The New Thalia Sodi Collection Targets Rapidly Growing Hispanic Market
She has 45 million albums sold. She is followed by more than 24 million people across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. She stars in eight telenovelas that are watched by more than two billion viewers in 180 countries.
With numbers like these, it’s little wonder Macy’s jumped at the opportunity to collaborate on a fashion collection with beloved Mexican superstar Ariadna Thalía Sodi Miranda, better known as just Thalía. With Hispanics accounting for 15 percent of adults and 22 percent of millennials in the United States, wielding purchasing power estimated to reach $1.5 trillion this year, retailers have been paying particular attention in recent years to this fast-growing and influential demographic. This is evidenced by Kmart’s Sofia by Sofia Vergara collection and Jennifer Lopez’s partnership with Kohl’s.
Before even considering design elements that would speak to Hispanic shoppers, Macy’s knew that perfecting the fit of the collection would be half the battle. The retailer reached out to fit firm Alvanon, which took more than 20,000 body scans to help develop the right size and fit. “We also sent cross-functional teams to Mexico City to learn more about this customer
and her fashion needs,” says Marcia Haimbach, executive vice president of ready-to-wear and intimate apparel for Macy’s merchandising group.
Fit research spanned 18 months and yielded key learnings about specific body attributes for the target customer. “The Thalía fit caters to the woman who has less curve between her waist and hips with shorter rise,” Haimbach explains. “She also has a fuller upper body. She shops our stores but for different brands and fits, so our goal was to create a one-stop shop for her.” Once Macy’s had established the ideal fit, it was time to get down to brass-tacks with Thalía, who Haimbach says was very involved in the overall look of the collection, from color and print to design (and even fit, too). “She meets with our team for color and print reviews and to give feedback on what’s important for the Latina customer,” notes Haimbach. “She identified animal print as a neutral for this customer that should be in the collection at all times.”
From shoes and jewelry to apparel and accessories, the Thalía collection features vivid colors, eye-catching prints and versatile, flattering silhouettes that Macy’s hopes will appeal to millions of women globally in addition to the Hispanic shopper. When the time came to unveil the collection, Macy’s leveraged Thalía’s status as a digital influencer and used social networking platforms to tap into the Hispanic market. In recent years, the retailer has fine-tuned and shifted more of its targeted marketing to the Hispanic consumer, away from traditional media and into digital media platforms, especially mobile. “Over the past few years, we’ve seen dramatic increases in consumption of media by Hispanic customers across digital platforms,” says Haimbach. “Thalía is a highly followed social media influencer, with millions of fans worldwide.
Offering a preview of the collection through the first-ever Facebook launch of a new brand via a live stream fashion show was the perfect opportunity to allow her fans access through a platform they are already using daily,” she continues. The runway preview aired on Thalía’s Facebook page in January and has now been viewed by more than 3.5 million fans globally since the collection officially launched on March 5, 2015.
As the Hispanic demographic will only continue to grow in size, importance, and influence in the United States, Macy’s expects to have an ongoing and productive relationship with the blond bombshell, who has been named one of People Magazine’s Most Beautiful (Los Más Bellos) a whopping nine times (a record!) and one of the top 25 most powerful Latinas by People en Español. “We see Thalía as a long-term brand at Macy’s with growth opportunities,” Haimbach concludes.
This article is reprinted with permission from Apparel Magazine’s 2015 Top Innovators Issue; Copyright © May 2015. All rights reserved. To see the Top Innovators Issue in its entirety visit apparelmag.com and click on the “Magazine” icon.