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An Open Letter to the Limited Brands and Eloquii

An Open Letter to the Limited Brands and Eloquii

An open letter to Eloquii and The Limited

Last week, news broke about the Limited’s phasing out of their plus size line, Eloquii. I remember the email I received, vague at best. I had questions. I had concerns. Most importantly, I was UPSET. So, I took to my FB page and left my immediate thoughts and today, I decided to fashion an open letter to The Limited and all the other brands watching them in this UNFORTUNATE time.

A Special Message to our Fans

For more than a year, eloquii has served you by delivering quality, must-have fashion in sizes that highlight your confident curves. In return, you have given us great feedback about how we can better serve you.

We look forward to offering you new fashion at through the summer. However, after a year’s test at market, we have decided to phase out eloquii and we have begun discussions with others who have expressed an interest in the future of the brand and/or its products.

Thank you so much for your support and for your feedback as we developed and refined eloquii over the last year. We recognize that eloquii plays an important role in our fans’ lives and look forward to better serving our clients in the future.

Please read on and leave your thoughts and comments below:

 An open letter to Eloquii and The Limited

Dear Eloquii and The Limited,

It pains me to hear that you have decided to close the doors on your brand new brand. I do not think you realize the ramifications of your errors and how this hurts so much more than your bottom line. But before I get to this, I HAVE QUESTIONS. I HAVE CONCERNS. I HAVE FRUSTRATIONS.

As someone who has worked for the Limited brands for over 5 years in my former life, I HAVE ISSUES with the way this went down.

Eloquii served a perfect place for that business professional, for that woman who wanted to be a bit more sophisticated in her approach to plus size fashion all while having a playful twist. Eloquii offered a classic approach with a great mid-range price point and a great place to add new options to the wardrobe. I have referenced your clothes many a few times, here, here, here, and here as a go to for business casual options.

HOWEVER, here is where things went wrong.

You cannot open doors and NOT market the brand.

Sorry, “if you build it, they will come,” IS NOT a viable Marketing plan. Eloquii, you NEVER advertised. And if you did, you did in a place where the plus size shopper WAS NOT LOOKING. Yes, you may have had an affiliate program that I am part of, BUT even I had to chase you down for this!

There was NO BLOGGER outreach, NO PLUS SIZE COMMUNITY participation! Do you know how many fashion shows, shopping events, community gatherings, blogger conferences there were that spoke DIRECTLY to the plus size shopper? HOW CAN SHE SHOP YOU IF SHE DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO REACH YOU or THAT YOU EXIST?

The Eloquii Fall 2011 Launch Look Book

In writing this and leaving my comments on Facebook, there are still plus size shoppers who HAD NO IDEA about your existence. I KNOW you had a PR company, digital agencies you worked with… I chased them down and have had my frustrations there too.

WAIT. While we are talking about execution, how about the fact that you opened five+ stores within the Limited WITHOUT ANY NEWS, promotion, awareness, AT ALL! No emails to the local bloggers, communities, etc. And then the selections (from those who shared with me), were minute! Only 20 pieces? Would you shop somewhere with only 20 items to chose from?

WHO DOES THAT? Basically, you set us up for failure.

Now, I do not know if the fact that your CEO jumped ship to Lane Bryant has any effect on your choice to close doors, but it does speak volumes if it did. The message you are sending out is that you never really cared about plus size fashion and was only in this for the money. Now, I am no idealist and I come from a retail business background. SO, I KNOW that at the end of the day, it is all about the Dollar, HOWEVER, if you had spent wiser and engaged the community, you easily could have swooped up market share from the Lane Bryants, Torrids, Ashley Stewarts, and Forever 21s.

Eloquii Sequin Tube Dress

Speaking of money, because sales were not moving (due to lack of awareness) rather than drive that, you went the other route and went SALES crazy. The site was extremely sale driven, therefore eating at every type of profit margin possible and then training the shoppers to wait for sales- which proved to be dangerous for the long term.

ONLY one year? You could have given this more time, tested out different partnerships, played around with ADS, OR engaged the community BETTER. In the fabulous world of business, we know that most startups do not turn a profit in the first year.


See Also
Cyber Monday Plus Size Deals

But Eloquii and the Limited, this is much bigger that you. Much bigger than your first year flops…  this poses a very dangerous example for future major retailers who can then point to the failure of this brand, thus affecting future options for the plus size woman. THIS is what scares and angers me the most… another example of saying that the plus size woman does not buy. WHICH WE KNOW IS BS.

So where does this leave us? In a place where we HOPE AND PRAY another retail conglomerate will swoop up and buy this brand, as they see the opportunity for growth here. An opportunity for brands to realize that you cannot just throw up a brand and hope that someone will see and shop.

You need to know more about the plus size shopper? EMAIL ME, let’s talk. I will happily consult here. But, it seems like it is too late for this.

In the words from Pretty Woman:

Big Mistake, HUGE.

Now, while this letter you have sent out is vague, I DO HOPE you at least continue to operate online. I REALLY want to see you succeed! Like no other! Wishing you the utmost positive transition! FOR REALS! 


A Huge Fan and frustrated Blogger,

Marie Denee

 PS. If you have a post that you have written, please leave it in the comments.

I received this one already from Wifey J.D. 

Stylish Curves addressed her thoughts here.

View Comments (122)
  • I only wish I had known about eloquii before now. I would have shopped the hell out of that website! As a woman working in a professional environment, it’s hard to find classy clothing that covers the excessive cleavage, and is still flattering and fashionable. I agree that the lack of advertising where plus sized women shop was key to the loss of such a wonderful line. 

  • I didn’t know that the line existed! I wonder how many other interested shoppers don’t know the line exists.

