Adrianna Papell wants to be more than a dress.
The company, which has seen sales mushroom from $90 million in 2009 to a projected $150 million-plus this year, is working with branding firm Graj + Gustavsen to expand into a lifestyle brand.
“We felt it was critical to learn the truth of the brand and develop the platform, filters, identity and product development strategy to make sure that additional categories stay true to Adrianna Papell,” said Adam Berkman, chief operating officer.
The company fields several brands, including Aidan Mattox bridge eveningwear and Hailey Logan junior dresses, but Berkman is focused on the better-priced Papell day and evening dress label because it contributes two-thirds of revenues. Much of its recent growth has come from the U.K., Ireland, Mexico, Germany, Spain, Australia and Canada.
He and his sister, Jayne Berkman, president and head of merchandising, introduced a small Papell sportswear collection for fall that was picked up by Dillard’s, Lord & Taylor and Von Maur. The category isn’t new to Papell’s design team, which has been creating private-label goods for the past seven years. Its dressy-casual vibe adheres to Papell’s emphasis on fit and shape and aims to take a woman from day to evening, Jaynee Berkman noted.
A shoe license is in the works and a new logo is coming up for the 33-year-old label. Plans call for selling directly to consumers via e-commerce and retail stores.
“We’ve learned through market research that the Adrianna Papell customer really believes in quality, style and fit but likes to look appropriate,” Jaynee Berkman noted. “The reason she continues to buy Papell is because we truly fit real women sized 4 to 3X in the same dress. They average 39 in age, working, fairly high income, highly educated, and they associate themselves equally across four categories — classic, updated trend, contemporary and modern.”
Eventually, the Berkmans plan to transform Aidan Mattox into a lifestyle brand as well. It’s currently carried at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and other stores.