Lizo is discussing the contents of her underwear drawer.
There are plunging bras, high-waisted shorts, bodysuits and tees in shades of neon lime green and pink, as well as black, brown, nude and white underneath. The assignment is a new collection called Soft Reality, part of the singer’s fashion brand YT. It’s also the first to fully embrace the shapewear, activewear and loungewear business with its own collection. The allocation is decreasing this month.
“I’ve been wearing it for a while now, because you know, I’m lucky, I get to wear all the prototypes and stuff,” Lizo told WWD by phone from her home in Los Angeles. “I wear YT every day on tour. It’s wild. I don’t even need to pack anything anymore because I just love YT [in a suitcase]. I wear a Yeti shapewear on stage. I have yeti bodysuits that I wear in the first half of the show. After the show, I entered Yitty as Pete Me. I’m in my main account when I’m working. Like, I’m totally into the YT-quote.
She’s not the only one. Fans everywhere are entering Lizo’s YT universe through her albums, concerts, reality show, Love, Lizo,” he said.
It’s no wonder the Grammy-winning singer is busy. Lizo, whose real name is Melissa Jefferson, is back from New York, where she performed her second concert on “Saturday Night Live.” She’s also touring promoting her next album (scheduled for fall 2023) and promoting her YT brand. But she managed to squeeze in 10 minutes to chat with WWD about the brand’s latest expansion plans.
“We basically offer a cold version that’s presented like a nude,” Lizo said. “I want to wear something for my everyday life [outfit], do you know? And so, I was like, you know, you know, where we have this high compression, you-in, all of that, we have to do something. But now, when you want to throw away bras and panties, we want something soft, smooth and comfortable.
Yeti’s expansion comes at an exciting time. With nearly three years of locker loungewear and consumers moving away from bras and underwear that stay at home — and almost every major fashion house (and a few big name brands too) selling their underwear — consumers have never had more options to choose from. The category of intimates. Some critics say there is no room for new players in the market. At the same time, active clothes continue to be in trend. And the return of in-body events puts shapewear into the spotlight.
“She’s right at the moment,” said Lizzo — Yettin (her childhood nickname) in March 2022 from Fabletics Inc., the parent company of Kate Hudson’s activewear brand Fabletics.
“I don’t think you’d say the market is saturated with shapewear,” she said. When I took shapewear meetings, there were probably only three or four brands. Compared to other types of clothing [categories] That is relatively small. So I feel YT has come at just the right time.”
She said that the current demand for the product is so high that she does not intend to sell the brand or merge with a larger company to help scale.
“I don’t think it matters now,” said Lizo. “YT is doing great on our own right now. And YT has just started, so I think I want to focus on my brand now.
“Yet is basically a dream,” the entrepreneur continued. “You know, I always feel like I have to make my own way in the fashion world. I always have to have people make clothes for me, cuz, I fit a lot of clothes. And I have a lot of ideas that I want to execute, you know, it just wasn’t easy. So when YT started, it was more; Like, I have to make something for myself. I have to like… I want to make a product that I can wear and fit in from shapewear.
Talk of diversity and inclusion is everywhere in the fashion industry these days. But the musician has always talked about her size — “showing back rolls and all and love,” according to one Instagram post — before the body positivity movement appeared. Still, Lizzo is not celebrating. She also declined to say whether she felt the body positivity movement was valid — or just a performance.
“I think everyone should ask themselves, ‘How is my marketing experience? How was my shopping experience?” said Lizo. “In my life, it doesn’t matter what your body type is, I’ve always heard people struggle to find something they like that fits them, you know? So I don’t know. I can’t answer that question for you. I know what Yeti is doing. And we are doing the work to be inclusive. And not just to be inclusive, but just because we want to. Just because we can. And I think that says a lot.
“It’s not just about selling a product, it’s about selling a feeling,” she continued. “I don’t want to force people to buy something. And I think I’m in the same boat. That’s why I started on your own terms as a brand. And I think, obviously, you know, people were very happy with the shapewear [that] We will continue to expand our brand into other apparel.
YT, which started with three collections – Almost Nude, Mesh Me and Major Label – now includes the Pet Me, Swim and Soft Reality lines, which include the Shapewear, Loungewear, Activewear and Intimates categories. And the singer said he would come a lot.
“The sky’s the limit,” Lizzo said. “I mean, we have a lot to do with YT. And everyone was loving what we had. So we can go anywhere.
Dropping Sunday, Smooth Reality is available on Yitty.com The collection comes in sizes XS to 6XL and ranges in price from $15.95 to $59.95.
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