Is it possible that fashion has finally found what it’s needed all this time? 11 Honoré founders Kathryn Retzer and Patrick Herning think so. Their new online shopping platform takes a new take on inclusivity by offering luxury and designer contemporary clothing in sizes 10 to 20.
Retzer, a former fashion editor, and Herning, a fashion and luxury strategy consultant and former technology business development specialist, created the platform after realizing there was a white space in the market that failed to offer runway options for this type of customer.
ChicagoMOD sat down with the longtime friends to get the full scoop on how the concept came to life, and what customers can expect from the platform.
Tell us your inspiration behind creating 11 Honoré, and a little bit about the concept.
We have been friends for 15 years and knew that we were ready to take the next step in our careers to start something together. We identified a space in the industry and based on our combined experience of four decades in fashion. We thought about so many incredible women in our lives – friends, industry colleagues, family, our mothers included, who have all been underserved in the fashion and retail space and saw an opportunity. We wanted to disrupt the way that fashion approaches this customer by bringing her a positive shopping experience and a top-notch selection.
What makes 11 Honoré standout among other online shopping platforms?
We’re the first platform to offer luxury, and true runway fashion in an inclusive size range, 10-20. We believe that this customer should have the same opportunity to get her hands on beautiful designer clothing, when she wants it, through a seamless and elevated shopping experience.
Why do you think now is the perfect time to launch 11 Honoré given the social climate and the rise of more inclusivity for women’s fashion brands?
Ten years ago no one would have thought to offer size inclusive runway fashion. Now, not only are we offering it, designers such as Michael Kors, Prabal Gurung and Christian Siriano include models that are a size 10 or above in their runway shows. The fashion industry is finally waking up and we’re excited to be amongst the leaders in this movement.
How is 11 Honoré helping smaller luxury brands produce a greater portfolio of sizes?
We are helping and smaller luxury brands who want to be size inclusive but don’t have the infrastructure or resources to do so. We are working to help by provide them with the best pattern makers, graders and fit models. It is so important for us to give designers the tools to help preserve the design integrity and quality of their garments because we want our customers to have the best pieces from the runway.
What are you both the most excited about with the launch of 11 Honoré?
We want to be more than just a retailer, we want to create a community for our customer which is why we are committed to creating compelling editorial content that speaks to her. Whether she’s looking for a great dress for a special occasion, hoping to find style tips or just looking for an inspiring read with one of our Powerful Profiles, we want her to keep coming back. It’s been very exciting to get to know our customer through social media and the trunk shows and we want to keep the dialogue going through the site.
What do you hope to achieve from 11 Honoré?
Our goal is to disrupt the way that fashion approaches this underserved woman and provide her with the most diverse and stylish options out there. 11 Honoré is giving her a world that is more reflective of her, and we believe that every woman deserves access to great fashion and an extraordinary shopping experience. We want to change the luxury fashion conversation to be more inclusive, elevated and thoughtful.
Can you tell us about some of the brands that you carry?
We’re very proud to be working with an amazing group of designers that are as excited as we are to be part of this platform. Several of the designers we are working with have been designing options for our customer through trunk shows or private appointments for years, but for the first time they now they have a retail partnership for their extended sizing. For some of our designers, extended sizing is brand new for them, so we are working hand in hand to ensure success with fit. We launched with 17 designer labels including Baja East, Haney, Christian Siriano, Monique Lhuillier, Prabal Gurung, Brandon Maxwell, La Ligne to name a few. By spring we will have 34 designer brands on 11 Honoré.