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.
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)