Coconuts by Matisse Creative Director Shares Growth Plans

Coconuts by Matisse is embracing a new feminine side. The brand, founded in 2001 with a rugged and casual look, is playing up some ladylike touches for spring ’17.

“This season was inspired partially by our need to inject a little more femininity to the collection,” said creative director Sheena Parks. “We are still true to our roots, but the effortlessly sexy appeal of a Parisian woman is such a go-to look for us. We wanted to add some softness to our vibe.”

Coconuts, sister to the contemporary Matisse line, is celebrating an upcoming collaboration with ready-to-wear and beach label Amuse Society for next spring. The shoes will debut this month at the Agenda Trade Show in Long Beach, Calif. The product will also be highlighted on the brand’s e-commerce site, which will receive a revamp later this year, to more effectively communicate with the customer.

Coconuts by Matisse
Coconuts by Matisse fall ’16 style.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

“We have placed more focus on our [digital] retail space,” said Parks. “We have access there to our end user, and we speak her language. It’s exciting to see the product [resonate] and go out the door to the consumer.” The brand also counts Nordstrom, Free People, Nasty Gal and Revolve as a few of its largest wholesale partners.

But Parks admitted that the retail world is challenging, particularly when it comes to keeping price points competitive for the juniors’ market. (Prices for the Coconuts line range from $69 to $139.)

“Coconuts is an entry-priced contemporary brand, but we have seen more struggles in the lower-tier markets than ever before,” Parks said. “Part of our strategy is to offer elevated product at volume price points. We have to acknowledge that the consumer today is very educated as to what she’s getting for her money, so we have to give her the best product possible.”

Despite the obstacles, Parks is predicting a prosperous second half of 2016. “We are planning growth through our online retail outlet and have expanded our international distributorship,” she said.

Coconut by Matisse Update
Coconuts by Matisse fall ’16 style.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

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