    They should see this as what it is: failed business practice. It seems that careful review and revision of their marketing plan could prove useful if they want to keep the line. Pay for advertisement! Put some posters in the store windows! I don’t know…

    And consult, girl! 😉 It may not be too late.

    I will be in the market for new work clothes at the end of the summer!

  • I was speaking to a friend about the closing and I said the exact same thing. Next to no advertising was done. I haven’t shopped at The Limited since high school, but guess what? At least 4 times a year I get cards sent to me nail mail for $50 off $150 at The Limited. Why not include a similar card for Eloquii? Why no grand opening celebration? I get particularly annoyed because it means one less brick and mortar store for plus size gals. I get so tired of mail run shopping (buy in 2 sizes and send the one that doesn’t fit back) that many of us in the plus size world have to do. At the end of the day, I get the impression that they and many other retailers will use this as an excuse to say that there is no money to be made in the plus size market.

  • Thanks for the shoutout 🙂 And YES to all of this. I think they assumed that two sponsored blogger reviews, and profiles on FB and Twitter would be enough, but not every plus size shopper is a) heavily involved in social media or b) enjoys online shopping. Online shopping is even trickier for plus sizes, because in clothing is often too boxy or comes only in overexaggerated hourglass & pear silhouettes. And it’s downright insulting to think of the alternative- that they actively shunned print ads & other marketing strategies so as not to “dilute” The Limited brand >_< Unfortunately it's a symptom of a society that believes every person over 150 lbs is a lazy couch potato who doesn't "deserve" nice things. Maddening I tell you!

  • To say that I’m saddened by the news of Eloquii closing is an understatement. I’m not even angry – we all know at the end of the day, it’s about the bottomline – just disappointed and sad. I loved the Eloquii line – it was high quality, reasonably priced, and trendy enough to take you from work to happy hour. I really do hope that they’ll continue at least in online, but yeah. this whole thing stinks. I’m sort of torn – a part of me wants to be mad and not give them any more of my dollars. Another part of me is like, “Grab those sale items now!” Thanks for posting this.

  • The only reason I ever knew anything about Eloquii is THIS BLOG. I never even shopped at the Limited but I still get their mailings. Why nothing was even mentioned about the plus-size brand is beyond me. It’s super frustrating that a growing part of the population is basically ignored and given a bs excuse about “well you didn’t buy it when we had it.” How can we buy what you hide from us?!

  • I think this is also the problem with having separate stores for plus size. If plus sizes were simply added to the back of the racks, we wouldn’t have to searching for clothes that are fashion-conscious and ad campaigns could be tacked on to other ad efforts. I’d like to see sizes on the glass of stores also. In some places it is common to see next to the door of a boutique: sizes 00-18 or if product availability actually reflected the population and not the wish list of a designer somewhere. 

    I agree that Eloquii fails because they are simply not in front of our eyes. But for working women styles appropriate for work are in demand. But an unknown brand has to get themselves in front of eyes – often. I’d heard of Eloquii and clipped a number of styles on Pinterest where I have a number of followers but for it to jump to the front of one’s mind when ready to shop, they would have had to try harder.

    At the same time, I’ve seen the story about how Zara is not offering any larger sizes and so actually have fewer stores in the US. They are quoted as saying the reason they don’t is because larger sizes require more fabric and cost more to produce which always sounds like complete crap to me. I see regular size clothes using acres of fabric, giant, drapey sweaters, ponchos and maxi dresses. They use more fabric all the time. They simply don’t want to make plus size clothing. If Zara is blowing up for affordable, stylish clothing for people who already have infinite choice, then there is room in the market for the *same styles* in larger sizes. But any brand that does not actually understand the market, they will fail. The brands that exist do not know their market. They think larger women are a different species who only like ridiculously bold and shapeless “styles”. They are not following the huge and growing community of plus-size bloggers and Pinners, they slap things together and hope for the best or don’t give it another thought.

    A blogger I discovered through Pinterest produced a guide to jeans buying for plus sized girls and it was great and very popular. NONE of the jeans from Lane Bryant were listed as good choices. everyone knows that pocket size and placement are critical to a good looking pair of jeans. Apparently Lane Bryant hasn’t heard. Large brands are being displaced by smaller ones and maybe that’s how it should be. Frankly, any brand that can develop an excellent pair of jeans will kill.

    Why it is still an issue to supply clothes for people who happen to exist, I will never understand. If you needed a thingamajig for camping – you would find someone who made it. I can’t think of any other consumer that has to work this hard to find something they use every single day.

    I completely agree with you that they are setting another bogus precedent for the failure of a plus-size marketer. It is a shame.

    • What I know of the textile manf world…the more fabric excuse is sort of valid. But not as much as a store might claim. What really has more influence are two other factors 1. Store size and 2. Number of customers. The absorption rate of a store or a dept in a store basically measures whether or not the overhead is being paid by the dept’s profits. That is more likely why Zara elim plus sizes. The store’s space devoted to Plus apparel overhead was not being paid for with adequate profit left over.

    • I love a great pair of jeans and LB’s fit has gone to hell in the past few years. I’d love to know the blog that had the fit guide. Can you share?

  • Like others have said, the only reason I ever knew about Eloquii was through this blog which is really sad. No advertisements, no commercials, no nothing …. not that I see many plus-size brand commercials from F21 or others who have expanded into our realm. Personally, I never really liked the fashions Eloquii brought to the table but that was due to MY personal style and the higher price points, the fact that they brought fashionable, curvy professional wear to the community would have made it a staple. The points that Marie made were completely true. And that they wish to close shop after only giving it 1 year is appalling! How long did it take the Limited to become profitable? I am sure more than 1 year, so why they think they should just give up on their newest brand ill marketed to the full figured woman is beyond me. I too used some of their pieces in examples and posts to my readers at The Curvysta Haven, and it pains me to see another potentially great plus-size outlet closing. We have so few to begin with. 

