Have you ever found yourself carefully tucking your clothing into tissue paper before carefully setting it in your suitcase, hoping it won't wrinkle? Most of us women have been faced at one time or another with the challenge of packing our luggage as carefully as possible so that clothing arrives unruffled at our travel destinations — and most of us have failed.
But wrinkles aren't a problem if your wardrobe is drawn from Anatomie, which has created an innovative line of chic, high-performance travel clothing that is designed to be, as co-founder and CEO Kate Boyer says, "as flexible as your jetsetter lifestyle."
After seeing too many women traveling in sweatpants and yoga pants, Boyer recognized an unmet need for garments that could travel well and support an active lifestyle but were also fashionable. Thus was born Anatomie, founded by Boyer and her husband, Shawn — a former bodybuilder who already had deep industry experience in technical fabrics for custom-designed performance apparel. The brand blends a European fashion sensibility with high performance and great comfort, she says.
Made from the finest French and Italian performance fabrics — the company uses the same "designer" mills and factories as brands such as Burberry, Cucinelli, Armani, and Versace Sport, says Boyer — Anatomie nonetheless offers a price point that is a fraction of the cost of these highend designer lines.
The company's garments dry quickly and are highly breathable, but they're also easy to care for — all of the pieces are machine washable and remain free of wrinkles, whether you wear them onto the plane or stuff them into your suitcase. They also do not shrink or stretch over time, are super lightweight (pants are 0.6 pounds, for example), body shaping and transition easily from day to night.
Now, you certainly don't have to travel to wear Anatomie — it travels as well from board room to dinner as from plane to safari — but the brand has focused on this unique segment and established itself as a ‘goto' brand in this category, says Boyer. In fact, 90 percent of Anatomie's 11,000 private clients recommend the brand for travel, and 80 percent actually board the plane in Anatomie, she says.
How Anatomie came to dominate in this category also demonstrates its flair for innovation: the company established a partner program and has connected with many elite travel-related businesses, including NetJets (owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway), IC Bellagio, Nobel Travel, China Elite Focus, Trans Africa Safaris, Made for Spain, Inspirato (the luxury destination club owned by American Express) and the International Spa Association.
As part of this unique program, Anatomie and each of its partners have dedicated phone lines to serve customers on either side, and each provides VIP perks to the other. Nobel Travel clients, for example, receive a gift certificate for Anatomie clothing, along with a one-on-one consultation with the Boyers to assist in selecting the most appropriate items for their travel itinerary, while Anatomie clients connected to IC Bellagio will receive perks such as complimentary city tours and dinners. "It works both ways," says Boyer.
Anatomie is an incredibly high-touch business. The brand is available in more than 300 high-end specialty stores including boutiques, country clubs, golf shops and resorts such as Four Seasons and Canyon Ranch, and the Boyers also work closely with clients to help select the garments that best suit their travel plans — what you'd pack for an African safari wouldn't necessarily work for a weekend yoga retreat, for example. The Boyers are on the road almost every day, visiting these locations as well as installing pop-up stores and trunk shows across the country.
The company's extreme attention to quality and fit are maintained consistently by having feet on the ground where its apparel is produced. Anatomie's vice president of production, Cesario Mele, whose previous experience includes stints at Armani and Versace, moved himself and his entire family from Italy to Hungary to provide the same type of high-touch attention to production that the Boyers are known for on the client side. He also travels to the company's other factories in Italy, France and Romania.
This type of personalized attention has helped build Anatomie customers into loyalists: an amazing 65 percent of sales come from repeat customers, Boyer says. "When you talk about omnichannel, in terms of providing unique ways for customers to purchase apparel, this is a real game changer," she concludes.
— Jordan K. Speer