|Type||High Street Retailer|
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
Monsoon Accessorize is a design-led retailer based in London operating two international retail clothing chains - Monsoon and Accessorize.
Monsoon was founded in 1973 by Peter Simon who brought hand-crafted and folk-inspired fashion to London, after travelling the globe and setting up a stall on the Portobello Road. The original focus was always on clothes with an ethnic origin from faraway places, such as India and Afghanistan, and the very early collections were made from hand-loomed cotton in Indian villages.
The first Monsoon store was opened in Beauchamp Place, in Knightsbridge. Accessorize followed in 1984, producing high street accessories with a profoundly different aesthetic to what was found on the high street at the time. Monsoon Home was launched in 1999, creating an innovative and individual home accessories and gift range. Monsoon Childrenswear arrived in 1995 and extended to include baby wear in 2003 and in 2006, Monsoon Fusion was added to the family. Fusion is a capsule collection of younger, more trend-led pieces but still featuring Monsoon’s signature hand-writing of embellishment and embroidery.
More recently, Monsoon extended its Bridal and Occasionwear collection to cater for the more specialist end of the market.
Today there are over 380 Monsoon and Accessorize stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland and over 1053 throughout the world in 74 markets.
This expansion throughout the world earned the company a Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade in 2007.
In June 2001, the business moved to the “Monsoon Building” in Paddington bringing together the central functions for the first time in 8 years. The building, originally commissioned by British Rail, was designed by Paul Hamilton in 1969. Known as the “battleship”, it has been a familiar landmark to drivers on the Westway. Abandoned and empty since 1990, it has now been brought back to life by Peter Simon and won the 2002 Building of the Year Award.
In 2008, the business moved to a new purpose-built eco-friendly office 'The Yellow Building' located in Notting Dale Village, a stone's throw from where the company was first established.
On March 5, 2013 it was confirmed by Monsoon Accessorize Ireland Ltd. that its parent company Monsoon Accessorize Ltd are seeking examinership for its stores operating in Ireland. The company operate 18 stores in Ireland employing 269 people. Moonsoon Accessorize Ltd in the UK are owed €5.6 million by its Irish operations, they claim the economic downturn and rent prices are causing difficult trading conditions within the territory. The High Court will announce examinership next week this will allow Monsoon and Accessorize stores to continue to operate for the next 100 days. On May 29, 2013 Monsoon Accessorize Ireland Ltd announced it has to close 9 of its 18 stores under an agreement with the appointed examiner. The company has until June 12 to resolve issues surrounding its other 9 stores which are to remain open for the time being.
In the early 1980's Monsoon started to sell a small collection of accessories which became so popular that the idea for the innovative new store format Accessorize was born.
The first Accessorize store opened in London's Covent Garden Piazza in 1984 and the second in Carnaby Street in 1986. 1992 saw the first Accessorize store outside London with a store opening in Manchester.
Today there are more than 261 Accessorize stores in the UK and an international operation of over 1053 stores. Including locations in Russia, China, South and North America, South Africa, Europe and the Middle-East.
With its own in-house design team, Accessorize holds a unique position on the high street with its inspirational, globally sourced, well-priced and good quality collection of fashion accessories. Displayed in an original and impactful color-bay design, the constantly changing range includes every kind of accessory imaginable; bags, purses, jewelery, belts, hats, scarves, flip flops, gloves, hair accessories and cosmetics.
E-Commerce & Multi-Channel Platforms
Monsoon and Accessorize currently have transactional website in several countries, including the USA, Denmark, France and Russia – and delivers to a worldwide base from its UK site.
Heritage & Ethics
Whilst Monsoon may have grown into a global company, with over 1000 stores, it is still known for hand-crafted products with intricate hand embroidery and embellishment. While much of its production has shifted to larger factories, Monsoon still trades with some of its original Indian suppliers and has helped them to grow with the business.
Monsoon is a founder member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and is committed to ensuring high ethical standards across its supply chain. It was rated a 'Leader' or 'Achiever' by the ETI against its assessment criteria in 2010.
The company also supports disadvantaged artisans through its own charity, the Monsoon Accessorize Trust. Set up in 1994 to mark the company's 21st birthday, the Trust helps over 10,000 women and children in Asia every year, focusing on communities where the company has trading links. This includes an immunisation project, reaching 5,000 children in Rajasthan, a homeless shelter for abandoned girls in Delhi and a project to help recultivate the silk industry in Afghanistan.
For more information about the Trust's key charity projects, click here.
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