Since 1944, Seventeen readers have been looking to the magazine for style inspiration. For the celebrities on the magazine’s cover and the millions of Seventeen fans around the world, following the latest fashion trends is always of high importance. With the launch of a clothing line with Sears, Seventeen is furthering its connection with teen millennials, bringing them quality, on-brand style at a great price. Vice President of Hearst Brand Development Glen Ellen Brown shares more about designing the line and partnering with Sears.
Why is now the right time for Seventeen to launch a clothing line?
Glen Ellen Brown: In recent years, Seventeen has expanded its presence to reach readers everywhere they are, from print, to Web, mobile and social. The magazine’s content, wherever it is consumed, runs 100 percent parallel to the life of an engaged, connected young woman. Ann Shoket and the Seventeen fashion editors have an in-depth understanding of the style that fits the life of the Seventeen reader and endless knowledge around the latest trends that appeal to these young women. We saw a space in the market for a stylish, well-made and affordable line of clothing for millennial girls, and with the insight provided by the Seventeen team, we knew exactly the kinds of items these shoppers are seeking, from military jackets to printed jeggings, as well as handbags, jewelry and footwear.
What made Sears the right partner for Seventeen?
Brown: We love Sears for a variety of reasons they have a fabulous national retail distribution and have focused on enhancing their in-store experience with integrated technology.
A young woman might come in to a Sears store while her dad is shopping for a new refrigerator with Wi-Fi enabled in all Sears’ stores, this young woman can easily find her way directly to the juniors’ department. As she’s checking social media on her phone, she can search Seventeen’s Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest platforms highlighting cool pieces from the line. There is also signage throughout the juniors’ department showcasing the line and encouraging shoppers to connect with Seventeen on its social spaces. This ability to have access and connection at the point of sale is paramount.
In addition to the Wi-Fi in stores, Sears is also enhancing the shopping experience. If you’re waiting for friends to finish trying on items, you can use phone charging stations, engage with #17style hashtag and watch streaming Seventeen branded videos on in-store screens. Seventeen is reaching readers on every platform, and we love that Sears wants to bring the same accessibility to the shopping experience.
The collection is also available on Sear’s interactive shopping blog Shopyourway.com. Why was this platform a good fit for online sales?
Brown: Shop Your Way provides shoppers with such a great snapshot of the Seventeen line. Not only are there behind-the-scenes videos about the collection, there’s also relevant and engaging Seventeen content including fashion quizzes and beauty tips. Additionally, the site has an amazing inspirational focus, allowing shoppers to discover new products and stay updated on trends. Shop Your Way also has a community element where shoppers can share posts about their favorite pieces from the line.
Sears has positioned Shop Your Way as an aspirational destination that brings a boutique feel to the Web. They’re entirely committed to building content-rich communities of shoppers and fully integrating the brands that they sell.
How is the line an extension of the Seventeen brand? How was the editorial team involved in selecting the items for the line?
Brown: We know our brand inside and out, so it was of high importance to us that we select a manufacturing partner with deep expertise and a proven track record in designing for the teen/millennial market. Our partner Adjmi was the perfect collaborator. Their design team worked closely with our brand development design team to produce brand- and market-appropriate items.
The Seventeen editors helped us refine the overall feel of the line. They provided inspiration on trends that we were exploring and helped us see certain styles through the Seventeen lens. Once we received samples, the editors reviewed each piece to ensure they were trend-appropriate for teen/millennials without being too sassy, sexy or bold. Seventeen girls are constantly seeking new trends and great style, so it was essential to have the editors input on hitting the right note.
What types of items are for sale from the Seventeen line?
Brown: The Sears site highlights several styles that shoppers can find within the line: Sporty Cool, Pretty Sweet, Girly Prep and Flirty Boho. From flowing dresses and fashionable jackets to trendy boots and stylish sneakers, the 83-piece collection provides something for everyone, with tons of options to mix and match different styles.
How will Seventeen be promoting the collaboration?
Brown: The editors have been amazing in helping us promote the line to their audience. The magazine is featuring the line where appropriate in editorial across print and digital, such as a recent roundup of back-to-school trends. Additionally, the Seventeen YouTube channel has provided an amazing community of talent showcasing pieces from the line in their programs and providing incredible exposure through their loyal audiences. Seventeen editors have also been promoting across the brand’s social media outlets. The consumer, our loyalist, is giving us really positive feedback. We had an outfit on Instagram recently that garnered 20,000 likes. Our girls are responding in a positive way and that’s the real barometer for success.