  • You are so right! I hate it when they bitch about us never shopping, but do they ever bother to advertise in any way? It’s very frustrating. I LOVE Eloquii and will be very sorry to see them go. I posted my rambly thoughts here:

  • I feel exactly the same as this about M Line by the Maggie T brand in Australia.  Same sort of ‘younger brand’ with the same lack of advertising etc etc.  So few pieces make it into stores and there’s no advertising of the brand that I can see.  Such a shame!

  • I just found out about Eloquii YESTERDAY and I’m absolutely heartbroken. I can’t even imagine how you all are feeling. 

  • I’m totally heartbroken, I’ve been a fan since last fall.  Their clothes fit amazing, have superb construction, and use great materials.  I loved it because it fit with a younger yet business casual aesthetic.  I hate matronly plus size clothes, and I had found a haven with eloquii.   I would be thrilled if they did away with the sales but kept the brand going.  I really hope they are picked up by another retail conglomerate.  

  • It’s really sad that the Limited brand is not willing to put the effort forth necessary to make this brand a success. So few plus sized women I know we’re aware of Eloquii & their fashionable options. Once they were aware, regular shoppers were more inclined to buy when the items were on sale because there was ALWAYS a sale. You can’t establish yourself as a front runner if you never hit the track.

    Rethink this brand & bring it back, Limited!

  • Here is to hoping that someone swoops it up because the options were gorgeous and the prices were right. Whoever does needs to allow international orders because while i loved the clothes they were out of reach…

  • Add my comments to your list:

  • OMG!!! I love ELOQUII!!! And they definitely stole my spending budget from Lane Bryant.  I am a finance professional and my professional wardrobe is heavily skewed toward Eloquii fashions.  They seemed to have perfected the plus size fit without totally changing the appearance of the item.  Granted I shop mostly during the 40-50% off sales, but that’s solely because I knew they were coming.  In my opinion Lane Bryant has nothing on Eloquii and I sincerely hope that the brand stays in tact and reappears in the market elsewhere.

    And many thanks Marie Denee for your open letter and all that you have done in the plus size fashion wold and my own wardrobe 🙂

  • The news that Eloquii was going to be phased out hit me between the eyes like a ton of bricks. I was so upset when I read their vague “Going out of business” letter.  Many of my friends are much thinner than I am and I was always jealous that they could shop at the Limited while I could only look at their accessories, because clearly those were the only things that would fit on me from that store. But I so happy when a friend of mine from college told me about Eloquii. Finally, I could have professional clothes that fit well, didn’t look middle-aged, and most were at a price I could afford. And now to find out that they are closing their doors after a year of testing the market upsets me to no end. When will the markets wake up and realize that they are missing an opportunity here. Big girls have the same money that not as big girls have. And contrary to popular belief, we like clothes that fit, that are fashionable, that are quality. Lord knows my husband has to hear this from me every now and again, but enough is enough! I’m tired of being treated like a second class fashion citizen. I want nice clothes. I want choices. One or two brands catering to the needs of plus size women is not enough. I have a hope that one day, I will be able to actually walk into stores to try on clothes because enough retailers have caught on to the fact that big girls wear clothes too. But with the giant step backward that Eloquii has taken, that day may be farther than I’d hoped. 

  • I was hoping if you would like to follow each other on Google Friend Connect and other social sites.- Chic Out of Town Blog

  • Excellent, Marie. This was perfectly said, and I completely 100% agree. I didn’t fully discover Eloquii (just hearsay around the web) until joining Gwynnie Bee only a month ago. Their PR team definitely did much more harm than good.

  • Definitely agree with the passion here but above all I appreciate the business commentary. There are far too many examples of brands that launch hoping to snag some easy market share without having any ad or PR muscle behind them. Gap, H&M, eloquii.. On we did an article questioning why straight size designers don’t do more large sizes and your points about this latest line folding are so aligned with our thoughts – the way some labels are going to market defies common sense business practices. Would you sneak Prabal Gurung into Target without any fan fair? Even a new cut of jeans makes prime time for Old Navy. It cannot be that the professionals behind these ‘tests’ don’t know the basics of selling new goods.. Sadly, we think it may be deeply ingrained fears of associating ‘skinny’ brands with ‘fat’ customers that keep marketers from fully supporting their own ventures. Frankly I would love for major brands and retailers to jump into plus size only thinking about growing their market share because one would suspect that if it were truly a dollars driven business motive, then full fledged marketing campaigns would follow as a requirement to maximize what was surely a costly investment. Thank you for a bold statement and food for thought.

    • Whenever discussions about expanding sizes come up, I have to endure a lot of non-plus sized people who think that it takes twice as much fabric and labor to make my giant, fat lady clothes, and who also assume wrongly that their under 14 figure is more proportionate than my over 14 one, which is frequently NOT the case.  So a lot of these non-excuses come into play even though the real one is that they don’t want fat dollars.  

    • Old Navy is the worst offender to me. I’m a size 3/4x. They want my money, so they make clothes for me. The same clothes they make for everyone. So that’s cool, ’cause when I was a kid that was all I wanted. To not be the dork in the ‘special’ clothes that weren’t like the rest.
      The problem is Old Navy doesn’t want my beautiful, confident body setting foot in one of their shiny storefronts because I’m bigger than 2x! God forbid an Amazon like me would come lumbering in & scare away all the beautiful creatures. So I have to buy my clothes in a clandestine online transaction if I want them. I can have them, as long as nobody has to see me writhe around & sweat to squeeze myself into them.
      That disgusts me as a consumer more than someone who flat out wont sell plus sized clothes. Their stance is more honorable to me somehow.

  • I was googling for info. on this very topic when I saw your post, Marie. I am SO sad! What a disappointment. Here is my link (and I recommended this post):

  • Can’t believe this! I stalked the site for stuff. They also had a problem with availability because as soon as I saw something I wanted, the next day it was gone. If you don’t make enough product, of course your sales are going to suffer. And don’t get me started on how they jacked up prices just to “lower” them for sales. Oh well…back to Asos and the like.

  • Excellent points!  I found out about Eloquii less than a year ago because someone had pinned a dress on pinterest.  Now little ads generated from cookies pop up my computer, and I always thought they were so silly paying for those kind of ads and not the get-your-name-out-there ads.  I love Eloquii and am so sad they’re phasing out.  It was nice to have more than LB, Nords, Lands End and Macys to choose from– and a whole new style!

  • Well, you are correct in that the masses have NOT heard about Eloquii.  I only learned about this store, now, thru your blog.  Many of my friends are no longer plus size due to gastric bypass surgery so its up to me to keep up on the plus size fashions and I have only, as of late, found plus size blogs, stores, accessories, for the over size 14 set!  Such a shame as there clothing seems quite nice.  If you don;t advertise, we won’t come!

  • A-freaking-men! I couldn’t have said this any better. I was fortunate enough to find out about eloquii almost at their very beginning and I can honestly say I felt like I was their only advertisement where I live.

  • So well said! Eloquii never stuck with me. I only remembered them when I read about them if someone mentioned them as an option option on a blog posting. And I thought I knew EVERYONE.
    Eloquii was treated just like us. The fat child in the family. Just be quiet & good and blend into the woodwork. Don’t be extreme, don’t make waves. The worst part about it was reaching out to bloggers & this community is FREE. I have shopped & found really nice clothes on extremely bad & hokey websites! They didn’t have to work that hard to find us & in return have us find them. And you were shouting to them from the rafters. What gives? This sounds like they opened with a one year plan & that was that. There is something wrong about this entire situation & I share your concern other large scale marketers will point to his ‘failure’. Size 3x & above is already too disgusting to be allowed to walk into an Old Navy & can only get their clothes under cover of darkness at home on the Internet where a ‘good Fat Girl’ belongs. What’s next?

  • Thank you for writing this letter.  I too found eloquii after doing an internet search for stylish, plus size office wear. I often wondered where they were marketing their line because I never heard of it outside of select blogs.  I am so sad that eloquii is discontinuing their line.  Unfortunately, I find that the masses of plus size clothing is catered to either the “I’m depressed and have little to no fashion sense” or the “I’m so sexy, here look at all my cleavage” plus size woman.  What happens to the professional, classic, with subliminal sexiness plus size woman.  Where are we to shop?  I though eloquii was the answer.  So frustrated.

  • Hear hear!

    My biggest frustration with Eloquii was that I could not try on their clothes in a store. My plus-size body is not the one that, say, Lane Bryant (or Igigi, for that matter) uses as a fit model – I have narrow shoulders, relatively small breasts and a very short waist. I was always afraid to buy pants from Eloquii because I worried they would come up to my nipples (as so many plus-size pants do). If I could have gone just ONCE to a store to try them on…or even if they hooked up with MeAlity so I could see how they would fit…things would have been different.

  • I never got that letter, and googled to figure out what the very vague email I just received about “phasing” meant. And now I’m devastated. I was one of the very few people who knew and bought a crapton of clothes from them – I’m wearing a top and skirt from Eloquii right now, actually. Their line was perfect for my workplace and fit me perfectly, and I’m actually really for-real upset that it’s closing down.

  • Great another one bites the dust.  It wasn’t very long ago I even figured out that Limited had Eloquii and when I did I was yes another place to shop. I was a bit frustrated that they didn’t have any stores I could try things on in, but I figured it would just take time for them to bring more into the stores. Guess that is not happening now !  I mean come on even H & M has some plus size in the stores and online.  I agree that it seems like all the retailers are embarrassed that they have a plus size line. At 6 2 even when I am drop dead skinny I am a 14 or 16.  I mean come on! Have you seen how many gorgeous and beautiful plus sized women are out there?  Just because you are skinny doesn’t make you pretty. While I am at it I am just going to say most of us do not want moo moo type clothing.  We want to feel feminine, sexy and elegant.  I thought Eloquii was headed that direction.  I worked for Lane Bryant as a manager for years and they have worked hard to brand their name and really get it out there.  Did all of you know that Limited Corp used to own Lane Bryant until they sold us like a red headed stepchild. I thought they had gotten over their phobia of fat girls when they started Eloquii. Limited also owns Victorias Secret and Bath and Body need I say more…..  just to close my rant “Shame on you Limited for trying to hide Eloquii”  and I hope that some other retailer snaps this up and leaves you in the smoke with the profits that you could of made.

    • Heyyy! They dont own Victoria’s and Bath and Body WOrks anymore, from what I understand… A lot of times, the brands also request to be bought out or away from… I know it is frustrating and may seem like a red head step child thing, but I am hopeful here…

  • I coundnt agre more with your sentiments. I was aware if Eloquii from the beginning as I follow many plus size bloggers including those who were brought in during the R&D of the brand.

    I’m nit surprised to see them go as the business model swiftly changed, as you stated, to being entirely sales driven. Why buy full price when you know your inbox will be hit with a 40% off or BOGO offer within a day or two.

    Eloquii never took the time to create an online community of plus sized women who would ndoubly become ravcng fans if they’d only inown about the brand. If you’re not an information seeker,spending time visiting blogs daily, etc. You had zero opportunity to be introduced to the brand.

    I’m sad to see it phased out before given a true opportunity to capitalize on their potential market share.

