Megan Fennelly discusses how Heidi Klum has brought the catwalk to the clothing aisle.
Last month the popular 90s supermodel Heidi Klum unveiled her clothing collection Esmara for Lidl at New York Fashion Week. To the surprise of the fashion world, the former Vogue cover girl chose the German supermarket chain over establishing her own fashion house. Klum is not the first high profile celebrity to favour off the rack over haute couture, but why opt for a supermarket chain over the likes of high street options such as Topshop or River Island?
In an interview with Vogue, Klum explains that she chose Lidl because she wanted her line to be accessible to everyone.
In an interview with Vogue, Klum explains that she chose Lidl because she wanted her line to be accessible to everyone. With shops in 28 different countries and the most expensive piece retailing at €59.99, it certainly is that. This could have been a different story for Klum had she chosen to collaborate with a high street clothes store. Rihanna’s women and menswear collection for River Island in 2013 was incredibly successful and arguably what inspired her own clothing line, Fenty. The key differences between Rihanna and Klum’s demographic are the age of their fan bases and where they are more likely to shop.
Before Rihanna decided to build her own fashion and beauty empire, every high street giant fought to work with the singer. 2013 was a big year for Rihanna, having just won a Grammy for Best Music Video. Rihanna’s dedicated young fan base would have bought her clothes no matter where they were sold, as long as they were affordable. Klum does not have the same pull. Teenagers who worshiped Klum in the 90s are now in their mid-thirties, with full-time jobs and adult commitments. If nothing else, teaming up with Lidl was a clever business move.
The key differences between Rihanna and Klum’s demographic are the age of their fan bases and where they are more likely to shop.
By making her clothes available where her former fans would be likely to frequent, Klum guarantees success. Even if her grown up fan base has not kept up with her career, the feeling of nostalgia at seeing her name in Lidl might prompt them to buy.
The range is nice, not particularly outstanding but not anything offensive. If you are looking for a basic black jacket it is perfect, but her designs will not be going down in fashion history. Smart business-people know success is knowing your demographic. If yours regularly visits a supermarket, sell there.