LOS ANGELES — Lucky Brand is pursuing the plus-size customer with a new lifestyle brand launching this fall.
In its first attempt to design plus-size clothing, the Los Angeles-based denim company is unveiling a line of tops under the Lucky Plus brand and a new jeans fit dubbed Ginger. Priced similarly to the main line, the Ginger jeans will retail from $99 to $129, and Lucky Plus’ T-shirts, knits, woven shirts and sweaters will sell for between $49.50 and $119.
“We see there is a void in the market,” said Lucky chief executive officer David DeMattei, adding that one of Lucky’s goals is “to be a very democratic brand.”
Unlike the strategy it adopted for its higher-priced brand, Lucky Legend, which is sold only in its freestanding stores, Lucky Plus and the Ginger jeans will launch in July at wholesale accounts including Nordstrom, Macy’s, Von Maur, Lord & Taylor and Belk.
“We showed them initial sketches,” DeMattei said. “These were the ones who had strong responses to the product.”
Targeting the plus-size market could give a boost to Lucky’s parent company, New York’s Fifth & Pacific Cos. Inc. Despite higher sales from divisions such as Lucky and Kate Spade, Fifth & Pacific said revenue decreased 6.4 percent to $1.52 billion last year from a year ago, as it saw weakness in its Juicy Couture unit. In the first quarter ended March 31, the company trimmed its loss by about a third, to $60.6 million, as sales exceeded expectations despite a 4.1 decline to $317.1 million. Lucky’s revenues picked up 20.3 percent in the quarter, to $100.4 million, as its operating loss narrowed to $15.4 million from $16.2 million. Its share of corporate revenues grew to 31.7 percent from 25.2 percent in the prior-year period.
Declining to estimate sales for the plus-size business, DeMattei said the initial rollout will go to 118 doors, out of the 600 locations that carry Lucky’s women’s line. Lucky’s plus-size grouping also will get shops-in-shop in Macy’s stores such as Herald Square in New York and Fashion Valley in San Diego. Specialty stores and Lucky’s e-commerce site will begin selling the plus-size offerings for the holiday season. DeMattei said Lucky’s own stores, which totaled 178 as of March 31, excluding outlets, won’t carry the plus-size offerings due to their relatively small size, on average, of 2,400 square feet.
With Americans continuing to get larger and heavier — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than one-third of American adults are obese — plus-size apparel has developed into an increasingly competitive, complex niche market. In a survey conducted last August by London-based market research firm Mintel, 68 percent of adult women in the U.S. said they normally buy clothing sized 14 or larger. Some 38 percent said they’ve spent $100 or less on plus-size clothing in the last 12 months, while 30 percent said they’ve spent $100 to $249. Among the teenaged girls who were surveyed, 60 percent said they have shopped for plus-size clothing in the last 12 months, preferring Target, Kohl’s, J.C. Penney, Forever 21 and other stores where their peers go. Eighty-eight percent of the teens said low prices are important when shopping for clothing.
Lucky is the latest player designing plus-size fashion. Last October, The Limited launched a new division called Eloquii by The Limited that caters to full-figured women. Full Figured Fashion Week, which started four years ago, marked its latest New York edition earlier this month with a runway presentation featuring plus-size looks from designers including Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren and Elie Tahari. Meanwhile, plus-size specialty stores have consolidated, with Avenue preparing to close about one-quarter of its nearly 400 units in the wake of its bankruptcy and acquisition, and Ascena Retail Group moving to close Fashion Bug since it acquired Charming Shoppes Inc.
Lucky’s new Ginger jeans are all cut out of stretchy fabric with a midrise and contoured waist in three leg openings: skinny, straight and boot. The denim treatments range from dark indigo and cornflower blue to black and colored corduroy. While Lucky offers size 16 jeans in its stores and size 18 online, the new Ginger fit will be available in sizes 14 to 24 and Lucky Plus will be sized 1X to 3X. Melding Lucky’s denim heritage with Bohemian styling, the 75 pieces in Lucky Plus’ debut collection include crochet peasant blouses, asymmetric sweater coats, leopard-print cardigans and minimalistic jean jackets. As Lucky plans to build a plus-size lifestyle brand, the holiday collection would expand into pull-on leggings, a glitter finish and dresses.
“We want to be fashion-right,” said Patrick Wade, Lucky’s creative director. In other words, the design directive for the plus-size clothing was “give her something that’s fun to wear and give it a lot of attitude,” he said.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews