Retail News: Local Fashion Favourite Max Is Getting A New Look
Kiwi clothing stalwart Max is keeping in tune with the times with their latest revamp
In a cluttered clothing market brands need to take a closer look at what sets them apart from the competition, a belief local stalwart Max is choosing to embrace with a revamp.
Along with a new logo, e-commerce site and a focus beyond racks of clothes into skincare and lifestyle products, its new owner Barkers menswear, which purchased Max last year, aims to capture the essence of what the brand was synonymous with when it launched in the mid to late 1980s — style and value for the New Zealand woman’s wardrobe.
“At the core of our vision we wanted to create a premium lifestyle brand for the modern woman,” says Barkers group managing director and retail mastermind Jamie Whiting. “As a New Zealand brand, Max is in a unique position to best understand the nuances.”
The change has been a long time coming, says Jamie from its Khyber Pass headquarters. “Max had a really strong brand identity, especially during the 90s and early 2000s. That whole women’s republic of New Zealand was an iconic approach to brand marketing and creating this household name. We want to take it back to that kudos.”
After a time in the hands of local private equity firm Direct Capital and later Ezibuy, partially owned by Catalyst, the brand has timed the relaunch with its new owners for the summer and gifting season.
New categories such as swimwear, sleepwear and lifestyle products feature, including handmade jewellery by Jasmin Sparrow and Love Winter, ceramics by Claybird Ceramics, organic beauty products by Country Kitchen, loose-leaf teas from Storm and India, and Turkish towels from Otto Loom. A selection of international brands also share shelf space, including Levi’s jeans, sneakers from Los Angeles brand Clae and leather footwear by James Smith.
The inclusion of resortwear pieces made with original Liberty print fabrics is a welcome surprise; as is the debut of its basics line, Elementary, made with organic cotton and linen. “Quality fabric had to be the basis of the redevelopment,” says Jamie “because ultimately we are a fashion brand. It’s about value, not price.”
In addition to its existing 37 stores, Max is looking forward to opening at Westfield Newmarket on November 21, and in Milford early next year. “Our new stores will have a very different look... focusing on that high-street boutique feel,” says Jamie. “The fitting room area is a big part of the re-launch with a bigger space dedicated to a personal styling service, tea service and a chance to really create a great boutique experience.”