The Nineties are back. Launching onsite today, San Francisco-based fashion retailer Dolls Kill Inc. unveils a renewed 70-piece collection of the Delia’s brand, with in-store collections launching the following day with a fully immersive Delia’s-inspired fantasy, complete with a shoppable teenage bedroom set and original Delia’s models.
But the story is more than a Nineties-fashion revival — it’s one of brand revival, also told by those as recently as Juicy Couture, Champion and Guess. “Delia’s tapped into something in the Nineties,” said Christina Ferrucci to WWD, who is the buying director at Dolls Kill and leader of the redesign of Delia’s merchandise.
The Delia’s brand licensing deal with Dolls Kill was nine months in the making and an endeavor of “excitement and energy.” Allowing the Nineties ethos to live on indefinitely — the brand is available exclusively on the Dolls Kill site and in-store with recurring limited releases set for January and March — the latter being a limited Delia’s festival-ready collection.
Preserved in teen angst and nostalgia, the idyllic relaunch under the Dolls Kill brand casts out any former memory of bankruptcy, which Delia’s Inc. claimed in 2014, having liquidated all assets. It provides thought for retailers hoping to reposition themselves for a brand revival. According to Ferrucci, setting the stage for brand revival and new partnerships means having the ability to “resonate with your customer.”
Seemingly, both Delia’s and Dolls Kill have tapped into a certain “authenticity,” which romances the Gen Z and Millennial consumers. Tying together this demand for authenticity with experiential shopping events, Dolls Kill welcomes the Delia’s brand with an added layer the brand may have lacked in its outdated, one-sided catalogue order channel.
But by reimagining details such as the Delia’s asterisk and funky capitalization — Dolls Kill is able to “pay homage” to the brand while infusing their editorialized styling and signature unbothered attitude to reposition the brand for modern profitability.
When asked, there were no hesitations about a predisposed “aging out” of the Delia’s customer. Instead, Ferrucci believes there is “something in the collection for everyone” and that this may involve rekindling this spirit in some while introducing it to brand newcomers.
Not purchasing any of the deadstock merchandise from this liquidation but instead selecting favorite Delia’s pieces to inspire their newest collection — the renewed motifs include florals, cow prints and sunflowers, capturing the same attitude of the Nineties-cult brand, which mirrors the desires of the Dolls Kill customer today.
Saturday’s in-store launch will be held at the Dolls Kill Fairfax Avenue location, hosted by Bella McFadden, otherwise known as “Internet Girl” — a popular fashion influencer who grew to fame styling outfits on the mobile commerce app, Depop, and who embodies the attitude and subcultural leanings of both brands.
As for what’s next for Delia’s under Dolls Kill, the current collection will be available online as well the Los Angeles store on Fairfax Avenue and San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district location, in limited quantities with new collections coming seasonally.