With new collections on the way from Hobbs and Halcyon Days, Historic Royal Palaces is keen to join forces with even more licensees. Licensing manager, Jenny Smyth, reveals why the firm wants to raise its profile at BLE 2017 to explore further opportunities within new categories.
How has this year been for Historic Royal Palaces (HRP)?
2017 has been a successful year for the HRP licensing programme. In terms of growth we have secured new business, developed and extended our current collections, expanded our library of assets, increased the scope of promotional support for our licensees and finally we have recruited new staff – further developing the expertise we can offer.
All this has led to new collections, which will be showcased at BLE, new deals to be announced in 2018 and discussions are also in place with potential licensees for product roll out in 2018/19.
You have outlined new collections with retailer Hobbs and Halcyon Days. How did these two partnerships come about?
These are both long-term partnerships that highlight our philosophy of working closely with our licensees to continually develop and create new collections – we very much believe in a collaborative licensing partnership that offers longevity.
The palaces offer so much scope in terms of inspiration that we’re able to work continuously with design and product development teams on fresh ideas, with supporting authentic stories, which span over 1,000 years of history.
Hobbs has just launched its 9th collection in collaboration with Historic Royal Palaces. The fashion retailer will launch two collections a year in spring and autumn, so we are repeatedly working with them on new ideas that tie into the fashion trends for that season. This autumn they have been inspired the Baroque Palace at Hampton Court, regalia from the Crown Jewels and items from the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection.
Meanwhile, Halcyon Days has been a licensee for almost 10 years, originally focussing on chinaware and enamel collectables, the firm has recently also developed accessories and jewellery. This autumn Halcyon Days has launched a new collection of fine bone china, enamelled bracelet cuffs and silk scarves in collaboration with Historic Royal Palaces.
These partnerships highlight our dedication to working with licensees, which produce high quality craftsmanship and exude design excellence in interpreting these iconic buildings for commercial product relevant for today’s market.
Our business is growing, our team is growing – it’s an exciting time to join the Historic Royal palaces licensing programme.
Jenny Smyth, Historic Royal Palaces
Are there any new categories HRP will be expanding into over the next few months? In terms of licensing, how is HRP making an impact in the space?
HRP will be looking for new partners at BLE, covering beauty, bath and home fragrances, garden tools and accessories, stationery, homewares, tabletop, heritage and food and drink. Discussions are underway with potential partners within these areas, but BLE is an opportunity to raise our profile and explore further opportunities within these categories. We will be making announcements in 2018 regarding new deals so the business is already set to grow further in the coming months.
The HRP licensing programme is making an impact within the licensing arena as we offer an insight and connection to British history that is unique to the market. The palaces are world famous, the monarchs that have lived in them have had an impact on global history and our programme also enables licensees to reach new markets, outside of the UK, with Asia and US in particular both interested in Britain’s rich royal history.
You are heading to BLE this year. What can guests expect to see? Why should they drop by your stand?
The design of our stand shows specific examples of how our key collections have been inspired by elements of our palaces, from our fashion collection dating back to the 16th century, the iconic architecture of our buildings to our world famous gardens. The important message we want to relay is the scope of inspiration on offer and how that can be interpreted across so many different product categories.
We will also showcase upcoming design themes and brand new artwork packs, which licensees who join our programme can use to enhance their product offering.
We also have a number of items in the Product Showcase on the Brands and Lifestyle floor. The brand new autumn collection from Hobbs will be on display, as well as the beautiful slipper chair covered in fabric from GP & J Baker, inspired by the menagerie, which was housed at the Tower of London. Finally you will be welcomed by one of our highly durable and expertly designed, palace inspired doormats.
Why are industry shows such as BLE important to the company?
These industry trade shows provide an opportunity to discover new business opportunities; the matchmaking service has been an excellent addition to the programme. The shows also enable us to meet acquaintances within the industry and to potentially exchange ideas and knowledge.
The licensing industry, especially within the heritage and Brand & Lifestyle sector, is very collaborative and it’s essential to work together to ensure that these shows attract companies, which can be beneficial to the industry as a whole.
What’s next on the horizon for the business?
New deals, new assets, potential DTR opportunities…our business is growing, our team is growing – it’s an exciting time to join the Historic Royal palaces licensing programme.
Anything you’d like to add?
Please visit our stand, L30 at BLE or contact email@example.com if you’d like to find out more about how to work with us.