The Limited is carving out room for Eloquii in its brick-and-mortar space.
Eloquii, the large-size division launched last fall, opened a shop-in-shop in The Limited’s newly renovated 6,130-square-foot store in Troy, Mich., at the Somerset Collection earlier this month. That will be followed by five shops-in-shop in Limited stores within the Detroit market, and others in Indianapolis, Chicago, Washington, St. Louis and Baton Rouge, La., within the next two months.
“We first launched Eloquii in response to Limited’s customers asking for additional size ranges. We are once again listening to her comments in our stores, on our Facebook page and our Web site,” said Linda Heasley, chief executive officer of The Limited.
The brick-and-mortar maneuver is being taken further. “We’ve engaged a design firm to help us with a design for Eloquii stand-alone stores,” Heasley added. “We’ll test a couple of freestanding stores next year. But I wanted to test a shop-in-shop environment first,” to gauge consumer reactions to the set up.
In some stores, large sizes get buried. But that won’t be the case at The Limited, Heasley stressed. At the Somerset store, she pointed out, Eloquii is in the front, has a window, its own signage and its own hangers, and about 1,000 square feet of space. There are about 70 stockkeeping units and iPads to help customers see the rest of the Eloquii collection. “We are able to accommodate a great branded presence without taking away from The Limited,” Heasley said.
She said it was important for Eloquii to be properly presented in stores, because large-size women generally find shopping for their sizes to be a miserable experience. “When we were studying what was in the marketplace, we found the options were terrible. When it’s relegated to spots next to pots and pans, or displayed on mannequins with stupid wigs, it’s offensive. Our idea is to give her an incredible experience and make it fun for her. We’re giving her a boutique feel. It’s not crowded or cramped. It’s very tasteful. This customer is anxious to be given a great experience. Her options are not great right now.”
Heasley said prices on the large sizes are close to prices on the regular ones, perhaps $3 or $4 higher per item. The Eloquii collection, she added, breaks the stereotypes of what’s appropriate or not for larger women. “She’s been conditioned to think she can’t wear prints, horizontal stripes, skinny jeans or belts. We are telling her that’s not true. Pencil skirts are one of our bestsellers. So are skinny jeans, especially the white ones.”
Tops are priced $29 to $79; pants, $70 to $100; dresses, $80 to $190, and jackets, $98 to $170.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast