When 11 Honoré launched in May 2017, the tag line was “The runway, edited. Sizes 10-20.” That’s since changed to “The new runway.”
“We have been so successful at disrupting the conversation that we are the leaders in the luxury-plus category and we are establishing what the new runway looks like. And while doing that, we are creating the next generation of inclusive fashion,” said founder and chief executive officer Patrick Herning.
Seventy percent of the U.S.’s female population is size 14 or higher, which represents a $20 billion opportunity. And while companies from Eloquii to Dia & Co. to Universal Standard are serving them, no one was offering elevated product in those sizes.
“True disruption comes from creating a market. When you create the product, you are creating a market,” said Herning. “When I was launching, I was constantly told this customer is not interested in luxury fashion and not wanting to spend on luxury fashion. But a majority of plus women say that if they had the options, they would be spending more.”
Thanks to investors such as Forerunner Ventures and Greycroft Partners, who believed that by doing the right thing, the customer would come, 11 Honoré raised the necessary capital to create the inventory.
Its number-one-selling size is a U.S. 20, so 11 Honoré is pushing its 80-plus brands to go beyond size 20.
While expanding in size, the company is trying to expand in price point, while maintaining a thoughtful edit. With an average order value that’s higher than several other luxury sites, 11 Honoré has found that that triples when they meet their customers in real life.
Pop-up events in cities like Chicago, Dallas and San Francisco have taught them that “there is nothing you can do in terms of that impact online.”
Where retailers had been apprehensive about stocking larger sizes, 11 Honoré is witnessing the industry playing catch-up.
Its partnership with Ketic allows them to deliver pattern-making services to brands to create extended sizing with guidelines that allow for a consistent fit.
They then invest significantly in product and editorial shoots at least twice a month to show the design community how beautiful these garments look.
With its storytelling platform Page 11, the aim is to create a community around the market, even for women who don’t buy the clothes.
“We are starting to push investing in yourself, in clothes that can be with you for some time. If that’s a customer we only have once a year, or someone who shops monthly, by being inclusive in our tone and narrative, we want her to feel welcome,” he said.