UK distributor Gary Walford brought Rylko to the UK last month, launching the brand at Moda Footwear to a spectacular reception. Here he describes why the Polish brand was such a hit with visitors, and its plans for this season and beyond.
Q: How was Rylko’s debut at Moda Footwear?
A: My overall experience of Moda Footwear was fantastic. We gained more orders than expected and created a lot of interest in the brand. We were a late booking at the exhibition, but it turned out to be the best show for us, and we will definitely be attending again.
Q: Did you achieve the business you anticipated?
A: We easily exceeded our sales expectations. We had set a target for the whole show, and we achieved that by the Sunday afternoon. Even after the event, retailers came back to us to place orders because they realised that Rylko was a perfect fit for their business. The buyers who purchased s/s 16 stock from us are already underway with selling, and the brand is proving itself in stores all over the UK.
Q: Why has the brand been such a hit?
A: Rylko is still very new in the UK, but buyers instantly responded to the quality of the leathers, and the overall appeal of the designs. There was also a lot of interest in the heritage behind the label because – as unknown as it is here in the UK – it certainly is established on the continent. The brand started out in Poland in 1964 and has become one of the most respected brands in Europe with over 120 stores.
Q: Three weeks on from the show, how are you supporting your new stockists?
A: This is a key part of our ethos, long after the order book has been signed. We offer ongoing support throughout the season, which includes instore training if this is required. We work completely differently to other brands, in that we don’t require stores to buy their whole season’s stock from us, or even to place orders months in advance. We own our own factories and produce shoes all year-round, so there’s no need to run out your bestsellers, or tie up money unnecessarily. Many customers order from us monthly to ensure they have optimum stock levels at all times, while also responding to trends as and when they arise.
Q: What’s next for Rylko?
A: This is just the start of the brand in the UK. We produce over 400 designs a month, and we are already creating inspiring new designs for s/s 18. These will build upon the strong commercial designs in high quality leather that Rylko is rapidly becoming known for, following our successful debut at Moda Footwear last month.
Get in touch to find out more about Rylko.