NEW YORK — Smaller niches are often addressed by smaller players, even when the target customer is anything but diminutive.
Witness Tall Couture, a Katonah, N.Y.-based company launched and operated by two sisters, each just about 6 feet tall. The duo sells fashionable apparel through their Web site, Tallcouture.com, to women who may run into trouble putting together fashionable wardrobes in tall sizes.
Jennifer Caputo, Tall Couture’s chief executive officer, and her sister, Rebecca, who holds the title of chief style guru, launched their site in May after a lifetime of trying to fit into styles constructed for women not quite as tall.
“We get so many people who are just so excited that we’re doing this,” Jennifer said.
Mirroring the sisters’ urban-chic sensibility, the site’s offerings include accessories, sportswear and dresses. Prices for apparel range from $38 for knit tops to $178 for sateen pants.
While the site is a good venue for tall women with a more fashionable bent, the business is also a good match for the sisters.
“We have very complementary skills,” Jennifer said. “I have the business background and Rebecca is great on the creative end.”
Tall Couture hunts out vendors who don’t usually offer tall sizes and gets them to make up small batches of their styles. Rebecca, who does double duty as the firm’s fit model, tries on samples and adjusts the specs to look right on a taller woman. The goal is to make the fashion look as it would on someone 5 feet, 6 inches tall.
“Getting it to fit properly was our main goal,” Rebecca said.
While it has been difficult to find vendors who meet the chief style guru’s exacting standards and are willing to make talls in small quantities, the company has lined up several suppliers, including Jessie Della Femina, Comf, Blue Tattoo, Rouge Soixant-trois and Hobo International. Jonden, one of the site’s first suppliers, already offered some talls.
“Some people just add a few inches and call it tall,” said Beth Krupa, co-owner of Comf. “They went through great pains to adjust the patterns and really sculpt for the tall figure,” she added of Tall Couture.This fall, new vendors include Nelli, Identify, Fray, Zola and Derek Green. Some shoes and suits will be added to the site for the fall and will help extend the line to about 50 pieces.
“Next to finding the actual inventory, the hardest thing to do was to acquire the target demographic,” Rebecca noted. “If there was a Tallville, U.S.A., we’d be there.”
Since no such place exists, the Internet is an ideal venue for the endeavor. Traffic is directed to the site through online advertising and direct mailings.
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