The industry got its first glimpse in August of the new Stance women’s collection at Agenda trade show, and the brand has been steadily developing the line since then. The collection has been kicked into full-force with help from Designer Summer Rapp, who came on board to create the initial offering and expanded the line for holiday 2012-13. The women’s component was an answer to what many of Stance’s existing retailers were asking for, and has created a buzz in the action sports and outside fashion markets, according to Candy Harris, who is spearheading branding efforts for Stance’s women’s collection.
We caught up with Harris to hear more about the development of the new holiday collection, which is dropping at retail this week and has gals everywhere fired up to create wardrobes around their socks.
Why did Stance decide to brand out into the women’s category?
From day one retailers were asking for a women's component to the brand but the team knew they wanted to wait until they had the right resources in place to make it a success. Summer Rapp came on board to design and then all of the pieces started to fall in place with merchandising and marketing…the rest is history.
What has been your role in developing this collection?
I came on board in July once Holiday had already been designed, but as the seasons evolve you'll see a great collaborative effort between the brands marketing direction and various product stories. We have some game changing collaborations in the works and have implemented a social media strategy that will allow us to stretch our creative boundaries. All in all it is an amazing group effort and we have a ton of fun in the process.
What pieces in the collection are you most excited about, and why?
For Holiday, it's so hard to pick a favorite! The studded embellishments, dip dyed ombre, and fringe details have me drooling. I honestly find myself picking my outfit based around my socks…and finding I need to up my shoe game to be worthy!
What was the design inspiration behind this new line?
The inspiration behind the Holiday line was to bring forth the elements of what would become Stance's design philosophy and point of difference. We found our calling by breaking from convention and taking novelty apparel and swim embellishments and adapting them to the sock category. Combined with strong print stories and multiple silhouettes including anklets, everyday crew and boot socks, we've created endless options housed on one fixture.
Will you continue to build and expand on the product offering?
You will see the SKU count grow but we'll keep to the mission of cementing our point of difference via unique embellishments in addition to our novelty prints. Stance has been able to pioneer this category with dedicated passion to one simple goal, "Be the curators of originality and become synonymous with the sock category." This focused effort on one product has allowed Stance to own the market and continue to push the limits on what this category can be—and we're just getting started.
What retailers will carry this collection and what has been their reaction?
We definitely exceeded our expectations for our launch season and have had to re-order twice to meet the demand. From Surfside Sports to Kitson, we've seen the line cross over to multiple distribution channels and are feeling the love from both endemic and contemporary accounts. I think the excitement of a new product in the women's space, as well as the jolt of marketing and press surrounding the launch, will give a good energy boost to our Industry in our collective effort to grow the women's business overall.