Kohl’s pulls in a big exclusive brand

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Kohl’s pulls in a big exclusive brand

By Marianne Wilson - 04/11/2019
The Olson twins are headed to Kohl’s Corp.

The department store retailer will be the exclusive retailer of the Elizabeth and James brand, which was founded by former child stars-turned-fashion designers and entrepreneurs Mary-Kate Olson and Ashley Olson. The brand will launch in the majority of Kohl’s stores and online at the beginning of this year’s holiday season with a “trend-forward” assortment that includes apparel, handbags, accessories and beauty.

The Olson sisters, together with Kohl’s, will lead the Elizabeth and James product design. It will be managed out of Kohl's New York design office.

“Our vision for Elizabeth and James is to deliver a lifestyle brand that offers women access to premium fashion at an affordable price without sacrificing quality and fit,” said Mary-Kate Olson. “Kohl’s is the right partner to take our brand into a new era, while staying true to the high-quality, fashion-forward designs that our loyal brand enthusiasts expect from us. Leveraging Kohl’s extensive store network and digital platform will also allow us to reach a much larger audience than we have in the past and for this we are particularly excited.”

Elizabeth and James shipped its last apparel and apparel collection in fall 2018, to such stores as Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. (The Olsons, who are repeat winners of the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Fashion Awards, will continue to design their luxury collection, The Row, which is available at upscale retailers around the world.)

“With sophisticated, modern apparel and accessories, Elizabeth and James at Kohl’s will heighten what it means to make fashion accessible,” said Doug Howe, Kohl’s chief merchandising officer. “The addition of the esteemed Elizabeth and James brand and its elevated design aesthetic builds on our continued work to evolve our brand portfolio and deliver a strong pipeline of new offerings.”

In an interview with Women’s Wear Daily, Howe said the Elizabeth and James collection will have a robust marketing plan, including social media, which will be focused on the “girl boss,” and the idea of empowering women, which is something the Olsons are passionate about.

The new brand joins Kohl’s as it continues its efforts to target millennials with a brand lineup whose most recent additions include Nine West, launching this fall, and PopSugar, which launched last fall.

“This is another great example of how we are bringing newness and fashion relevancy to the millions of women who shop Kohl’s,” said Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass. “We also know that Elizabeth and James will support our efforts to drive new customers, particularly millennials, to Kohl’s.”

Elizabeth and James will continue to operate as an independent business, with the Olson twins as creative directors.

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