The retailer has described the move as the biggest overhaul of M&S clothing in 20 years, as it attempts to draw a line under stagnant sales and realign itself alongside fashion rivals such as Asos and Next.
M&S saw its clothing and home revenue drop 25.1 per cent to £787m in the 13 weeks to 26 December 2020, driven by an in-store sales plunge of 46.5 per cent as Covid-19 restrictions continued to affect trading.
As a result of waning sales, the retailer vowed to reduce the size of its in-house fashion collections by 20 per cent in line with its “Never The Same Again” strategy, which will see M&S stop overproducing stock in its attempt to keep up with the latest trends and instead focus on delivering high-quality, classic styles.
M&S will now offer third-party brands on its website and in-store to cater to its more trend-focused customers. In October 2020, Nobody’s Child became the first out-of-house label to launch on the retailer’s website, followed by vintage-inspired brand Ghost just one month later.
And now the retailer is ramping up its efforts to connect with a bigger range of customers by adding Finery London to its roster.
M&S said it has chosen the label as it overlaps with its own brands and, while the new range has already landed online, it is expected to arrive in stores when they are slated to re-open in April. Every piece in the range is made with vibrant prints and mood-boosting colours that promise to get shoppers excited for spring, while the silhouettes are universally flattering, with high-waisted seams, figure-hugging wrap dresses and puffed sleeves all on offer.
Among the other brands tipped to join M&S later this year are Joules, Phase Eight, Hobbs and Seasalt Cornwall.
With so many new pieces landing online, we’ve saved you hours of endless scrolling by rounding up our top picks from each brand. Happy shopping!
You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
In October 2020, womenswear brand Nobody’s Child launched on the retailer’s website as its first third-party clothing brand, with the M&S.com director Stephen Langford saying the range would “resonate” with M&S customers.
Known for its feminine prints and beautiful silhouettes, the collection includes everything from printed mini dresses and midi designs to patterned skirts, blouses and culottes, as well as timeless staples such as jumpers and cardigans.
Our top pick from the range is this maxi tea dress (£42, Marksandspencer.com), which features a statement green heart-shaped motif, square neck and long puffed sleeves with frilled cuffs. The leg split adds a dramatic finishing touch and the dress is made with sustainably sourced viscose. Available in sizes 6 to 18.
Just one month later, M&S teamed up with Ghost London to create a capsule collection for autumn/winter 2020.
The range consisted of limited-edition dresses that reflected Ghost’s signature vintage-inspired aesthetic and delicate floral and star prints. Three hero styles were also made available in “mini-me” children's versions, featuring the same signature motifs.
Much of the collection sold out quickly but the good news is that, while you wait for the new-season pieces to drop, one of our top picks is still available to buy. Tapping into the trend for oversized collars, this mini floral dress (£20, Marksandspencer.com) is made from a super-soft crepe fabric, with a classic fit and cosy long sleeves that are perfect for spring.
Finery London was founded in 2015 by former Asos and Topshop directors and quickly become a favourite among fashion fans thanks to its playful styles, contemporary silhouettes and luxe touches.
This month, the label has launched its first 20-piece exclusive collection for M&S, comprising of stand-out dresses and stylish separates designed in cold colours, lively prints, flattering cuts and luxe fabrics, with prices ranging from £29 to £89.
Our top pick from the new range is this statement midi wrap dress (£49, Marksandspencer.com) that’s perfect for spring. Bold, bright and ultra flattering, it features a black and pink animal-print motif and is designed in a comfortable regular fit, with a classic v-neck and long, straight sleeves. We also love the tiered hem and matching side tie fastening, which adds fun finishing touches to the look. Available in sizes 8 to 18.
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