Zooey, which Hartmarx Corp. acquired for $3 million in December, wants to be more than a high-end T-shirt brand.
With headquarters in Los Angeles and a design studio in Santa Monica, Calif., Zooey has expanded beyond its 100 percent Supima cotton Ts by launching yogawear as well as a men's line that is carried by retailers such as Barneys New York and Scoop. The new categories that launched this spring rounded out last year's initiatives to offer lightweight dresses in a jersey-Lycra blend and Supima cotton along with cropped jackets cut out of French terry and fleece. For fall, Zooey tripled the number of styles for dresses and jackets to include houndstooth jumpers and double-breasted coats with cropped sleeves and epaulets.
Alice Heller, who founded the company three years ago, set a goal of hitting $10 million in sales this year through 350 stores worldwide. The target is an increase from $6 million in revenue last year.
"We are investing in branding our business," said Heller, Zooey's president, who has more than two decades of experience in designing and marketing at Levi Strauss & Co., Bidermann Industries USA and Esprit. She pledged that "growth won't compromise quality and design. The product has grown and is growing up."
Zooey's designs also are evolving with fashion trends. As shoppers opt for dresses instead of jeans that pair easily with simple knit tops, T-shirt companies such as Zooey, Michael Stars, Mblem by Mandy Moore and C&C California, have been compelled to diversify their offerings.
"It's always good to evolve a line," said Karina Barragar, who buys jeans, T-shirts and jersey dresses for Madison, the specialty retailer that has four doors in Los Angeles. "The customer believes [Zooey] can do more than T-shirts."
Judging by the popular fits and cuts of Zooey's Ts, Barragar said she thinks shoppers will like the tunics and dresses that she ordered from the label for fall. "It just looked really nice and was clean, and that was what we go for," Barragar said.
Zooey's designer, Sandy Oh-Yang, said layering figured prominently in the fall collection, which allowed her to apply more details such as big buttons. In addition to jumpers and double-breasted jackets, she also created long turtlenecks with shirred waists and keyholes in the back, Empire-waisted hoodies and minidresses with button collars.Wholesale prices range from $24 to $38 for yoga apparel, including French terry hoodies; $65 to $90 for dresses, and $75 to $150 for jackets. Nevertheless, the T-shirts, which wholesale from $23 to $45, remain the company's fiscal foundation, constituting 40 percent of sales, Heller said.
Heller plans to further develop Zooey's woven business, which is represented by a single linen shirtdress introduced this spring. She also wants to offer sweater knits in the future.
"We're no longer just a Supima product line anymore," Heller said.
A room full of toiles at the haute couture atelier in the Dior exhibition at Les Arts Décoratifs, open in Paris since July 5. This is just one of three major exhibitions that have been timed to coincide with the house's 70th anniversary. See the rest of the exhibits, plus read WWD's look into the iconic brand's history. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)
For spring, Pamplemousse's Danica Zheng presented her signature slip dresses attached to a white T-shirt along with floral windbreakers, off-the-shoulder cotton blouses and more. For more highlights from the New York trade shows, go to WWD.com. #wwdfashion
The Green Carpet Fashion Awards closed out Milan Fashion Week yesterday. The fashion industry flocked to the event, showing its efforts to support and spread the message of sustainability. Supermodel Gisele Bündchen said "if each one of us took at least one step is this direction, there is no saying how much could be done." #wwdeye #wwdfashion #mfw (📷: Lodovico Colli di Felizzano)
Etro’s show, titled “The Tree of Life,” was a celebration of the house’s 50th anniversary. “My father founded the company in 1968, which was the year of counterculture and psychedelia. It’s really a show that celebrates that and the paisley design of India and its origin,” said Veronica Etro. #wwdfashion #mfw #ss18 (📷: @delphineachard)
For @msgm’s spring 2018 show, creative director @massimogiorgetti said “Words, sounds, colors. Synthesis and therapy of a collection,” were the inspirations behind the collection, showing today. Read the rest of Milan spring 2018 inspirations on WWD.com. #mfw #wwdfashion #ss18
For her first solo album in over 10 years, Fergie tapped Carine Roitfeld, Mert and Marcus, Giovanni Bianco and more to create a fashion-focused video approach for the record, Double Dutchess. "Giovanni really helped me get back in touch with my tomboy side, my hardside," said the singer. #wwdeye #wwdfashion ( : @slovekinpics)