Plus-size label Almé trials pop-up presence in Paris, targets multibrand stores in France, USA
Almé is setting out to meet its customers in person. The French plus-size womenswear label has a unique positioning on the fashion landscape, as the equivalent of accessible luxury labels for sizes until 50 (Europe)/22 (UK)/18 (US). It was launched last September by Emmanuelle Szerer, and the next stage in its development will be the opening of a pop-up area within Parisian concept store L'Exception from 15th June.
A week-long stay, for Almé to trial out a presence in brick-and-mortar retail, and also to launch the first capsule collection designed in collaboration with one of its brand ambassadors, model Clémentine Desseaux. A collaboration which the label plans to feature for the next autumn/winter season too. The capsule collection will also be available on Almé's website, the only retail outlet the brand had until now.
"Initially, I was thinking of a business model featuring e-tail only, said Emmanuelle Szerer. But I realise that direct customer feed-back will be a plus, and the pop-up store's ability to host events will be a way for us to gain visibility," she added. Szerer has also decided to embrace the wholesale channel, seeing the demand coming from multibrand stores. "We already made a foray into some stores, but we are working on a fully fledged wholesale strategy for the Spring/Summer 2018 season," she said.
After a first career in finance, Emmanuelle Szerer hit on the idea of launching a highly directional label inspired by what she calls 'Parisian chic' when, after two pregnancies, she found it hard to renew her own wardrobe. With a view to launching Almé, she first came to grips with the industry working for her family's apparel company Norprotex, owner of the Longboard and Ruckfield labels. She launched Almé in 2016 as a wholly independent company, while she remains busy working at Norprotex's design office too.
Emmanuelle Szerer, using what she herself calls a "start-up" approach, is planning to turn Almé into the equivalent of Sézane or Claudie Pierlot for "all women". And Almé's style may even be ready to travel across the Atlantic, since contacts with potential US distributors have already been established.
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