Eunice Cho has taken a very measured approach to her digital pants brand Aella and it’s slowly paying off.
The Los Angeles company’s founder confirmed the brand is set to open a pop-up inside Bloomingdale’s South Coast Plaza store in Costa Mesa, Calif., by mid-June. That comes on the heels of the label’s debut on the East Coast when it opened what was meant to be a temporary store in Bloomingdale’s 59th Street flagship. The New York pop-up shop was originally slotted to close after a month but is still operating on an indefinite basis, according to Cho.
“We were able to get a different set of customers,” she said of the Bloomingdale’s experience thus far. “[It’s] somebody who is shopping at Bloomingdale’s. We definitely got the customer who is already our core customer but also we were able to get some younger customers who are normally not within our core focus. So we were able to dip our toes into the more fashionable, younger customer sets.”
The company, while reaching a broader audience, has found that some of its most loyal customers are women in their 50s, who also tend to spend more than some of the company’s other shoppers.
The hope is the South Coast store will do as well as the one in New York and stay open as long as possible, the founder added.
Cho started Aella as an online brand catering to women looking for elevated basics for work, beginning with an offering of the perfect pant using its Matte Skin fabric that blocks UV-rays, while providing the comfort that comes with leggings. Ankle pants retail for $198, while belted sash culottes in the company’s Powder Skin stretch twill sell for $215.
The line has since evolved to slowly roll out and test the market with T-shirts and some outerwear. Last year the company opened a showroom and office space in downtown Los Angeles followed in December by the opening of a standalone pop-up shop in the Larchmont Village neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Even with the success so far of the Bloomingdale’s experiment, Cho is measured in how she looks at development of her company’s wholesale channel in the future.
“I think that it’s definitely a transition and [important] to balance out this whole question of wholesale and being a digital brand,” Cho said. “But I think that right now the way that we’re looking at it is we want to have a really good balance of these traditional retail partnerships as well as our controlled e-commerce environment because we found that because of the way people shop these days, which is so seamless, being able to combine those two types of distribution we would be able to service our customers a lot better and then at the same time be able to increase our reach more effectively.”