In keeping with our mission to expand the fashion industry and make it more inclusive of sizes 10-32, we seek out every opportunity we can to effect this change from the inside out. Close collaboration with the brands we carry is an important part of the equation. One brand that we’ve had the opportunity to work extensively with is Karen Kane. A recent visit to their NYC showroom gives us a behind the scenes glimpse at the working collaboration as our buyers Dina Abudayyeh and Kelsey Jones team up with Karen Kane’s E-Commerce Account Executive Ashly Yashchin to select new styles.
“It’s important for brands to collaborate because there are always two pieces of the design puzzle. There is the customer and what they want and then there is the design process and what’s feasible. Without collaboration, it’s possible designers could come up with something nobody wants to wear, but if they only serve the customer’s existing wants they’ll never be able to show them something they never knew they loved. Fashion is and should be a very collaborative process that pulls from a wealth of sources and creates a balance between both the design and consumer world,” Ashly explains.
(Left to right) Ashly, Dina, and Kelsey trying on a Karen Kane piece
The success of the collaboration lies not just in the conversation between brands, but in the customer’s contribution to that conversation. “We always share our team’s as well as our customer’s feedback on the collection and what is working or not working. Karen Kane is always very receptive to our feedback and open to implementing that feedback into their future collections,” says Dina.
“Karen Kane has been collaborating with Gwynnie Bee on exclusive styles as well as exclusive extended size runs that are set to launch this winter season. It has been a very exciting opportunity for us to create looks specifically designed for the Gwynnie Bee customer,” says Ashly.
Ashly, Kelsey, Dina, and Karen Kane Account Executive Sydney Holaday review member feedback from a Karen Kane product page
During our buyers’ visit to the Karen Kane showroom, they discuss our members’ reviews of Karen Kane pieces. “The reviews on the GB site provide us with invaluable feedback that we are able to pass on to our design team. The GB community lets us know when there is something about a style they love and, of course, if there is something they don’t. This helps us with the design process moving forward,” Ashly explains.
The visit is very hands on. We believe that the best way to ensure quality for our customers is to check out the styles first hand.
” We view the entire collection for the season, which is typically divided into three deliveries. Each delivery has a different color story and inspiration. We feel all the fabrics and often try on new silhouettes. We discuss how previous styles have been performing and customer reactions and feedback to the previous collection. Using all of this information, we determine the next buy and how we select styles from Karen Kane that will be added to Gwynnie Bee.”
If you have feedback on the Karen Kane collection, we want to hear it! And with an ongoing promotion that’s running, now is a great time to leave a review on the site! If you provide one Karen Kane garment review on the appropriate closet.gwynniebee.com product page between September 1 and October 31, you will unlock one coupon code for a discount valid for any purchases on karenkane.com. If you provide three reviews on three different Karen Kane items (or garments) from the Gwynnie Bee collection, you will unlock an even more generous coupon code.