The name Skinnygirl makes perfect sense for sparkling water, fat-free salad dressing, zero-calorie mints and no-carb tangerine-flavored vodka. Does the same hold true for camisoles and jeans, when the average woman in the U.S. is a size 16?
Bethenny Frankel and her partners, with the goal of building a lifestyle brand, say it does, though it took some convincing for manufacturers and retailers to get on board.
“I was concerned—and retail raised the issue—so I really had to think about it,” says Jack Gross, CEO of One Jeanswear Group, the Skinnygirl apparel partner. “But it’s our job to tell the consumer what Skinnygirl is all about. I told Bethenny I wouldn’t put her brand name in the witness protection program.”
Elliot Franco, CEO of Dreamwear shape wear, worried that the “skinny” moniker had traditionally been associated with “diet,” e.g., Skinny Cow. But he’s found that Skinnygirl “has become ingrained, and people aren’t looking at the word in a literal sense, but its connotation.”
Frankel has taken pains to note the all-body-types, size-inclusive range of her apparel lines, where jeans are available in sizes up to 24 and boy shorts, sweatshirts and other clothing items come in extra small to extra large.
“It’s a personality, not a directive,” says Jarrod Moses, founder, president, CEO of United Entertainment Group, a close Frankel ally. “It’s an attitude. It’s swagger.”
Frankel’s potential next foray into fashion tips its hat to her flagship brand, but its moniker isn’t likely to raise eyebrows. She’s trademarking Brynnygirl, named after her 8-year-old daughter, Bryn, for baby and children’s clothes, shoes, swimsuits and other pint-sized product.