Ashley Graham in Provocative collection for Addition Elle.

TORONTO — For the last three years Canada’s plus-size leader Addition Elle has been on a mission at New York’s Fashion Week to spread its “fashion democracy” message to the world. That campaign garnered its best results ever earlier in September when the Montreal-based brand owned by Reitmans became part of New York Fashion Week’s official 2017 shows.

According to data from NYFW producer IMG, “Addition Elle was the most viewed video from Fashion Week’s web and app platforms, getting 45,000 views within 24 hours of being posted,” said Roslyn Griner, Addition Elle’s vice president of visual planning and marketing.

“Those numbers were more than triple the amount of Fashion Week’s second-most watched video, which featured Gigi Hadid on the Prabal Gurung runway,” Griner revealed.

Addition Elle also gained 20,000 new fans on Instagram during fashion week, while its live feed got 74,000 videos, which represented a 54 percent view rate.

Moreover, Miss Universe, Miss America, actresses Danielle Brooks, Gabourey Sidibe and other celebrities watched the September show from their front-row seats, while Addition Elle’s new Jordyn Woods collection gained exposure on fashion magazines’ web sites.

Addition Elle also used Ashley Graham in its Sept. 11 show to help boost the brand’s fashion democracy message.

“All this would never have happened a decade ago or even back in 2015 when we started showing in New York in smaller runway shows — like the off-Broadway of fashion week,” said Griner. “But this is a $21 billion industry in the U.S. growing at 6 percent. Women are craving plus-size that is fashionable and for department stores to fill this gap and do it justice.”

To that end, Addition Elle combined its show with the launch of its first weeklong pop-up in New York’s Flatiron District to bolster the debut of its new U.S. web site.

According to Griner, 421,000 shoppers in the New York area were targeted digitally for this U.S. launch. Using Google analytics, this localized U.S. site will be adapted to ensure faster, more reliable deliveries across America.

“Right now the U.S. web site is a mirror image of our brand. But we will adjust it to offer special, U.S.-only events and initiatives geared towards holiday promotions in this country,” said Griner.

No loyalty program is offered on Addition Elle’s web site. “That functionality is missing from both the U.S. and Canadian web sites, but we should have this ready to go in 2018,” she added.

Launching the web site in conjunction with the pop-up gave Addition Elle “feedback that was invaluable.” For example, the shoppers who visited Addition Elle’s pop-up were aged 25 to 40, a marked difference from Canada’s 45- to 46-year-old median.

These women also saw Addition Elle’s lingerie as being sexy without sexualizing women; viewed Graham as highly relatable, and wanted to see a bricks-and-mortar location sometime soon in New York to fill the gap in the market for women sized 12 and above. Addition Elle currently operates 93 locations in Canada.

In spring 2018 the company will roll out its Ashley Graham collection to 150 doors in Macy’s, even as it continues to maximize its U.S. presence online.

“We’re coming into the U.S. with a universal message of body confidence and inclusiveness,” said Grier. “And with that unexpected factor of being better than women thought — even for those who are not plus-sized.”

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