Charles David Lands New Creative Director, Bolsters E-Commerce Business

Charles David is finding its sweet spot. The women’s brand is amping up its e-commerce business in order to connect with its consumer more than ever before.

Having soft-launched the new site in December, Charles David has now been able to speak with its customer directly and understand exactly who she is. Since the launch, the company has seen online sales growth over the past two months, with emphasis on its spring ’19 collection.

Plus, the company has a new creative director. Dana DeMartino took on the role late last year, and she’s looking to the past for inspiration on where to take the brand.

Charles David
Charles David spring’19.
CREDIT: Matthew Seifnia

DeMartino, who had been working on the Charles by Charles David line prior to her promotion, told FN, “We are harking back to what [founder] Charles Malka did. We want to celebrate that legacy. He had this iconic brand, and he was known for keeping a close eye on trends and evolving.”

Malka launched the Charles David line in 1967. He relocated the company to Los Angeles in 1987, and after facing increased competition and a changing retail landscape, parent company Charles David of California Inc. was sold to New York Transit Inc. in 2013. Malka died on Oct. 28, 2018, after battling Alzheimer’s. He was 84.

Said DeMartino: “He was inspired to make affordable luxury in a very wearable way, so I’m trying to continue that, and I believe we are achieving it.”

For fall ’19, the brand is focused on updating its assortment for the modern woman by introducing new silhouettes and heel heights. Shoppers can find different types of animal prints in the collection as well as warm earth tones.

“People want to wear something day to night, and we are reacting to that with chunky heels, 65-millimeter and 80-millimeter heights,” DeMartino said. “The customer is polished and sophisticated. [We are targeting] a range of a young adults and above who are going to work, achieving goals and wanting to look the part.”

Charles David
Charles David spring ’19.
CREDIT: Matthew Seifnia

The company is also boosting its wholesale business by expanding its assortment with its current partners.

Said DeMartino: “We are expanding business that we’ve had, and the reaction has been great.”

This month, the label has been introduced to the Bloomingdale’s shopper through trunk shows across the country. So far, the pop-ups have been introduced in San Diego and Los Angeles, and on April 13, the New York location will host a special kickoff event 12-4 p.m. In the fall,  Charles David will be available in select Bloomgindale’s.

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