Walmart announced the launch of a casual clothing line for men and women called Free Assembly.
Free Assembly was designed by Walmart’s in-house design team led by Dwight Fenton, the former chief creative officer at Bonobos with past experience at J. Crew, Vineyard Vines and Old Navy.
Free Assembly will debut online this week and in 250 stores. Starting September 21, the fall collection will kick off with more than 30 items for women, and 25 for men.
The collection is part of a concerted effort by Walmart to raise the profile of its apparel and accessories business. The retailer has added more than 1,000 apparel brands to its online selection, launched exclusive brands such as EV1 from Ellen Degeneres, Scoop and Sofia Jeans by Sofia Vergara. It also partnered with thredUP to offer previously owned fashion merchandise at a fraction of the original prices.
In a blog entry, Denise Incandela, SVP Women’s Group, elevated and online brands, said, “Through our ongoing strategy of expanding our assortment for our customers, we’ve shown that we’re serious about establishing Walmart as a fashion destination. And now we’re doubling-down to offer customers something they couldn’t find at Walmart before – a fashion essentials-inspired brand for both men and women created by our in-house design team.”
She described Free Assembly as “a modern fashion brand that offers elevated style essentials at an incredible value. At its core, this new brand is born from a thoughtful, simple design, quality fabrics, modern silhouettes, and updated silhouettes. It’s as timeless as it is versatile, with wardrobe staples that are easy to mix, layer and assemble freely. These are pieces designed to have staying power.”
“There’s really nothing else like it on the market,” said Fenton on Free Assembly in a separate blog post. “We’ve created something familiar enough that anyone can see themselves in the clothing, but unique enough that it has a twist and is intriguing. And, when you consider the style and quality we’re offering for the price point, Free Assembly is truly unmatched in the industry. In fact, I don’t think there’s been a great new modern brand offering this level of quality for such incredible prices – and at this scale – since the mid-1990s.”
Fenton said that while Walmart has found success with a denim-focused brand like Sofia Jeans by Sofia Vergara or more fashion-forward pieces that can be found in Scoop, “What’s been missing is a brand that offers modern essentials. So, we set out to build that brand. Free Assembly rounds out our portfolio to offer customers something they didn’t have before – elevated, modern essentials for both men and women at incredible prices.”
Photos courtesy Walmart/Free Assembly