TEXT, VIVIAN KELLY
If you were a young working professional in the Eighties, you knew all about The Limited. Back then; it was a great place to buy clothes for work that fell into John T. Molloy’s Dress For Success formula.
Most would have described it as "sensible". If you'd asked the girls if there were outfits there that were inspired and fashionable enough to wear to party at Area, the answer would be, "no".
There were “appropriate” and decently priced skirts, jackets, blouses and tops to get you through the 9-5 day whether you were a secretary at a Big Eight accounting firm on Sixth Avenue or a Sales Assistant on Wall Street, like me. If you were an Assistant at Conde Nast though, you probably wouldn't have shopped there.
Today’s Limited has split from the Mother Ship Company business [The Limited Brands] retail titan Leslie ["Lex"]Wexner established back then which also includes Victoria’s Secret. Lex, if you’re reading this – Vickie’s Secret was an absolute stroke of genius!
The NEW Limited that I was invited to preview by Paul Wilmot Communications, took place at a chic Chelsea space just off the Westside Highway. From the moment I stepped in, it was obvious that the merch that is now "The Limited" is the much cooler younger sister to her rather stuffy older Baby Boomer sister from the Eighties.
The new Limited targets “the young, professional woman” who needs great basics for work but wants the fashion from top tier designers who retail at stratospheric prices.
PR Paul Wilmot said, in a chat we had a few months earlier about what being "well-dressed", stated, "a black pant is a black pant, as long as it’s well made.”
After thinking about that, I agree with Paul. WHY spend hundreds for a pair of black designer slacks if you can get a nice pair for under $200?.
Of course, there’s nothing like actually trying the merch on yourself, so I went to the SALE area on www.thelimited.com and order two pairs of leggings to wear to power yoga class. [The review on this to come].
Back to the preview -
While there, I inspected the groupings of the latest designs, touched the fabrics, and best of all, spoke at length with Elliot Staples, SVP of Design, The Limited.
Elliot’s an industry vet who’s got 20 plus years of design and fashion under his belt. This FIT grad, began his career at Adrienne Vittadini, followed by a ten year run at The Gap designing for the men’s division, as well as women's and women's accessories.
He’s spent the last nine years at The Limited, first as a Design Director and later as Sr. Vice President of Design. He and his team’s job is to “conceptualize and create the product and look for The Limited client. Elliot has been instrumental in defining the brand image through consistent and innovative design. He's working hard to gain her trust and become the ‘trusted editor’, who she can count on to provide her with the latest trends translated for her lifestyle."
In our 9-minute video, Elliot talks about what he and the company are doing to become the go-to resource for today's working women and suburban Moms. He makes a lot of good points such as “A great outfit starts with great pants. And great pants start with great fits.”
He understands that his women want a little bit of the glam they see on the pages of Vogue an Harper’s Bazaar at a price that won’t break their budget. As important as fair pricing, is that The Limited is doing a good job sourcing their fabrics. The fabrics felt nice and that in itself puts The Limited on a level over “masstige” efforts at retailers such as Target. It's well worth a visit to the website www.thelimited.com and to the store if you find yourself in the Chicago area.