Behind the Scenes with Wendy Williams

 

Working Board of Separates and Casual Wear to Discuss with Wendy

As we all know and Wendy is very willing to talk about—she is a very tall woman with a very large bust. She is like many women—a different size on top than on the bottom. She has many fit issues with off-the-rack clothing and she can relate to women’s frustrations when buying clothing.

In order to appeal to every woman, not only does she want her line of clothing to be stylish, she wants her clothing to have high stretch built into it, extra buttons/buttonholes to keep blouses from gaping at the chest, clothing that is versatile/adjustable for different heights.

We were able to fine tune the things that she loves like wrap dresses, pencil skirts, button down shirts, an easy cardigan. Wendy’s point of view is that she wants to make sure any size and height woman could wear her clothing line. I love that she is “every woman’s friend” when it comes to fashion.

Once we nailed down her day wear, we also had to discuss “weekend wear” with her. To me, this was the most interesting part of the development process as none of us get to see what Wendy wears when she wants to unwind and run some errands. And no matter how much I “googled” for images of Wendy in casual wear, it was not something that popped up to get any inspirational ideas. This was the most fun part of the development to really “create” this part of her look. We would really be able to show her new ideas and concepts for casual wear. Wendy was thoroughly excited by this also.

She wanted to see fun and stylish weekend pieces that she could run around town in her Ked’s but then also throw on a pair of heels or wedges and look stylish enough to go out with friends. I was actually excited that many of our development meetings with Wendy to discuss the line happened after she was done with her early taping sessions and we would get to see her in leggings and zip up casual jackets. It was an organic and natural process to work with her after her busy mornings when she could be a bit relaxed and share her casual side with us.

The Line Develops and Wendy’s Business Sense Is Key

Designing Fun Fashion but Maximizing on Volume

Now that we had Wendy’s feedback on what she wanted to see on her line of clothing, it was our design team’s job to get to work and start putting together a line that we would then have to vet through Wendy again to get a final approval on. Because we spent so much time with her up front discussing what she wanted to see vs. the things that she didn’t like, most of the pieces that we created were given the thumbs up for approval from Wendy.

She still had a few comments, tweaks, and add-ins, but she was a professional in deciding what needed to be changed. Because she is such a savvy businesswoman, she also understands that fashion has to be “volume” and be understandable to many consumers. We still had some wow pieces to spice it up but we wanted to capture the everyday woman’s attention.

We had methodically created the line based on a production time frame of meeting an April delivery so once we got the final approval from Wendy, we quickly made a date with the HSN team to show them the final Wendy line. They were so excited upon our presentation that they actually pressed us to move the production date up to meet an on-air show date of March.

HSN is all about moving a high volume of product at a quick pace. They run ladies sizing from XS to 3X so they want their clothing to be flattering to a wide range of sizes. They determine their success of sale by “sales per minute”. Their goal in the fashion category is to find key items that they can go back into on a regular basis. With Wendy, they want to get her on their show approximately every 2 to 3 months to promote her clothing line. In this way, they can go back and re-order successful items in new colors or new prints and keep the momentum of items that their customers love and respond well to.

This helps to gain loyal followers who know they can trust HSN for their continuity. And because with on-line purchases, there is always a higher than usual return rate for merchandise (as opposed to purchasing from a brick and mortar store), Wendy’s key talking points of features on her garments such as high stretch and adjustability are excellent features for helping to keep customers happy with their purchases. These are details that will allow multiple sizes of customers fit into these pieces of clothing. Customers will feel confident about fit and quality.

Promoting the Brand

Wendy has been an incredible woman to work with. She is smart, professional and courteous. She has a great sense of fashion and is not one of those women who falls victim to short lived fashion trends. She loves classic silhouettes and is known to go back and pull old styles that she loves from years ago to wear again on her show. She is extremely excited about her new clothing line and you can feel it when you speak to her.

She has been doing a great job of building hype for her line from wearing some of her clothing on her show, to commiting to engagements to promote the product, and creating some sneak video footage that HSN will be sharing shortly. The Wendy Williams show website is a perfect tool to generate more buzz as well. Don’t be surprised if you see more about Wendy Williams in the news! There are lots of channels of growth for her brand in the works right now!

I’m looking forward to being at her HSN taping on March 28th to cheer her on! We are already on to her May and July deliveries of clothing which are complete and in the final stages of approvals and production. We are just now getting ready to present our October (holiday) vision to her! Just wait for it—it’s going to be amazing!

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Tina Trevino
Tina Trevino
Tina Trevino, Partner & Director of Community Relations for Latin Biz Today is President & CEO of Tocaya Design under which she does design consulting for major apparel companies as well as designs, manufactures and markets her women’s lifestyle brand, Tocaya. With 25 years of industry experience most recently as Design Director of KBL Group Intl. Ltd., she has managed large creative design teams. Trevino provides insight on upcoming fashion trends for each season collaborating with designers, merchants and product development teams to help develop brand appropriate apparel. She specializes in sweaters, knits and wovens. Having previously worked with private label brands for stores like Kohl’s, NY & Co, White House|Black Market, and Ann Taylor to name a few as well as brands like Lee jeans, Wendy Williams, Brooke Shields Timeless, Torn by Ronny Kobo, and Whitney Port, she has the ability to build brands from the design and merchandising process all the way through fitting, production, and marketing.

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