Lands’ End is getting back to basics.
The Wisconsin-based retailer has been on a roller coaster ride over the past several years, getting spun off from Sears Holdings Corp. into an independent public company and then bringing on a chief executive officer whose luxury background was an awkward fit.
But things started to stabilize in March when former Tumi ceo Jerome Griffith came on board in the top post.
And on Wednesday, the brand unveiled a new Soft Leisure collection of women’s wear, an assortment of comfortable, updated basics that are on target for the brand. The line will start hitting stores next month.
“We’re calling it the Art of Cozy,” said Chieh Tsai, vice president of women’s design. “Our customer loves casual, comfortable clothing so we wanted to give her something to help wardrobe her and be appropriate for her active lifestyle.”
The styles are multifunctional and attractively priced with most retailing for under $100. They include sweater sweatshirts for $79, terry joggers for $49 and merino-blend bouclé cowl-neck sweaters for $69. There are also several pieces made from Eco Merino, a blend of merino wool and recycled plastic bottles that is expected to appeal to today’s customer’s quest for sustainability.
Other fabrics include alpaca and cashmere and other silhouettes include leggings, layering Ts and long sweaters.
The color palette ranges from beige and washed pink to pewter heathers and powder grays.
“As lifestyles continue to evolve, so does fashion,” Tsai said. “Today women want to look stylish while being comfortable and have truly embraced a cozy, carefree approach to getting dressed every day.”
Tsai said the collection was designed to have a “timeless, ageless appeal.”
There is a complementary men’s collection, she said, designed by the company’s men’s team, that has a similar sensibility and look.
“We love telling family stories,” she said.
Tsai has been with the company for around a year, joining during the tenure of former ceo Federica Marchionni, who exited Lands’ End last September after a short 19-month stint. A veteran of Dolce & Gabbana and Ferrari, Marchionni was one of three ceos to helm the brand over the past decade.
Griffith, who joined in March, has also worked for Esprit, Tommy Hilfiger, J. Peterman and Gap over the course of his career.
Earlier this month, Lands’ End reported that in the first quarter ended April 28, its net loss widened to $7.8 million from a net loss of $5.8 million a year ago. Net revenue slipped 1.9 percent to $268.4 million from $273.5 million. Griffith said at the time that the results were in line with expectations and going forward, he expects sales to improve as the company develops “a brand-appropriate product assortment that represents the Lands’ End brand and is relevant to our customer.”