Recently, we introduced Part One of our 5 Minutes With Rebecca Morter, founder of Lone Design Club. With a wealth of knowledge around todays retail trends, she began detail the beginnings of LDC and her views on the successes of event retail. Today, we reveal Part Two, taking a deep dive into cultivating communities, the future of Lone Design Club and the best Milanese coffee stops!
Read on to discover our final part of 5 Minutes with LDC...
Do you have any advice for brands exhibiting in your space?
Yes – engage with as many consumers as possible, always be hunting out feedback. This is the best way to build a brand, to understand the end consumer. Fashion, specifically, can be so niche and depends on so many factors such as style, shape, fabric, trends. Understand what your customers want first and how you can stay true to your creative vision that satisfies their needs and wants.
What’s the biggest mistake small brands make when trying to grow their audience?
You cant do everything and you shouldn’t; don’t dilute your value, stay focused, think quality over quantity and less fingers in less pies.
All emerging brands should think carefully about their product’s 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 out 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 it is crucial to understand your customer and what they want as it’s often 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 ton of money.” Honestly, I’ve never seen it. Get in store - 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.
Do you have a favourite pop-up/event experience at LDC?
Since the beginning LDC has always had strong values on women empowerment: over 80% of our community are women. Our female empowerment networking evenings were one of the first types of events we started at LDC and it has always astonished me how powerful and inspiring these evenings are; such a sense of camaraderie, support and understanding that is sorely lacking from the industry as a whole. To hear such incredible journeys from all sorts of backgrounds, the struggles, the failures, the successes - all so real and inspiring and creates a real sense of togetherness and community that LDC is all about!
Is cultivating a community the most important factor for LDC?
It is definitely one of the most important factors to me. Having gone through the challenges of starting and running the LDC brand, I really wanted to ensure that it offered emerging independent designers a real sense of community and support. Starting your own business - especially in such a competitive industry - can be really hard and quite lonely at times. Building a loyal community is at the heart of LDC and I hope it has made a real difference to the designers we work with.
Fashion is a tough business to work in and is especially hard when it can feel like the majority of the industry is a little against you. Although seeing small businesses progress and flourish with LDC’s support encourages me to keep working harder every day.
Your current locations are London and Milan, where would you recommend the best coffee?
I am very much a coffee guzzler and sadly a lover of the cheap, weak and tar-like black filter or a watery Americano. Somehow this is one of my student life throwbacks I simply can’t shake! However, my Milanese colleagues ensured I ventured to some of their favourites which included L’arabesque and of course the unmissable cafe at 10 Corso Como, the patisseries, Cova Montenapoleone and Gattulo - essentially featuring the best espressos over a cake. On my normal “store days” during my time on Corso Garibaldi in February this year, I was a regular at the Moleskin Cafe and in April on Via Torino the bizarre OstelloBello.
What does the future look like for LDC?
Omni-channel and global. This year we expand further into Europe followed by Asia and I hope that we will continue our rapid growth of pop up stores all over the world. Our dream is to have pop ups happening all over the world with all of our wonderful curated brands with all of the energy, excitement and buzz feeding into our online store and community. We truly feel our pop-ups allow us to engage and build a trusting relationship with our customers who can enjoy an immersive experience and touch and feel the products they buy, often returning to our site to continue the relationship and to discover even more incredible brands.
I hope to see more real change within the fashion industry, from industry supporting smaller sustainable brands to the big brands taking stronger and more meaningful strides towards a less destructive and more considered industry.
Lone Design Club recently took over a space on London’s South Molton Street to ‘bring the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament to Mayfair’. A concept store curated around sport, the space featured a mix of luxury athleisure-wear and fashion accessories; with shoppers able to browse the products whilst watching the tennis, with major matches streamed in store. Most importantly, the space offered more than a transactional experience, there were immersive experiences, unmissable events, private shopping experiences and if you followed our stories last week – an epic closing party.
Whilst the pop-up format offers a ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ vibe, LDC utilise the hype of the short-lived whilst maintaining a strong online presence for those less engaged with the physical experience.