A handbag with a Union Jack design is seen on display in a Radley and Co. Ltd. store in Covent Garden, London, U.K., on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. The number of Britons making shopping trips for post-holiday bargains barely increased on the day after Christmas as more people sought discounts online. Photographer: Jason Alden

Johannesburg - British bags and accessories maker Radley is the latest international brand to be brought into South Africa as the appetite for fashionable labels grows among middle- and high-income earners, according to Marco Cicoria, the chief executive of Brand Capital.

The company manages brands such as Ted Baker in South Africa.

Cicoria said despite consumers being under pressure, more people were travelling abroad and coming into contact with international brands.

“There is a strong appetite in South Africa for international brands, particularly British brands, and for premium but affordable luxury,” he said.

Recent independent research had placed Radley as the top handbag brand in the UK, with a market share of about 18 percent, he said.

Radley’s lines include purses, watches, luggage, umbrellas, sunglasses and scarves.

The fashion company has 40 branded stores. It also sells through the big fashion retailers in Britain and in other European countries as well as in south-east Asia.

“The handbags and accessories are Radley core brands,” said Cicoria. “It is good to launch a product with your core brands and later introduce other items.”

The brand, which is already available at Stuttafords stores, appeals to people who are in their twenties and older.

Cicoria said that given Ted Baker’s success in South Africa, it was only logical for Brand Capital to introduce another British brand.

Edcon, which owns the Edgars, Jet Mart, CNA and Jet chains, is another local retailer that has introduced a number of international brands in its stores this year.

It has the franchising rights for the British label Tom Tailor, as well as international brands such as Topshop and Topman, Lipsy and Dune.

Massmart has also announced that it would be launching the George Clothing brand, a British label, in pop-up stores this festive season. - Business Report