BY THE NUMBERS: Just as size inclusivity has become more prominent in fashion advertising, so, too, has featuring women of all ages.
Models and influencers like Maye Musk and Grece Ghanem have helped to increase an appreciation for more seasoned professionals. And some retailers are increasingly attuned to the fact that the silver economy — the over 50 set — and seniors — 65 and over — have significant buying power. There are 750 million seniors in the world and that figure is expected to increase beyond one billion by 2030. By that time, they are expected to spend $15 trillion compared to $8.7 trillion in 2020, according to a report released by The Brookings Institute.
The latest example of reaching out to this demographic is a collaboration that brings together e-tailer In the Groove and apparel and accessories brand Astouri. Together they have created a capsule collection called “Age Boldly,” which consists of kimonos imprinted with graffiti-inspired prints.
The New York-based female-run companies support sustainable manufacturing; the kimonos are made with a dye-sublimation process and are being digitally printed on demand. The New York-made items are being manufactured in Manhattan’s Garment District with Mi Jong Lee, another female-founded operation that is “Made in NY” certified. Started in 2007, Mi Jong Lee is also recognized as a Minority/Women-Owned Business Enterprise in New York City, as well as New York state.
In the Groove’s founder Susan Feldman, Astouri’s chief executive officer Christina Liedtke and Lee were connected by designer Kay Unger, who was keen to create a collaboration that played up artistry and local production, as well as leverage better manufacturing practices. Those are priorities for all three affiliated parties, as well as for Unger and for Retailers United, where she serves on the executive board.
To promote the “Age Boldly” collaboration, women ranging in age from 40 to 60-plus were recruited to model the kimono. Their community-rooted lives include work in design, art, photography, philanthropy, law and other disciplines. Along with Feldman, Liedtke and Kay, models include former New York City mayoral candidate Maya Wiley; Hello Revel’s founder Nina Lorez Collins, and The Hao Life’s founder Danielle Chang, among others.
The campaign will be featured on In the Groove, Astouri and Kay Under’s sites. The one-size-fits-all kimono is offered in short and long versions, retailing for $275 and $375. The kimonos will be available starting Wednesday and be sold through December, provided they do not sell out prior to that.
Liedtke said: “After the last year of being in the pandemic, we wanted to bring something beautiful, bold and inspiring and exciting for women especially for the holiday season.”
Meanwhile, Unger, who also serves as chair emerita of Parsons School of Design, has another imminent artistic undertaking: Monday night she plans to donate two pieces of art by emerging artists to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.