The Limited woos professionals with new 'Scandal' collection

Apparel retailer The Limited (NYSE:LB) has partnered with the star and creator of TV's "Scandal" for a collection that will not only be sold in stores, but also worn by the characters during the fall season.

The ABC series features actress Kerry Washington, and her character Olivia Pope's signature look has created fan sites and demand for similar pieces. The new line, created in partnership with Washington and Limited Head of Design Elliot Staples, marks a first for a national retailer.

While there have certainly been other Hollywood-inspired collections, this is the first design collaboration between a national retailer, a top-rated network TV show, its costume designer Lyn Paolo, and leading lady, according to a statement from The Limited.

"The whole team took great care in creating a collection that reflects Olivia Pope's unique style. We believe the collection tells a story of confidence and professional sophistication as well as maintaining a strong feminine point of view," said Paolo.

Pieces from the collection will be part of the show's available wardrobe, allowing items to be "pulled" and worn by the lead character, according to Women's Wear Daily.  

Washington, Paolo and Staples collaboratively developed each piece in the collection. Tops, pants, jackets and outerwear are included in the 42-piece line with prices beginning at $49.

The Scandal-inspired line is part of The Limited's strategy to woo more professionals after internal research revealed the group as a potential market for growth, CEO Diane Ellis told WWD.

"We have a laundry list of about 15 different growth initiatives that really emerged out of this research," said Ellis. The retailer recently launched a line for petites to early success, and talls will debut this fall. Opening more outlet malls is another priority, she said.

"We had many sophisticated professionals as part of our client portfolio already, but we were perhaps not as focused on that target client. We were a little unfocused on our personal style point of view," Ellis said. "This [Scandal line] has really helped us home in on who she was, what her drivers were to purchase, what is important to her and what her personal style is."

The Limited Scandal Collection arrives late September in The Limited stores nationwide and online. There will also be a heavy social media campaign to accompany the launch.

For more:
-See The Limited's press release
-See this WWD story

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