When we think about mass retailers likely to do collaborations with high-end designers, we think J. Crew, Macy's, Target, Topshop, maybe even Gap. Mall brand The Limited, however, doesn't come to mind. But that's who just tapped Sophie Theallet as their latest guest designer. Her exclusive collection for the retailer is set to hit stores in November. Theallet, whose last collaboration was with Starbucks, told WWD that she was looking forward to “bringing the luxurious nonchalance of my aesthetic to an affordable price point. I like that challenge…to make the best product possible.”
We haven't really given The Limited much thought (or business) since whenever we stopped being able to fit into the Limited Too, purveyors of trendy staples like capri pants and floral print broom skirts in kids' sizes. However, The Limited has technically been around since the '60s and not only were they more popular in earlier decades, but they also did cool designer collaborations in the '70s and '80s, before it was cool--including ones with Kenzo and Sonia Rykiel.
It's a pretty nice coup for The Limited--in addition to being a respected, talented designer, Theallet's name gained significant recognizability over the past couple of years, thanks to first lady Michelle Obama wearing the designer on more than one occasion. The Limited is also still in a bit of a transition, as the company was acquired in 2007 by investment firm Sun Capital Partners, after several decades with Limited Brands, which still owns Victoria's Secret, Henri Bendel and others. If the company is looking to boost business and get back on the radar of more fashion-conscious shoppers (or former Limited Too customers), this sounds like a pretty good way to do it.