Check out Everlane’s top fashion trends this week.
Under Andrea O’Donnell, who took over as CEO from founder Michael Prizman last year, Everlane is working to build the style’s credibility. The goal: “To beat the fashion elite,” O’Donnell said.
Already, Everlane is offering more colors on its clothes. And wedding-perfect dresses, formal dresses, and sensual styles are all set to hit their stride this spring. (That’s “intellectually sexy,” as opposed to “sexy-sexy,” O’Donnell said.) In marketing, he’s turning his attention to clothing inspiration, as well as emotion and human connection. It will soon introduce a new and clean logo, a common move for brands looking to elevate it through a relaunch. And of course, the price is increasing.
“We’re going where the luxury craft houses are going,” O’Donnell says, referring to Hermes. “We [establishing] The history of the right design-materials and we give ourselves permission to play at a higher price.
O’Donnell lists American designers Calvin Klein, Donna Karan and Claire McCardell among his inspirations. And recently, she filled the role of production director from Mathilde Mader, who worked with Kim Jones and Marnie. A 20-year retail veteran from the United Kingdom, O’Donnell was most recently at Deckers Brands, where she was credited with transforming Ugg through a slew of campaigns and brand collaborations.
As many brands implement new playbooks conceived in the era of the pandemic, 12-year-old Everlane O’Donnell is trying to strike a balance with what she calls “fashion with the planet.” Since the brand’s launch 12 years ago, introducing the concept of “radical transparency” and fueling its rise to a direct-to-consumer model, it’s fundamentally recognized that consumers can feel good about shopping — even if its ethics are under scrutiny in 2020. Now, it’s raising its fashion profile. It’s making a move, as high-fashion brands are setting goals to achieve Everlane’s level of sustainability. Timeless styles and durability remain at the core of the brand, but innovation increases in importance.
“It’s a contradiction in terms,” O’Donnell said of Everlane’s positioning in the market as it continues to sell new and fast fashion. However, by building the product and brand strategies hand-in-hand, with the newly implemented organizational structure, she is confident that the company will continue to improve and grow its values and existing customers. Along with Madder, O’Donnell hired Xu Hung, formerly of Nike and Uniqlo, who owns brand marketing, from insight to voice. Her title is creative director.
The brand’s marketing aims to promote the brand’s sustainable practices and quality materials, while systematically avoiding an “academic and boring” message, O’Donnell said. Additionally, she said, “human-centered,” “aspirational” marketing will be used to allow people with values aligned with the brand to tell Everlane’s story. Each month, Everlane is now featuring a different “discovered” influencer on its channels, allowing them to choose and style Everlane products and be photographed wearing them in their own homes. The latest Chinese-American mother and fashion influencer, Stephanie Liu Hijelmez, mentions her love of nature in her blog bio.
Everlane is introducing new logos for various product lines. The icon being considered for a collection of backpacks features the Golden Gate Bridge. Along with pointing to the company’s San Francisco headquarters, it provides a “sense of place,” O’Donnell said. She added them all. Marketing will be void of any mention of trends.
O’Donnell said that the brand’s products are getting a more distinct look, which will also benefit marketing efforts. “One of the challenges we face is the lack of timeless style,” she says, adding that the brand often “doesn’t get credit” when influencers wear black pants and cashmere sweaters. Like its previous collections, Everlane’s “Power of 10” capsule, released earlier this month, is comprised of key pieces meant to be worn again and again. But the Oxford shirt has a distinctive boxy silhouette, and the suit features refinements such as a check print and an oversized cut.
Going forward, Everlane plans to invest in sustainability-focused brand activation during historically “more fashionable times on the planet.” That includes the holiday shopping season, as well as the biennial New York Fashion Weeks. Hosting a large educational and experiential event during Earth Month is also being considered.
Recently, other brands specializing in apparel staples have brought new innovations into their fold and focused their marketing efforts on making them more attractive. As of 2020, J.Crew has enlisted the duo of Brendan Babenz, founder of streetwear brand Noah, and creative director of Olympia Guyot. A recent Instagram post featured Diane Keaton wearing the brand, driving 18,000 likes. In the year In 2020, Gap signed a 10-year and now-terminated deal with Kanye West to sell Yeezy Gap. The brand collaborated with Balenciaga this year.
For Everlane, there is a lot of room to grow. Today, the United States accounts for 95% of the business, and 80% of sales take place on e-commerce sites. O’Donnell sees opportunity in Europe, which is more growth, in terms of sustainability; It more effectively combats greenwashing, which works in favor of the brand, she said. At the same time, Everlane is exploring partnerships with retailers that share its values, avoid discounting, and open the door to new customers. Finally, O’Donnell said she wants to breathe new life into Everlane’s footwear and accessories categories. And in 2024 she will establish a men’s business.
“The healthiest products are the ones with the most variety,” she said.
The climb to the luxury level will not be quick for the brand; As O’Donnell sees it, Everlane has recently been elevated to the “good” segment of the fashion landscape, where it will remain for the next 18 months. And as she elevates and expands the brand, she plans to prioritize value and leverage customer trust in more aspects of their lives.
Being the next Gucci is far from the goal. Instead, Everlane is following the lead of America’s leading designers. O’Donnell said she and her team are “students” of the year-long “In America: A Dictionary of Fashion” exhibit that NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art hosted until earlier this month. Compared to European fashion and designers, it contributed to the focus of local brands on “functionality, utility, ease of dressing” and people, which is more motivating for Everlane Group.
On that note, for summer 2023, Everlane plans to celebrate the “icon” styles of American fashion. This includes, for example, “perfect T-shirt” and “perfect denim”. Among the inspirations for the capsule are Carolyn Jane Bessette-Kennedy, Johnny Depp and Steve McQueen.
As for Everlane Skating Sexy, O’Donnell says it will take time for the brand to get permission to go there. The new focus on clothing is a step in the right direction. O’Donnell likened the look of the brand’s modified dresses to those worn by Rene Russo in 1999’s The Thomas Crown Affair. Some feature animal prints. Ultimately, she wants to find more direct inspiration than Giorgio di Sant’Angelo, who made slinky, body-hugging styles in the ’70s. “Why can’t we do that?” she asked.
The company has money to try things. Earlier this month, Glossy’s sister site, fashion retailer Everlane, broke the news that it had raised $90 million in debt financing. He plans to use the money to open more stores – building on 10 – to produce new products. In the year In 2016, the company was valued at around $250 million. The latest financing closed on August 26.
“What we’ve been able to do so far is nothing short of a miracle,” O’Donnell said, referring to recent product changes. “Now we have to learn how to express that; that’s a new muscle for us.
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