I recently asked a group of friends ranging in age from 23 to 64 to define “Missy” or “Misses” fashion. Every one of them referred to it as more of a size rather than a style. In the fashion industry, Missy does indeed refer to the cut of a garment but traditionally it has also been defined as conservative fashion for mature women.
Keren Hart has a long history of wholesaling Missy apparel but doesn’t subscribe to such a rigid definition of Missy style. The company has been manufacturing and distributing unique and novel designs since its inception. In the last couple years, Keren Hart has been slowly introducing more contemporary styles into its fashion lines. A trend some say enhances traditional Missy concepts. It’s one of the many things Burton Zwick and I discussed when I sat down with him for a behind the scenes chat on the new directions and changes taking place at Keren Hart.
As the current Managing Partner and Chief Operating Officer, Burton represents the next generation of leadership in this family-owned company. He shared that Keren Hart’s fashion-forward development is straddling the line between traditional and updated styles. “We’re focused on blending timeless pieces with fresh, contemporary styles that offer women more choice in customizing their wardrobes. At the same time, we’re maintaining our high standards on the fit of our garments and the quality of the fabrics and prints we choose.”
This modern expansion of their Spring and Fall lines has also led to big changes in how they market their apparel. Through the use of social media, they’re virtually introducing their designs to the general public for women to get to know the company and its style more intimately.
On March 1, Keren Hart is launching a newly revamped website that also unveils an updated logo with soft sophistication. “We needed a logo that reflects our new direction. Something that retains our roots while also offering a fresh, contemporary feel,” Burton shared.
Associating your brand with a heart-shaped icon is challenging for any company particularly with the fierce competition in its use, and the appearance of being cutesy or whimsical. But Keren Hart’s leadership and sales representatives were steadfast in their reason for choosing it.”Women are passionate about fashion because the clothing they wear is an expression of who they are. Our logo parallels that. Family is behind everything at Keren Hart. The retailers who sell our products and the women who wear our clothing are an extension of that family. Our customers are the heart of our company and the reason we love what we do,” Burton reflected.
The subtle palette in the new website and logo were specifically chosen to blend well with any garment regardless of its vivid color or intricate print. The new website features large, vibrant images of their apparel as well as the introduction of a blog for individual consumers to interact with the company. “Following runway trends is important, but having our ear to the ground with customers is just as vital. We’re hoping the blog and social media give us an even bigger sounding board for the future.”
The new logo will also replace the garment labels and hang tags beginning with their 2017 line. Those customers currently familiar with Keren Hart will notice a change inside their clothing as well “Our customers don’t want big brand labels inside their apparel. Our new logo gives us the opportunity for a more subtle and attractive design.”
This whole movement toward a more contemporary line is a welcome transition in my opinion. As a Missy customer for most of my adult life, I appreciate brands that stay current and offer upscale styles. Keren Hart already has a rich reputation for novelty women’s wear, so it will be exciting to see what they infuse into their threads for the future. In the meantime, it’s important for all of us to remember that whether we’re pairing something vintage with designer or something ethnic with classic, it’s all about showcasing your own personal style, missy.