A growing number of fashion designers and celebrity-backed fashion labels have been doing deals in the plus- and extended-size market in the past year and a half, many of them for the first time. One popular strategy is to partner with a subscription box marketer specializing in this segment:
- Betsy Johnson entered the plus-size market with Dia & Co., creating a capsule of five dresses featuring her signature prints and bright colors. The collection includes pieces priced under $100, in sizes 14 to 24.
- Jason Wu paired with Eloquii for his first full plus-size collection. (He had worked with Stitch Fix on previous subscription collections and with luxury retailer 11 Honoré on a few plus-size pieces.) The focus was on holiday and party wear, in sizes 14 to 28.
- Shoshanna Gruss teamed with Gwynnie Bee on C’est Nous by Shoshanna, a size-inclusive brand extension of her signature Shoshanna brand. The collection focused on casual and professional dresses.
- Karl Lagerfeld Paris created its first plus-size collection with Stitch Fix, a generalist subscription box that has recently become known for its strength in both the plus-size and extended-sizing arenas. The initial foray encompassed 15 styles; it was followed by a second collection a few months later.
- Activewear brand Day/Won, founded by plus-size model Candice Huffine, collaborated with Dia & Co., as did tennis player Venus Williams’ EleVen label. Together the two initiatives marked Dia’s entry into the activewear category.
While the frequency of collaborations between designers and plus-size subscription boxes has increased over the past 18 months, these are not the first such ventures. Dia & Co. has previously paired with Nanette Lepore, while Gwynnie Bee has worked with Rachel Antonoff and several others.
Designer and celebrity design labels’ use of subscription boxes to enter the plus-size sphere makes sense on many levels. Box marketers offer designers expertise in creating fashionable items that fit well, a combination that has historically been lacking in plus-size apparel. They give them access to a group of consumers who are actively looking for new styles and ready to purchase, and who may be new to the brand. And they serve as a mechanism to collect consumer feedback as the designers gain experience in a new category.
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