“We believe we have a game-changing fashion concept,” says Anatomie Co-Founder Kate Boyer who — after 14 years of dressing luxury clientele around the world — is set to launch the luxury leisurewear brand in travel retail.
Boyer founded Anatomie with her husband Shawn in 2006, bringing together their joint fashion and sportswear expertise. “The modern traveller is savvy and practical, and we want to cater to their needs,” says Kate Boyer. “Anatomie aims to simplify the travel experience. With our products, travelling customers can do away with checked bags, dry-cleaning and ironing.”
According to Boyer, travel is inextricably linked to the ethos of Anatomie. This is exemplified by the brand’s innovative hospitality partnership with Signature Travel Network, which ensures the latter’s travel advisors become Anatomie brand ambassadors.
Despite the challenges brought on by COVID-19, Boyer believes Anatomie can leverage its strong luxury client relationships to drive its entrance into travel retail. She says, “Anatomie is positioned to be the modern-day uniform for luxury travellers…In fact, we’re an established go-to-brand for these clients already.”
In this interview, Boyer underscores what makes Anatomie a strong fit for travel retail and previews what industry executives can expect to see at its #Virtual Stand the upcoming Summit of the Americas – A Virtual Experience. She also outlines the brand’s significant CSR achievements over the last year and how Anatomie is meeting customer needs at different points of their travel experience.
What is the major focus for Anatomie at the Summit of the Americas – A Virtual Experience?
We are entering the travel retail industry after more than a decade outfitting some of the world’s most discerning clients. Our comfortable and stylish performance wear accompanies them from flights to hikes, business meetings to dinners. We are the first and only apparel brand recognised by the Forbes travel guide and included in the top 50% of the Inc. 5000 list. We have also been honoured as one of IAB’s brands to watch for 2020. We feel that it is the right time to introduce our new travel retail concept and grab-and-go wardrobes, which also includes our award-winning core essentials range.
What sets Anatomie apart from other Athleisure brands in the market today? How have your activewear backgrounds help inform your approach with Anatomie?
We only work with stretch and performance fabrics. I’m European so high quality and durable fabrics are in my DNA, while my husband Shawn has exceptional knowledge in fit due to his bespoke clothing background. We make a unique combination of founders for Anatomie, as we represent the best of two worlds. Anatomie has an elevated aesthetic because our clients are sophisticated. We want to offer comfort and ease but with a tailored style.
How can Anatomie fulfil the needs of the travel retail customer in 2021? Tell us why you believe Anatomie will be a good fit within the travel retail space?
Anatomie’s products are lightweight, timeless, seasonless, ageless, durable and easy to mix and match. Our products also come with a lifetime warranty, allowing our customers to pack light and do more with less items when they travel. The modern traveller is savvy and practical, and we want to cater to their needs. Anatomie aims to simplify the travel experience. With our products, travelling customers can do away with checked bags, dry-cleaning and ironing.
How has COVID-19 impacted your business and what are the key points of your recovery strategy?
Due to the crisis, we lost many of our wholesale business accounts. However, our business quickly recovered through direct-to-consumer opportunities, an enhanced ecommerce platform, a revamped loyalty programme, new arrivals and product promotions. These strategies really helped us weather the toughest periods of 2020. We also kept a live and open line of communication across all social media platforms.
Anatomie has benefited from cross-category travel and hospitality partnerships over the years. Could you outline the strategies you are using to engage the travelling customer at various points in their journey?
Accompanying the travel retail customer throughout their journey is key to our approach. Our omnichannel strategy puts Anatomie at the centre of the luxury travel world, from golf shops and private jets to five star spas, resorts and high-end boutiques. Now we want to develop a presence in key airports as part of the Anatomie experience.
For example, after years of collaborating with travel company Virtuoso, we channelled our focus to the VIP division of the Signature Travel Network. Here, a hand-picked group of advisors curate custom travel experiences for Anatomie customers. They prepare the itinerary and we prepare the wardrobe for the trips.
