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A IS FOR ARITZIA

BY CLAIRE DELLORTO

BY CLAIRE DELLORTO

10. 21. 22

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As the school year comes into full swing, the staple outfit pieces for a wide range of on-campus environments alway come back to Aritzia. Living in a house full of girls, the minute I leave my room I am constantly aware of the presence of Aritzia around me, from loungewear and athleisure to basics and professional attire. In the constant household chatter of debriefing the outfit of the day and the nearly daily panicked group chat requests for professional or casual chic clothing to borrow, Aritzia is the name that never fails to pop up.

Aritzia intentionally markets themselves to stand out to students, leading to their recent rise in popularity. With a wide variety of school-appropriate options, from business professional clothes to functional winter wear and everything in between, Aritzia puts themselves on the main stage for students in all aspects of their daily lives. Aritzia offers loungewear and matching sets such as the Cozy Fleece Boyfriend Sweatpant and Hoodie set for those Tuesday 8 am classes as well as professional wear like the Melina Pant, Effortless Pant, and Agency Blazer for the common university student’s packed schedule of internship interviews and other professional opportunities. Aritzia’s range of classy yet flattering professional wear allows women to feel confident in educational settings while still being trendy. Additionally, these professional wear options still allow young women to feel flattered by popular modest shapewear basics such as the Babaton Contour bodysuits, with a price point that, while still on the higher end, is not too far out of reach for students looking to splurge on a high-quality piece with a high return on investment.

Aritzia markets itself as “affordable luxury”, a concept which CEO of Aritzia Brian Hill explained saying, “We like to be attainable to the vast majority of the population. But we consider ourselves to be a luxury retailer.” This “affordable luxury” statement appeals to college students as they want to buy high-quality clothes with brand names, but often are on a tight budget and cannot buy real luxury for everyday wear.

Aritzia has also made a name for itself among students through their use of popular young celebrities. Most recently, Aritzia released a new Sunday Best collection featuring Emma Chamberlain, a popular, stylish, and relatable influencer for young women. Aritzia used Emma Chamberlain to create an image for their brand that aligns with what popular influencers such as herself wear, while she is actually just the face of the brand’s collection, not a collaborator. Emma Chamberlain was used to endorse Aritzia’s name for young women by choosing her favorite pieces, doing a photoshoot, and participating in an interview, in which she stated “You know what I love about this brand, and also just Aritzia in general? They have something for any mood that I might be in.” Young women around the world who look up to Chamberlain are sequentially influenced, bringing attention and sales to the brand.
Aritzia is strategic in its portrayal of being “affordable luxury” with their low prices, in comparison to other brands that offer the same quality, so that they can stay popular while increasing revenue. Aritzia uses cross-price elasticity to appeal to customers; while luxury brands hike up prices, consumers will go to brands like Aritzia for similar clothes at a lower price point. Aritzia went public in 2016; with a strong following, they gained enough inelasticity of demand to raise their prices slightly and still increase revenue because they were well known enough to still be demanded by consumers. “Aritzia is positioned so well in the market, striking a strong balance between price and quality with clothing that appeals to a wide range of demographics,” explained Jamie Murray, portfolio manager and head of research at Murray Wealth Group. This success was shown in this year's second quarter fiscal financial results which revealed that Aritzia’s net revenue increased 74.9% to $350 million in the past year and the adjusted EBITDA increased by $60.6 million to $72.9 million.

Aritzia also brings in more business by expanding into menswear despite being a primarily womenswear brand. Aritzia already offers a SuperPuff for men with the new slogan “Looking super, Man”. The SuperPuff winter coat is one of Aritzia’s most popular items for students and other consumers with its functionality and chic appearance when the weather turns, especially for students at a school such as Michigan. Aritzia expanded their target demographic by making this item available for men as well. Aritzia will also be including more menswear through its recent acquisition of the Vancouver-based high-end men’s athletic apparel brand Reigning Champ. While this is a risky move as it moves away from their usual target market, it is a risk that could lead to major revenue growth.

Aritzia has caught the eye of students across the globe, and with the path that it is on now, it should continue to do so throughout the year. By bringing back a minimalist style, as compared to the recent rise of maximalism via the comeback of 1990s and 2000s fashion trends, Aritzia has gained popularity by allowing students to go back to basics, and start at the beginning with “A”.