Name: Model Atelier
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Founder(s): Robin Harris
INDUSTRY – Apparel and Fashion Industry
Projection: Expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.6% over 2019-2023 worldwide
Major Competitors: Model Atelier is specifically focused on clothes for tall women and its major competitors include Long Tall Sally and Lane Bryant. Both these brands have a stronger presence and have been around for a longer period of time.
Model Atelier was born out of founder Robin Harris’ need for trendy clothing for tall people. A model herself, she started Atelier with the purpose of filling this gap in the luxury apparel market. She has been successful in her mission, having signed with New York’s Women’s National Basketball Player’s Association. Model Atelier claims to work with talented and experienced individuals to deliver “beautiful handcrafted designs for the tall and modern woman.”
Model Atelier describes itself as a luxury fashion house “exclusively for the tall, strong, and confident woman.” Their product lines include dresses, jumpsuits, confidence apparel, and tall outerwear. The clothes are a part “finely crafted ready-to-wear collections” targeted at women taller than 5’7”. The products range from $25 in confidence apparel to designer dresses priced around $498. Offered through Model Atelier’s website, the clothes are also available in Macy’s stores in California and Dearborn Denim and Apparel in Chicago.
Origin and Founding Team
Model Atelier was started by Robin Harris, a model and an MBA in International Business from the Keller School of Management, DeVry University. She has worked in the fashion industry, where she was represented by Ford Models, for 10 years in different capacities including professional model, designer, merchandiser, and creative director.
Being 6 feet tall herself, she says she started Model Atelier because she “couldn’t find clothes to fit my body type.” Whenever she wanted to buy trendy clothes in her size, they “just weren’t available.” Harris is also a mother and is involved with mentoring young girls on self-esteem and modeling. She also helps fund education of youth.
Performance and Trends
Model Atelier had revenues of $500,000 a year in 2018. Crain’s Chicago Business reports that the revenue could shoot up to 10 times to $5Mn in about three years, following a partnership deal with the New York-based Women’s National Basketball Players Association. Signed in 2018, this deal would make Model Atelier the official clothing line for the association’s 144 athletes.
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