Club Monaco Releases 'Dual-Gender' Capsule as Part of New Brand Direction

It's the latest mass-market retailer to stage a reinvention for Fall 2018.
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Club Monaco's Fall 2018 campaign. Photo: Hans Neumann

Club Monaco's Fall 2018 campaign. Photo: Hans Neumann

Club Monaco is reinventing itself — again.

As brands must do to keep up with an ever-changing consumer landscape, the Ralph Lauren-owned retailer has undergone a few reinventions over the years. It's a pattern that recalls that of its closest competitor, J.Crew, which will also be relaunching soon.

Per a press release, Club Monaco's latest rebrand is "the manifestation of who we are and who we want to be in the world: a cohesive dual-gender brand based on openness and individuality with a strong sense of connection and community."

That may sound like some marketing mumbo-jumbo, but it seems to represent a more inclusive, diverse and personal point of view that aligns with what many brands are realizing they need to adopt in order to connect with consumers these days.

Club Monaco's Fall 2018 campaign. Photo: Hans Neumann

Club Monaco's Fall 2018 campaign. Photo: Hans Neumann

The more tangible aspects of this rebrand include a new, "dual-gender" collection by Head of Design Steven Cateron, a video- and image-based campaign and a new store concept. "We've been evolving toward this moment for a few seasons now," says Francis Pierrel, CEO. "Perhaps most importantly, we're refocusing on our connection with our customer — they're really at the heart of the brand."

With the campaign, titled "No Ordinary Life," Club Monaco went the "real people" casting route: Stars include beauty editor Jane Larkworthy, web series and podcast host Elise Peterson, illustrator Felipe Merida and more.

While the new collection isn't technically unisex — pieces are still designed to fit either women or men — they we designed under a unified vision and styled genderlessly with a woman wearing, say, a pair of men's trousers or a guy wearing a women's shearling. The idea is that it's up to the customer to decide how they choose to style the product.

Club Monaco's Fall 2018 campaign. Photo: Hans Neumann

Club Monaco's Fall 2018 campaign. Photo: Hans Neumann

And finally, there's the physical retail experience. Timed to coincide with New York Fashion Week but open to the public, Club Monaco's SoHo store has been transformed into "an experiential manifestation of the campaign" with an interactive window installation and in-store activations from Sept. 7 through Sept. 13.

After that, the brand will roll out a totally new retail concept, starting with a new location at the Forum Shops in Las Vegas set to open Sept. 27, followed by one in Miami. The concept is meant to feel "residential" and more like a community hub with fitting rooms, cash wrap and the customer service area living together in one lounge area. 

"Our stores are the only places customers can experience the brand with all five senses, and we want that experience to be personal and warm, not rushed and transactional," says Pierrel. Fitting rooms will have adjustable lighting and charging stations, and stores will offer free wifi and redesigned shopping bags.

For now, see the full Fall 2018 lookbook in the gallery below.

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