The travel advisors are also Anatomie brand ambassadors and work hand-in-hand with our VIP concierge team to offer luxury packing guides. The experience is always one-on-one, fostering a very personal connection with each client. Anatomie and Signature Travel Network send each other clients all the time and cross-promote on various marketing platforms.
What are your major targets by geography, channel or retailer type as you seek to tap into a recovering market?
Even though most of our clients are in North America, we ship internationally too. We feel that the Americas, Middle East and Asia Pacific travel retail regions hold huge potential. We are also on the look-out for travel retail partners who will allow us to present the complete Anatomie concept. We believe we have a game-changing fashion concept and that Anatomie is positioned to be the modern-day uniform for luxury travellers. In fact, we’re an established go-to-brand for these clients already.
What role does the fashion sector play in the overall recovery of the travel retail channel?
Fashion plays a key role as a lot of disposable income has accumulated because of the pandemic crisis. Fashion is an impulse buy and so when you travel, you have a clear reason to buy fashion products.
Throughout the years, we have evolved to better meet the needs of luxury travellers. Fashion makes people feel good, but Anatomie also gives them simplicity, relevance and ease. We are also very sustainable and positioned as the opposite of fast-fashion because we offer investment pieces that will last a lifetime.
Anatomie has partnered with several non-profit organisations over the years including Style Saves, No Kid Hungry and Project Angel Food. Could you tell us more about your ethical and environmental sustainability programme?
I believe that we have to do good to last. We have to make an impact and continue to fight the good fight. This season, we’re teaming up with Miami Diaper Bank to help women who can’t afford to pay for diapers.
I’m so proud of the positive impact that our CSR-initiatives have created over the last year. We provided 188,207 meals for hunger relief, supported over 7,164 children with shelter & education, distributed 108,901 units of personal protective equipment and planted over 23,850 trees.
How do you think the travel retail channel can and should engage with travelling consumers to ensure a sustained recovery?
A renewed focus on the traveller and developing a personal connection with customers will be more important going forward. Our new retail decks are interactive and tell the story of the brand and how each product functions.
It’s not just about selling a product and instead it’s about engaging on a human level. We need to educate, support, nurture and entertain our clients throughout their travel journey. We need to simplify our offer, balancing practicality and necessity with newness that they can’t find anywhere else. For example, our packing cubes will have ‘duty free essentials’ that include tops, leggings and other comfortable basics.
How do you view the continuing impact of COVID-19 on Americas travel retail and the wider industry?
We have noted a big improvement in domestic travel market in the US, but feel that people will be more careful and more conscious of hygiene when travelling. Travel connects us and I have faith that international travel will pick up again soon. Anatomie exists to empower and inspire people to travel in style and comfort.
As reported, the all-digital Summit of the Americas 2021 is being organised by the International Association of Airport and Duty Free Stores (IAADFS) and Asociación Sudamericana de Tiendas Libres (ASUTIL) in partnership with The Moodie Davitt Report (which organised the successful Virtual Travel Retail Expo from 12-16 October). Visitor registration (free to all travel retailers and airport companies) is open at the official event website, which is now live.
The event has already attracted the commitment of many leading travel retailers to attend including: 3Sixty Duty Free, Aer Rianta International, Carisam/Samuel Meisel, Dufry, Duty Free Americas, Harding Retail, Heinemann Americas, International Shoppes, Island Companies, Lagardère Travel Retail, Motta Internacional, Neutral by Luryx Duty Free Shop, Paradies Lagardère, Provimex, Sineriz Free Shop, Starboard Cruise Services, Stellar Partners, Top Brands International, Windsor Tunnel Duty Free Shop and Zeinal Hermanos, with more to be announced soon.
For exhibitors there are three tiers of virtual packages from which to choose, offering multiple options to display products, deliver brand and product presentations, offer virtual tours of their facilities and showrooms, and connect with buyers.
To learn more about this opportunity, please download the 2021 Virtual Summit Information Briefing. For virtual stand reservations or media, please contact Irene Revilla at Irene@MoodieDavittReport.com. For general questions about participation in the Virtual Summit, please contact Steven Antolick for further assistance.