NEW YORK — Halsey Meyer Schroeder wants to help the woman of a certain age who can’t find anything to wear.
This story first appeared in the August 17, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The 27-year-old Harvard Business School graduate is launching Halsbrook.com on Sept. 10. She got the idea for the site after listening to her mother talking with friends about how “they couldn’t find anything to buy online. There was a lot of contemporary, but it was too flashy and a bit too forward.”
Halsbrook will define customers by lifestyle rather than age. “There’s an aesthetic to the kind of clothes we want to sell,” Meyers Schroeder said.
“A lot of Web sites today are geared to a very young audience and the clothes follow suit,” said Rosemary Audia, Halsbrook.com’s merchant adviser and a 30-year veteran of Bloomingdale’s, adding the clothes the site wants to carry will be different. “There used to be departments in most stores called ‘better designer sportswear.’ It was stylish without being forward.”
Meyer Schroeder met Audia through her mentor, the late Marvin Traub.
Halsbrook will launch with 38 brands, including Armani Collezioni, Max Mara, Piazza Sempione, Gabriele Colangelo, Peter Som, Lyn Devon and Walter Voulaz, who designs shirts, mostly in white. There will also be Zimmerli innerwear, Kara Ross handbags, Erickson Beamon jewelry, Hania by Anya Cole hats and Begg Scotland scarves. Dresses will be priced up to $1,500 with outerwear topping out at $4,000. There will be 52 brands for resort.
Amy Zaterman, a stylist who’s worked with high-net-worth clients, is Halsbrook’s chief of merchandising.
“We buy and own the inventory,” Meyer Schroeder said of the privately held company. “We want customers to have an excellent experience so we have to control everything. We’re very committed long term. We’ll try to liquidate excess inventory through private trunk shows. Brands were happy that we’re not discounting and they liked our angle.”
“I was intrigued when I first heard about the Halsbrook.com concept,” said Max Mara chief executive officer Cristian Notari. “Max Mara’s customer profile overlaps with [Halsbrook.com’s] target, so this was an appealing opportunity to laser focus on this woman. This is a win-win situation for us as they’re not an off-price site and are holding their own inventory. We are confident that Halsbrook will properly represent Max Mara in the online space.”
“I’m [pleased] to support Halsbrook.com because we share the same demographic and philosophy of really understanding our client and how she wants to dress — in polished and effortless clothing for everyday that can last a lifetime in her wardrobe,” said Lyn Devon.