NEW YORK — With this fall’s launch of her sportswear label Electric Love Army, Kelly Cutrone is adding yet another moniker.
This story first appeared in the May 2, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The People’s Revolution publicist, author of two books, “America’s Next Top Model” judge and CW Seed talk show host said getting into contemporary sportswear isn’t such a reach for her. “In the fashion industry, usually, people who do what I do aren’t allowed to do everything. It’s like, ‘What are you — an author or a TV star? Are you a fashion designer or a publicist?” Cutrone said. “In the sales space, people like Opening Ceremony have created their own brands. We’ve been here for 20 years. Why wouldn’t it be healthy to apply that experience to all areas of your life?”
What she has come up with is an interchangeable line of silk bomber jackets, leather jumpsuits, tapered cargo pants, a jacket with a metal mesh back and metallic motorcycle jackets. During a preview at the Hotline showroom, Cutrone said, “I envisioned this love army of supersexy girls marching to really cool music who really want to transform themselves and the world. That is better than [them being told], ‘Oh wow, you look like some tussled Alice in Wonderland whose drugged out in a ruffled skirt, ankle boots and eyeliner coming down your face.’ That’s not really a good image for women.”
Burch Creative Capital, owned by Chris Burch, is backing the launch of the label, which will be sold in select specialty stores this fall. ELA originally was meant to launch at retail in February 2012, when Burch unveiled a string of brands, including C. Wonder and Monika Chiang.
The average retail price for ELA is $80. Muscle T-shirts with such messages as “No Girls on the Runway If They Haven’t Eaten Before,” and “I [heart] human rights,” and an eye-chart-type design that reads, “The future is female. Women will change the world.” Another T-shirt reads “Goatier” with an image of a goat by the same name that Cutrone owns at her Cold Spring, N.Y., home. “I have seven now. Lena Dunham actually wants a goat and I told her I would give her one,” Cutrone said.
“You are love baby” and other messages are imprinted on the interior of pockets to be seen while getting dressed. There are other unexpected accents such as the Lunch break: black jeans that have a full-length front-to-back zipper. Besides denim, there are wovens, leather, graphics and knitwear. Cutrone said she didn’t want to specialize in one particular item as many brands do. “The whole concept is how can you keep customers at your rack?” she said.
ELA will get some air time on an upcoming episode of “America’s Next Top Model” when one challenge will have contestants modeling the line in front of Cutrone. The reality show airs in 186 countries. A Webisode of her new talk show, “The Kelly Cutrone Project,” will focus on the making of ELA, Cutrone said. Friend Tyra Banks already has some pieces and Charlie XCX (who is on Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” track) recently pulled some white denim pieces for her own music video. Cutrone hasn’t decided what she will do for ELA’s official launch, but “it won’t be a fashion show,” she said.