The Reiss Story: Over 45 Years of Fashion and going on
The Reiss brand is synonymous with sophisticated style. The UK-based fashion brand founded and still operated by David Reiss, has grown from a single store in Bishopsgate, London to become an iconic name in fashion, a brand that can be seen adorning the Duchess of Cambridge. In fact, with stores in far-flung cities like Los Angeles, New York City, and even Dubai, this London-based brand continues to demonstrate its legend, its hallmark approach to fashion design.
The Early Days
David Reiss opened his Bishopsgate store in 1971. From that time until 2000, the brand was associated with only men’s clothing. It would be some time before women could find the Reiss high end fashions on specialist online stores like they can today eg. John Lewis . This early store, however, built its reputation on excellent tailoring. A steady stream of satisfied clientele helped put the Reiss label on the fashion map. Men flocked to the store for their impeccable suits that were characterized by attention to detail and quality craftsmanship. On the other hand, Reiss also features many bold colors and prints that were characteristic of the age. Gorgeous fabrics and great customer care helped launch the Reiss label.
80s and 90s Style
Having built their reputation on product excellence, the Reiss brand began to expand into a successful multi-type business in the eighties and nineties. Their head-turning fabrics were certainly revered but it was also their attention to service that many clients found refreshing. In fact, by the beginning of the 1980s, the fashion entrepreneur had about a hundred employees on staff. While Reiss began to outsource some his manufacturing tasks, he remained design-focused and this focus on design remains to this day.
Even so, by the end of the 1980s, Reiss had open fifteen stores. The 1990s, on the other hand, so a major restructuring campaign where Reiss pushed his exclusive label to the forefront of UK fashion. His reliance on off-shore manufacturing allowed the brand to continue thriving even during periods of recession. By remaining brand-focused and committed to extraordinary designs, the growth of the business seemed assured. This assurance, of course, did not come cheap. Reiss the innovator also became Reiss the investor. The CEO of the brand very strategically invested in powerful designers to make sure that the brand remained at the forefront of men’s fashion. His strategy, of course paid off.
At the start of the millennia, Reiss decided that it was time to enter the world of women’s fashions. Some thought this might prove risky, but having achieved so much in the world of men’s fashion, the expansion seemed inevitable. When asked why his brand was moving into the female marketplace, he asserted that men mainly shop only when they need clothing while women “shop till they drop.” Not surprisingly, many industry experts thought the brand was taking an unnecessary risk by delving into an already extremely competitive market, but Reiss proceeded in any case.
The 2000s and his women’s line opened up new challenges for Reiss, but those challenges also seemed to give him renewed vigor and a willingness to strive for new solutions. One thing the entrepreneur noticed was that he needed more flexible factories that could turn out a steadier stream of new items. He also realized early on that the women’s line always demanded newness and he worked to constantly stock his stores with ever-changing looks and styles to complement women’s love of shopping.
Now the brand has entered a period of smooth sailing. Both the men’s and women’s lines show terrific appeal among an international clientele. Reiss has opened stores in multiple locations and his brand is known the world over. New stores are opening in the UK as well as in international cities. By continuing to hire new designers and continue to keep design a top priority, Reiss is poised to continue enjoying his success.
Today both men and women shop Reiss stores as well as online. Clothing continues to show a flair for the creative yet also embodies some classic Reiss touches that fans of the brand have come to love. Because their lines continue to evolve, it’s always a good idea to check out what’s new on their hangers!