We’re always excited to discover exciting, new concepts which challenge the way we perceive retail. Thus, we were intrigued to discover London-based, Lone Design Club. Creating unparalleled retail experiences, we sat down with LDC’s founder, Rebecca, to discover her entrepreneurial journey, her many sources of inspiration and her upcoming pop up for London Fashion Week (we honestly can’t wait to see what she has up her sleeve for September).
The Lone Design Club Journey
Rebecca: Once upon a time I had a womenswear brand called REIN London. As the Founder of a small fashion wear brand I faced many of the same trials and tribulations that most emerging designers do and I soon realised that wholesale was a tough, expensive and unsustainable route.
Generating awareness, building excitement and momentum around a new brand, and finding the ‘right’ customers is always challenging, so I started using pop-up stores as a sales vehicle for my own brand. I found that they were a fantastic way to build deeper customer relationships; they were an exciting place for customers to visit for a limited time, where they could test new designs and have the opportunity to speak to the designer while they tried pieces on.
One of the most rewarding parts of creating these niche pop-up spaces was giving a voice to these talented emerging brands. A supportive community quickly began to emerge, with a range of designer’s clubbing together to rise up above the high street.
The Many Sources of Inspiration
Rebecca: Most definitely sustainability and creativity. These are the things I am most passionate about and aspire to keep encouraging others and progressing LDC to become as successful and sustainable as possible. I am constantly inspired by my team’s hard work and the array of talented designers who fight against mainstream fast fashion and difficulties within the industry so that they can keep creating and building their brands without giving in to cheaper but less ethical production.
It is a tough business to work in and especially hard when it can feel like the majority of the industry is a little against you, but seeing small businesses progress and flourish and how much LDC supports them encourages me to keep working harder every day.
An Usual Day in Team LDC’s Life
Rebecca: Busy! We are still a small (but growing) company, which means we all work very hard to ensure everything gets done and everyone in the team mucks in wherever help is needed. I usually wake up around 6am to check my emails and go through my to-do list (which is often never-ending, but exciting!). Then I head into the office and have a catch-up meeting with the team, before getting started on the day’s tasks. I often have a variety of business meetings with our current designers, new ones who have approached us; our funders and we also have a lot to plan for our events, which occur bi-monthly.
We have a lot going on and lots of fun projects and events in the pipeline, but we also know it is important to not feel over-worked or stressed, so we do our best to keep a healthy work-life balance for our team and enjoy team activities as much as possible. While our work is challenging it’s important to remember it’s also fun and we’re lucky be working in a creative field, working for changes that we are all passionate about.
5 Years From Now
Rebecca: We will have expanded across Europe, South-East Asia and potentially the US. We intend to stick to the pop-up model as we truly feel our pop-ups allow us to engage and build a trusting relationship with our customers, who can enjoy an immersive experience to touch and feel the products they buy.
We will continue to expand our online presence striving to make our model a truly Omni-channel. Our big dream is to have a sustainable, ethical online presence as large as Farfetch or Net-a-Porter, but for growing, sustainable independent brands.
I also really hope to see more real change within the fashion industry- from industry supporting smaller sustainable brands to the big brands actually incorporating real sustainability and ethics into their manufacturing process.
The Insider Top for Aspiring Designers
Rebecca: Don’t give up! But also spend time with your consumers. All emerging brands should think carefully about their products USP being strong, sound and unique and having the sustainability/ethical part to tell as well. As a designer, creating a brand it is your responsibility to carve a path for more designers to also be thinking towards being more and more environmentally friendly, ethical and having a positive impact where you can.
Every emerging brand should get as much face to face time with their customers as well, it is crucial to be understanding your customer and what they want, and often it’s really not what you think. The amount of times I’ve heard: “My customer is 22, size 8, super healthy and fashion conscious and has a tonne of money! Honestly, I’ve never seen it. Get in store and meet your customers up close, learn about them, what they like, what they don’t like and how to build a successful and organic brand.
Follow Lone Design Club: @lonedesignclub