We caught up with Allison Izu of Allison Izu, a petite clothing line featuring elevated basics for the modern woman. Every single Allison Izu piece is designed in Hawaii and made with only the highest quality materials for the best fit and feel.
About Allison Izu
Date first launched: 2009.
Mission statement: To create clothing that fits and flatters petite women. By creating designs with the correct proportions, we hope to make petite women feel taller and skinnier!
Product offerings: Started in premium petite denim, Allison Izu has now expanded to include casual and work appropriate tops, jackets and dresses. They specialize in comfortable, casual separates.
What sets you apart from other women’s clothing companies?: We start with a pattern that has the correct proportions for petite women. For pants, we bring up the knee break and the hem to create a pant that elongates your legs. We also design with the petite woman in mind, creating styles that flatter her shorter frame. We cut jackets, tops and dresses slimmer and shorter to elongate the wearer. We design only for petite women, so we create everything especially for her.
3 favorite products you carry currently:
- The perfect raglan is my favorite top, so comfortable and easy to wear.
- The Waikiki Skinny Jean – it is a basic that every petite woman has to have in her closet – we are releasing a Black Wax coated denim with lots of stretch – its comfortable yet so chic and edgy!
- The Lulu Wide leg pant – its a fun staple for a resort feel. I think petite women feel like they cant wear a full leg pant, but we have created the perfect proportions so you don’t feel or look overwhelming.
About Allison Izu Song, CEO
A typical day looks like: Answering emails, managing my staff, following up with retailers/buyers, checking inventory – designing new collection and creating patterns.
How the brand started: I went to FIT in New York City for design school and I was making a pair of jeans for a project. I fit it on my 5’8” fit model and it looked great. That night, I didn’t have her to fit, so I tried it on myself (I am 5’2”) and it looked horrible, so I started to pin it and alter it to my body. I saw how different her 5’8” body was to my 5’2” body and I found my passion, which is making clothing to fit my petite frame, so that other petite women could find clothing to fit their bodies.
I usually work to make small alterations, a pinch here, lifting a back pocket or making it slighting smaller, tilting pockets or details a bit, all in an effort to elongate a petite woman’s body, Its the small things that make all the difference!
Where do you see your brand in 5 years? I’d like to be nationally carried in Nordstrom and on their website (I am now carried in the Hawaii Nordstrom). I also want to take my brand to other boutiques which understand the petite body frame. I love and admire large retailers such as Anthropologie for adding a petite section to their stores. I would love to one day be carried in Anthropologie and also internationally. There is such a great understanding of petite in Canada and overseas in Asian countries. I want to eventually take my brand to every petite woman who needs it!
Favorite current fashion trend: Flat shoes – I love embracing my petite body frame (and being comfortable!)
Favorite petite blogs: Extra Petite & Petite Fashionista – all great supporters of Allison Izu!
Celebrity whose style you’d like to steal: Any celebs styles would be great! I am a mom of 2 – so most of the time I have food or snot rubbed on my shoulder or back. I will get into work with that mornings breakfast somewhere on my clothing! 🙂
Any last words? I love what I do and I am fortunate that I can live out my dream because of amazing petite support! It was a hard road for me to make people realize that this was a needed part of the fashion industry. I have had numerous buyers tell me that none of their customers are petite, so they wouldn’t buy my clothing. It took me 2 years for buyers to realize that it was needed, it was a tough road to find retailers to support the brand (it still is sometimes!) But I now have the support of Nordstrom locally in Hawaii – and I am so lucky. I hope to take the brand nationally soon with Nordstrom’s support.
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