Swot: Shop – A| Wear

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Describing itself as “a high street brand with a boutique heart” on its website awear.com, A| Wear is quickly becoming a highly featured and coveted “find” for fashionistas looking to find style outside the normal shops. Whilst in recent year’s online versions of stores such as topshop.com and solely online fashion sites (dare we mention the phenomenon that is ASOS?) have proven to be valuable assets for those looking for style and efficiency without the queuing, there has been an steady regeneration of the High Street with various boutiques opening up, such a mButterfly and Goldstone to name a few with Oxford branches, that now provide shoppers with a larger and often more unique range of clothing away from High Street chains. However A| Wear is now offering the best of both worlds, and magazines such as Grazia and OK! have taken note.

According to its website, A| Wear began in the early 70’s as part of Ga

len Weston’s retail empire that stretched from Canada to the UK and Ireland. Yet in May 2007, a buyout was completed that has led to 25 stores in the Republic of Ireland, 2

in Northern Ireland and 3 in England of solely the A| Wear brand. The lack of physical presence in the English market has given many trend-spotters an edge; with stores located only in Leicester, Bristol and Stoke-on-Trent, the relative anonymity amongst UK shoppers have left the knowledgeable few with something every fashionistas craves: uniqueness.

A moment though: a shop can only be as good as its collections, it’s style and it’s suitability to the market. However just by looking through A| Wear‘s last season’s Twilight Inspired collection, it certainly is ticking the boxes. Our top three, including the sold-out Layer Tulle Skirt (£20), the Waterfall Leather Jacket (£100) and Jacquard Bow Dress (£25), scream immortal fashion that will be romancing us for much longer then the next couple of new moons.

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Furthermore, their new collections for Spring 2010, Barely There and Perfect Parisienne, offer key pieces such as the Pink Petal Shift Dress (£40) and the Pinstripe Tunic (£16) that will take you from the cold depths of Winter to the brighter side of Spring. Although some parts of its range are still in need of work, (we are yet to be convinced by a long-line animal print hoodies, sorry!), A| Wear is certainly on the rise; just hit their As Seen In section to see their popularity. It’s mission statement is to “continuously giving the A| Wear girl something to fall in love with”, for us at Cherwell Fashion, it certainly does so – but as it’s fan base grows over the next year (which we predict it will do), will it cope with the demand? If not, and you get bored of us, there’s still a rather good blog.