I recently interviewed Lauren Alexander, co-founder and creative director of luxury t-shirt label LnA.
The piece was based on the role of celebrity in driving sales for new labels (LnA, established in 2007, now counts among its fans everyone from Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, to the Beckhams and the Kardashians), but Alexander also had a couple of interesting points to make about digital.
In what could now be referred to as a heavily crowded market, finding any success with social media comes down to doing something that stands out, she said.
“Social media is so important to us, it has become a huge part of what we do… but I think now you kind of have to be creative with it. There’s so many people involved in social media, so many brands… you have to be to stay at the forefront of it.”
Along with partner April Leight, her initiatives include the likes of “How do you wear LnA” contests, where people send in their photographs, or competitions on Twitter such as offering prizes for the first people to name five celebrities who wear the brand’s zipper pocket tee.
Both the Twitter feed and the blog are otherwise designed to share the inner workings of the company with its fans. “Our twitter is a platform for people to find out what we’re wearing today or what we’re doing in the office. It gives them an inside look of what’s going on here,” said Alexander.
“And then we have our blog. It’s an inspirational blog, so [people] can get a peek at what we’re listening to, what music do we like, who’s inspiring us, what bloggers do we like, who’s dressed well and kind of get a peek inside our heads creatively, like what’s driving this.”
“We get so much great responses to our blog and to Twitter, and it’s cool because they’re very different, you get two totally different sides of us, but they serve the same purpose,” she added.
While celebrity remains at the root of the brand’s marketing, social media then helps further drive sales, she explained. With nearly 15,000 followers on Twitter, Alexander says the effect of posting news of a celebrity wearing a certain item, for example, is huge.
“If Kim Kardashian gets photographed wearing something, it will sell out on our website. We put it on Twitter and it’s instantaneous.”
The company is also embarking on branded content through traditional media with news of a reality television show currently being filmed.
Expected to air at the end of the summer, it will follow Alexander and Leight through the design process, from the idea for a collection to the shooting of its look-book, and the press preview in New York.
“It’s a peek inside the inner workings of an actual company, and the struggles that we go through as designers and owners. As long as we can stay true to what is actually happening here and not miss the plot, then it could be something really special and really cool,” she said.