Flannel a hot item after Paris triumph

WA label Flannel is going from strength to strength after a successful visit to one of Europe's biggest fashion trade shows.

Held twice yearly in Paris, Who's Next gathers some of the world's best up-and-coming designers under one roof in the hope of finding new international stockists.

Flannel designer Kristy Lawrence said less well known brands often had to show for several years before picking up business, but she acquired new stockists in London, Paris, Dubai, Germany and Switzerland on her first visit.

Although Flannel has six stores in Australia and a popular boutique in Los Angeles' Venice district, this is the first time Lawrence has broken into the European market.

"We were getting a lot of European customers into our LA store saying they thought Flannel would do really well," Lawrence said.

The massive trade fair is in two divisions, Fame and Premiere, with Fame the more exclusive and coveted section.

"We were accepted into Premiere and about a week later we got a phone call saying they felt we should be in the Fame section," Lawrence said.

"Usually buyers in Europe will look at you for a couple of seasons to make sure you're going to stay on the same track, so to be picked up on a first showing was very gratifying."

Flannel recently opened a unisex store in Melbourne after the success of its first menswear boutique in Cottesloe.

The Los Angeles store has a celebrity following, including actress Drew Barrymore, and the next target is New York.

"We get a lot of New Yorkers coming into the LA store so they are certainly aware of the brand," Lawrence said.

The West Australian

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