With a strong following for her cool-girl flats and louche boots, Loeffler Randall chief executive officer and creative director Jessie Randall is keen on keeping her four-year-old brand exclusive, even as it’s ready to grow.
This story first appeared in the August 11, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Such was the reason that Randall, who scooped up the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Swarovski Award for Accessory Design in 2007, waited until now to introduce e-commerce.
“Loeffler Randall has become a cult brand, but no one [retailer] can show the full embodiment and vision of the brand,” said Randall. “On the Web site, we’re able to show all that.”
The firm’s Web site, loefflerrandall.com, relaunches today and features the full breadth of the collection for purchase globally. Loeffler Randall is sold at 200 doors in the U.S. including Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, as well as 20 international stores.
“Being a mom of twins, I do all of my shopping online,” Randall said. “This is the way it’s going. It will be a new revenue stream for us.”
The site is also engaging, featuring a blog by the designer, behind-the-scenes video and look book shoots. It will offer exclusive styles and options to preorder product.
From its inception, Loeffler Randall had planned to be a lifestyle brand with many categories starting off with footwear, then accessories and apparel, which bowed in 2007. Randall has put the handbag category on hiatus this season.
The strategy had long been to open a brick-and-mortar store, but considering the trying economic times, the company decided to invest in its Web site for now. Stores are still in the plans for the future.
“We are viewing this as our…store,” said Randall, who said the firm’s volume is about $10 million.
More than half of Loeffler Randall’s sales are from footwear, while 30 percent is derived from apparel with styles such as cinched-waist shift dresses and origami-detailed blouses.