Add Emily Schuman to the growing list of bloggers who are branching into fashion design. Seven years after filling her Web site, called Cupcakes and Cashmere, with peppy posts about lipstick tricks, job interviews and, of course, cupcakes, she’s launching her first fashion line this fall under license with BB Dakota.
Offering some 40 pieces, Schuman gave her readers a preview on Monday. The Los Angeles-based blogger turned to the Golden State for inspiration: L.A. for “edgy, urban” looks, San Francisco for a “preppy, polished” repertoire and Malibu for “relaxed, trendy” fare.
“We developed a line that can be mixed and matched with anything in your closet, focused on quality tailoring and materials, while hitting an affordable price point,” said Schuman, who once worked in advertising at Domino and Teen Vogue and managed media campaigns at AOL.
In the works for 18 months, the debut collection includes a black and white striped tee, lace mini skirt with scalloped edges, drape-front leather jacket with an asymmetrical hem, fisherman’s sweater that is frayed up and down the spine and shift dress that is a preppy interpretation of the Baja hoodie.
“She has a certain style — it’s pretty, preppy, classic, not too sexy,” said Gloria Brandes, chief executive officer of BB Dakota in Costa Mesa, Calif.
While BB Dakota has done one-off collaborations with Bliss Lau and the designers of Ohne Titel in the past, this is its first license. Retailing for between $80 and $450, Cupcakes and Cashmere is priced 20 percent higher than BB Dakota’s core business. With Schuman’s line, which will launch July 6, Nordstrom will hold the exclusive among major retailers and Shopbop.com will be the sole e-commerce site to offer it. BB Dakota will widen the distribution to specialty stores in the spring.
Considering that Nordstrom and Shopbop both doubled their budgets for buying the line’s fall and holiday collections, Brandes is receptive to initiating another deal with a blogger. The response from Schuman’s readers also has sparked conversation to expand the spectrum into plus sizes. After all, BB Dakota already makes plus size apparel, up to size 26, that is available at Bloomingdale’s and Gwynnie Bee.
“If you have a good product and someone has a good following,” Brandes said, “it’s a good beginning.”