Trish Wescoat Pound’s TWP is gaining ground at retail – WWD
Trish Wescoat Pound is making inroads into department and specialty stores with her advanced contemporary “cool girl” collection, TWP.
Wescoat Pound, who is best known for founding Haute Hippie, and previously worked at Theory and Michael Kors, designs what she calls “well-made clothes for women who don’t want to pay luxury prices.” The line, which is privately funded, is a step above contemporary design and below.
According to Wescoat Pound, it had been developing TWP for a few years and started doing chest displays in stores during the pandemic before “officially” launching for sale in the spring of 2022.
“Basically, it’s a collection intensified by classification,” said Wescoat Pound, in an interview at his studios at 318 West 39th Street in Manhattan. She started the collection by designing men’s inspired shirts that are made for and fit a woman. She named them after relationship milestones such as The Boyfriend, Soon to Be Ex, The Morning After and The Goodbye. These are the four basic styles. “It’s interesting to see the relationship the client has with them”, Wescoat Pound said.
While Haute Hippie was more edgy, rock ‘n’ roll and bohemian, TWP seems like a more laid back, comfortable and cool girl.
“Each time a new collection is launched, you can see it with a different eye. I don’t care what I did last season or last year, or two or five years ago. There are just some things I found that I couldn’t find on the market,” Wescoat Pound said.
She said she likes to focus on things that go up top, like button-down shirts and blazers. “At this point in my life, I want to be laid back and I want to be put together, but I’m a comfort creature, so everything is super comfortable,” she said.
Recently, she’s added pants to the mix and offers what she calls “everything broken suits.” Even if you could wear the pants and blazer together, it’s really about “mixing it up and showing it differently,” she said.
“These are the things you have to have – the things you are always looking for. You can have a thousand shirts, but you’re only looking for one shirt,” she said.
It also offers a buttoned Boyfriend in silk charmeuse. “We always like to have little surprises and we’ll do a little sparkle and a little shine. We’re not afraid of color to elevate and highlight everything, and we mix it in a casual way,” she said. The Boyfriend shirt is their bestseller. This is a little slimmer and has a signature buttoned cuff.
Many pants are wide, but there are also slim pants. She described a style as “clean” and highly crafted with hthick stitching and nailheads.
In the blazers category, it offers a double-breasted men’s model with buttons and zippers at the cuffs. There are also waiter blazers, which have three-quarter sleeves, and there is the boyfriend blazer.
“We love wearing button-up shirts as shirt jackets,” she added.
Wescoat Book shows blazers with a denim shirt, ribbed tank top and wide leg pants, for example. The collection is made primarily from Italian fabrics and is produced within a two-block radius in New York City.
For spring 2023, she also makes outerwear and sweaters. She uses Loro Piana cashmere and makes five-gauge sweaters and offers fully fashioned sweaters for spring.
Sizes range from 0 to 12 and from XS to XL.
The collection sells for $198 to $2,495. Basic cotton shirts range from $245 to $395, silk shirts from $375 to $495; blazers sell for between $695 and $995 and pants for between $495 and $695.
“Our things are cool and easy and sexy. She’s put together, but there’s something wrong,” Wescoat Pound said. The company operates its sales appointments from 27 Howard Street and Maria Aguilera is the director of global sales.
According to Aguilera, the brand currently has 80 distribution points and sells in the United States, Canada and a little internationally. TWP is sold to top specialty stores such as Kirna Zabete, Elyse Walker, Five Story, The Edit and The Conservatory. It also sells to Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. For the resort, the brand added Mitchells, Stanley Korshak, Tootsie’s and Julianne.
“Our goal is really to grow those relationships and do trunk shows,” she said. She said the boxer brief shows she did during COVID-19 made her realize what women really want to wear. “It’s a big part of our strategy to partner with these people and support and nurture the business,” she said.
TWP plans to launch a website, TWPclothing.com in September, which will soon add e-commerce.
Retailers are having success with the collection.
Brian Bolke, founder of the Conservatory in New York and Dallas, said, “We’ve carried TWP since she launched [fall 2021], and our customers have always reacted to the simple, chic and artful way the collection almost styles itself. Trish has an uncanny sense of exactly how much casual luxury the customer is looking for. Customers return again and again because they find themselves living in these iconic shirts.
Beth Buccini, owner of Kirna Zabete, said: “We added TWP for the spring season and it has been a resounding success. Customers reacted immediately to Trish’s refined essentials and purchased several basic units from her wardrobe with a twist. Her shirt story is amazing, her tailoring is super strong, and she handles the difficult task of making interesting pants with the perfect fit beautifully. We are already at 44% sales for the fall and the spring has ended at 84%. We are big fans and we see so much potential in it.
Wescoat Pound founded Haute Hippie in 2008, and established a loyal following. But Haute Hippie ran into operational difficulties down the road, after a number of employees allegedly used company credit cards on a spending spree, costing the company between $700,000 and $800,000. After cleaning up, the company was finally sold to Hilco in 2015.
“From this failure, I learned a lot. It’s really important the people you surround yourself with. It’s about having the right people and surrounding yourself with people who are competent and talented and who are on the same wavelength than you,” Wescoat Pound said.
“Haute Hippie was a great product for its time,” she added. “In this collection, you see my love of sewing. But there is this little piece of sequin. It’s so moving. Some of the things I learned at Haute Hippie, I apply them in a different way. And back to sewing and the juxtaposition between hard and soft. What’s most exciting about it is how eclectic, cool, and downtown it is. It’s a little more complete and complex. We got carried away by the versatility.