After dating for 12 years, ModCloth and Anna Sui later this fall will take their relationship to the next level: ModCloth x Anna Sui, a capsule collection based on the designer’s and the digital native brand’s shared love of vintage-inspired prints, styling and dresses.

“Anna Sui is a longtime customer favorite, so we were thrilled to have an opportunity to collaborate,” said Nicole Haase, vice president and general merchandise manager of Walmart-owned ModCloth, said Sui is a “longtime customer favorite.”

“Anna opened her archives to the ModCloth teams, which resulted in a collection that’s versatile, comfortable, feminine and sophisticated,” she added.

“It’s always exciting to revisit my archives,” Sui said. “I particularly enjoy working on this sort of project. It’s interesting to reimagine how certain iconic looks from my past can speak to a new audience. I usually start with a very broad selection of possibilities and then edit it down to focus on what we believe our customer — in this case the ModCloth x Anna Sui [customer] — is looking for. I’m really pleased with the final collection.”

ModCloth has carried pieces from Sui’s runway collection for more than 12 years and has a following for the designer and her looks. “They’re quite expensive and come in a limited size range,” Haase said. “We pick four or five pieces that we sell throughout the season. Last year, we approached Anna with a potential opportunity. We thought about what would mean a lot to our consumer and would allow us to leverage our expertise, and decided dresses would be the best category. Dresses account for 40 percent of sales and are an iconic category for ModCloth.”

ModCloth’s fit team helped ensure excellent fit and quality for dresses, which will be available in sizes 0 to 24. The capsule isn’t Sui’s first foray into plus-sizes, but it is one of the most comprehensive. Haase said the designer’s sensibility “in a full-size range is where we felt it could be a point of difference, where our community could potentially purchase [Sui designs] in all shapes and sizes and at a more approachable price point, although not cheap.”

“We wanted an authentic collection, where Anna’s voice and our voice would come through,” Haase added. “We met with Anna and her team. We wanted to make sure the capsule fit into the overall look and feel of ModCloth during the October, November and December period. We shared what our girl would be doing and where she would be going. Her team picked out 30 to 40 items from different runway shows and capsules.”
The Anna Sui and ModCloth teams pored over silhouettes, prints and patterns, including textured patterns such as burnout velvet. “Our consumer responds to Anna’s iconic prints and patterns, the way she pulls patterns together, and the details and craftsmanship are just beyond,” Haase said.
“She’s so accommodating. She sat with us for three hours and we had an honest dialogue about whether a garment was right for our consumers,” Haase said. “Anna was open and able to make changes and new silhouettes and designs on the fly. We had 10 dresses when we left, including a Dorothy from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ silhouette. There’s lush textures in burgundies and emeralds, and beautiful shine and texture and dimension. It’s not just the way fabric feels, but the way it’s put together. A shirtdress has different prints on the bust and the collar and the hem. Most of our customers are going to want to buy two to three pieces.”

Told that Haase said there’s a possibility of continuing the partnership beyond the capsule in some form, Sui said, “It is nice to see a project evolve into something more long term, especially when you have an opportunity to reach a new audience.”

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