New California cotton-centric staples brand Eterne fills American Apparel market gap
When LA-based stylist Chloe Bartoli couldn't find the perfect tank top for a shoot, she decided to make one. This necessity launched Eterne, a luxury essentials line launched in 2020, which is paced to become another So-Cal-influenced lifestyle brand in the wake of American Apparel and Juicy Couture.
"[Eterne] was born out of a lack I found in the market. As a stylist, I always looked for the perfect T-shirt and other staples. Everything I found was inexpensive, bad quality, or really expensive," she told FashionNetwork.com, in an interview at her press presentation.
The idea was to create perfect, essential pieces focused on quality and fit at a mid-range price point. It started with tanks, tees, and underwear but has expanded into more categories.
"These are the pieces you reach for daily that give the foundation of every outfit. Small, focused collections that speak to the core pieces of a woman's wardrobe," she continued.
The brand recently launched Eterne Soir, day-to-evening essentials in matte jersey that scream Calvin Klein in the nineties, and a line of cashmere sweaters.
Since launching in 2020, Bartoli says the brand has experienced organic growth, especially with the help of celebrity friends.
"Our customers are extremely loyal and make repeat purchases. When we launched, I shared the brand with friends—Miranda Kerr, Behati Prinsloo, Elsa Hosk, Georgia Fowler, Shanina Shaik, Poppy and Cara Delevingne, Alessandra Ambrosio, Shay Mitchell— and that helped get Eterne out there via word of mouth," she added. The brand boasts a 50 percent return purchaser rate and a 3X overall year-over-year growth rate. In November, the brand marked an increase of 7x year-over-year.
Adam Bernard, who founded Haute Look, co-founded the company with Bartoli. He sees the brand, first and foremost, as a textiles brand.
"The fabric development and the product quality are at the forefront of what we do; I prioritize that. When we began the brand, we forged relationships with the fabric manufacturers. All of our fabrics are proprietary. For example, I worked with a manufacturer in Italy to develop our matte jersey for our Soir collection and spent close to a year perfecting it," he explained.
This allows the start-up to address stock replenishment. "We own a lot of the fabrics, allowing us a quick turnaround time, about four weeks from raw fabric to finished goods," he added.
"When designing Eterne, I think of a complete wardrobe. The pieces I gravitate to in my closet are the ones that can be worn every day in a million ways. These pieces are the workhorses in your closet, and they function day-to-night," Bartoli said.
The brand makes excellent travel wear, whether by design or organically. She recommends the cropped rib tank, biker shorts, a terry sweatsuit, the Emma skirt and Charlie button top from Eterne Soir, the maxi tank dress, and the James cashmere sweater.
For Fall 2022, the brand launched wholesale selling to niche luxury stores such as Just One Eye, Elyse Walker, and Bergdorf Goodman. They've been picked up by online retailers such as Ssense, Moda Operandi, and Fwrd. For Spring 2023, they will be launching swimwear. Each step, according to Bartoli, has been natural.
"The growth of Eterne has been organic, and that's how we're going to continue. Our focus is always going to be on essentials. But we will continue adding items and expanding categories as needed. We're focused less on creating a lot of products and more on creating the right product: perfectly fitting, luxury, everyday essentials."
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