Stance’s new intimates line for women launches at retail today.
Candy Harris, who was recently promoted to CMO of Stance, answered some questions for us about the new category.
Why is Stance expanding into intimates for women and how long have you been working on this?
Stance CMO Candy Harris: We’ve been developing intimates for over two years now. We knew it was a category we wanted to get into. There is such a missed opportunity in this space to have a more in-depth and creative conversation with women.
Even though intimates has always been an aspirational category for women overall, we felt what was being offered was a little one-dimensional.
You would walk into a department store and it was a sea of sameness - neutral colors, lace on lace on lace, and most of it not particularly comfortable. Women had the option of price point basics made from subpar materials or overly constructed boudoir bras that would set you back $100.
We wanted to make what we wanted to buy - an intimates collection that felt like you never wanted to take it off. Materials that were soft and breathable and durable, packaged in an aesthetic that felt like the world we lived in - colorful, and with just a bit of attitude.
How would you describe the aesthetic?
Candy Harris: We wanted to take what we are known for as a brand, which is beautiful prints and a passion for great storytelling, and infuse it into a category that has been a little monotonous.
Our creative inspiration was born from the worlds we play in, which is unique because we live authentically in a lot of different niches.
From streetwear to surf, skate and performance sport we have pulled a lot of inspiration from places usually reserved for a men’s brand, and have put our own twist on it for women.
Make no mistake, this is a category made for women by the women at Stance, but our unique opportunity to offer something different also came from celebrating who we are.
What types of intimates are you launching? What are the price points?
Candy Harris: We worked hard to bring innovation to the category at a price point that made it accessible to everyone. We incorporated a few favorite elements from our men’s line like the True Flex waistband and the Feather Seam, but also introduced a new fabrication using Sensil Nylon.
We are one of the first intimates brands to work with this new material, which boasts an ultra soft hand feel, and is known for its breathability, color vibrancy and durability.
Our initial launch collection is comprised of a body suit, three bralette silhouettes and three bottoms.
The bralettes include a twist front triangle, a high platform T-back, and our Tomboy, which is a staple athleisure silhouette.
Each bralette is comprised of a triple layer construction, an outer and inner layer of Sensil Nylon that incases a layer of contour mesh, constructed to give superior support.
The underwear offering includes a thong, bikini and boy brief, all utilizing the Sensil Nylon.
Price points for the underwear range between $16 and $18. Price points for the bralettes are $34 and $36, and the bodysuit is $60.
What channels of distribution is Stance targeting with the intimates line?
Candy Harris: We set out to launch this category a little differently that we have done with new products in the past.
We wanted to create a very controlled test environment and work with some of our top retailers in specialty lifestyle and fashion, as well as Nordstrom as our one national account.
You will see a beautiful set up in Surfside, HSS, Sun Diego, Jack’s, and BC Surf & Sport for example, as well as at Ron Robinson, American Rag and select Nordstrom doors.
I think the opportunity in each channel is slightly different. With specialty lifestyle there really hasn’t been a brand that has made a big impact in the women’s space like we are committed to implementing.
For most retailers, they have been dabbling in private label pieces or working with brands that have tried the category as a layering garment under apparel. The quality and innovation just haven’t been introduced broadly in this channel so women are used to buying disposable items in this category, meaning they don’t expect the quality to be that great or the construction to be that durable for the price. We are looking to change that.
With the innovation we are putting into the product like the Sensil Nylon, triple layer and contour mesh construction, True Flex waist bands and feather seams, she will notice the difference the second she picks it up.
What are some key ways the intimates offering will be marketed?
Candy Harris: We teased the launch in New York this past week with a media dinner with our Punk and Poets Aleali May and Lauren Wasser, followed by a consumer VIP launch event at our HQ store in Soho.
We’ve worked with a poet named Atticus to craft some beautiful words that we think will resonate with all women, an empowering ode to self worth, embracing the things that make us different and loving the skin you’re in. He wrote one piece in particular for Lauren, our first Punk and Poet to be featured in a video series we’re launching called A Verse of Her Own.
Lauren just celebrated a special anniversary, this month marked five years since the day she almost lost her life to Toxic Shock Syndrome. Emerging from her experience she lost her lower leg and a part of her other foot to the infection, and had to adjust to having a modeling career one day to learning how to walk the next. It’s an incredible story of perseverance and female empowerment.
These video profiles are an opportunity for us to embark on a creative conversation that tackles universal struggles we all go through, whether it be about self worth, celebrating your roots or paving your own path.
How has Stance's women's business in socks influenced the intimates line?
Candy Harris: Our women’s sock business has evolved over the past five years.
We entered into a space primarily reserved for men and carved our own voice. I remember five years ago you could pick up any fashion magazine and you would be hard pressed to find more that two images in the whole magazine that shot socks as a part of their editorial spreads. Socks were almost non-existent outside of the holiday season, so there was a big tide to turn in growing the business.
Fast forward and you have validation from media like Vogue saying, “socks are a new fashion staple” in part thanks to high profile collaborations we’ve been able to bring to market. It’s rewarding to see the impact the women’s team has made, not just in revenue contribution to the brand but in cultural impact as well.
We’ve worked with some true creative originals and brought on Punk and Poets like Rihanna, Willow Smith and Soko along with talents like Laura Enever and Nora Vasconcellos. Where else would all of these worlds be able to live under one roof?
We’ve gone from a lifestyle collection of super invisibles and crew socks to fashion sheers and premium run, train and studio performance socks.
I think the message is that we’ve managed to avoid being put in a box or slapped with a label that confines what we can become.
Stance has always had the determination to be a true dual gender brand, and has invested heavily in making sure the brand is as relevant to women as it is to men. Intimates is a big step in that direction, and the potential we see for our position in the category is limitless.