Saks Off 5th on Thursday launched “Le Cloud,” an inclusive-size ready-to-wear collection of wardrobe essentials for women designed by celebrity stylist and costume designer Leesa Evans in partnership with actress-comedian Amy Schumer, according to a press release.
Nearly a third (30%) of the net proceeds will be donated to Community Partners, an organization supporting the Stylefund project, which Evans and Schumer established two years ago “to empower women from all economic backgrounds, to use clothing to increase their confidence and their success.”
The collection, found online and at the 57th Street Flagship for Saks Off 5th in New York City and the Beverly Connection location in Los Angeles, features tops, pants, skirts, a jumpsuit and outerwear designed to be mixed-and-matched and in colors like navy, camel, hunter, charcoal and black that can be worn day to night, according to the release. Sizes range from XS-XXL (0-20) and prices from $38-$248.
Saks Off 5th, the off-price arm of Hudson's Bay Co.'s Saks Fifth Avenue unit, is just the latest mainstream retailer to develop an apparel line designed to fit women of all sizes.
It's a first for the company, according to a statement from Chief Merchant Tom Ott. "We feel confident about adding Le Cloud to our fashion Offering, knowing there is a desire among shoppers for more inclusive and stylish apparel," he said.
That desire has been longstanding, but several retailers are at long last responding to it. Nordstrom, Target, Macy's, Kohl's, J. Crew and Modcloth are among the many apparel retailers and mass merchants adding plus lines or expanding size ranges. That's pressuring legacy specialty businesses that have long catered to women in search of stylish clothing that fits because women prefer to find the size they need within an apparel assortment, rather than sort through those that only cater to them, according to research from Jane Hali & Associates.
Ascena Retail Group is taking the brunt of that. In its most recent quarter, store comps at its plus fashion unit, which includes Lane Bryant and Catherines, dropped 2%, just the latest of several recent declines.
The exclusive line also expands Saks Off 5th merchandising. Increasingly more off-price retailers are looking beyond their traditional sourcing options, which for years included department store leftovers and manufacturing cast-offs. Apparel developed especially for the store not only helps fill racks as department store sales fall, but also differentiates those retailers' offerings.