Seven For All Mankind wants to reclaim the spotlight — and it’s enlisted superinfluencer Danielle Bernstein of We Wore What and Bloomingdale’s to help.
It’s a two-for-one deal for Bernstein, who codesigned a 13-piece We Wore What x Bloomingdale’s Capsule Collection that goes on sale on Oct. 16 at eight top-performing Bloomingdale’s doors and bloomingales.com. The range is comprised of five denim styles and eight loungewear pieces ranging in price from $54 to $229. The two brands, now owned by Israeli-based apparel company Delta Galil Premium Brands, were acquired from VF Corp. last year with Ella Moss for $120 million.
“They [Seven For All Mankind] wanted to re-brand themselves in a cooler, younger, more fashion-focused way,” Bernstein explained during a phone interview last week while in Lake Como on a post Paris Fashion Week trip with Revolve.
“It was such a good partnership because I grew up wearing Seven jeans. They were my go-to jeans, the low waist, the pocket, but I had lost interest. Others came out that were more fashion forward and they [Seven] got lost. They were a staple brand, but they lost their voice,” she continued, adding that she was approached by the denim brand about a year-and-a-half-ago to work together in some capacity, although at the time neither party was sure exactly what that would look like.
But once it was determined she would cocreate a line, there was a caveat.
“I said, ‘If we work together we have to create something new because that’s how I can help you guys. To create new, more on-trend denim,’” Bernstein said of the line, which will be sold exclusively at Bloomingdale’s.
The holiday capsule collection includes two styles of denim with heavy athletic influence — one has white racer stripes down the sides — and “super high-waisted” gray jeans with hook-and-eye detailing. For the Splendid pieces, which Bernstein described as “street accessible sweats and casualwear,” a white hoodie and matching pant set printed with black stars is her favorite.
It’s still to be determined if teaming with a superinfluencer will help Seven For All Mankind recapture the relevance it once had in a denim market flooded with newer players such as 3×1, Frame, Re/Done, Moussy and Mother, all catching the eyes of fashion editors, retailers, consumers and influencers at large.
But Seven wants back in on the action. And it is willing to pay up.
The denim brand is said to be paying 25-year-old Bernstein in the “high six figures” for the collaboration. Bernstein and Jenna Habayeb, chief marketing officer at Delta Galil Premium Brands, declined to comment on financials.
Today, $500,000 is considered the gold standard for blogger brand deals, with the industry said to be inching closer to another seven-figure deal. There has reportedly been only one signed to date: an exclusive beauty deal between L’Oréal and Kristina Bazan that was inked in the fall of 2015 and renewed for a second year in 2016. (Bazan couldn’t be reached for comment on whether the deal would extend through 2018.) As for the half a million dollar club — which was said to be the fee that Aimee Song, Ingrid Nilsen and Chiara Ferragni all were paid for deals with Laura Mercier, Bare Minerals and Pantene, respectively — influencer deals of this size have been largely restricted to the beauty space.
Bernstein’s partnership with Seven and Splendid signals two things: It not only shows that the rate for superinfluencers is mounting — the fee she commanded could be up to 50 percent more than those listed above — but that fashion brands are getting as aggressive as their beauty counterparts in the space.
“She’s someone we specifically picked, not only because we saw higher conversion when she wore our brands, but also because she has really high conversion with Bloomingdale’s,” Habayeb said, admitting that in the past the brand has worked with influencers who haven’t fared as well when it comes to driving sales. (She maintained that Bernstein is a proven seller for Seven and Splendid, but declined to give conversion rates.) “They might have been too halo for our brand. We like them because we thought they were aspirational…[but sometimes] you end up spending money and it doesn’t convert. You test and learn where you can before you do a giant program with someone.”
Delta Galil Premium Brands’ digital push for Seven and Splendid really ramped up about two years ago when the company started shifting a lot of dollars from print and outdoor into “robust” influencer programs. The company is now allotting 70 to 75 percent of its overall marketing spend to digital, about a 40 to 50 percent increase since 2015. Influencers and leveraging the group as content creators who help drive revenue through a number of channels is a key part of a new digital and social first approach, Habayeb said. Damsel in Dior’s Jacey Duprie and Oh Joy’s Joy Cho created product with Splendid for holiday offerings in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Habayeb declined to give sales projections for the collection with Bernstein, but is hopeful that both lines will pique the interest of her followers and thus translate to dollars.
“It’s interesting coming off what happened with Something Navy and Nordstrom. I think Danielle has such a great penetration in Bloomingdale’s, and because she designed it, it’s going to resonate really well our customers,” Habayeb said, noting that the collaboration with Bernstein was in the works long before Something Navy’s Arielle Charnas inked a deal with Nordstrom. She drew a parallel between both partnerships, crediting Charnas and Bernstein’s involvement in the design process as integral to the success of each of their collections — although the two have vastly different personal styles.
Which is why it’s unlikely the two superinfluencers’ collections will cannibalize one another. The Something Navy follower who gravitates toward Charnas’ delicate button-ups or easy sweaters may not be the same consumer buying Bernstein’s bright red, coated, skinny ankle jeans with a “super shine.”
Bernstein’s deal has a three-month exclusivity period in which Seven is the only denim brand she’s allowed to tag on social media. She said she began to tease the partnership over the course of months, which is also when she started to reintroduce Seven and Splendid back into her wardrobe so it wouldn’t seem “random” to followers when the partnership was revealed.
Bernstein isn’t limited to fashion, though. Her diverse roster of brand partners ranges from Fiji, where she just renewed a long-term deal that’s reportedly in the low six figures, to Snupps, an organization app that was said to have paid Bernstein a similar rate. She’s also worked with Volvo and Crest White Strips.