its executive. The look is constantly evolving and changing. He compares the brand quality to Ralph Lauren, but the thinking like Zara. He encourages the creative atmosphere and doesn’t consider himself a “fashion” designer, but rather a “product” designer.
Even though Holder travels a lot for his job, he explains that being a fashion company founder doesn’t make him good at packing for a trip. He told me that traveling allows him to gather lots of inspiration which is a requirement in the fashion industry. The team is constantly updating the items in inventory to stay relevant, but also works to integrate new areas.
I asked him how SuperDry goes about creating the clothing collections and was told that the designers just make stuff that they love to wear. The company is set in a provincial British countryside location which allows them to be aware of trends, but to set their own signature on the trends.
A large team of designers (25) creates more than 6000 products annually. They are permitted to be as creative as they like, within the brand guidelines. The huge number of products means that there are many copy-cats and imitations in the marketplace. Holder says that the brand is unique in that they always strive to make the product better and maintain quality control.
As a personal favorite, Holder says he likes one of the new jackets (i will keep it for myself 😉 ) from the Autumn Winter 2014 collection. The highlight of the Spring Summer Collection is the increased used of prints. He believes the latest collection will change the perception of SuperDry in people’s minds.
James says that he thoroughly enjoyed the shopping malls in Dubai and expects that the SuperDry brand will be popular here, as in the rest of the world.