Parade is making its way into Urban Outfitters, marking the innerwear start-up’s first physical retail experience. On Wednesday, the duo is celebrating the limited-edition collection with a launch party that evening at Urban Outfitters’ New York flagship in Herald Square.
“It’s important to [Urban Outfitters] to support up-and-coming talent and that extends to both entrepreneurial spirit and to the brands in our assortment,” Laura Deady, senior managing director, buying for Urban Outfitters, told WWD. “Our customer knows us as a retailer of fresh products and looks to us to provide an element of discovery. Parade is exactly that.”
She added that “For Parade, a partnership with [Urban Outfitters] offers nationwide exposure outside the reach of their incredible community.”
In fact, Parade was founded online by Cami Téllez, who serves as the brand’s chief executive officer, just three years ago. In January, Téllez told WWD that her goal in starting the company was to build “a value brand that stands for deep values like sustainability and inclusivity.”
The messaging resonated with consumers, helping Parade amass a loyal following and increase revenues by 200 percent, year-over-year, Téllez said. The firm has also secured more than $50 million in investor funds and opened its brand’s first brick-and-mortar experience — a pop-up in New York City that will remain open through the rest of the year — last December.
The Gen Z CEO recently said, “It became critical for us to expand our consumer touchpoint beyond connecting with our community solely online. It was important for us to partner with a like-minded brand and with Urban having the same passion for art, culture, music, fashion and community over all else, we couldn’t be more excited to join them for our first retail roll out.
“To help bring in the Urban customer into the world of Parade even further, we are thrilled to bring them a collection that encapsulates our love of full spectrum bright colors, fun prints in our best-selling fabrics,” Téllez added.
The 18-piece collection includes bras and underwear in an array of prints, colors and sustainable fabrics. Four styles will be exclusive to Urban Outfitters and will be available at the Herald Square flagship on Wednesday. The full collection will be unveiled at urbanoutfitters.com, and in 25 Urban Outfitters locations across the country on Aug. 1.
“We chose our top 25 doors based on a combination of foot traffic and sales and additional factors, like which doors could accommodate the merchandising strategy and where Parade saw opportunity to tap into new markets,” Deady explained. “We really believe in Parade and are thrilled to launch them with such a robust footprint.”
She added that the partnership is limited edition for now, but Urban Outfitters is excited to “gauge the appetite of the consumer. We are definitely open to continuing our exclusive partnership.”
Revenues at the retailer — which includes the nameplate brand, the Anthropologie Group, Free People, Terrain and Bhldn, rental subscription service Nuuly and a food and beverage business under the greater company umbrella — grew in the most recent quarter. But much like the rest of the retail industry, gains were offset by rising costs throughout the supply chain, excess inventory and other inflationary pressures.
The company’s CEO Richard A. Hayne told analysts in May that the Urban Outfitters shopper “is the most sensitive to inflation. They are typically younger and earn less than their Anthropologie and Free People counterparts.”
Still, the brand has a few tailwinds working in its favor, such as the return of in-person events and consumers’ desire to dress up once again.
“We know our customer looks to us for newness and trend and we aim to partner with brands that align with shared values that are important to our customers,” Deady said. (A few selects include apparel brands like Miaou, Krost and Zepherina.)
“We want to be a one-stop-shop where [the consumer] knows they can access exclusive product that isn’t available anywhere else,” Deady explained. “We’re confident our customers will respond to the [Parade] assortment after already being familiar with our existing bestsellers, [including] our own Out From Under label.
“While [Urban Outfitters] definitely aims to support these brands in terms of sales, our buying commitment is really rooted in the [Urban Outfitters] brand identity,” she added.
The Parade x Urban Outfitters marketing campaign was shot on location in New York and features models Tess McMillan, Noah Carlos and Aaron Rose Phillip. The collection ranges in price from $9 to $36 apiece and comes in sizes XS to 3XL. It is also the first carbon-neutral underwear collection to launch at Urban Outfitters. One percent of all sales from the collection will be donated to the Transgender Law Center to help support the trans community.