Eloquii, the plus-size women's apparel company bought by Walmart last year, on Tuesday announced the launch of a limited-edition line of lingerie and sleepwear with Italian lingerie brand Cosabella, according to a company press release.
The 16-piece collection, available in sizes XL-5X, is priced between $39.95 and $149.95. It marks the first time Casabella has offered designs up to 5X.
"Cosabella's design philosophy is rooted in quality, classic Italian craftsmanship and sophisticated details. We admire their timeless pieces that evoke confidence and individuality," Jodi Arnold, creative director at Eloquii, said in a statement.
Eloquii has had a unique trajectory, and more high profile partnerships with those in the fashion world may allow it to keep hold of a trendy, upscale reputation despite the fact that it's now owned by a big-box retailer bent on always-low prices.
The brand was born and quickly killed in 2011 by The Limited (which filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and today exists as an online-only business owned by private equity). But in 2014, it rose from the dead as a private digital brand backed by venture capital.
By the time it was acquired by Walmart last year, it had raised a total of $42.17 million in VC funding from firms such as the Female Founders Fund, Acton Capital Partners and Blue Sky Alternative Investment, according to data provided to Retail Dive by Pitchbook. That capital, as well as a combination of data and design according to CEO Mariah Chase, contributed to the growth of the brand.
One of the company's most valuable internal skills is its flexible customer feedback loop, something that Andy Dunn, senior vice president of digital consumer brands at Walmart U.S. e-Commerce, noted as a major strength at the time of the acquisition.
Now backed with more resources under Walmart's umbrella, Eloquii is arguably better positioned for more collaborations and product launches — and that could be a huge benefit to brands and retailers looking for help expanding their sizing. Last year, Eloquii partnered with Reese Witherspoon's Draper James brand and designer Jason Wu to do just that.
As more apparel giants wake up to the $21 billion market opportunity in women's plus size, brands like Eloquii and Universal Standard are teaching them the ropes through such partnerships. Universal Standard, a three-year-old digitally native brand, is on a quest to challenge the way in which all retailers and brands think about sizing, co-founders Alexandra Waldman and Polina Veksler told Retail Dive on the Conversational Commerce podcast. They've started by working with retailers like J. Crew, Nordstrom and most recently Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop lifestyle brand to help launch expanded sizing collections.