Eloquii, the Walmart Inc.-owned, trend-driven retailer for women sizes 14 and above, has a history of collaborating with other like-minded brands, including Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James, Jason Wu and Cosabella. The latest partnership, which capitalizes on Eloquii’s design and fit expertise, launches today — The Weekender by Refinery29 x Eloquii, a plus-size collection of casual styles.
The 27 items that comprise the line, including jackets, dresses, T-shirts, blouses, denim, skirts, and two layering pieces, work together to create 23 complete outfits. The collection is available at Eloquii.com and Eloquii stores, as well as Nordstrom.com, Stitch Fix, Gwynnie Bee and Refinery29.com.
“This is new for Eloquii,” said Yesenia Torres, the brand’s design director. “The aesthetics of this collection are very different for Eloquii. We’re known as a dress brand and this feels very fashion and casual.”
Eloquii decided to produce a crowd-sourced collection, leaning into Refinery29‘s Mad Chatters, a group of over 10,000 insider community members.
The two brands conducted a survey of women sizes 12-plus, asking them about perceived voids in the market and areas in which their needs weren’t being served. Eloquii and Refinery29 narrowed down the field to 29 ambassadors and conducted video sessions with them.
All of the respondents agreed that there are plenty of fashion labels that offer work wear and special occasion styles in plus sizes. “What they were having a hard time with was getting dressed for the weekend,” Torres said. “The brand ambassadors couldn’t find the right balance. They said, ‘There’s never something for Saturday and Sunday.'”
The 29 ambassadors, who came to be known as The Weekenders, were included in the complete design process, and provided input on every stage of creation, from concept through final looks selection. After the samples were created, they narrowed the field down to five women to be shot for the look book and ad campaign.
Laura Delarato, senior creative at Refinery29. said it was important for The Weekender collection to be affordable, because “plus-size women don’t get to participate in trends at these prices.” The Weekender prices range from $49.99 to $129.99.