THE creator of a fashion brand in York has successfully built an online following after being stripped of her city trading spot during lockdown.

Clare Morris, a former primary teacher who launched Copper and White in 2015, is part of Shambles Market’s vibrant community, with a stand from Tuesdays to Fridays.

She had been preparing for York Fashion Week and Ascot Fashion Weekend, with large events booked in before an anticipated busy summer at the market when the pandemic struck.

“To have that stripped away was a huge blow and looking at rails of Spring clothes which we couldn’t sell was an even bigger blow,” said Clare who offers stylish, affordable women’s clothes.

“I knew we had to take fast action, so I liaised with local brand management agency, NIMA, to devise a strategy to move us forward.”

Clare added: “The greatest challenge here was that we could see how retail and customer behaviour was going to change hugely, but without a crystal ball, it was hard to predict exactly how it would change. So we spent time speaking and listening to our customers, and prepared to make fast changes to the business.”

She said the time and effort had ‘really paid off’. Clare said she was continuing to adapt as the uncertainty continued.

“I’ve taken time to look at fashion and understand how it is changing and evolving. I introduced a luxury loungewear collection to our website as it became a wardrobe staple during lockdown. Going forwards, fashion has definitely become less structured and our loungewear is something customers will wear for a casual day out too.

“Thinking further ahead, we have to understand that clothing budgets may be tight, so Copper & White has capsule collections which work in harmony. Customers can buy fewer pieces to create many differing looks.

“We’ve also spent time researching new brands. We love to give our customers a brand that is exclusive to us in York and also manufactured in small quantities.”

Clare’s latest Autumn Winter 2020 range enables women to create a capsule wardrobe, focusing on relaxed glamour and comfy clothing, with on trend, easy-to-wear wardrobe staples.

“Our ethos is longevity and versatility so we can help create and grow wardrobes from season to season, building a bold and timeless capsule collection that can be dressed up and down, providing glamour, comfort and cosiness.”