Fashion designers Tanner Richie and Fletcher Kasell of Tanner Fletcher are opening their first retail pop-up at the curated home goods, interiors and art boutique, LES Collection, from Dec. 1 to Dec. 3.
The duo are recent CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists and Shop With Google American Emerging Designer of the Year nominees, who founded their brand in 2020.
The pop-up is meant to intertwine home goods and fashion ahead of the holiday season.
The LES Collection retail experience will showcase looks from the fall 2023 alongside Tanner Fletcher trinket boxes, throw pillows and more. There will also be made-to-order bespoke pieces as well as rare vintage home goods, holiday decor and vintage clothing on display.
“LES Collection’s new space in SoHo is a captivating haven for those who seek delight, an experiential journey and an aspirational atmosphere — designed to help customers connect with their creativity,” said Lauren Sands, founder of LES Collection. “In our relentless pursuit of diverse perspectives and exciting discoveries, we have found an ideal partner in Tanner Fletcher. Renowned for their whimsical styles, Tanner Fletcher’s creations blur the lines between masculinity and femininity, opening up new dimensions in fashion and self-expression. Their innovative approach challenges conventional norms and brings a refreshing and unique touch to our collective exploration of individuality and style.”
Here, WWD talks to Tanner Fletcher in an edited interview about creating its first retail experience, the connection between home goods and fashion, the brand’s inclusivity ethos and more.
WWD: What is Tanner Fletcher? How would you describe it to a consumer?
Tanner Richie and Fletcher Kasell: We describe Tanner Fletcher as a world. At its core, Tanner Fletcher is a tastemaker. We wish to be a leader in defining new ways of taste-making regarding the home, wardrobe and inclusivity. Tanner Fletcher is not simply a brand that designs products, it’s setting an example for a new way of living. We prioritize boundary-breaking, innovation and authenticity all while working these values into every stitch of every product.
At our current size, we are focusing on building a foundation for this large undertaking. Our ready-to-wear is our strongest category with home following swiftly behind. Our design aesthetic centers around authenticity and nostalgia. Our customers should look at what we put out and feel encouraged to be their authentic selves. We wish to support authentic characters and build up underrepresented people. They should also feel nurtured by our home-like feelings stemming from nods to the past within our designs. We merge femininity and masculinity, home and wardrobe, classic and modern.
WWD: What made you choose the LES Collection for the pop-up?
T.R. and F.K.: Timing and alignment certainly came into play here. Lauren Sands, the founder of LES Collection, pitched the idea to us, and the timing couldn’t have been better. We have always dreamed of doing a holiday market through the lens of the Tanner Fletcher world and decided early on this is something we’d be launching on our website this season. After speaking with Lauren, we thought merging the Tanner Fletcher and LES Collection worlds was a great idea. While the worlds are different, they complement each other nicely.
For our holiday market, we’ve not only developed a capsule collection of Tanner Fletcher classics, like our Maxine dress in a stunning red and black plaid, as well as house-made throw pillows, but we’ve also sourced a large selection of vintage home decor, clothing and holiday-inspired gifts. The Holiday Market is a playful shop full of kooky treasures and rare finds.
WWD: How do you envision this opportunity to engage with customers in a physical setting and a new way?
T.R. and F.K.: This will be the first time Tanner Fletcher does a physical activation open to the public. We mostly communicate with our customers through social media or over email so it will be refreshing to meet our customers face to face and get to speak to them directly about the products and the mission behind the brand. A large part of the long-term planning for Tanner Fletcher is physical activations. As the brand grows, there will be more experiences like this one until we ultimately open a store. This will be a great experiment of sorts to see the reaction to the brand directly from the streets of SoHo.
WWD: How are the home and fashion worlds for the brand interconnected for you?
T.R. and F.K.: Tanner Fletcher was founded on a belief that home and wardrobe are more deeply connected than they appear. This belief comes from the idea that both the contents of one’s home and one’s wardrobe are collected and refined over time according to their taste. Selecting what you wear on your body and what you bring into your home is a very intimate and personal process. Personally, our home inspires our wardrobes and vice versa. It’s a process that’s completely unique to the individual. Each person has their own color pallets, sets of rules, material preferences, etc.
There are many parallels between interiors and fashion. Think ruffles. Ruffled pillows and ruffled curtains in interiors are equal to ruffled collars and cuffs in the wardrobe. Prints are another parallel. Wallpaper prints and upholstery prints translate to printed silk charmeuse and woven plain wool. Pleated skirts are equal to pleated sofas. We could go on all day. Since home decor and fashion are so similar, we think it’s best to work on them simultaneously so that the Tanner Fletcher mission and aesthetics are offered in both worlds. Dress your home and decorate yourself.
WWD: Can you tell us about how you have prioritized inclusivity and serving underrepresented communities?
T.R. and F.K.: We both grew up in small, northern towns in Minnesota and Wisconsin where many were openly hateful toward the LGBTQ+ community. As we were finding out who we were we realized that we were the underrepresented community on somewhat of a privileged micro level. As we continued to grow up and put feelers out into the world, we saw that there were cases of this all around us and in much larger and scarier forms.
We saw that underrepresentation is running rampant in many communities. We see hatred against the LGBTQ+ community including trans rights and gender issues all the time. We saw it happen to most people of Asian descent during the COVID-19 pandemic. We all saw the hatred during the ongoing BLM movement, especially around the murder of George Floyd. We see antisemitism, xenophobia and still sexism against women. The terrible list goes on and on.
There is too much hatred and negativity going around so we wanted to create something that was always in a good mood and is serious about building up all underrepresented groups. Not just ours. Creative influence has immense power on these systems and teaches current and future generations new ways of thinking and supporting each other purely through culture and expression. We believe we can vastly contribute to positive change because of this mission that drives our creative vision.
WWD: How does this philosophy manifest in the pieces on display at the pop-up, with the inclusion of made-to-order garments and curated vintage items?
T.R. and F.K.: This philosophy shows up in everything we do at varying levels. It’s most important in our casting, imagery and storytelling. It shows up in the products as a sense of freedom because of our wide assortment all of which excludes gender labels. Everyone has varying levels of femininity and masculinity no matter your gender identity and we leave that expression up to the individual. We like to say we take our customers out of a box rather than put them in one. Ultimately, this pop-up will manifest as an open and authentic experience where our community can be themselves and we can support their authenticity.
WWD: What’s next for the brand?
T.R. and F.K.: The Tanner Fletcher spring 2024 runway collection will launch at Nordstrom (NYC, The Grove, Chicago, Online), Shopbop and Selfridges at the beginning of the year. Tanner and Fletcher are already working on their fall 2024 collection, which will hit NYFW in February.