Founded in 1979, Phase Eight’s name comes from a combination of founder Patsy Seddon’s maiden name, P. Hayes, and the address of the first boutique. Phase Eight sells upmarket women’s occasionwear, bridalwear and accessories, all designed in house. It also introduced a plus-size range in 2015 named Studio 8. Since 2015, it has been owned by South African retail giant The Foschini Group, which also owns Hobbs and Whistles. Funding from the group has driven Phase Eight’s international expansion, which is a high priority. The retailer trades through more than 350 stores and concessions in the UK and Ireland, as well as more than 200 stores across the globe, including Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Australia and UAE. It delivers to around 50 countries globally, but only operates one dedicated website. It also trades through third-party agreements with retailers such as Next, Zalando and Amazon. From 2018, it has partnered with TV shopping retailer QVC.