By Ruthie Friedlander
Sep 05, 2018 @ 5:00 pm
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How many times have you looked at your favorite blogger’s Instagram for outfit inspiration, only to come to the realization that, no, you don’t have the exact same body as her? Arielle Charnas, known by the internet alias Something Navy, has thought a lot about that. If you had that realization and took the time to DM Charnas about how much you love her style, but wish more of her clothes came in your size — well, she has really thought about that a lot.

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Following the unprecedented success of her Treasure & Bond x Something Navy capsule collection last fall, Nordstrom and Charnas decided to go for round two. This time, Charnas will be debuting a full-fledged brand, not a collaboration, filled with pieces that are as easy to wear as they are fashion-forward — and in a more-inclusive size range than ever before.

Like the perfect flannel:

 

An oversized pink sweater:

 

Or an essential white tee:

“This is completely elevated basics,” Charnas says over the phone. “It's your everyday basics with a twist, with a little more edge. We really wanted to find a happy medium between fashion pieces but also trends... so you're comfortable to wear [the pieces] every day without stepping outside of your box too much”

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In fashion, the term “basic” tends to be a negative one. Do you really want your outfit to feel like the pumpkin spice latte of the season? But Charnas and her team have capitalized on that sensibility without apology: “We wanted to create approachable fashion pieces,” she says. And to Charnas the word “approachable” is far from anti-fashion. It’s how she earns her living. “I mean if you want to expand and grow your business I just can't imagine why that wouldn't be in your thought process,” she says emphatically. Ahead, she tells us a bit more about the collection, and her data-driven approach to creating it.

The Something Navy brand is going to be sold in sizes 00-18. What made you decide to be more size inclusive?

That was not even a question. It's very important for Nordstrom to be size-inclusive and we wanted to carry over to our brand. When we first announced that we were launching the Something Navy Brand I got millions of direct messages about the sizing. We just knew that we had to do that.

From a design perspective, did you have to adjust any of your styles to make sure they had the same look throughout the entire size run?

On a lot of our camisoles and dresses, we included a clasp on the straps in case someone has a bigger chest or really just to make it more adjustable. I can't say which category this is yet because we haven't launched it yet, but we added a lot of drawstring, too.

How did you make sure the fit on the pieces worked with different body types?

There are five of us in the office. We're all different shapes and sizes. At first it was really just me modeling the clothing. And then we got a lot of requests from the followers asking to see it on someone else. “Can we see it on someone with a bigger chest?” “Can we see it on someone with a bigger booty?” “Someone who's shorter?” We started Insta-storying on the Something Navy brand all of us trying on the clothing and how we style it in our own wardrobe. I think that just being able to see other women wearing clothing and modeling it is going to be really helpful when you’re making decisions of what to buy.

RELATED: Blogger Something Navy's Clothing Collab Banked $1 Million

Why do you think so many designers are hesitant to design for such a wide size run?

That's a good question. I think it's an exclusivity thing. It's just a different mindset. I don't know that [those brands are] thinking about the mass. I really think is definitely something that needs to be changed. A lot of my followers write me how grateful they are that we decided to do a collection with a size range like this because they feel included. they feel connected to the brand. It's kind of silly when I think about other designers not doing the same thing.

You did so much crowdsourcing on Instagram while creating the Something Navy brand. Did your followers impact your design choices?

Insta-stories and the poll sticker is, like, the best thing that's ever happened to me. It's so incredible to be able to get [my followers'] feedback, their input, and have them feel like they're a part of this collection. I feel like I know exactly what they're looking for … what they feel is missing in the market. It's incredible to get that feedback because we're able to create a line that's really for them.

What sort of polls have you put up to gauge interest and get feedback?

I always put up polls asking what colors they'd like to see. Do they want skinny jeans? Do they want straight leg? Do they want statement coats? We pretty much ask them everything.

Have you been surprised by any of the feedback you received?

I would imagine people go for the more neutral colors. But my followers love color. They are into the neon sweaters. They like everything bright. I swear it's like a mood booster. I never thought that the top selling piece from my Treasure & Bond collaboration would be a neon orange sweater. That was pretty interesting to see and kind of led the path for future pieces.

Have you made any design decisions that you don’t think you otherwise would have made, based on your followers’ feedback?

We had a shoe and we asked them which three colorways they wanted. We already had three pretty much set in all of our minds, but then we saw that everyone was writing about the red. I was like, wait do we need to incorporate a red mule? We wound up doing it. I think that's going to be a best seller for sure.

The SomethignNavy Brand is on sale exclusively at Nordstrom.