April Launch Targeted for New Ursine Inspired Outerwear
ST. LOUIS, March 31, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. (NYSE: BBW), the iconic brand known for its creative and empowering bear-building experience, is expanding into designer fashions with the launch of its new teddy bear faux fur couture coat collection, direct from the Build-A-Bear Atelier design team. The entire exclusive collection can be found at Build-A-Bear Cuddly Couture .
The company has more than 25 years of designing popular outfits and accessories intended for furry friends to wear, and recently introduced a line of human-sized sleepwear in the Build-A-Bear Pajama Shop. However, this is the first time the company has explored the fashion-FURward runway trend of creatively incorporating plush materials and teddy bears into a collection intended for people. As would be expected from a company known for disrupting the plush industry and being a pioneer in experiential commerce, no detail was overlooked with this fanciful new introduction to the world of high fashion.
“We have cultivated wonderful relationships with our fans, understanding that with each of the 225 million furry friends that have been created since our inception, a special memory and moment is captured for that guest,” said Jennifer Kretchmar, Chief Merchandising and Digital Officer.
“Creative designs have been at the center of our business from the beginning, and high fashion is a natural next step for our brand. The opportunity to have the growing number of adult Build-A-Bear enthusiasts express themselves with this exclusive collection of custom teddy bear coats is very exciting. Playful interpretations of fashion have been showing up on runways from Paris to New York and we believe this is a PAWfect extension for our brand,” concluded Ms. Kretchmar.
This new Build-A-Bear prêt-à-porter line is constructed by hand in the Build-A-Bear Atelier with oversight by Misty Jackson, Vice President of Merchandising and Design, with each piece envisioned as a limited edition, all lovingly made with faux teddy bear fur and a lot of heart.
“Fashion has always been known to push boundaries with new ideas and innovation as consumer trends evolve,” said Ms. Jackson. “Much of today’s popular apparel is inspired by runway shows, influencers, and celebrities, which have recently shown a tendency toward whimsy. Build-A-Bear’s iconic and playful aura make it well suited to lean into this FURbulous trend. So, you have to ask yourself, why just be cute when you can also be couture?”
The designers explored soft textures with smart, utilitarian styles and streamlined tailoring with each of the pieces in this BEARY special collection highlighting haute couture trends. In addition, the line features en vogue colors, lush faux fur, and most importantly, a nod to the nostalgia of childhood. Early predictions have teddy bears and furry fashions being on the fuzzy edge of style next season.
This exclusive category expansion comes as adults and teens increasingly embrace the Build-A-Bear brand with 40% of sales coming from this older consumer. The company has recently extended into collectibles, gifting, affinity products and the popular “Build-A-Bear After Dark” collection. These more adult-focused, yet still playful, product offerings over-index on the company’s website, buildabear.com, where there is a microsite that is age-gated for older consumers called The Bear Cave, which has growing interest and traffic trends.
To see the entire exclusive fashion FURward collection, visit Build-A-Bear Cuddly Couture and follow Build-A-Bear’s social media pages and channels for updates.
Build-A-Bear is a multi-generational global brand focused on its mission to “add a little more heart to life” appealing to a wide array of consumer groups who enjoy the personal expression in making their own “furry friends” to celebrate and commemorate life moments. Nearly 500 interactive brick-and-mortar experience locations operated through a variety of formats provide guests of all ages a hands-on entertaining experience, which often fosters a lasting and emotional brand connection. The company also offers engaging e-commerce/digital purchasing experiences on buildabear.com including its online “Bear-Builder”, the animated “Bear Builder 3D Workshop” and its age-gated, adult-focused “Bear Cave“. In addition, extending its brand power beyond retail, Build-A-Bear Entertainment, a subsidiary of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc., is dedicated to creating engaging content for kids and adults that fulfills the company’s mission, while the company also offers products at wholesale and in non-plush consumer categories via licensing agreements with leading manufacturers. Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. posted total revenue of $467.9 million in fiscal 2022. For more information, visit the Investor Relations section of buildabear.com.
SOURCE Build-A-Bear Workshop
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