NEW YORK • German discounter Lidl has enlisted supermodel Heidi Klum to develop a new clothing range as it expands beyond the low-priced groceries for which it is better known.
The collection, described by Lidl as its most premium range to date, will be sold across more than 650 of its stores in Europe and the United States later this year, the company said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the launch, Klum said: "Lidl is known for making quality products at affordable prices and I'm proud to partner it on this fashion collaboration.
"I had so much fun designing the pieces in this collection and can't wait for you to see it. I hope you love it as much as I do."
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The celebrity collaboration marks a broadening of Lidl's efforts to attract more affluent shoppers, a strategy that has led to the sale of finer fare such as lobsters and macaroons.
This is also another potential challenge for Europe's established fashion retailers, which are already struggling to lure shoppers into stores as consumers direct more of their spending towards leisure activities, reported Bloomberg.
Lidl said it will continue to sell other entry-level fashion ranges intermittently throughout the year on a "while stocks last" basis.
The discounter plans to open its first 20 American stores this month and aims to have as many as 100 outlets on the country's east coast by the summer of next year.
Klum, who is German, is familiar to fashionistas as she has previously designed shoes for Birkenstock, Victoria's Secret lingerie for The Body line and jewellery for luxury Swiss company Mouawad.
The former wife of British singer Seal has also made a mark presenting Project Runway on American cable television channel Bravo, in which fashion designers vie for a chance to showcase their line at New York Fashion Week.
The Daily Mail noted that while her deal with Lidl may raise some eyebrows, the 44-year-old is no stranger to the craft of creating clothes. She has cut her teeth designing clothing lines for German mailorder catalogue Otto and another for American brand Jordache, which is best known for its designer jeans, as well as active women's wear sold through online retailer Amazon.
Now, she will lend her muscle to help Lidl take on established high- street retailers such as H&M and Topshop.
Industry experts predict that consumers will vote with their wallets, given how H&M's Stella McCartney, Kenzo and Karl Lagerfield collections were snapped up by value-conscious buyers within hours of the stores opening.
Topshop has also previously created a stir with its Kate Moss lines.