H+CO is a fashion retailer selling formalwear, businesswear and accessories. It was originally called Zantini Menswear which was a made-up name with Italian overtones, despite being founded by an Englishman known as ‘H’. The retail clothing industry is a tough market to be involved in; with narrow margins and year-round discounts it can be seen as a race to the bottom. We were asked to find an approach which would help 'H' evolve and transform his business to combat this and go beyond fashion.
When you walk into most menswear stores you are generally considered to be a ‘punter’. Having interviewed H’s clientele we discovered his approach was quite the opposite: the selling of clothes was almost incidental to the old school service he offered customers. He got to know them personally, treating everyone with a respect rarely seen outside of Saville Row. His approach also attracted many female customers who would normally have no desire to talk with the ‘used car salesperson’ lurking in a traditional businesswear store. H’s attitude to customer service inspired our new brand positioning of “Quintessential Old School English Service”.
Zantini Menswear was an inappropriate name for several reasons; it had no genuine story to substantiate it; it suggested an Italian brand; and wasn’t just menswear. To connect H with his business we renamed Zantini to H+CO. The cross of St George took the place of an ampersand and was a reference to his English tailoring heritage and the ‘CO’ part of the name suggested the partnership he shared with his suppliers and customers. Beautiful and appropriate styling is essential for all brands if they wish to engage with customers, but this is especially true within the fashion industry. We created a look and feel for H+CO which was simple, elegant, sophisticated and above all, desirable.
To extend H+CO beyond clothing we created new products and merchandise, designing cufflinks, cologne and executive accessories, including stationery, notebooks and leather goods. The new brand was successfully relaunched and loved by existing customers. Our work contributed to a doubling of customers and sales allowing H+CO to continue business beyond a physical retail location to an online presence and offering an array of luxury products.