NEW YORK — Olivia Pope may be wearing items from The Limited’s “Scandal” collection on the TV show, but Kerry Washington, who plays Pope, arrived Monday at an event hosted by The Limited dressed in a blue-and-white Giles number.
The event, which was held at the AIC building, promoted the retailer’s “Scandal” collection inspired by the Shonda Rhimes drama airing Thursday nights on ABC.
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“It was thrilling for me,” Washington said of the design process she shared with “Scandal” costume designer Lyn Paolo. “I’ve fallen in love with design, from picking buttons and zippers to choosing fabrics. It would be fun to design something on my own. I’ve been bitten by the design bug.”
“It’s a little piece of Hollywood,” said Elliot Staples, The Limited’s head of design. “We have fall and holiday and we’re working on spring. After that, we’ll see. Anything is possible. We feel the opportunity is there.
“The scale of this is so much more ambitious” than anything The Limited has done before, Staples said. “The fans of ‘Scandal’ are so diehard, that’s what’s made this so exciting. We hope it sells out tomorrow [Tuesday]. There’s a fine line between too much, too little or not enough merchandise. If it sells out, it creates mystique.”
Paolo said the collection could, for example, “go into swim. If the appetite is there, we’re open to many things.” Paolo said that, thanks to The Limited’s sourcing, she “didn’t have to compromise. I was worried going into this. I don’t come from a corporate world.”
Diane Ellis, chief executive officer and president of The Limited, said, “We are very much client-driven. People are so excited to have a piece of Olivia. We did consumer research and our clients are sophisticated professionals looking for high-quality elegance. There’s a little void in the market that used to be the bridge space.”
Looks include a plaid cape coat, beige faux-wrap dress, white cropped pants with a cropped double-breasted jacket and a white sleeveless dress with black lace detail. Prices range from $49 to $248.
“We’ll see what resonates with our customers,” Ellis said. “We may take [the collection] to additional categories.”