Brands Keep Tapping Influencers to Elevate Apparel Offerings

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Photo credit: LC Lauren Conrad

Fulfilling the demands of fashion-forward consumers can be challenging in today’s retail market, but many brands are turning to influencers, including designers and bloggers, as a major part of marketing efforts. From Lauren Conrad’s maternity collection at Kohl’s to Lidl’s Heidi Klum line, here’s who top brands are tapping to elevate their apparel offerings.

 Kohl’s

Since 2009, Kohl’s and Lauren Conrad have delivered affordable and stylish women’s clothing with the collection, LC Lauren Conrad.

In January, the television personality and designer revealed that she was expecting her first child, which prompted both parties to debut another apparel offering. In six months, Kohl’s and Conrad designed a maternity collection that would serve the retailer’s soon-to-be mom demographic. The LC Lauren Conrad Maternity collection made its debut in Kohl’s stores and online earlier this month.

The collection, which retails between $27 to $47 and is available from sizes XS-MAT to XXL-MAT, features garments with soft-feminine colors and prints. The collection is the latest from Kohl’s maternity push, since the retailer aims to reach more Gen Y moms moving forward.

“Kohl’s is a destination for families and we are always looking to create new products that are compelling to our customers at key life moments,” Kohl’s EVP of product development Michael Gilbert said. “When Lauren announced she was pregnant, an expansion into maternity was a clear next step for the brand–and it complements our other maternity brands, a:glow and Pip & Vine, which launched earlier this year.”

J.C. Penney

As part of its core business initiatives, J.C. Penney is revamping its women’s apparel outlook.

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Last week, the retailer announced its partnership with footwear veteran Libby Edelman, who is launching a fresh lineup of apparel, accessories and shoes for J.C. Penney’s diverse female demographic.

“As we move to revitalize our women’s business at J.C. Penney, we want to attract new customers by expanding our women’s contemporary assortment and infusing newness into our brand portfolio through unique designer partnerships,” J.C. Penney chief merchant John Tighe said. “Libby Edelman is the latest collection to showcase this new strategy as we move toward meeting customer demand for more trendy, casual fashion.”

Dubbed Libby Edelman, the brand echos the designer’s edgy-yet-feminine style aesthetic. Consumers can find a variety of fashionable and affordably-priced products, from Bohemian dresses to studded handbags. J.C. Penney is debuting a special preview collection of crossbody bags, casual footwear and summer dresses in 500 stores and on its website starting July 14, followed by a full brand launch on September 8.

“As a busy working mom, I always wanted clothes, shoes and accessories with a simple, elegant and unique feel that made putting together a great look effortless. The Libby Edelman collection is ideal for every woman who has this similar desire,” Edelman said. “While the collection simplifies everyday wardrobe choices, my hope is to give women the freedom and inspiration to combine pieces from the collection in ways that help them express new aspects of their personal style.”

Lidl

Lidl is venturing beyond grocery territory.

Following the announcement of its planned U.S. expansion, Lidl recently teamed up with fashion model and designer Heidi Klum on a new apparel collection. The line, which will feature modern and affordable garments, is set to debut later this year in Europe and North America. The retailer will also hold ‘Lidl Fashion Weeks,’ which will enable consumers to buy select fashion collections on a seasonal basis.

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“We are incredibly enthusiastic to work with Heidi Klum. She has designed a collection that truly reflects her experience as a trendsetter, and she put as much love in designing this collection as we do in all of our products,” Lidl US chief commercial officer Boudewijn Tiktak said. “At Lidl, we believe high quality fashion should be attainable for everyone and we look forward to sharing this collection with our customers later this year.”


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