Ali Ro is ready to expand.
This story first appeared in the November 19, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The two-year-old contemporary dress brand, owned and operated by brand president Kathleen McFeeters (who also owns the Donna Morgan label), is expanding its mix for spring to include a full range of sportswear.
“When we launched the line, we always intended for it to be a full collection, but at the time we were in a dress cycle and even the sportswear departments were flooded with dresses,” McFeeters said. “We added some separates here and there, but now this is a true full collection for spring.”
The spring lineup includes a wide variety of items, including silk blouses with rosette details, solid cotton and printed silk shorts, silk and linen jumpers, boyfriend blazers with cuffed sleeves, a range of skirts and still a large selection of dresses, from a sequin silk tank dress to a brightly printed sundress. The collection wholesales from $79 for a top to $170 for a jacket.
The Ali Ro brand is already sold in high-end specialty and department stores nationwide, including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Barneys New York. For spring, McFeeters said the expanded collection allows the company to open up even more opportunity at retail. For example, Neiman’s has committed to expanding the brand into all of its doors for spring.
“The line captures the trends, but in a truly understandable way. It offers customers a lot of options on how to put the pieces together, but not in an intimidating way,” she said. “We are also not at the high end of contemporary, but we are able to provide great quality and value, which has been great for our business.”
Annually, Ali Ro brings in about $8 million in wholesale volume. Looking ahead, McFeeters said that number should jump to at least $10 million by the end of next year.