East London fashion brand takes Wharfers from desk to dinner
Fashion's answer to a fairy godmother - solving the desk to dinner dress dilemmas of Wharfers - can be found just steps away in Canada Place Mall.
The Closet clothing range, nestled within Dorothy Perkins, first made its mark on the estate in autumn 2010.
Since then, the east London-based brand has gone from strength to strength. Concessions manager Rachel Perrett said its focus on formal outfits and made-in-England labelling made it a perfect fit for shoppers in E14.
"We knew we had that customer base in Canary Wharf and that's really important," said the 34-year-old former Greenwich resident.
"Generally, our customer is a woman aged 25 to 40. We know she tends to wear our clothes for work and she's very much glammed up in the evening in bars and restaurants.
"We do have dresses for special occasions but people wear the workwear-style pieces for weddings.
"Customers are much more discerning now. Gone are the days people would spend £150 on a dress and wear it once but they are happy to spend £50 on a Closet dress."
The brand, founded in 1996, started selling to smaller buyers and manufacturing clothing for companies including ASOS before showcasing its own designs in a handful of Dorothy Perkins stores from 2010.
Closet's "higher end" sister brand, Almari, was placed into shops including John Lewis and Oasis. From a starting point of 10 concessions, Closet now has a presence in 150 outlets nationwide.
Rachel said: "We've very much expanded with organic growth; we haven't expanded really rapidly - it's been a tough climate in the last five years or so.
"But we have got a good product and last year we launched our website selling direct to customers, which was the third arm of the business."
Rachel said the prestige of being a made in London manufacturer (Closet is based in Mile End) was something appreciated by customers, as well as allowing the company quality control over its garments.
Fresh off the production line is the Very Berry range currently in store, with Rachel promising Wharfers a "glamorous" selection of festive dresses in luxe and metallic styles, as well as camel, red and black colours this coming season.
"Our customers love our dresses for the fantastic fit and the really flattering silhouette but they still appreciate a nod to these current trends," she added.
Go to closetclothing.com or Dorothy Perkins in Canada Place Mall.