  • I live in Europe and I would have to buy their clothing but they do international shipping and even when I gave an US address they didn’t accept international credit card or international paypal.

  • The only reason why I’m frustrated that Eloquii is closing is because it gives other retailers and the market a poor idea of the plus size market. I’m afraid that others considering broadening their markets will shy away from it because a well-established company such as The Limited couldn’t hack it in the plus market.
    I think there are many reasons why Eloquii couldn’t make it work, but none of them had to do with a lack of market. I attempted purchasing from them three times and then gave up. I encountered terrible service every time, and poor customer service as well. It was fight every time I purchased from their site, and the second time I purchased they sent me the incorrect item TWICE. What a joke.
    Also while I agree that sometimes they had nice pieces, it often seemed like more of the same sub-par stuff. It’s sort of like that hot guy you notice in a room full of 100 women and 4 men. The guy is only attractive because he is the only sort of decent-looking one in a room full of limited options. I am desperately waiting for the Plus company that looks/feels like J Crew, MadeWell, Zara, or Anthropologie. Classy, fahion-forward, fun women do actually come in plus sizes, and the fact that we’re ignored drives me insane.
    And the whole issue with it being difficult to size for a plus woman is understandable, but in the end it seems ridiculous. Why not add complimentary tailoring services as many high-end stores do? Would that not solve the problem?

  • I was extremely upset and shared all the frustrations shared in your open letter. They not only have crushed the hopes of plus size women who are willing to pay a little more for quality clothing, they are sending a message that the plus sizee audience doesn’t matter. I couldn’t believe that after only 365 days they’re pulling the plug and it was only months after they opened stores, they were closed, which means they never even gave the program time to develop. It must be a group of idiot males running this organization, not understanding the female shopper, specifically the plus size shopper. Back to Macy’s we’ll go.

  • I am ticked because I find little in plus-sized fashion that works for me, a professional in my upper 30’s who cannot fit in regular sizes on top due to my lovely hereditary gift of big breasts. Eloquii was exciting for me because they offered trendy yet professional selections I could wear at work or out with friends. They are not dowdy as so many department store plus size selections are, yet not too risqué (Torrid) or poorly made (Forever 21) either. Some bitter and resentful part of me fears someone behind the scenes was like, oh, we can’t give plus-size people fashionable options because then they won’t be motivated to lose weight. Maybe not a rational thought but it is super frustrating not to find cute clothes that fit, and now that I finally did, it’s closing. Shame on you, Limited Brands. You didn’t really even try.

  • Did you know that Limited Brands owned Lane Bryant from 1982-2001 (back when I was in the plus size biz)–which is a much longer time than they gave Eloquii. So this is their second foray into plus sizes. Back then–in the beginning, they did many of the things you referenced in your open letter–marketed heavily, worked with communities, did tons of fashion shows etc., but as time wore on (by the end of the 80s), they slowed that kind of promo and marketing. I think they just don’t “heart” us as customers, or really care to understand us enough to do what’s necessary to make their bottom line requirements work. like they’ve done with Bath and Body Works, Victoria’s Secret, etc.,They have “given up” again.

    • Yep! I worked for Express when they were owned by them as well as Bath and Body! LOL

      These brands bought themselves out or from what I understand, stood on their own… If that makes sense… Since writing this, I hear something is in the works… I do not know what specifically, but I am hopeful. : )

  • The Limited was always self defeating company. When I worked with them for 11 years in SoCA San Fernando Valley they close all of there stores because they had the idea “if there is one they will come.” They closed there most profitable store in the whole West Coast at the Wesside Pavilion (they did $200,000 to $300,000 a month) in SoCA and put in a Victoria Secret’s in its place and never replaced The Limited in that mall.

    The company never went online till a year after they closed the Arcadia mall (Also called The Santa Anita Mall) location in 2007. Where other companies like the Gap, Sears, JC Penny’s etc all had shopping online.

    For the sales associates we had to use old DOS computers in the back that had a floppy drive when no one had floppy drives any more in there computers.Every year they would say “you’re getting new comoputers” and then take it back. Even Express, there sister company had all new computers, touch screen monitors, an online site, etc. Lucky Brand, perfect example, if the item wasn’t in the store they could order online in the store and the sales associate would get credit for the sale.

    The Limited when they FINALLY went online in 2009 they actually had plus size with there clothes. Then they said “our customer is really a size 14”; then they only had the Luxi pants; then they started the Eloquii line and now they are closing it down…. I swear they never advertise on TV, online in Yahoo news, nothing. Even for there own brand The Limited, they are self defeating with no advertisement on TV or in magazines when they were with the Limited brand. (they are currently only owned by the Limited Brands by 25% and owned by someone else.)

    So no wonder they are closing down this line. I love there Eloquii line. But it is something when you call in the the Limited phone line the customer service and they didn’t even know they had the plus size to there company when they first came out.

    I am sorry they are leaving, I really loved there clothes line. Do I expect them to really continue the plus line within the Limited online store. No… they really do not believe we exist.

    • They have been posting on other people’s comments on FB “we learned a lot having this line” to “we will have more plus sizes in the future.” What I say to that, yeah not in the near future… maybe in another five years.

  • I’ve spent approximately $500 at Eloquii in the last year and have never once received any kind of direct mail piece or really anything other than email (which I hate because I get a lot of business emails and those sale emails are usually the first deleted, about two seconds after they hit my inbox). I honestly forget they are even an option. I get my information from bloggers, it’s in fact how I discovered ASOS Curve (love, love, love). I buy a ton of shit at ASOS as a result.

