Poland isn’t exactly known as a fashion destination, however the latest high street brand ready to take on Zara actually hails from Gdansk. Polish brand Reserved aims to be among the top five fashion retailers in the world, quite the ambition given the communist landscape in which it was first founded.
Before 1989 the average salary in Poland was just £20 a month and clothing and shoes were bought through a strict coupon system. When communism fell in 1989, the empty shops and inaccessibility to clothing meant that the demand was huge. The family company launched in 1991, and then branded as Reserved in 1998, with a tiny 20 square meter shop selling tracksuit sets that were more practical than stylish. Now Reserved is like the HM of Eastern Europe, as the LLP group has over 1,700 stores in 20 countries. And today it opens its first London store on Oxford Street, with the ribbon cut my none other than Kate Moss.