Addition Elle challenges ‘fashion culture’ in branding campaign

Who: Addition Elle, Grey Canada\ Tank.

What: A new campaign entitled “Fashion can be bigger.” It represents a return to brand marketing for the retailer, which has invested primarily in performance advertising and social media in the past 18 months.

When & Where: The online campaign is running for three months, with a focus on the Greater Toronto Area.

Why: The campaign addresses a longstanding complaint about the fashion industry among plus-size women: The lack of options, styles and brand names available to them.

“We want designers to realize that while they think they’re being revolutionary, they’re actually not,” says Emiliano Gonzalez De Pietri, Grey Canada’s chief creative officer. “But by including plus-size women in their designs, they can turn fashion into something more powerful. They can make fashion bigger than ever before.”

According to a report by Retail Dive, citing NPD Group’s Consumer Tracking Service, one-third of female consumers in the U.S. identify as plus-size, yet plus-sized products are “notably sparse” at mainstream retailers, and “conspicuously absent” at couture brands.

How: The 30-second launch ad highlights the outlandish designs associated with fashion, accompanied by the message “It’s time fashion did something truly crazy…make clothes for all women.” The spot concludes with five plus-sized models taking to the runway wearing practical—yet stylish and flattering—clothing.

Anything else? Additional Elle, which operates 80 stores, announced a “modern upgrade” for the brand earlier this year. In May, it appointed Andy Thê-Anh as design director. He had previously worked on concept, trend detection, and brand development for both high-end and mass-market brands. The first collection under his direction will hit the market in spring 2020.

The retailer also introduced a revamped concept store in the Montreal area featuring plus-sized offerings from brands including Levi’s, Body Glove, Calvin Klein, Birkenstock, New Balance, Lucky Brand and Girlfriend Collective.

In a release announcing the concept store, Addition Elle said it wants to be the “trusted editor, curating global brands” for its customers.

And we quote: “Addition Elle has always been at the forefront of the inclusivity movement. But for many plus-size women, shopping for clothes is still a challenge (less options, fewer styles and virtually no brand names). We heard her frustrations and have worked hard to give her more of all the things she never had access to and always wanted. By collaborating with global brands and sharing our design expertise, we are making fashion bigger than ever before.”—Carmie Foglia, vice-president of marketing, Addition Elle.





Chris Powell