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2013 October 22

Lisa Axelson On Spring 2014 And Her Transformation Of Ann Taylor

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(NEW YORK) Lisa Axelson's Spring 2014 collection for Ann Taylor was full of on trend pieces like a black semi sheer illusion skirt, topper coats, check, stripes, and pleated skirts. It's no secret that Axelson has revamped the workwear brand for the modern woman since she was brought on in 2008. Her recipe for success is creating pieces in line with the current runways without being overly trendy for the brand's mid-market clientele. Axelson dished to The Daily about how she continues to transform the brand and what she was envisioning this season for the working woman's wardrobe.

What's the feedback you hear the most about Ann Taylor these days?
I'm always getting stopped in the street by people who like what I'm wearing. I love when they ask me where it's from and I tell them Ann Taylor and they are so surprised. I don't tell them where I work though! I'm a little bit biased obviously.

What has been your vision for the brand?
We’re trying to transform that perspective of who we are. Everyone knows we’re a work brand, but we don’t want to be the dowdy unhappy worker. We’re the cool, in command of our career, inspiring the world kind of worker!

How would you sum up the Ann Taylor customer?
Our girl is the “buy now, wear now” type so we really have to think of everything that she needs. She’s not the aspirational shopper that’s pre-ordering from the runways. 

What was your inspiration for Spring 2014?
The concept this season was really about how we can transform the modern closet for our customer. We wanted to create a collection based on all of these pieces you know you need like a pant, a shirt, a skirt, but really taking it and playing with the proportions and making sure the proportions feel right for fashion. We want it to be really relevant to what’s going on in fashion today without being too trendy. We’re also coming up on our 60th anniversary in 2014, so I wanted to rethink classic items like the shirt dress, which we were founded on. You’ll see that throughout the collection, but in softer and more feminine ways.

What is your favorite piece?
My favorite piece is the modern Zebra topper. I’m such an outerwear fiend. Also, I’ve never loved Navy more thatn I do now. Normally, I’m a black or grey kind of customer, but I cannot get enough navy. I’m wearing it right now.

Is it hard to have one theme with so many deliveries?
We wanted to approach it from a collection formula instead of a retail formula instead of saying, "Here’s my February delivery," and "Here’s my March delivery." I was thinking about how my team can do that within the context of this business and really build a collection from a design lens. The pieces that you buy in the first delivery completely work with the pieces you buy in the second delivery and depending on how you style it, wear it, and layer it, you can have a lot of versatility. We’re talking late January all the way through April so we could be facing anything from a blizzard to a glorious Spring day. 


View the Spring collection in our Gallery! 



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