Simon Miller

LOS ANGELES – The executives behind Simon Miller are now focused on building the company’s customer base as they test a pop-up concept that allows the brand to show up at retail in full force.

The pop-up at Fred Segal’s Sunset Boulevard store carries the fall women’s denim, ready-to-wear and leather accessories, along with Leonard Urso sculptures. Urso’s worked with the company in the past on a jewelry collaboration.

“What we’re most excited about is that it is the first time as a brand we are really being able to show our lifestyle, interiors and whole set-up in one space,” said co-creative director Chelsea Hansford. “It’s something that we have done with our showroom and we attribute that to be a lot of the success of the brand.”

The pop-in allows the brand to test the waters and show a small-scale retail environment to the end consumer, Hansford added.

Hansford last year relocated from New York to Los Angeles, where co-creative director Daniel Corrigan had already been based, thereby uniting the executive team under one room.

“When you think of a brand, it’s important to understand where that brand is from and the inspiration for the brand,” Corrigan said. “For us, being in Los Angeles and having a lot of our manufacturing in Los Angeles, it definitely inspires the collection.”

“We really wanted to create one, cohesive brand image and build out our office for one headquarter,” Hansford said. “I think there was a point in fashion when you almost felt like you had to be in New York to have a brand, in the U.S. at least, and the world’s changing. L.A. is not only having a moment, but a lot of fashion brands are popping up here as well as moving here and so we saw the opportunity to move out here and have more space and really play on the style of L.A.”

Simon Miller

Simon Miller’s pop-in at Fred Segal Sunset Boulevard.  Simon Miller/Erik Melvin

The brand had traditionally shown at New York Fashion Week and then Paris. They made the decision not to show in New York with the move to Los Angeles, opting instead for a dinner at Hansford’s house with 20 of her and Corrigan’s friends in the industry or art world donning Simon Miller designs.

“It’s really easy to get lost in that fashion week cycle, especially a brand our size,” Corrigan said. “There’s so much going on during those seven days that people are just running around and it’s really hard to absorb from an editor standpoint.”

Simon Miller’s Fred Segal pop-up remains open through December, but there’s more in the pipeline for the brand the two said.

“We’re launching an entirely new accessories category on top of the jewelry and bags we’ve already seen success with,” Hansford said. “We’ve put a lot into the denim collection as well, just to experiment with more novelty denim and push for a wider assortment of fits and fabrications to really stand out from the denim scene in L.A.”

There’s also a focus now on digital, Corrigan said, more specifically e-commerce and social media. A store of their own, especially given the test at Fred Segal, is also something up for consideration farther into the future.

“It [a store] definitely is interesting, which is what’s great about this pop-up,” Corrigan said. “It’s really nice for our end consumer to have a place that really reflects the brand and currently the only space is our showroom, which is the buyer, and our end consumer doesn’t get to experience that. So that is something that is intriguing for us. Now, when or how that happens, it definitely would not be your traditional retail store.”

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