LoveShackFancy, Most Successful Fashion Company, Small Cap

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Could LoveShackFancy Be America’s Next Billion-Dollar Fashion Brand?

Founder Rebecca Hessel Cohen and her husband and business partner Todd Cohen hope so.

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In just eight years, the company has experienced a remarkable rise. Former Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Hessel Cohen made storytelling the centerpiece of her Laura Ashley-by-way-of-Hamptons-beach cottage collection of floral miniskirts, paneled lace dresses, vintage-inspired knits , printed scrunchies, phone cases and more. with its playful name.

“When I started hand-dyeing dresses in my mother’s garden, I looked at all the possible names for a brand,” said Hessel Cohen, whose mother was editor-in-chief of Seventeen magazine. “Next, we created LoveShackFancy, which is the juxtaposition of fun and effortless whimsy and freshness. Because our daughter, even when she is in the most beautiful tulle, her hair is messy and she has grass and mud on her dress.

Although Hessel Cohen wore a lot of black growing up in New York City, she eventually found her inner romantic.

“I’m a total lover of vintage textiles, I love French fabrics from the early 19th century, beautiful old chintz fabrics, a mix,” she said of her inspiration. “Many of our works are hand painted. Each floral has hundreds of components… we create a robust library. And the prints are timeless.

The brand offers mom and me styles, home decor, and has collaborated on sportswear and accessories with Beach Riot, Hurley, Superga and more.

“It’s a high contemporary for women, and for young girls, we’re the designer brand for them,” she said. “Even though there are a million people who copy our miniskirts, at the end of the day, they really want the LoveShackFancy label. They adhere to the larger community, ambitious lifestyle and fun. ”

LoveShackFancy is sold through wholesale partners including Nordstrom and Net-a-porter, through its own e-commerce site and in 10 experiential stores, which have continued to open throughout the pandemic. Coconut Grove, Florida just opened last week, while Charleston, SC; Greenwich, Connecticut; Houston and Nashville are next.

“I find the connection and Todd finds the retail space,” Hessel Cohen said. “Once we advertise a store, there are always comments and DMs, as well as comments from customers asking us to open in their neighborhood. “

“We saw more favorable opportunities and rents in the markets we wanted to enter, and vacancies that opened up and made sense,” said Cohen, a former real estate developer who is the brand’s executive chairman. . “We’re looking at our data from e-commerce and wholesale partners, and roommates, which sometimes isn’t that obvious. Our Coconut Grove store seems to have been around for 40 years. We like people in the local community to feel comfortable, so we pay attention to the details and integrate them from a design and activation standpoint.

The new LoveShackFancy store in Coconut Grove, Florida - Credit: Courtesy / Aletiza Photo

The new LoveShackFancy store in Coconut Grove, Florida – Credit: Courtesy / Aletiza Photo

Courtesy Photo / Aletiza

A Gen Z favorite, LoveShackFancy went viral this fall when TikTok was inundated with short videos of alleged University of Alabama sorority sisters posting their “OOTDs” [outfits of the day] and brand name verification.

“When I first saw it, I said not to show it to anyone because I didn’t want to be labeled,” said Hessel Cohen, who still manages most of the brand’s social media. “But my original first reaction is often not my reaction when I sit down with her for a bit. I realized it was so inspiring that a whole new age group and a client that we don’t have as much direct interactions with on a daily basis, who are the ones who are on social media, are so attached. to the mark.

The #loveshackfancy hashtag has been viewed over 65 million times on TikTok, and the rush for ruffled miniskirts shows no sign of stopping.

“Overall our business is up 100% year over year and we have experienced significant growth across all three channels. Wholesale has been amazing, e-commerce and stores. And our businesses are a third, a third, a third, ”said Stacy Lilien, president of LoveShackFancy, refusing to share the revenue. The New York-based brand employs 150 people, 75 of them in corporate roles.

It is because of its rapid growth that LoveShackFancy is receiving this year’s WWD Award for Best Small Cap Fashion Company.

Since Bama Rush, LoveShackFancy has taken hold of its college credit, recently opening a branded props vending machine on the University of Miami campus and inviting students from surrounding schools to a special opening night in the new Coconut Grove store.

LoveShackFancy vending machine at the University of Miami.  - Credit: Courtesy

LoveShackFancy vending machine at the University of Miami. – Credit: Courtesy

Courtesy

“We’re running a huge giveaway program, but the evolution of Bama Rush on TikTok has opened up a new set of influencers that hasn’t necessarily been a priority for us,” said Liam McKessar, Senior Director of Marketing. “In the Over the past six months, we’ve moved away from the more traditional Instagram influencers that each brand targets, to engage a different set on TikTok and expand our network in that way.… Our in-store events are always on top, so bring along -girls in this environment is a little different. I don’t think all brands are throwing invitations like we’ve done, ”he said, adding that the LoveShackFancy home in Sag Harbor, NY, over the summer also hosted several TikTok residents. -ers for content creation and parties.

LoveShackFancy is growing rapidly.

“We will be opening between six and eight stores over the next 10 months and we are looking to enter several new categories. This year, sunglasses and sportswear, and we are also in talks to start the beauty, ”said Lilien. “There is so much more we want to do, handbags, shoes, small leather goods, items to give. “

“Our girls want to have everything they love the LoveShackFancy way, from facial rolls to dining out for the holidays,” said Hessel Cohen. “We are talking about wider hotel collaborations, more lifestyle and a lot more entry products for young girls and students. Having our clothing business is amazing, but everything that goes with us has so many opportunities. “

Lilien is strategic on prices.

“We look at a pyramid when merchandising and we make sure we have entry, core and luxury, so we think of all the different girls shopping,” she said. “Entry is $ 225 for a top or skirt, the core is $ 395 to $ 495, then we have the luxury customer that we’re happy to see shopping and wanting to dress. We sell the dresses very well for $ 1,295.

LoveShackFancy’s bridal collection, priced at $ 1,995 to $ 2,500, accounts for just 2% of overall sales. “But we have so many different variations of white dresses that she wears to a shower, bachelorette party, or rehearsal dinner,” Lilien said of the special occasion call. “Or she wears our heirloom pieces and gets married on the beach.”

Until the recent teenage TikTok phenomenon, the average customer was between 25 and 45 years old. “He’s pulled in a lot of different directions, over 40 as well,” Cohen said.

“It’s about embracing all ages and all demographics,” added Hessel Cohen, noting that the brand’s recent collaboration with Target was a good introduction for new customers.

“There is a little LoveShackFancy in all of us, ”she said, explaining how the name is also reminiscent of the B52’s 1989 song,“ Love Shack ”.

“I listened to it all the time growing up… It’s transformative in a way, that’s what I hope the brand is. Clothes are just the vehicle for this energy, this world, this LoveShackFancy. “

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