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Conrad teamed up with a curvy influencer Loey Lane to help introduce her line to the public. Lane is a plus-size blogger and YouTube star with an audience of over 1 million people. By the looks of Lane’s following, it’s clear that her fashion sense and positive energy haven’t gone unnoticed by people online — including Conrad.
In an exclusive interview with Yahoo Style, Conrad talked about her love for Lane and how she decided that the influencer would be the face of the “Downtown Glam” collection. With a number of faux fur, suede, and metallic items, the capsule collection includes apparel, shoes, jewelry and accessories — all under $154 and available nationwide in Kohl’s stores and on Kohls.com.
Yahoo Style: What influenced you to finally expand the sizing of your brand?
Lauren Conrad: It’s been a long time coming. We’ve wanted to do plus for a while, and we’ve been asked for a while by our customers to expand to plus, so we’re very excited to be able to do it. Especially alongside runway because it’s sort of a way for us to celebrate the expansion into this category. When you have a line like this, they slowly roll out categories for you. So as soon as I was allowed to do [plus] I did. There was no reason I wasn’t doing it before aside from it just being the natural growth of a line. One of the things that I really like about partnering with Kohl’s is that this line is accessible as far as a price point, and I wanted to make sure that we expanded into the sizes as well.
What have you learned about your audience while working with Kohl’s?
LC: With each collection it’s so interesting for me to see what sells, what she gravitates towards, what she wants more of. So over the years I’ve been able to just learn a lot about my customer. And it’s always so interesting to me and it also helps me, not just with existing lines, but what we expand into. We’re able to say, “This is who’s shopping our line. What else can we offer her that fits what she wants?”
Have you had any personal experiences that might have aided in your push toward size inclusivity?
LC: Working in entertainment, people comment on your body all the time. But I’ve always worked hard to stay fit and feel good about myself, so if anyone does come and attack me, it doesn’t really affect me in that way because I feel good about the way that I take care of myself. I don’t know that feeling good about yourself and dressing in a way that you love should be limited. So I think that the more people that can enjoy your line, the better.
In the past, you banned the word “skinny” from your website. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
LC: I think body positivity is so important. My main focus on my site has always been health, so that was one of the reasons that we wanted to avoid the word skinny, because skinny should never be your goal. It should be healthy, and that looks different on everybody. I just wanted to make sure that we were really focusing on taking care of yourself and feeling good about yourself, as opposed to a number on a scale or size of clothing you’re wearing.
Loey Lane is such an amazing influencer to get involved. How did your partnership with her take place?
LC: With the release of the line, we wanted to partner with someone who can celebrate us coming out, and we looked at a lot of different plus-size bloggers and just loved Loey. We love what she represents — she’s adorable and such a positive, wonderful person. So she was a part of the shoot we did for the line. We spent the day together, and I’m really excited for her to be a part of this.
Did you pull inspiration from any other curvy influencers?
LC: I definitely did the research, but I was paying more attention to the market and seeing what was out there. For me, when I get into a new category like this, I want to make sure I’m filling the void and not just offering more of what’s already available. So that was one thing that was really important to me, to make sure that we were basically just expanding the existing line and offering current trends with these pieces to plus-size customers.
Plus-size bridal is something that is in high demand. Any interest in that?
LC: Bridal is something that would be amazing to do, but it’s really tricky to make affordable wedding dresses just because they tend to be more intricate and the fabrics are more luxe. It would have to be an opportunity that made sense where we could do a price point that was accessible, but you still want to make sure that the quality is there, especially if it’s a bridal piece that someone wears on one of the most important days of their life.
Speaking of important milestones, you just recently had your first baby. How has it been balancing life as a mom and a designer?
LC: It’s a challenge. I did a lot of work before, though. Fortunately, I knew I would be taking my version of a maternity leave, so we worked really hard to get ahead on this collection so that I could step away for a minute. Then, I think we shot it maybe two and a half weeks after I had delivered, so that was my first day away when I went to the photoshoot. I was obviously behind the camera, but there was a lot of planning that went into it. I have an amazing team and Kohl’s, so everything was pretty seamless.
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