Macy’s is getting into the holiday spirit with the help of fashion influencer Brittany Xavier.
Xavier, a former marketing executive-turned-influencer who started her popular blog Thrifts and Threads five years ago, is bringing her debut fashion collection to Macy’s Inc. Created in partnership with Inspr, the holiday collection consists of 23 sku’s — dresses, tops and pants — priced from $58.90 to $129. The line will enter 11 Macy’s doors starting Nov. 28, and be sold through both Macy’s web site and insprny.com.
“I was hesitant to do my own full line right from the start because I’ve never done it before, but when this came about, it was a perfect fit for me because I’m not an expert in the production and materials, but I know what I want,” said Xavier. “It was nice to have that combo.”
“One of the things that we’re looking for is somebody who has an incredibly strong creative point of view,” said Chantel Waterbury, cofounder of Inspr. “Brittany has one of the strongest points of view. It makes it easy for us to simply tell her story.”
Inspr by Brittany Xavier takes cues from the late Seventies and Eighties. Xavier has previously worked with luxury labels such as Givenchy, YSL, Marc Jacobs and Cartier, but the Macy’s line is her first product collaboration. A second drop is slated for December and will include 12 sku’s.
Macy’s is growing its influencer model with Inspr via rotating influencers-in-residency, the first of which was Natalie Off Duty in September. The retailer has already seen success with the model, according to Lauren Wilner, Macy’s vice president of business development, fashion.
“We feel that this rotating influencer model is more exciting to the customer versus going hard and deep with one influencer and stretching that out over long periods of time with a long-term relationship,” said Wilner. “The purpose of why we’re doing these [influencer partnerships] is to drive consumer traffic in the stores and online and brand relevance around Macy’s and what Macy’s is doing from a product and brand standpoint. From that perspective, we’re superhappy. The social media impressions, the eyeballs in traffic that we’re bringing into The Market at Macy’s and to macys.com is for sure hitting our benchmarks.”
Ahead of the release of her Macy’s line, Xavier spoke to WWD about the design process. She also shared insights on her blog, which she is revamping during the holidays, and how she is using that platform in light of Facebook and Instagram’s algorithm changes.
WWD: Why did you gravitate toward the Seventies and Eighties for this collection?
Brittany Xavier: It’s a mix of Seventies and Eighties. It’s what I’m drawn to right now. I love the strong, confident woman and when I think of the Eighties and the late Seventies, I think of strong power suits. It’s an easy way to make you feel more confident when you’re feeling gross.
WWD: What was on your mood board during the design process?
B.X.: I had a lot of short dresses, tux suiting. It was all shiny, a lot of metallics. I wanted neutrals that people could feel they could mix and match and be versatile. I wanted colors that were all a part of that jewel-tone family.
WWD: What do your followers like to see from you on IG?
B.X.: I go off a lot of my DMs and the questions I get in my comments. I always get comments on my blazers. It’s sometimes hard to find a blazer that looks nice. You can find a blazer and the arms can be too short or the shoulders don’t fit right. I get a lot of questions about that and also, anytime I wear high-waisted anything, people are like, where did you get that from? People ask me a lot about the fit.
WWD: How did you grow your following?
B.X.: In the beginning, I used to follow a lot of wedding blogs. I didn’t know about any personal blogs. [My husband and I] were like, let’s show what we’re doing on the weekends as a family and show my outfits because I loved to do affordable styles that were high and low. I started submitting to Lookbook, Asos Fashion Finder, [accounts] that would link back to your site, and I would compare my numbers month after month. Bigger brands would feature me, re-gram. I got a lot of traction around that time.
WWD: Did Instagram and Facebook’s algorithm changes affect how you use your blog?
B.X.: The blog was never something we decided to walk away from or ever thought we would never post on again. I’ve always told people who didn’t have a blog, ‘You need to do something, an e-mail list.’ If something happens, I can at least contact all my followers [via e-mail]. I try to get them on my subscribe list, that way if I have an announcement or a meet-up, I can just send to my e-mail list. I don’t think Instagram’s going anywhere, but [e-mail is] a good safeguard.
WWD: How are you seeing the influencer space evolve?
B.X.: When [I started], I would do a lot of blogging tips, so a lot of my e-mail subscribers are people who also want to have a blog. I get a lot of people writing me, “I’m not making money, how should I keep doing this?” I don’t think you should start it with the hope of replacing your income from the start and making it your career from the start. There’s a lot of work that goes into it and people don’t want to hear that. You have to have a unique voice, a point of view that stands out or a personality that connects with your audience. If you’re doing it to make money from the start without being passionate about it and really loving what you’re writing about and taking photos of, you’re gonna burn out and it’s not gonna be long-term.
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