Target Corp.'s biggest apparel brand launch of 2018 is also its most democratic.The retailer during the first week of February will unveil Universal Thread, a women's denim lifestyle collection with more than 500 items, including jeans, shorts, tops, dresses, accessories, jewelry and shoes. Universal Thread embraces all sizes and body shapes and will be priced up to 10 percent lower than the existing Mossimo denim, which is being phased out. The denim component of Ava & Viv, a plus-size lifestyle collection that Target launched in 2015, will migrate to Universal Thread.Target saw a void in the market for a denim lifestyle brand that spans several product categories and delivers newness every month. Universal Thread is one of the retailer's arsenal of new brands that began rolling out last year.Last February, the retailer said it would introduce more than a dozen labels in 18 months as part of the reimagining of its apparel and home businesses. Ten brands bowed in 2017, including Goodfellow & Co., men’s wear; A New Day, women’s apparel; Project 62, home decor, and JoyLab, ath-leisure."We’ll have more brands later this year in apparel and home," a spokeswoman said. "We have more than 12. Universal Thread will be the 11th brand we've launched since we announced the broader strategy.""Universal Thread is one of our largest brands and it has a really wide reach," said Mark Tritton, Target's executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, adding that "$1 billion [in annual sales] is one of our aspirations, and I think it can hit that mark. It's the art and science of brand management and how we’re applying that to the new brands."A New Day, which launched in August, includes more than 2,000 items; however, a spokeswoman said the majority are accessories and jewelry, with apparel consisting of 700 products.Target took a risk when it decided to phase out stalwarts Merona, for women and men, and Mossimo, men’s wear. "It’s not a like-for-like replacement," Tritton said of Universal Thread. "Denim existed under Merona and Mossimo. Merona has moved out. We kept some elements of Mossimo relevant in denim until we could bring Universal Thread to life." Mossimo will be phased out over the next year.A key element of Universal Thread is its all-embracing approach to sizing and body shapes. "It's inclusivity for all women and all body types," a Target spokeswoman said. "There's a variety of different rises, pant lengths, cuts and fits, such as straight or curvy, as well as extended seams."While a percentage of A New Day extends to size 26, Target is going further with Universal Thread. "The guest response to A New Day's full sizes was tremendous," Tritton said. "One of the big differences of Universal Thread is that for the first time, 100 percent of the assortment will be offered in sizes 00-26W/XS-4X. The online guest trusts us with size. Now a lot of our stores reflect the work we did last year to display apparel on size-inclusive mannequins."Guest research was part of defining the white space. "We engaged with nearly 1,000 guests to create a brand rooted in their research," Tritton said. "We held fit clinics with 24- to 40-year-old guests and talked to guests. They tried on 240 pairs of jeans, from size 00 to 26. They voiced their opinions on the styles they loved and the fit experience."Many of the focus group members said they dreaded shopping for denim. "We're meeting the needs of existing customers and have the opportunity to attract new guests. We looked at specialty denim and quality fits. You’re going to find your reliable core jeans and update your wardrobe with new fashion pieces," Tritton said, citing a cropped pant with wrap waist and tuxedo trim.About 40 percent of the brand consists of denim, including pants and shorts in both forward styles and staples. The balance is made up of pants, tops, shorts, dresses, accessories, jewelry and shoes. Universal Thread is using the latest denim technology including shape technology, no-fade black jeans and stain-repellent white jeans.Jewelry, accessories and shoe styles for spring 2018 include backpacks, dusters and baseball caps; mules, fashion slides, sneakers and flatforms, and hoops and statement drop earrings.
"While we’re quickly developing these brands in-house, we’ve also been able to share in the learnings from the brands we’ve already launched," Tritton said, citing merchandising and creating in-store and online experiences that mirror one another. "We're changing the way we present products. A New Day and Goodfellow & Co., are being shown in their own environments. It's a 360-degree experience, whether in a store or online. The power of that has been phenomenal. Guests have really responded."
In addition to the brand-shop approach, accessories and shoes will also be sold within their own product categories.
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)