  • I had never heard of Eloquii until a few weeks ago when someone stated that they were tired of Old Navy’s never ending fit issues in a review for some old navy jeans. Once I actually found this website I was ecstatic to find stylish looking clothes in all sizes. I did not get the original email stating that they were closing, the first I heard of it was in the email I received today stating “we are closing” but you can still shop here…for now. I am so upset, I haven’t even been able to purchase anything from them yet!!!

  • Somebody buy this brand, okay? I love the plus sizes in the Limited brand style. Arrrg. Some of my favorite stuff has come from Eloquii!

  • This is terribly disappointing. I just received an email that the brand is shutting down- but also saying they would have new stuff for this summer. Insulting. Am I supposed to feel good they they don’t want my money long-term but they’ll take it for a few more months? They gave it a year run? I only heard about this line very recently, and I was excited that the limited was behind it because I’ve never been able to shop there, I now felt included, even if it was online-only (don’t even get me started on that). I hope someone else scoops up the line because there are so few places plus size women (60% of the female population in the US) can shop for beautifully made, mid-priced clothing that also manages to be fit-flattering and GASP!: Fashionable.

    I had never purchased from them because I’d only heard of them recently. I’ve been building a cart and trying to decide on purchases. Now I think I’ll either wait for the inevitable liquidation sale or skip it all together.

    PS- I just realized that the Curvy Fashionista is Bay-Area based! Rock-on I’m a bay area babe myself!

  • You hit the nail on the head! A few years ago Gap opened stores, Forth & Towne which I loved!!!!! Every time I shopped the Houston location it was packed! But, similar to Eloquii, closed after 1 year. I still have some of their pieces and it was at least 6 years ago. I’m not a Lane Bryant fan because everything looks so Lane Brant-y with sequins & gathers, etc, & though I am plus-sized, the clothes don’t fit me well.

  • So…do we just have to face it that our reality is we just have to lose weight? No one wants to accomodate for us. If some plus styles are very over priced, or very on flattering. What do we do when we only have five store choices to go to, and every plus size person begins to wear the same thing? Do we fight to fat and cute? Or do fight to be healthier, and have the same options as the rest of the world. I’m not a Vicki Supermodel, but I’m not a Eloquii built sexy gal either. I’m 5’3 and a size 22. I’m in my mid 20’s, I want o look sexy with my own style, not covered in florar print, and buy clothes that are meant for the older and conservative. It is sad to see this site go, I felt their clothes appealed to me, oh well back to burlap saks. But this time, as i continue to work out maybe I will finally meet the size requirement to shop all 77 shops in the mall instead of the 5 cheap boutique stores and the back 3rd floor of Macy’s right across from petites. Or as I like to call them before and after!

  • I just realized they were going out of business two days ago when I went to the site!
    You make several valid points about their marketing/advertising. For instance, a few months ago I received an e-mail from Eloquii about an outlet store opening in a local mall. I went to that mall (with the coupon that was attached to the email) and spent about an hour trying to find the store in a mall I knew well. Where were the signs that said “Grand Opening” or indicated a new store int he mall.
    I finally realized that the “Eloquii Store” was inside a “Limited” store that had been there forever. I had walked by The Limited store twice and did not think to enter because there was nothing to indicate Eloquii was there. After I made a phoen call to track Eloquii down, I was told it was in fact inside The Limited! I walked in and could not find anything Eloquii. After asking an associate about it, I was told that the selections were limited to a sales rack in the back. The choices were dismal but I did find a pair of jeans I wanted. I was then told that the coupon was only good for “full-price” merchandise-but everything in the store is on sale because it was an outlet location! Fortunately, the associate was kind enough to honor the coupon but she also expressed frustration that other customers had come in looking for an Eloquii store when they had just received a small “clearance” shipment that morning. Not even the staff was propoerly informed as to what to expect!
    The other issue is that some shoppers wait to buy online to read the customer feedback-not necessarily for a sale. If I cannot try something on, I rely heavily on feedback to read if the material is too thin or if a size runs big/small. Perhaps if the models weren’t always a size 12/14, but 18-20 it would help give a more realistic assessment for online shopping. Online shopping is discouraging because sending things back and waiting for them to arrive is a hassle.
    I also hate paying for shipping when I have no other choice but to order online!

  • I am somewhat surprised to hear that people are sad about Eloqii’s departing. I never saw the value proposition on the web site. There was a limited range of colors for bottoms in particular. Hey, if I need basic black pants, even my size has a plethora of choices. Eloquii offered nothing more than what was already out there. I think that is one major failing.

    I agree the marketing was flawed if it even existed at all. But once I found the site, I did not see much I wanted to purchase. I thought that the price points were particularly out of range for the quality and workmanship I saw. $60 for an unlined chiffon t shirt in a common color/print combo does little for me. Give me something unusual, or an exceptional drape/fit/construction, offer. For example, the Sophie Theallet Shirt Dress at the Limited would have translated very well to a plus silhouette and the price was right on the mark. Where was that on Eloquii?

  • I couldn’t believe this when I heard the news. So much so that I came back, weeks later still thinking about it, trying to figure out what it was that made them choose to close their doors. I modeled for Eloquii multiple times and even shot their first marketing campaign when they opened their “doors”. I was immediately blown away and impressed with everything I wore. The quality was great, the styles were classy, edgy, flattering, and better than many I’d seen, and I couldn’t stop talking about how great their stuff was. I had no doubt in my mind that it would be a MASSIVE success and when I heard that they were closing I was shocked. The only thing I can think of that would lead to this is what you said, a lack of advertising and marketing, as I knew when customers actually got to try on their stuff that they would be instantly hooked. Such a bummer and I’m hoping somebody picks up the pieces and continues to design similar styles because I truly believe they had a great thing going.

