Adorable New York fashion couple Isabel and Ruben Toledo generally stay pretty under the radar, save for the occasional mass market collaboration. Well, they've done two: A swimwear line for Target to celebrate the retailer's Harlem location, and Isabel designed a shoe line for Payless. Both launched in 2010, so it's been a while since they've done something for the masses, though they've repeatedly expressed interest. So, their next project? A full-on capsule collection for plus-size retailer Lane Bryant.
It may not be the splashiest of retailers but it's a big one: a "$1 billion retail powerhouse," as WWD puts it. Not to mention, plus-size is seen as one of the biggest untapped markets right now. Few people are doing real "fashion" in that size range, despite the fact that there's a huge demand.
Isabel told the trade she and Ruben “were intellectually on board from the first moment. Their unique customer base is an inspiring and diverse audience for which we look forward to crafting new and innovative fashions, accessories and even some other categories. We also wish to introduce our vision of color, design, look and style and, with the vast manufacturing capabilities at their disposal, we know whatever we design will be made well and fit and feel marvelous. This seems so natural to Ruben and me and we cannot wait to unveil what we’re doing together.”
They'll first release a t-shirt and tote bag for holiday, followed by a full ready-to-wear collection for spring. With even more to come: “We’re looking together at all product categories and nothing is being ruled out as a possibility for inclusion down the road," said Lane Bryant CEO Linda Heasley.
The collection will be available in 500 stores and online and the couple plans to stage a fashion show next year to celebrate the launch.
It's a pretty big deal. Not only because it's an ongoing collection, but also because it's basically the first plus-size designer collaboration of this magnitude. And hopefully a sign of more to come.