Gal meets fashion line.
Julia Engel, creator of the popular style blog Gal Meets Glam, is ready for her fashion debut. Today the super-influencer revealed the launch of her first fashion collection, aptly named after her blog, which will be sold at Nordstrom starting April 20.
Engel, who started her blog in 2011, first conceived of a fashion line four years ago. “I look back on the mood boards, inspiration and ideas I had, and I’ve stayed with them throughout the past four years,” she said. “I saw a huge gap in the market for dresses that were both feminine and classic, but also available at an approachable price point.”
The Gal Meets Glam Collection features a size-inclusive range of dresses — sizes 00 to 20 — manufactured by Maggy London. The limited-run collections will roll out on a monthly basis with 20 to 25 new styles each time.
The line will be available for purchase exclusively in 40 Nordstrom stores and on nordstrom.com, as well as on the Gal Meets Glam web site.
“We know our customers love Julia and are excited to see the Gal Meets Glam collection come to life in our stores and online,” said Tricia Smith, executive vice president and general merchandise manager of women’s apparel for Nordstrom. “It’s collaborations like this that allow us to continually bring newness to our customers and give them a sense of discovery.”
Priced at under $200 each, the dress designs are inspired by Engel’s love for vintage fashion, specifically silhouettes from the Forties and Fifties. She was also influenced by the year-round mild weather of Charleston, S.C., where she’s based.
“I personally love styles that are fitted at the waist and I love a full skirt — lots of skirt — so you’ll constantly see that throughout the collection,” she said. As she’d like to see women “wear more dresses daily,” most of her designs — “about 70 percent” — are day dresses made in cottons, linens and crepes in time for spring weather. For evening designs, she went with jacquard and embroidered organza fabrics.
According to ShopStyle, Gal Meets Glam drove $6.5 million of sales to retailers in 2017. Of those sales, $1.8 million were in the dress category, which was ShopStyle’s second-highest category in terms of influencer sales driven to retailers in 2017.
Engel added that her goal was to create pieces that would outlive fast-fashion trends. “When designing a piece, I think about if our customer will still want to wear it five years from now,” she said. “You won’t find any trendy details, but you will find thoughtful elements that are true to my personal style like bows, ruffles, pockets and covered buttons.”
The social media maven was also careful to consider her 1.1 million followers on Instagram, who she said identify with her “love of all things feminine.”
“Gal Meets Glam has always been about positivity and inclusiveness. I want women to look and feel incredible,” she said. “We wanted as many people as possible to be able to shop from our line so size inclusivity was something that was extremely important to us.”
Engel’s exclusive relationship with Nordstrom ends in January 2019. At that point, she’ll be able to distribute wholesale — and plans to do so widely.
Asked whether she sees herself expanding beyond dresses in the future, Engel said the possibility is there, but she’s solely focused on dresses for the time being.
“I think it’s important that it remains my focus right now and that we are able to connect, identify and meet our customers needs before we expand,” she said. “We believe that the collection is the future of Gal Meets Glam. Our plan is to build a brand that women can rely on for feminine, classic style.”
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