The supermodel joins Victoria Beckham in launching a fashion collaboration that targets consumers in ‘flyover country’
Karlie Kloss is going back to her roots.
The former Victoria’s Secret angel is a globetrotter these days, with her Instagram account documenting her recent jaunts to various fashion weeks and exotic locales like St. Barth’s. But today, Kloss will be back in her hometown of St. Louis, MO. Her purpose: to launch a limited edition fashion collection with clothing brand Express at a runway show.
While Kloss has been an Express brand ambassador for several years and even fronted a denim campaign for the Columbus, OH-headquartered brand, this is her first fashion collection. It goes on sale on Friday and includes 17 different pieces, ranging from a blazer to a summer dress and even a tank top with the slogan “Like A Kloss.” Prices range from $25 to $168.
“The collection was inspired by the girls I grew up with, who are still my closest friends,” Kloss told Women’s Wear Daily. “St. Louis is such a source of inspiration for why I wanted to do this. All of my friends from home and my sisters are the Express girl.”
“Kloss is very on brand for Express [and] doesn’t really push the boundaries but gives their customer more of what they already know and like,” says Sara DiMedio, a stylist who has dressed Jennifer Connelly and Julianne Moore. “This collection seems to play to all sides of a woman’s self, regardless of geography.”
While celebrities and pop stars have collaborated with fast fashion lines like H&M and Topshop, it’s recent tie-ups with less glamorous retailers like Target that have been in the spotlight. One of the more highly anticipated partnerships this year is Victoria Beckham’s work with Target, which will drop April 9. “Project Runway” winner Ashley Nell Tipton’s plus-sized collection for JC Penney last year also drew plaudits.
Indeed, the history of high fashion-department store collaboration begins with Halston’s licensing deal with Penney in the 1980s, which reportedly was worth $1 billion.
Kloss and Beckham’s collections come at an interesting time. Following last year’s presidential election, much punditry has focused on how cultural elites have ignored so-called “flyover country.” But Middle America is good for fashion. According to a study by Bundle.com that analyzed U.S. Census data, denizens of less glamorous cities actually spend the most per capita on clothing monthly. Residents of Arlington, VA, Nashville, TN and Scottsdale, AZ were respectively second, third and fourth on that list.
That said, mass retailers will be hoping that everyone buys in. “Just because a girl doesn’t live in a city doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a lifestyle that involves putting together sexy and forward looks,” said DiMedio.
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