Under Ida Petersson's sartorial eye, Browns is evolving with the next generation of consumers.
Though London department store Browns has been around for 50 years, it’s picking up clout with younger generations thanks to several pivotal moments: getting acquired by fashion retail platform Farfetch and hiring Ida Petersson.
Now serving as the company’s buying director, Petersson—who originally studied law and fell into fashion—has an innate eye for unique products and emerging designers. She and her team adapted the legacy company to the modern age of intuitive e-commerce sites and engaging tech-enabled retail spaces featuring retail exclusives and in-store events.
The modern updates are credited with attracting younger buyers who flock to streetwear—an apparel category that’s seen astronomical growth in the past few years.
What will the denim industry be like in the next 18 months?
I feel a comeback is in the cards. After taking a bit of a step back when the first wave of the streetwear trend hit, we’ve noticed that denim is starting to gain momentum again and I feel that, in lockdown, people were rediscovering the joys of wearing denim. There is also so much innovation going on for the fabric both in terms of sustainable production as well as how it’s used in design. I’m excited to see where fashion will take denim next.
What change would you like to see in the denim industry as a result of Covid-19?
I would love for all denim to be made in the most sustainable way possible. We only have one planet and we all need to take the threat seriously and use our time and influence wisely.
How do you define sustainability in a post-pandemic world?
I was worried the fashion industry would lose focus in lockdown, however I’m so pleased to see that the consumer has been driving change throughout, and the subject has actually become more important than ever.
Describe your dream jeans.
Boyfriend jeans that sit on the hips, rolled up at the hem, and are so used that they’re almost disintegrating. They are jeans you can live in as they are just so comfortable.
What is your most worn pair of jeans, and why?
My R13 denim cut offs—they are the most comfortable thing I own and they just get better with age. If I could wear them every day, I would.
Name one word that best describes denim.