Blue Storks launches first in-house brand called La Boucle

Blue Storks – the Belgian fashion and accessories wholesale and retail company specialising in the duty free and travel retail channel – has developed its first own-label product, described as “the ultimate belt, designed by travellers, for everybody”.

Called La Boucle, it is made for all sizes and all activities thanks to its stretchable technology with vegetable-tanned Italian leather detailing.

Smart presentation is designed to be part of the appeal of stretchable belt La Boucle.

Originally invented for golf, La Boucle can stretch up to 150 cm and can carry a weight up to 400kg. It is also claimed to be “the only belt that passes airport control” making it ideal for frequent flyers.

The belt is available in ten colours, each related to a city, and comes in personalised embossed gift packaging. The gift boxes also have certification from the Italian Vegetable Tanned Leather Consortium. The belts have a seven-year warranty and for every one bought, the brand will plant a tree as part of a tie-up with the NGO WeForest.

Each belt is built to exacting standards and has a seven-year warranty.

Funding surge

Blue Storks has raised funding for La Boucle on Kickstarter, the site for creative start-ups looking for resources to bring their ideas to life.

Blue Storks Managing Partners, Arnaud Fauvarque (left) and Frederik Westelinck, have started on another adventure with La Boucle.

Blue Storks Managing Partner Frederik Westelinck told The Moodie Davitt Report: “Since we launched the brand online just a couple of weeks ago, we have already achieved almost 300% funding. Now we are preparing the official offline launch for the end of November.”

Westelinck sees a perfect fit for the product in travel retail. He said: “This brand was built with our experience of travel retail. People don’t have time to try on belts in an airport and it’s also perfect for gifting especially with the beautiful gift box. We saw a huge gap in the market for belts which, at the end of the day, are travel essentials.”

The next stage of product development

Blue Storks is aiming to become a belt specialist via La Boucle. Westelinck explained: “We are convinced that the belt category is undervalued and that there are market opportunities to be discovered with. For example, did you know that belts account for 6% of the fashion market in the UK. Fashion brands are doing belts these days, but there is no real focus from a specialist.”

The Belgian company aims to fill that gap. It has already gone to the next stage of product development – in association with the University of Ghent – by creating La Boucle Petite for children and women. “This means we will have a perfect family concept for all ages,” said Westelinck.

Blue Storks’ expanding portfolio includes watch brands such as Cluse, Ice-Watch and Komono; JOTT down jackets; Happy Socks; and Izipizi eyewear. The company has ambitions to turn over €75 million in the travel retail channel by 2020.

Anyone wanting to back La Boucle still has until the end of November to support the project on Kickstarter.

At full stretch: Ten colours are available in the first one-size-fits-all collection.
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