Phillip Bodenham, who owns the PR and communications agency Spring Los Angeles, hosted the first showcase for his new brand Finney last week in L.A.
Held poolside, with a burbling fountain and rosé flowing, the event epitomized the vision of resort living he’s channeling into his mood-lifting apparel line.
So far, the market is responding enthusiastically.
In the two months since he launched, the unisex vivid-hued silk boyfriend shirt and boxers, fluid pleated trousers and easy blazers, a bit reminiscent of Equipment but with more of a luxury gloss, have already been picked up by Maxfield, A’Marees, Ron Herman, The Webster and Bergdorf Goodman — and been worn by Kristen Stewart and Andrew Garfield.
“I wanted to create modern resort, not just for holiday, but something I can throw on and go to Cecconi’s for a cocktail,” Bodenham explained of the collection, priced $225 to $1445.
At the resort 2023 showcase, which doubled as a look book shoot, he debuted his first proper women’s collection, including five styles of breezy dresses named after L.A. places, including the Laguna backless caftan, and the tiered Malibu sundress.
While the silhouettes were easy, the colors packed a punch, with a drapey, lightweight silk twill trench coat in a gorgeous emerald green, and a silk tuxedo in pale coral among the standouts.
Bodenham takes a lot of inspiration from nature, and watercolor-like Hawaiian floral, red jaguar, sketched lion fish and sea dragon prints on boyfriend shirts, full trousers and minidresses had a tropical vibe. (The collection is produced in China in the same factory used by Lee Matthews, Paul Smith and Victoria Beckham.)
He also introduced cashmere cardigans and bra tops in a rich 750-gram weight, priced at half of what his competitors are charging, he said.
“It’s all been selling really well because the prices are good,” he said of the pieces, which are well-made and substantial enough to hang near Dries Van Noten and Tom Ford.
Going forward, Bodenham is out to prove he has more than one trick up his silk sleeve.
“I want to do luxury at a price,” he said of his plans to focus on natural fibers. Next up will be Belgian linen and cotton. “I want to buy less and better — I can’t stand synthetics which are micro-plastics. We are a plastics-free brand.”
In April, Bodenham closed the Spring London office to relocate to L.A. full time, and focus on growth in the U.S..
“We just signed Naeem Khan, and I also have another brand of my own in production, so I see it being half in-house and half outside brands,” he said.
Also in the works, a Finney store in L.A. with a unique model — it will be member’s only, and also feature a café. “No big brands. I’m so bored with the homogenization of fashion,” he said of what he’s looking to stock.
He plans to continue showing his pandemic pivot project off calendar and close to home. “I really believe in L.A., I think in five years it will be more powerful than New York because the geography of fashion is changing; now, it’s all content and talent.”