NEW YORK — The name Leifsdottir doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, but that hasn't stopped Anthropologie from giving its newest wholesale brand the traditional Scandinavian surname, which means "daughter of Leif."
Described as the sister of Anthropologie, Leifsdottir is designed to reveal layers of complexity, with unique trims, vintage buttons, ruffles, embroidery and dressmaker tailoring. Wholesale prices will range from $60 to $250 and higher for special pieces.
The collection will bow in the fall. It reflects the sensibility of Anthropologie's design director, Johanna Uurasjarvi, a Finnish woman who oversees the retailer's in-house assortment, which up until now has been only for its own stores.
Uurasjarvi said Leifsdottir clothes are designed to "give you butterflies the first time and every time that you see them. They will be treasured pieces that you wear again and again. It's soulful, keepsake clothing that can reach a broader audience than Anthropologie."
Items in the line include a silk blouse with a turn-of-the-last-century vase print trimmed with antiqued lace, a ruffle-trimmed wool coat in an oversize, brightly colored houndstooth and a fitted cable sweater jacket with hand-painted buttons. Prints and pattern are key to the collection, but there also will be European wools and tweeds, silks and cashmere.
Anthropologie has a strong knowledge of its customer, gleaned from extensive research. She's between 30 and 45 years old, highly educated and likely to have kids. Uurasjarvi was loath to assign an age to Leifsdottir's target shopper, saying she is defined by "mind-set and lifestyle. She is a confident and optimistic woman who wants to have fun with her clothing. The refinement she uses when dressing is carried over to all aspects of her life."
Leifsdottir is planned to have 10 deliveries a year, each with about 40 styles, including knit tops, blouses, sweaters, jackets, dresses, pants, skirts and outerwear.
Anthropologie, which gives its brands time to grow and prove themselves before ramping up distribution, wants to keep Leifsdottir "small and special with around 50 wholesale doors in the first year," a spokeswoman said. Eventually, Leifsdottir could open freestanding stores. "Given our track record with Anthropologie and Free People, [Anthropologie parent Urban Outfitter's brand for twentysomething women], Leifsdottir could one day evolve into the same thing," the spokeswoman said. Anthropologie buyers will have the opportunity to buy Leifsdottir for the company's 105 stores.Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters are two of the few positive retail stories in an otherwise gloomy period. Holiday sales at Urban Outfitters rose 28 percent over the previous year across its brands. Sales at Anthropologie increased 17 percent for November and December.
Besides Leifsdottir, Urban Outfitters is launching a previously announced brand, Terrain, with stores will be a contemporary version of the local garden center.
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