Be honest with me, when was the last time you shopped in Benetton? Was it in your teens? Well, it has to be at least 10 years for me, and I have to be honest I am not sure when the rainbow of colours became ‘un-cool’, but the Italian brand is certainly turning itself around.
Last week I went to check out the Oxford Circus branch, which I have to admit I have walked past a thousand times over the nine years I have lived and worked in London and not once been in, I suppose I just thought it was a bit of a tourist trap. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still is a beacon for tourists, but I was seriously blown away by the gorgeous colours, the luxurious knits, the insanely reasonably priced denim, the quirky footwear, and all the bags have made it onto my wishlist.
I went specifically to check out the brand’s Pin-Up collection, a range of lightweight cotton knitted jumpers, cardigans and sleeveless tops that enhance your curves with invisible seems, and for spring/summer the line comes in the most gorgeous pastel hues of lemon, minty aqua, lilac, sherbet, and my favourite coral pink.
I picked up a long-sleeved jumper with a scoop neckline and a sleeveless tank top that I can’t wait to try *they will be coming to a style post very soon*, but before I even tried them on I was hooked on how soft they were and how even though they are fitted they don’t cling, I think I might need to go back and collect the rest of the rainbow!!!
An area that I was most impressed with was the accessories, top of my wishlist are the colourful range of classic structure totes, especially the orange one, as well as the shoes, in store at the moment are a great selection of sandals and brogues. Also coming in the high summer drop are some insanely ‘cool’ colour block platforms that I can’t wait to get my hands on.
As well as great knits, denim, accessories, the store also have a great choice of baby products, which I’m totally going to be decking my God Son in, and they are little delights like this tee dotted around the store that is just gorgeous. Trust me, there are still pieces geared to the tourist market, just train yourself to ignore and search out the good stuff, as that is what I am going to be doing on a more regular basis. Plus come autumn it will be a lot easier to shop Benetton as I hear that the brand is launching their own e-commerce site!!!
As well as checking out the store I went along to the brand’s autumn/winter 2012 press preview, I was really impressed, and I think a lot of that has to do with Benetton’s fairly new creative director, You Nguyen, a former Levi’s designer, and I can tell you now the denim is just going to get better and better. There was lots I loved from the retro knits to the striking cape coats, to the incredible platforms, and I am adoring all the burnt orange. Plus the Pin-Up collection is expanding with new colourways and styles, and most importantly jeans that enhance and perk-up your arse, I can’t wait!!!
So come on, be honest with me, was you expecting to see all that from Benetton?