Photo by Eliesa Johnson
Evereve fashion director Heidi Watson
"Cozy chic" is a trend Evereve fashion director Heidi Watson thinks everyone will embrace this winter.
As Edina-based women’s chain Evereve continues to grow nationally—now 60 stores in 21 states—owners Megan and Mike Tamte are adding a layer of executive roles common for much larger retailers. Retailers like Target, which is where Evereve found its first fashion director, Heidi Watson. She came on board in August, and this month, her influence will start to be seen in stores—from Evereve’s first resort collection to a big push toward flare bottoms. It’s the difference of a few key, instantly recognizable themes in place of a little bit of this and a little bit of that. It’s about having the confidence to present three great-fitting T-shirts, rather than hedging bets with nine.
“We want to stand for something,” says Watson, who will provide big-picture direction to Evereve’s growing team of buyers. “We want to communicate really clearly through color and silhouette. We want it to feel really intentional.”
Watson learned the retail biz by climbing the ranks at Nordstrom. A self-described “retail rat,” she worked as a buyer for Macy’s before joining Target, where she was most recently the design manager for house brand Merona. A mother of three, she says she’s been shopping Evereve since her first pregnancy (yep—there was a time when the former Hot Mama sold maternity apparel), and the idea of working for a smaller company appealed to her.
“At Target, we dressed America,” Watson says. “At Evereve, we dress America’s moms.”
Of course, not all moms spend their days in $200 jeans and scoop-neck tees. Evereve is still figuring out its place in the working mom’s wardrobe—between carpooling and date nights. Watson will continue to explore transitional apparel that makes sense within the Evereve brand. But don’t expect pantsuits. Inherently casual style is the “secret sauce” at Evereve, she says.
Regardless of style or occupation, the one thing that is consistent about moms, says Watson, is “she has a to-do list a mile long, and her needs are at the bottom.” So Watson sees her job as more than forecasting trends. She’s got to weed out the ones that won’t work for busy women. A dress that’s hard to clasp in back? Moms don’t have time for that. A dry clean–only T-shirt? Might as well sell that top with the baby squash that is sure to stain it on the first wearing.
Dressed in a cozy cable knit sweater, sparkly heels, and coated black jeans that can pass at a creative office while looking ready for a night on the town, Watson describes the three general style profiles of Evereve customers: rocker glam, boho chic, and urban sophisticate. “On any day, I can be any one of those. I want pieces that are going to work hard.”
That means consistent themes and color stories. But also, bolder fashion statements. After all, Evereve wants to compete with J.Crew and Anthropologie, which—love ’em or hate ’em—exude a clear sense of self.
This spring, Evereve will try to nudge women out of their beloved skinny jeans and into flares. For those who dread the heels required to pull them off, there will be cropped flares.
“We don’t want to be tied to last year-itis,” Watson says, explaining that it’s tempting for a retailer to buy more of what sold well last year. “Our job is to help the customer keep moving. We can build on what she loved last year.”
A preview from Evereve fashion director Heidi Watson
We're still loving '70s influences, but in a more grownup way. It's definitely time to try flare jeans.
We're thinking about how to challenge ourselves. Even if you're not taking a trip to Morocco, you're reading about it, pinning it, helping the kids with their school project on it. We're showing deep spice colors along with utility jackets and bottoms with a desert slant.
We believe in the shoulder. It's one of the most beautiful, flattering parts of the body—shoulders don't age! There's not just one way to do it. We'll be showing cutouts, one shoulder, and off-the-shoulder options.
Photos by Becca Sabot