  • This mirrors my thoughts exactly! If I hadn’t been googling to find a better selection for work clothes I would have never found eloquii a month back and now it’s gone. I had never heard of it, and when I tell my plus size friends about it they are just as clueless. I was super excited about it when I stumbled across the website and I’m super disappointed that they barely gave it a chance. It also irks me that store fronts for plus size clothing seem impossible to come by. I want to TRY ON my clothing. 🙁 Yes I have a Lane Bryant and a Torrid in my local mall but two stores? My thin counterparts have dozens! My wardrobe definitely suffers.

  • It wasn’t until TODAY that I actually realized they’re closing and not just rebranding…I don’t remember getting the email you posted (it’s possible I didn’t see it) but the one I got was much vaguer. It’s a huge disappointment. I got quite a few pieces from Eloquii over the year, and like many others posting here, wouldn’t have even known about it if I didn’t read fashion blogs from time to time and avidly search for plus size options. The name itself is kind of ridiculous. And I wouldn’t have known that they included Eloquii at my closest Limited bricks and mortar store if it hadn’t been for a non-plus size friend who told me about it because she knew I was always looking for new options. As that same friend said: “Why do they have to have separate stores at all? Why not just have larger sizes?” Amen! It’s so frustrating to really not have options. If I were to lose weight and be back in “normal” sizes again, I wouldn’t know how to act! And the chances of losing weight when you have to struggle so hard to find complementary fashions where you feel good about yourself are even slimmer.
    Anyway, now that I found your blog post, I know the truth…and boo on the Limited!

  • Hey Marie,

    What a great letter. I’m very late to this, saddened and frankly, angry. I only happened on Eloquii from a post you wrote, I believe, and you’re absolutely right: No marketing, no win. So many brands are trying to cut corners these days, thinking you build it and they will come but it’s never the case. Given that 67% of the female population are plus-size (according to this Business Insider piece it’s shocking that more retailers don’t embrace this. And Eloquii actually had cute, wearable, decent quality clothing. Bummer. And shame on you Limited.

  • You hit the nail on the head — absolutely NO marketing was done. I ordered from them for the first time a month ago b/c I had jotted their URL on a piece of paper and remembered they existed!! In this day and age, they should be ashamed at the poor job they did of spreading the word.

  • I totally agree with your blog the store was a good idea but they did not do any promotions or involve the plus community they hadcute clothing but they did not have enough actual stores and they did not have good quality control over their products and they were too expensive although they had really good sales all the time

  • I agree 100%. The lack of marketing was a HUGE mistake. I personally love this brand and the great service I got. It’s shockingly irresponsible to put such good products out and then close the whole thing down. I suspect there are other reasons we don’t know about.

  • Well said! I only found out about Eloquii from my sister-in-law back in January. And I’m pretty well-versed in plus-sized companies and which department stores carry good plus-sized clothing for certain occasions. But I’d never heard of Eloquii. It seems as though the mistakes and oversights the company made were basically Marketing 101. They couldn’t have done very accurate or thorough market research if they didn’t realize that courting plus-size fashion bloggers would be the BEST way to spread word of their company. This definitely strikes me as a half-assed attempt.

  • well said I am sad super sad that they are closign I am one of their most loyal customers. I purchase a ton of stuff on their site. If they don’t think that Plus size is not a market they should review the stats for middle america.. Really???? We are here and we are not going away. Shame on you LIMITED !

    • I sure hope that doesn’t mean the Eloquii brand will become cheaply made, ill fitting and over priced-the three reasons I don’t shop at Lane Bryant!

  • I am so, SO disappointed about the decision to close Eloquii. I literally spent hours upon hours today looking for a suit to wear for an interview today, to no avail. Eloquii was the one place that plus-sized professionals could find well-made, stylish and affordable suiting. It is practically impossible to do so anywhere else. I’m so frustrated with the clothing companies that seem to believe that if a woman is plus-sized then she must not be a professional. I also agree with mamasan74 that Lane Bryant over charges for ill-fitting, poorly made clothing and while I sincerely hope that Eloquii won’t actually close for good, I do not want another Lane Bryant.

  • I just found Eloquii today! I was very excited to find out that my favorite store when I was a size 14 bottom at a small top had a plus size division. I am a shopper! Why did I not know about Eloquii? Now I am soooooo sad. This was my chance to dress the way I used to. I get tired of tanks and cardigans from Lane Bryant. I really want to shop at this store. Guess I have to keep trying to find my kind of clothes.

  • Actually, though I understand the sadness, I am sick and tired of larger label brands getting all the praise and then leaving us like a bad date because they decided they can’t love us the way they love smaller sizes. To them, I say, to heck wit cha….there are SOOOOO many up and coming designers that are making figure flattering clothes. Actually, last year, I paid a higher end designer friend of mine directly to make me a dress for my sister’s wedding. I bought fabric from Britex (I’m fortunate to live in the SF Bay Area and Britex is the holy grail of fabric stores), and for the cost of a higher end dress, I got some many compliments on the dress, I wondered why I even cared about the stores/online retailers like Eloquii who just dump us after they decide we’re not (in their opinion) worthy. So get the heck out of here and we’ll be waiting for the next wonderful designer who actually knows how to dress us and can give us what we want without leaving us high and dry.

  • It saddens me that i NEVER even knew that this brand existed…until now. I was on facebook 5 mins ago and got an add to shop the going out of business sale. I was shocked to see “by the limited” under the name. Who the hell knew this was here….now that i’m on the site i see tons of beautiful clothes. I can only imagine how the selection was when the store was still booming. I’m sad to see it go. How sucky is it to find out about a brand the same day you find out it’s going out of busniess? The Limited gets an F in advertisement over this one. Your letter is dead on!!

