TORONTO — Since its inception in 1980, Canadian retailer Addition Elle has made its sole pursuit style that is not limited by size. Now the plus-size firm is expanding on that message, embarking on a brand revamp and today revealing the appointment of Canada’s Andy Thê-Anh as its new design director.
The addition, according to Addition and Penningtons Group president Jonathon Fitzgerald, is just what the company needs as it moves forward with plans to break more industry barriers, strengthen its message of fashion inclusivity, and modernize the brand and its stores across Canada.
“Andy has a great background. He’s had his own label. He’s got experience with all aspects of retail and knows how to deliver in any market. That’s what we need as we try to become a fashion lifestyle destination,” Fitzgerald told WWD.
Indeed, after moving to Quebec at age 16, Thê-Anh began designing his own clothing at 17. He later went on to work with brands like Parasuco, Ma Divine Clémentine, Tristan & America, Irving Samuel and Raffinati. Most recently Thê-Anh worked on the Quebec-based activewear label Lolë, which retails across North America and Europe.
According to Fitzgerald, consumers can expect to feel Thê-Anh’s influence on Addition Elle by spring 2020.
Known for its clothing, lingerie, shoes, hosiery and accessories for women sizes 12 to 26, Thê–Anh is eager to signal a message of even more inclusiveness in his designs once he begins his job on June 17.
“One day, I’d love to see Addition Elle offer sizes from 0 to 20, because I want that cohesive message of inclusivity to ring true with everyone. But right now I feel that fashion for the curvy girl has been neglected for years by the industry,” Thê-Anh told WWD. “I want to change that and give women of any size or age a quality product they can love for a long time, as well as a brand, a look and an identity that is not outdated and encourages women to accept who they are.”
All this, of course, is aligned with Fitzgerald’s vision for the company.
“There’s a lot talk about inclusivity in the market. But the truth is there are limited choices out there for plus-size women. We want to give them more choice and become their ultimate fashion lifestyle destination,” said Fitzgerald.
To that end on May 25, Addition Elle will reveal its updated flagship at Montreal’s Carrefour Laval shopping center.
As part of the makeover, this “one-stop” shopping destination will carry extended sizing from brands like Levi’s, J Brand, Reebok, Champion, Pajar, Sosken, Body Glove and Girlfriend Collective.
Featuring a minimalist interior full of locally sourced artisan flavor, the new flagship serves up “a calmer, more edited feeling so that the clothes can speak for themselves,” according to Fitzgerald.
The flagship’s new “Bureau de Poste” also offers an array of personalized services such as consulting with stylists, fitting sessions, as well as its “Click & Collect” option, which allows customers to ship online purchases at no cost.
Addition Elle Live — another new store feature — also allows consumers to book space for talks, attend sessions with female entrepreneurs, or meet local artists each month.
“This new concept store is a first for us and its template for connecting with people on a local level will be rolled out to our other stores across Canada,” said Fitzgerald. “But what we’ve tried to do is give our customer a space unlike anything else she has had before.”
Finally, the brand will launch its new web site for summer. That redo will include Addition Elle’s current transactional web site in the U.S.
“The U.S. market is 15 times bigger than Canada and is a huge focus for us now,” said Fitzgerald.