Whether you’re touching down internationally or hot-footing it to an important meeting, Anatomie clothes are based on one simple premise—sharp, wrinkle-free, durable staples that will see you through whatever life throws at you. Or as the brand puts it, think of it as “Prada meets Lululemon!” The Daily caught up with co-founder and CEO Kate Boyer and president/COO Tom Dietrich to get the lowdown on what’s in the pipeline, post-pandemic.
You started the brand in 2006. Was the focus always on travel clothing?
Kate Boyer: We’ve always been a consumer-centric brand. Consumers have helped us evolve and grow as we became a trusted brand for pieces you can pack to go anywhere. Anatomie was created from a need to have wardrobe staples that are versatile—lightweight performance fabrics meets stylish fashion-forward design. We’re not concerned with trends; we’re an everyday lifestyle brand that works for you.
You’re known for one style in particular, your cargo pants!
Boyer: They’ve become a go-to pant, and that happened from our audience telling us that they loved these pants for traveling! They’re made from a wrinkle-free, performance material that lends itself to working, traveling, and having them in your carry-on.
Are they really guaranteed for life?
Tom Dietrich: Kate has a pair since 1999!
Boyer: It’s an extreme rarity in the industry, but that’s how confident we are in the fabric. The majority of our essentials are done in a great French fabrication.
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Kate, your background spans everything from coaching to designing! What led to creating Anatomie?
Boyer: When you’re an entrepreneur you just kind of do it and things just happen. Shawn, my partner, has always been designing clothes, so he can sew and make patterns. I’m more on the commercial side. I love the business, the style, the shows, and meeting customers. I always knew I’d start my own brand, because we have always been pioneers.
Dietrich: It’s not a coincidence, with Kate being from Europe and Shawn being from the bodybuilding world, that Anatomie is all about clean European design with stretch performance to it. That’s what it has evolved into since 2006. When I met them in 2013, I saw the potential and they hooked me right away on this one line: It’s Prada meets Lululemon! People get that right away. You’re not going to look sloppy on the plane; you’re going to look sharp as hell!
In one sentence, what have Anatomie customers come to know you for?
Boyer: An elevated casual experience, with pants guaranteed for life and designed by body type.
Are most people repeat customers who have been following the brand for years?
Boyer: Yes. Through our omnichannel presence of 300 points of sale—spas, resorts, golf shops, pop-ups, catalogs, VIP stylist network, trunk shows, and wholesale accounts—the customer gets a touchpoint of the brand. It’s important for us to be in front of her to show we’re part of her world, her wardrobe, and with her wherever she goes. Dietrich: We have a 50 percent return rate and a loyal customer base. Many clients have even become shareholders and investors in the company. I think that’s very unique and a testament.
What are some ways you pivoted the business during COVID?
Dietrich: We focused on, and put more money and energy into DTC [direct to consumer]. We perfected our in-house customer service and organized our VIP stylist network. During COVID, the stylists were having Zoom parties and selling to women in their communities; it totally replaced trunk shows. Kate and Shawn got more engaged. Every Tuesday, Kate was doing Instagram Lives and communicating with the clients, showing them the clothes. We also opened successful pop-ups in Palm Beach, the Hamptons, and Aspen, and had record sales. Our audience learned that there was an everyday-wear element of Anatomie; it’s not just pigeon-holed into elite travel. We definitely came out stronger and smarter.
Are there other positives you’re taking away?
Dietrich: It showed us that we can become a top-of- mind lifestyle brand for every activity. The comfort and styling is unparalleled. Nothing looks this good, feels this good, and lasts this long.
Why is brick-and-mortar retail still so important for the brand?
Dietrich: We proudly protect the stores that were also able to adapt and service clients and collaborate with us to hang in there together. They’re a key component to our omnichannel presence.
Tell us about your involvement at Coterie this year!
Dietrich: We’re expanding more than ever before. We’ve been doing Coterie for nine years and every time, we get more and more orders. We have a bigger and more exciting branded booth this year, which includes menswear. We’re coming to take market share from competitors with a strong product. Melina Vourlekis, our specialty store business development manager, will be there. She’s been with the company for 11 years, so she’s seen the full journey!
You’re relaunching the cruise ship business, too!
Boyer: We’re in close collaboration with Starboard and Harding retail, as their top 20 percent of high-end ships have sold through Anatomie pre-pandemic, and we know they will again as they resume operations. We love that business! A top-secret launch is also happening on the Ritz-Carlton yacht.
What else is coming up for Anatomie in 2021?
Dietrich: We have a menswear push, a cashmere capsule, and more pop-ups and trunk shows. We have a mail- order catalog going out to 200,000 household across the country—most of whom have never heard of the brand. We have a spectacular Spring/Summer ’22 lifestyle campaign, shot by Steven Lippman. And we’ll be expanding internationally to the U.K., Italy, and the Middle East.
How important is travel to your own life?
Boyer: I’m passionate about travel. It’s part of who I am. I was born in Budapest, Hungary, during the Communist occupation. I wanted to travel to make up for the last generation that couldn’t. I left my country when I was 18, and it opened my eyes to the world. Traveling builds community, love, and understanding, so I created this brand to empower and inspire people to explore their world in comfort and style.