Luxury apparel direct-to-consumer brand Carlisle Etcetera has named Fred Tutino as its creative director and senior vice president.
Tutino has more than 20 years experience in women’s luxury apparel, most recently as creative director at Elie Tahari for the past four years. In his new role, Tutino will be responsible for all aspects of design, merchandising and product development for the Carlisle and Etcetera brands.
The new creative director grew up in South Africa, Canada and New York. He began his career in New York after graduating from The New School’s Parsons School of Design. Clients included Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and Sandra Bullock. As creative director for Roberto Torretta, Tutino created red-carpet dresses for Princess Letizia of Spain, Penélope Cruz, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Salma Hayek.
Tutino said, “This position has great potential for reaching people.” He said his mission is to elevate the direction of the brands. “The lines right now all have a good base. All the important things are there, great product, great fit,” Tutino said, explaining that taking the contemporary brands in a different direction is more about giving them a modern update. Each lifestyle brand has about 300 stockkeeping units, and each one has new styles for each of the four seasons. Carlisle represents the higher price point in the contemporary collection. Etcetera is the slightly more casual line.
Tutino also said he’s looking to add outerwear, which isn’t represented in the collection, and possibly accessories such as handbags and footwear. He reports to Terrence Moorehead, the company’s chief executive officer.
Moorehead said Tutino “has great vision, and brings a fresh perspective and new ideas” for the brand. Adding Tutino to the team is part of the company’s move to expand its luxury positioning.
The company in January 2016 hired Caden Stobart as its chief marketing officer. Stobart was previously at French Connection, Alexandre Birman, All Saints and Gucci. Moorehead said the company in the past year under her direction has completed a re-branding for both the upscale Carlisle and the contemporary focused Etcetera, one that includes all touch points with the consumer including garment tags and shopping bags. The latest look at how an atelier should work culminated with Tutino’s hiring, the ceo said.
Moorehead said price points for Carlisle average $450, with dresses between $600 and $1,200. For Etcetera, $250 is the average, with dresses between $275 and $390. Customers have grown through word-of-mouth from the existing clientele of stylists, who work on commission either on a part-time or full-time basis. “We have a wide range of stylists that we work with. There are those who have their own private space that they show at, and some show at our showrooms around the U.S. It is all done by appointment,” Moorehead said.
Dina Wampold, a Carlisle stylist in the Madison Valley neighborhood in Seattle, began working for Banana Republic and then at the Gap division as a merchandiser before joining Carlisle. “Our customer is very diverse. Some are women in their late 20s, who buy a piece or two, to women in their 30s, who either don’t like shopping or don’t have the time. Many are stay-at-home moms. Then we have women in their 50s and 60s who are involved in charities and philanthropic work. They need to look pulled together and polished,” Wampold said. Stylists also can clue clients in on who in a nearby area might have bought a particular piece so they don’t wear the same outfit to the same event, she said.
While customers can check out what’s new at the company web site, they can’t make a purchase unless they are connected with a personal stylist. The commission rate is 25 percent. Unlike some similar business models, Carlisle doesn’t require its stylists to purchase an entire season’s collection for showing to their clientele.
House of Carlisle is a luxury apparel firm that has marketed woman’s luxury apparel for 35 years, specializing in handcrafted designs. Within Carlisle, there is the traditional core Carlisle line, Carlisle New York for sophisticated, urban high fashion and Per Se, the more casual option. Etcetera is just one line. Carlisle Etcetera LLC is owned by Royal Spirit Group.