Kent Woman has perhaps reached an inflection point in the young Los Angeles intimates brand’s life.
The independent line, founded by Stacy Anderson, makes and sells undergarments made from organic silk that are sold in about 10 boutiques such as Mothers & Daughters in New Jersey; Alder & Co. in Portland, Ore.; Wren in Canada; online marketplace Garmentory, and e-boutique The Dreslyn. New pop-ups as part of a curated assortment in Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann running through Feb. 4 and a planned pop-in at five stores and the online site of Hudson’s Bay Co. in Canada are helping push the sustainable brand known for its minimalist chic design into new markets.
Kent, whose best-selling item is a triangle soft bra retailing for $135, is also set to launch its online site this month and this week participates in Salon International de la Lingerie’s Exposed section of emerging brands.
“This year we’re hoping to experiment with a lot of different retail experiences that offer our customers an experience rather than just purchasing one of our items,” Anderson said, pointing to a past panel discussion the brand participated in at Soho House in Toronto as an example.
The company is in talks with Soho House New York to bring a similar program there, with plans to also offer something experiential to the Los Angeles market ahead of Valentine’s Day.
Anderson, who declined to say what the company is doing in annual revenue, said the business has grown roughly 10 times between the November 2016 launch of its first collection to the second collection now in stores. More mindful customers — whether on the environmental front or personal care — are helping drive the company’s business, Kent said.
“Obviously, the consumer is a lot more educated and has a lot more expectations for brands to be sustainable, whether that’s social or environmental commitments,” she said. “So a lot of our retailers are interested in telling that story of us because we are the only lingerie brand using certified organic silk and that goes also with the personal health and wellness trend where people are looking to introduce or gain a healthier lifestyle all the way around from what they eat to what they practice to what they wear.”
Kent was recently admitted into the Fashion Institute of Technology Design Entrepreneurs program’s 2018 class. The course, likened to an accelerated MBA program, runs through June when students will participate in a pitch competition. This coincides well, Anderson said, with Kent’s existing plan of raising a seed round of funding later this year. The company has so far been self funded.