  • Here, here. I heard a rumour about this a few months ago and ignored it thinking – no. They can’t possibly be shutting it down so soon. And I noticed all along that they came in with a big splash bringing Gabi on board and then there was nothing afterwards. There was no budget spent on this, to speak of, in terms of advertising and marketing. I have many friends who live outside of the bigger cities (NYC, Chicago, LA) who NEVER heard of Eloquii. Strange name, hard to spell, hard to remember, and not marketed at all? No wonder it didn’t make a big splash. Infuriating. This is what has happened in the plus industry over and over again. Very disappointing.

  • It’s unfortunate The Limited is closing down shop on Eloquii, especially since most of you feel the same way I do: there are so few in-store options for plus sized ladies. I first heard about Eloquii from Gabi Gregg’s blog, but was living abroad at the time. As soon as I got home I went to my closest Limited to try on some of the clothing I had seen online (I much prefer to try things on before I buy). Unfortunately, I was really disheartened. I thought the price points were too high for the quality and the fit of everything I tried on was just awful. Even looking at some of the feedback on the website, their fits were all over the place. I really wanted to love their clothing because it’s so hard to find nice, work appropriate options. I don’t shop at Lane Bryant (aside from bras) because I don’t care for the patterns and looks of a lot of the clothing. I shop at Torrid for black skinnies — that’s it. I haven’t been impressed with Old Navy lately because their plus sized options are boring and they don’t wear well (I have a few pairs of their boyfriend khakis and after a day’s wear they’re loose and baggy). I’ve been really turned off by Gap even though they’re touting expanded sizes. I like most of the options from Asos Curve (or SimplyBe or CityChic), but I like to try things on and feel for quality before I buy and I find a lot of their stuff to be more trendy and not something I’d be willing to invest in for the long term. And don’t even get my started on Forever21+ or Target (only 2 or 3 racks Target, seriously?!). Nordstrom pulled their plus sized options from stores (still available online) and shopping at Macy’s just depresses me. I can’t afford the plus sized options from Saks or Neimans.

    I also agree with most of you that marketing and advertising were a huge disappointment. Other than Gabi and a few other bloggers I follow, I saw nothing about Eloquii. They had one or two posts about the brand and then that was it! The Limited store near me tried with window displays and signage, but that first experience made me walk right one by. Like Marie Denee, I seriously hope this move doesn’t begin a trend of major stores doing away with their plus sized options.

    I guess my money will just continue to be invested in great shoes, bags and jewelry to make me feel good about my personal style.

  • I am soooo upset that I just found out about Eloquii….which is shocking considering the plus size online shopper that I am. I couldnt believe that I had never heard of it before! They obviously did no promotion whatsoever. If they had, I would have seen this brand on Pinterest before tonight. Dummies.

  • I was looking forward to Eloquii before they ever started production. I ordered a several times and numerous items. Their clothing designers were horrible. If you love polyester and large ugly prints (2 things that I think are definitely NOT flattering on plus sized women), then you would have loved Eloquii. I tried numerous times and several different orders in different seasons to try to find something I liked there. The sizing was extremely inconsistent. The quality was also lacking, and the prices were high. Then they started the sales. I was never very satisfied with anything I ever got from Eloquii. They had a customer base immediately. People were ordering clothing. If their customers had been happy with the clothing, then word of mouth would have spread the brand name and it would have grown a following. But it didn’t because the clothing did not fit will. You can’t just take regular size clothes and make them larger and expect them to look good on plus sized women. It doesn’t work that way. They also could have focused on the suiting more. Many plus size women are looking for career wear. Cold shoulder tops and blue jeans are already available at Torrid. Limited shoppers (and former limited shoppers who now need plus sizes) would have loved to actually have high quality suiting that fits well. I tried the suiting from Eloquii. It was horrible. Eloquii was a great big disappointment.

  • I found them when they started closing down. I Bought a little of everything. Not because they were closing down, but because they had great quality clothing that was lacking everywhere else. Being a avid online shopper, and having a hefty wardrobe allowance (I am the owner of a business in the professional field and need to dress nice), they lost out on thousands just from little ole me.

    • Oh, and to add on to that. Being an online shopper, I actually did not find them in a search but by chance I found a website called Plusforus that listed all plus size stores. I see now, that Eloquii is no longer listed on there. Some marketing job.

  • such a bummer. I realized something was going on with their limited inventory, but never received a letter. I should have bought in bulk when I could. now, i’ll have to turn to asos and their brand isn’t as sophisticated. i’m glad that in my search online, i’m came across eloquii late last year and have been able to purchase many pieces. heartbroken.

  • I bought a blouse by Eloquii because by coincidence I saw it at Amazon and liked the style. It became my favorite everybody would compliment it . After certain days I returned to look for the store and saw that they were closed. I was sad because for the first time in years this item fitted my curves perfectly, looked great and had a good price . Very sad .

  • The only blazer that I ever actually liked I bought from Eloquii. I’m so angry and sad that my options for suiting are even more limited (PUN INTENDED) than before.

  • Eloquii was poorly made clothes, that’s why they closed. They couldn’t keep the revenue that they needed coming through the doors. I shop at The Limited, but sometimes my legs are too thick for the size 14 at TL… I ordered from Eloquii ONCE and it was HORRIBLE. I am not disappointed to see them go.

  • I loved their clothes, and was very disappointed that they closed. Many of their clothes were larger cuts of The Limited styles. I agree with the article. They didn’t advertise, or market their line. What a shame!

  • There is power in the plus size fashionista, I just saw today that Eloquii is making a come back Spring 2014. Hopefully they wont let us down

  • They’re back… check the site. They heard US and will be back Spring 2014. I’m so excited! There was a glitch going on with their site last summer and I was able to get 30+ items for under $180 bucks, I fell in love with the fit and quality. Can’t wait!

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