Known in the entertainment world as comedians and writers, the multi-talented sisters Erin and Sara Foster on Monday unveiled in Beverly Hills the first brick and mortar store for Favorite Daughter, their elevated women’s ready-to-wear collection. The 1,000-square-foot unit that’s a mash-up of color, texture, art deco furniture, and even a fancy feather chandelier.
The Fosters, who launched Favorite Daughter in December 2020 during the Covid 19 pandemic, starred in the 2015 reality TV parody, “Barely Famous,” and are the hosts of The World’s First Podcast.
The idea of the store is a physical manifestation of their dream closets, inspired by pieces in their own wardrobes, things they’d like to see in their closets, or items in their closets that they’d like to remake, only better.
“Our trousers came out right around the time the Row trousers were coming out,” said Sara, referring to the quiet luxury label revered for its flawless tailoring and launched by that other Hollywood sister duo, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. “Theirs are $1,200. Ours are $300 and such great quality, they really hit and took off. We’re always trying to find that balance and make sure we can anticipate the big sales that came with the Favorite pant and the Jamie sweater, which was also a huge hit for us. They both sold out.”
Favorite Daughter is not fast fashion, it’s affordable luxury, the Fosters stressed. “Our goal is that you don’t need to go buy those $1,800 designer pants. Go get the Favorite Daughter ones. Whether its pants or coats or denim, we really want to be that go-t0 brand because we’re conscious of our prices and we want to be thought of as more of an affordable brand, although the prices are not cheap.”
MORE FROMFORBES ADVISOR
The sisters have divergent tastes, but both sign off on every design, even if some negotiation is involved.
“We have different styles all
together and we dress differently. We don’t trust each other to send each other off on fittings,” Erin Foster said. “We always have a cut of a hem or a specific tailoring that Sara prefers or I prefer, so we both like to be in the room so we can kind of balance it out. We’ll divide and conquer that way. At the end of the day, the designer makes the call. We always defer to our designer.”
“Erin and I aren’t designers, so we don’t go to these fittings acting like we are,” Sara Foster said. “We of course have our opinions and our ideas of what we want the clothes to look like, but at the end of the day, we defer to our designer Carla [Calvelo], who is the adult in the room. If we’re not agreeing on a sleeve length, we say, Okay, Carla, what makes sense here. And she’ll usually agree with me.”
“She definitely agrees with me more,” said Erin.
The sisters said that while they represent different style preferences, it allows them to cater to a wider range of consumers. “Sara really loves tall girl jeans and she wants the inseam of denim and pants to be super, super long, and there’s totally a customer for that,” Erin said. “Our little sister Jordan, she’s our style director, and she’s 5’4’’ – she wants jeans that fit her.
“It’s not as simple as cutting your jeans because the crotch then hangs too low,” Sara said. “We’re starting to work on our popular styles of jeans, like the Valentina, which is sort of a tall girl jean. We’re going to start making those in shortie versions.”
The brand has grown by word of mouth based on the precision fits of pants and jeans, and the quality of the materials, yummy cashmere-blend sweaters such as the bestselling Jamie with matching scarf and The City wool blazer with cotton/cashmere ribbed cuffs and delicate stitching details.
“This store is an opportunity for the customer to come in and really see the quality because we’re still a new brand and we’re still proving ourselves with quality,” Erin Foster said. “It takes time to build loyalty for a customer to say, ‘I love the Favorite Daughter sweaters, or the pants always fit me really great.’ We’re still earning people’s loyalty and this store is a great way to prove that. We plan on spending a lot of time in the store. Getting customer feedback is so important to us. We really value it and take it to heart. It affects our decision making.”
“A brick and mortar model amplifies your DTC business because you have to really earn your way with the customer and we really pride ourselves on quality and feel,” Sara Foster added. “I think when you’re a new business and someone sees a cashmere sweater for $300, they’re like, ‘I need to know, is it itchy? What’s the quality like?’”
The store, which is located at 346 North Beverly Drive, caps a successful nationwide pop-up shop tour at Graduate hotel locations which demonstrated the enthusiasm for a brick-and-mortar Favorite Daughter experience.
The space was imagined in partnership with Fai Khadra, who designed Kanye West’s offices, and features curved archways and geometric cutouts that divide the retail space into a series of nooks housing the collection, seating room, and dressing rooms. The one-of-a-kind floral chandelier, which was created by Maurice Harris of Bloom & Plume, serves as the focal point of the space.
Erin and Sara, whose celebrity father, music producer David Foster, is married to singer Catherine McPhee, understand that they’re newbies in a hyper-competitive industry. They can sound humble when talking about the the women’s fashion space – the last thing they want to be seen as is entitled Hollywood offspring.
But make no mistake, the sisters have big ambitions. “We want to expand into other categories, absolutely, but we really want to be mindful that we’re able to nail a category before we expand into any others,” Erin said. “From the beginning of the early conversations in this business, obviously Favorite Daughter lends itself so well to other categories.
“I think the next obvious next area to go into is kids, before men’s,” said Sara. “Kids is an area where we’ve already tested the market with T-shirts and little girls – it just makes perfect sense for us, and frankly, I have two daughters and there’s not many places to go. It’s really limited. I’ve been taking mental notes for many years in dressing my girls, so that makes sense for us in the next couple years.
“We’re really lucky because our company is a joint venture with Centric Brands,” said Erin. “They have so many resources, we were able to launch denim at the same time that we launched the rest of the collection and denim has been a huge part of our business.”
“We’re very deeply involved in this business. We’re at every fitting, we’re involved in every design decision, and we’re involved in every photo shoot. We’re really deeply entrenched in this process, so we want to make sure we never over-promise or under-deliver, so we don’t want to expand too quickly. We’re still earning our place in the female retail space so we really want to do that mindfully and make every decision really conscious, not just grow a brand for the business, but really thinking about the customer at all times.”
The Fosters see collaborations as a way to test the waters, and if demand from consumers is there, they’ll consider launching the category themselves. For example, Favorite Daughter will announce a shoe collaboration soon, Erin said, adding, “It’s going into that territory to see if our customer wants to buy shoes from us. Hopefully, they do.”
Two upcoming hookups include partnerships with high-end jewelry designer Jennifer Meyer and ready-to-wear designer Roxanne Assouline. “We know that we’re in an over-saturated market,” said Sara. “We always felt interesting collaborations would potentially set us apart.”