Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters Launches UO Summer Class of 2021 HBCU Capsule Collection

Urban Outfitters Launches UO Summer Class of 2021 HBCU Capsule Collection

Urban Outfitters has released a special-edition UO Summer Class of 2021 HBCU Capsule Collection, an exclusive assortment of collegiate apparel and lifestyle accessories.It was designed by the UO Summer Class of 2021, a 10-week internship and mentorship program for five students recognized for their academic excellence and creative talent, in collaboration with three Historically Black Colleges and Universities – Howard University, Clark Atlanta University and North Carolina A&T State University.
The students worked with the Urban Outfitters buying team to design a 24-piece apparel and lifestyle collection celebrating the culture and community of their respective schools.
“Being able to share our resources with HBCU talent, and to work alongside these students creativity as they developed their own product, made Summer Class enriching not only for our students, but for every UO employee who got to be a part of the program,” said Dalila Shannon, Urban Outfitters women’s divisional merchandising manager and summer class mentor.

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The apparel includes Champion sweats and long-sleeved T-shirts featuring original graphics by students.

A look at the UO Summer Class 2021 capsule collection.
courtesy shot

Tiara Arnold, director of career and professional development at Clark Atlanta University said: “To graduate from college having created a collection that will live not only within UO, but also at your alma mater, is an experience that only a few can say they were a part of.”
Part of the capsule are three premium letterman jackets products by Ebbets Field Flannel representing Howard, Clark Atlanta and North Carolina A&T University featuring the students’ interpretation of the collegiate staple.
The capsule is rounded out by tote bags, hats and playing cards.
With the success of the inaugural UO Summer Class internship program, Urban Outfitters will continue the initiative in 2022, expanding the program to additional HBCUs.
The collection, officially licensed by CLC, the nation’s leading collegiate licensing company, is available for purchase exclusively at Urban Outfitters’ e-commerce and includes a charitable donation to the students’ respective alma maters. The initiative will feature a behind-the-scenes look at the collection’s design process, highlighting the individual students, their backgrounds and what inspired their designs.
The students are Dacia Redmond of Clark Atlanta University (who is also a 2021 Fashion Scholarship Fund Virgil Abloh “Post Modern” Scholar award recipient); U’lia Hargrove of North Carolina A&T State University; Jasmine Logan of Clark Atlanta University; Jalen Bradford of Clark Atlanta University, and Janae Claxton of Howard University.
Retail prices are $20 for the playing cards, $38 for the totes, $45 for the Ts, $54 for the sweats and $700 for the varsity jackets.

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Athleta Launches Fitness Platform AthletaWell

Athleta Launches Fitness Platform AthletaWell

Athleta is upping its fitness game.
The women’s athletic apparel- and accessories-maker, which is owned by Gap Inc., has launched a new social platform called AthletaWell. 
“At its core, AthletaWell is really providing a safe space for women to navigate the complexities of modern-day womanhood and get expert advice on topics all rooted in female wellbeing,” Kim Waldmann, Athleta’s chief digital officer, told WWD. “[Topics] we’re afraid to ask for fear of embarrassment, or maybe they’re taboo, or we don’t want to look like we’re different than everybody else. Like, what are tips for sleep? Or fertility. Or even simple things, like I’m a DD, is there a good bra that doesn’t chafe endlessly?”

The platform also includes interest-based groups, where members can join in conversations or start their own; access to Athleta “guides,” or experts, such as yoga teachers, medical doctors, mediation guides, strength trainers, dietitians, physical therapists and motivational speakers, and links to events, both virtual and in-person around the country, such as run clubs and exercise classes, helping Athleta shoppers create community. 

AthletaWell, Athleta’s new fitness and wellness platform, is available by way of desktop and mobile devices and includes a section with Athleta “Guides,” or experts in various fitness and wellness areas. 
Courtesy Photo

“At Athleta, we really think about it in an omnichannel kind of way, to meet the customer wherever she wants to be and wherever she wants to be,” Waldmann said. “We know that there’s so much value in driving brand loyalty and deepening our engagement without customers. We know that our loyalty program customers spend over two times more with us than our non-loyalty member customers. So, for us to be able to offer [AthletaWell] as sort of a benefit of the loyalty program, it will drive more loyalty participation. And those individuals who are much more engaged with the brand spend more with the brand.” 

And Athleta has no shortage of loyal fans. The rapidly growing brand had revenues of $978 million in 2020 and roughly 200 stores around the nation. In January, Athleta set a new goal: $2 billion in revenues by 2023 and plans to open between 20 and 30 more stores a year. Three months later, the San Francisco-based business said it was also moving to Canada, launching an e-commerce site there. 
For the launch of AthletaWell, Athleta is also partnering with Obé Fitness, a digital fitness platform. Athleta Rewards members will be able to access exclusive 10-minute Obé Fitness workout videos for free on AthletaWell. 
“We know being active is an important part of our customers’ overall wellbeing, so we are thrilled to invest in and partner with Obé and offer the Athleta community access to this like-minded partner,” said Mary Beth Laughton, president and chief executive officer of Athleta. “As our brand continues to grow, this investment creates a unique engagement opportunity for our customers and helps us build even more loyalty over time.” 
Waldmann added that the partnership will help Athleta reach a wider audience. 
“What we were really attracted to with Obé was just how democratic it is,” she explained. “The fact that you can get these incredible high-quality workouts, but you can watch it on your laptop, your phone, whatever screen. You don’t have to buy a really expensive piece of equipment or hardware to be able to participate. And for us at Athleta, that’s so core to our brand values. 

“Obé is really the anchor partner for the fitness experience,” Waldmann continued. “But I think what you’ll see from us as we continue to build out this platform is we will continue to partner with like-minded brands that are best-in-class in their fields across the full spectrum of female wellbeing.” 
Meanwhile, there’s no shortage of competition in the activewear market, which continues to expand at full speed.  
In fact, during the pandemic, everyone from Target Corp. to American Eagle Outfitters Inc.’s Aerie to Madewell to Danielle Bernstein’s WeWoreWhat, was trying to find their place in the world of athleisure, performance wear and wellness. On Tuesday, Lululemon revealed plans to partner with Wysdom, an artificial intelligence firm, for a digital wellbeing platform that is set to launch sometime in 2022. Even Rihanna may be getting into the game soon. 
Waldmann said AthletaWell is unique in that it brings together various elements of fitness, apparel and wellbeing in one place for free. 
“There are Q&A platforms out there; there are blogs on fertility and yoga. And there are plenty of fitness apps,” she said. “But there really isn’t a place for women to get access to vetted experts across the whole spectrum of female well-being. AthletaWell is about physical well-being. But Athleta is also interested in mental well-being, emotional well-being and environmental well-being.” 
Athleta Rewards loyalty members have access to AthletaWell by way of athleta.com. (Shoppers can sign up for the loyalty program for free by providing an email address.) Waldmann said the brand will also introduce an AthletaWell “native app experience” within the Athleta app later this year.

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