NEW YORK — Kellwood’s latest line was launched, not with a mighty roar, but with the yelp of a poodle.
After a series of teaser adds, Pink Poodle finally revealed itself to retailers last month with a barking novelty card that also trumpeted “a colorful array of fine-gauge knit tops…guaranteed to make you feel pampered and pretty.”
The 45-piece line is set to hit selling floors in February, with retail prices of $48, $54 and $58.
“This line is about a mixture of business and fun,” said Susan Agnello, vice president of sales and merchandising for the Pink Poodle brand, in an interview at the firm’s 1411 Broadway showroom. Pink Poodle is part of the Kellwood New England division, which also includes David Brooks and Northern Isles, and licensed lines for Emme and Bill Burns.
Agnello said the first thing that attracts a woman in a store is color, an area in which Pink Poodle is by no means timid, with hues including mango, lime, periwinkle, black, white and, of course, pink.
After color, shoppers look for design, then price and finally, size, she said.
“Poodle is really about novelty and embellishment at a price,” noted Agnello. “It has a little bit of edge to it. It’s trendy without being intimidating.”
Spunky embellishments to the tops include beads and charms arranged to look like a necklace, grommets on sleeves or shoulder straps and embroidery.
The line is meant to be whimsical, flippant and fun, while still fitting appropriately.
Sizing is an area of particular focus for the line, given its target customer, who ranges from 40 to 60 years old. “The misses’ customer today doesn’t want to look misses’ or feel misses’, but she has a misses’ body,” said Agnello.
“This age [group] created the junior market,” she said, and it’s comfortable with apparel that has a sense of style and flair.
Kellwood said the line would bow in roughly 800 department store and specialty doors. This should drive annual volume to $50 million within three years.
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