Sept. 21, 2020
By Denise Incandela, SVP Women’s Group, Elevated and Online Brands, Walmart
Today, we’re thrilled to announce that Walmart is launching Free Assembly, a modern fashion brand that offers elevated style essentials for both men and women at an incredible value. The new brand will be available starting today on Walmart.com and in select Walmart stores. Core to this new brand is its thoughtful and simple design approach to create timeless and versatile wardrobe staples that help customers pull together looks that are meant to last, season after season.
When we first started brainstorming the idea of creating the next modern apparel brand, there was no one more suited to lead building this brand than Dwight Fenton. An industry veteran with years of experience designing for well-known brands like Bonobos, J.Crew and Old Navy, Dwight had the experience and vision to turn this idea into reality.
I recently sat down with Dwight to talk about his passion for great design and timeless brands, and how those helped him develop his creative vision for Free Assembly. Here are the highlights of our conversation.
You have an impressive resume designing for many American fashion brands. What was it that excited you about joining the fashion team at Walmart?
Most recently, I was leading design at Bonobos, so I’ve had a front row seat to the transformation happening in Walmart’s fashion business. I’ve been really impressed with the aggressive strategy to diversify the product offering through new brand launches and strategic partnerships. There were some surprising moves – like reviving the iconic New York fashion brand Scoop, for example – that showed me that Walmart was serious about making fashion accessible to all.
When I was approached to join Free Assembly, I was intrigued by Walmart’s size and scale – it’s unlike any other place I’ve worked. The company’s reach is such a powerful platform for change. And, I was excited about the opportunity to bring a new brand to market through a different lens for the Walmart customer, all while holding true to style and quality at an accessible price point. This all added up to a meaningful opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.
What is the inspiration behind Free Assembly?
We designed Free Assembly to be a modern fashion essentials clothing brand. We wanted all of the pieces in the collection to feel familiar, but also new and appropriate for today. We wanted to design a brand that anyone could see themselves wearing. It’s approachable and features modern and timeless pieces – think denim, sweaters, blazers – that are staples of any wardrobe and can be worn for a long time, season after season. The pieces are key items for any closet and are not going out of style.