LONDON — The social-selling fashion and accessories brand Stella & Dot is set to launch its clothing range in the U.S. and the U.K. in August.The range will include items such as tunics and caftans alongside accessories. Tops start at $39 while a short-sleeve tunic is $79. Apparel is a new category for chief executive officer Jessica Herrin, who said she’s treading carefully — and taking an unconventional route."We are very unshackled from the traditional retail approach where you buy a collection for a season. It's a see-now-buy-now moment, so we created a very nimble design and supply chain process and really respond to the customers.”She said the company has been drawing on its accessories experience in several different European markets over the past five years. “We have a lot of insight into what's different in the U.S. versus the U.K. or in Germany or France. Our bestsellers in one country are bestsellers in another."Launched in 2007 by Herrin, Stella & Dot is sold online through a network of 30,000 global stylists who earn commissions by selling products in their homes and on their social media networks.The company made its fortune selling fashion jewelry. Last year it launched apparel in the U.S. with a collection of embroidered and crocheted tunics and sarong skirts. It has since introduced sunglasses and fine jewelry in its bid to become a lifestyle brand.Of the apparel launch, Herrin said it was customer-led."We focused on few things that are really core to who we are. So many of our stylists — being digital stylists — share through social media and Instagram. They are naturally sharing a look. Our customer is time-starved, has a full-time job and she's got kids at home, so we've really responded from that perspective. We’re taking a killer design and combining it with really personal service."RELATED STORY: Stella & Dot Makes Foray Into Apparel >>The brand has also been focusing on digital initiatives with plans to launch an app next year. Herrin said the company has a 90-person tech team working on the social-selling platform."When people shop today they want instant-edited, personalized choice influenced by social media. We are providing sales tools to our field that allow them to create and share looks on social. And they are also prompting with who, when and what to share. It's better for the customer because what we share is informed based on when the customer last shopped or what they last shopped."
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