An image of Jo Davies

An interview with owner of black white denim

In Fashion by Salutions

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Black White Denim

Within seven years of opening, Jo Davies’ stand-alone Black White Denim (BWD) boutique in Wilmslow has become the northern fashion destination for contemporary designer ladies’ wear. That’s no mean feat. After all, the industry favours London and the South, and business graduate Jo, despite 16 years in national sales and marketing, had no retail experience – apart from shopping for herself! And that’s the key. She simply mirrored her personal preference for style and substance in her new business, maintaining her own uncompromising stance on excellence.

She launched BWD in September 2010. The recession was raging and internet sales were already affecting small independents. So why start up then? Well, a single first-time mum at 39, sales director Jo had settled up North with new partner, adman David. Unsurprisingly, the daily 180-mile round-trip from Bowdon to her Burton-on-Trent office made balancing motherhood with work impossible, so she quit the day job. After two years at home, and months researching ways of securing her son’s future and her own, Cheltenham-born Jo set up BWD in Wilmslow, the shopping hub of Cheshire’s Golden Triangle.
Now 49, Jo says: “By definition, fashion changes, but style remains constant. I believe less is more and that there’s no substitute for quality. BWD was a new concept. Black, white and denim are the core colours of any wardrobe. Get those right, and you’re on track, and you can accessorise them too. Over time, we’ve learnt to broaden out colour-wise. We stock over 20 UK and international designer brands and, though most items are monochrome, we take care to include coloured pieces which brighten up the store!”

Jo and E-Commerce Ops and Buying Manager Lucy, her BWD sidekick from day one, offer you an interested, non-intrusive advisory service. They have attracted a niche clientele, who many assume to be friends from way back when, but they met through the boutique.

So, just walk into BWD – you’re guaranteed to feel at home. The team fervently wants you to enjoy your experience, whether you just pop in and browse or decide to buy.

You’ll find jeans, silk shirts, printed dresses, blouses, knitwear and casual wear from J Brand, Equipment, RIXO London, John Smedley, Zoe Karssen and BWD’s own jersey basics. There are accessories and knick-knacks galore – it’s fun. Purchases can also be delivered to your door or to a Hale collection point.

Motherhood has forever changed high-flyer Jo’s values, lifestyle and career. Top-end retail fashion has enabled her to successfully combine motherhood with work and create the individualistic BWD, her “boutique unique”. But above all, Jo’s greatest pleasure lies in knowing her 11-year-old boy adores spending his leisure time by her side at the store.


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