The first capsule collaboration from Rachel Zoe for the Paul Frank brand will be available at Gilt.com next month.
Gilt is launching the capsule line — mix-and-match separates — on April 19 for two weeks. Price points are between $15 and $70. The line is geared toward boys and girls between the of ages 2 and 6.
Jonathan Greller, president of Gilt, said conversations about the line happened “organically,” given that the company has worked with Zoe before to sell selections from her fashion line.
“Over 70 percent of Gilt’s core customers are under the age of 45. We have lots of Millennials who are looking for exclusive product. We also have a very large base of men, about 30 percent, who buy.…They are always looking for that newness, something that’s exclusive and first to the market,” Greller said.
With that in mind, Greller said Paul Frank was a natural for the Gilt customer, given that Paul Frank is a lifestyle brand that is fashion-focused, with a “fun and playful approach to children’s wear.” Greller kept the door open to future collaborations with Saban Brands for the line, noting that his company has had many repeat exclusives on the site with its vendor partners: “We’ll continue to repeat as much as we want as long as it’s the right product.”
In the case of the Gilt collaboration, Saban Brands worked with Zoe on designing the line, then offered Zoe’s curation for the line. Gilt merchants in turn curated the items they wanted for the two-week sale, according to Greller.
Zoe was named creative partner for the Paul Frank line in June 2016. She met the Saban team when the company invited her and her family to its Paul Frank children’s fashion show in September 2015 during New York Fashion Week. The $1 million-plus extravaganza, complete with a circus backdrop, showcased Saban’s repositioning of the brand from a character-content focus — the brand was known for Julius the monkey — to a fashion brand. Zoe has two sons who are within the age range for the Paul Frank brand.
According to Zoe: “I definitely wanted to design pieces that I could see my own boys wearing. With children’s wear, it is all about versatility, durability and comfort. I tried to create a collection that is polished, but still wearable — pieces that kids can comfortably wear all day.”
Zoe added that her inspiration for the line was the “feel and vibe of the West Coast” and that she wanted to “highlight the relaxed, effortless style of California, with breathable fabrics, a muted color palate and playful silhouettes.” The designer, who has always wanted to do a kids line, hinted of more to come, stating, “There is so much to do in the [children’s] space….Stay tuned for what’s to come.”
Jennifer Wexler, senior vice president for global brand stategy and marketing at Saban, said the “aesthetic and design point of view Rachel brings to the table — Boho California — has playful nods to Paul Frank in unexpected ways.” She said Gilt was the right place for the capsule line because the site has access to the modern mom that, both instant and convenient, connects with the Paul Frank audience. Once the sales data is analyzed, a determination will be made on what’s next for the brand, Wexler said.