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Being a B&LLA: “Winning two B&LLAs was a real honour for the entire Scion team”

Known for its uplifting Scandi-inspired designs, Scion took home the B&LLA for Best Licensed Design-led Lifestyle Brand in both 2020 and 2021.

Fleur Neal, head of partnerships at Scion brand owner Sanderson Design Group, reflects on being a B&LLA twice over, and what the company’s 10-year anniversary this year might bring.

How did it feel to win a B&LLA? What did it mean to you and the team?

We were absolutely thrilled to win the award for Best Licensed Design-led Lifestyle Brand for two consecutive years. It was a real honour for the entire Scion team. Our B&LLA awards sit proudly in our office and are a testament to how talented our wonderful design team are.

Can you briefly outline what’s happened to your licensing programme since your first win?

Over the past few years Scion has continued to grow at an exciting rate and we have significantly expanded our licensing programme. This included a new major deal with Next at the start of 2022, which includes an extension to our homeware, home fragrance and fresh flowers collaboration and a large addition to our women’s and men’s fashion collections.

Since 2021, Scion has also expanded its international reach. This included signing its first major agreement in Japan, with homewares company Sangetsu – the market leader for wallcoverings in the territory. The partnership offers their customer a more contemporary look that embodies Scion’s ethos of bringing a smile to the everyday.

Scion1Have you spotted any trends in the licensed lifestyle brands market, or any sectors ripe for growth? What are the opportunities?

Since the pandemic, pets has been a huge growth area. We have pet beds and gifting launching for Scion with Enesco this year, and we launched a pet collection with Rosewood last year for Morris & Co., another brand within the Sanderson Group portfolio. Both collections are beautiful and have had great reactions.

Loungewear is also still a booming industry, particularly those cosier items, and we’ve had huge success with our fabulous nightwear collection for Next, which perfectly encapsulates Scion’s fun-loving, joyous designs.

Conversely, what are the challenges?

We currently have 13 licensing partners for Scion across four continents, licensing the brand for rugs, bedlinen, furniture, kitchen accessories, apparel and many more products. This is hugely exciting and really helps our brand fans buy into the entire Scion lifestyle and create a happy home. However, this does come with its challenges.

Brand consistency is something the team and I work hard to overcome with our partners. It’s also a challenge to coordinate launches across multiple partners; we worked hard to achieve this for our Christmas 2022 launch, featuring a festive version of our iconic Mr Fox character. We successfully managed to launch bedlinen, nightwear and kitchen accessories on time, alongside a collaborative marketing campaign, and it created real impact – definitely worth all the hard work from our partners and marketing teams.

Scion2Are you able to share details of your plans for 2023?

Scion celebrates its tenth birthday in 2023! We have kicked off the year of celebrations with 12 new versions of our classic Lohko design and we have lots of exciting things planned throughout the year. Watch this space…

Finally, what qualities do you look for in a licensing partner?

We have found incredible licensing and retail partners for Scion, who creatively translate the personality of our brand into beautiful products. When looking for new partners we seek out those who are experts in their field, creating quality products who share Scion’s ethos to bring joy to the everyday with playful print and design.

It is also hugely important that any partner we work with is committed to finding ways to continuously improve the way they bring products to market in a way that is sustainable and respectful of our world and everyone who lives in it. Scion has started its Live Beautiful journey and is Planet Mark certified, with an ambitious goal to be net carbon zero by 2030.

Entries for the B&LLAs 2023 are now closed.

The winners of the awards will be revealed at a lavish afternoon event held at The Royal Lancaster Hotel, Lancaster Terrace, London on Thursday 27 April 2023, that will be attended by over 500 retailers, licensees, brand owners and representatives.

For ticket and table information for The B&LLAs awards event, please click here.

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