February:  The headline makers

Designworks, a division of PAS Group, is forecasting international sales to double by 2020 on the back of new partnerships and supply chain investment.  Global sales currently represent 15% of turnover, with the fashion business aiming to hit 30% in the next three years.

Designworks MD Brendan Santamaria said the company will make significant investments in Chinese and Bangladesh production, as well as growing its partnerships in international regions.  “We are working with Sports Direct Group in the UK to play in other markets like we currently do here,” he told Ragtrader exclusively.  Santamaria said just six years ago, Designworks was largely a supplier of home label products to Target and Kmart.  “Our business today, we are 100% our own brand delivering to Australia, NZ, Japan, Asia, US and UK.”  Licensing is also a substantial part of the business, comprising 30% of sales, with Designworks on the hunt for a new GM of licensing.  Designworks brand include Mooks, Sista and Republic with licenses spanning across Marvel, Everlast, Disney and Mattel.