AUTUMN//WINTER 2018 23 22 AUTUMN//WINTER 2018 Stationery magpie and editor of the Daily Mail’s Femail Magazine CHARLOTTE KEMP reveals how fashion and stationery are two sides of the same notebook. JANE REUCROFT, founder of A Gift From The Gods, says: When did the brand add stationery to the collection? We added stationery in September 2016 after noticing an increase of ranges at the Top Drawer trade show in January 2016. Further to research into analogue products for a generation who grew up on digital (and the ability to produce in the UK with short lead times), we wanted to introduce our stationery offer as soon as possible. We then sought out the London Stationery Show as a specialist trade event for the sector, which has proved invaluable with specialist global buyers. Was there a clear evolution from fashion to stationery? Our prime selling period for our sleepwear is Christmas through to Valentine’s Day, so we need complementary products for the whole year. Accessories such as bags, keyrings and jewellery are obvious add-ons, but stationery not initially so. It has only been the surge in interest for stationery from a younger generation, the opportunities on Instagram for Instagrammable products, spotting the opportunity in time, the ease with which you can transfer your designs onto stationery, and the ability to get it produced in the UK that facilitated the decision. How do the product categories complement each other and strengthen the brand identity? All the product categories are designed and created to cross-sell – for example, gift-wrapped satin pyjamas and a journal for writing down your hopes and goals. Do you carry design themes and logos across product categories? We have created four design stories with distinct design personalities. Customers do like to choose a design story that matches their personality or mood. Some trade buyers buy in colour palettes depending on the season or whichever design story fits their store profile, and some like to buy all four stories to offer the full choice. There is enough depth in product and design in each story that any option works. A GIFT FROM THE GODS ‘STATIONERY and fancy articles of a high-class character’ – that’s how a certain Frank Smythson described the goods he was selling when he opened his first premises in New Bond Street back in 1887. Smythson’s vision – to offer bespoke stationery alongside leather goods and desk accessories – saw Flirting with Fashion SARAH SILVER, creative director of StudioSarah, says:   How do fashion and stationery overlap? Like fashion, stationery has become another way to express our style and aspirations. So your notebook is no different to the wallet or handbag you carry as a representation of your taste and character. When did you first introduce leather accessories? In Winter 2016 specifically for NET-A-PORTER, which I then also carry on my own website as part of my StudioSarah main collection. There is definitely a clear brand aesthetic that runs across all the products I design, which is feminine, clean and elegant. For the leather, which is more premium, I was able to explore and use different materials which are reflected in the designs. The colour palette also crosses over from paper to leather goods and so there is an identifiable look and feel to every product. How do the stationery lines and leather products complement each other? Some of the leather products, such as the leather folio, were specifically designed to incorporate some of our customers’ favourites from the paper collection, such as the luxe notebook, and so this fits inside and can be updated or changed when it runs out. Do you have plans for other fashion or lifestyle lines? I would love to expand the collection to include lifestyle or homeware watch this space! STUDIOSARAH the brand blurring the distinctions between stationery and fashion in a way that continues to resonate today. Along the way, Smythson has named a diary after the Panama hat because of the pliability of the binding, and today a handbag collection has been named after the now-famous featherweight Panama pocket diary. In answer to what comes first, the stationery or the fashion and lifestyle lines, Smythson was perhaps one of the first stationers to realise the answer lies somewhere in the middle. Five brands with a stationery offer at the core – but now much more besides – tell me how and why they are diversifying into fashion. A Gift FromThe Gods Petales de Rose ring from Montblanc