COMING HOME: Deborah Lyons loves keeping her audience entertained.
For the debut of her new fall 2019 collection, she took over London’s Burlington Arcade on the eve of London Fashion Week — which also happened to be Valentine’s Day — dressed it up with myriad red roses and invited guests and their loved ones for a jazz night.
There were drinks, chocolate treats and a live jazz performance, with the band and singers sporting Lyons’ new fall 2019 pieces, which channeled a tougher, more confident mood, with a darker color palette and a strong focus on the brand’s signature silhouettes.
Some of the highlights included plaid tailored blazers and matching slim pants, body-hugging jumpsuits and a dramatic maxidress appliquéd with red roses all over.
This was the first time Lyons showed on home turf, after taking her show on the road and hosting her debut presentation aboard a Eurostar carriage last September.
“We wanted to do something more intimate and local this time, that brought together our immediate community. Also it’s a nice way to lead into London Fashion Week,” Lyons said.
Her aim with choosing off-schedule slots and alternative presentation formats remains the same: Cutting through the fashion week noise and getting the right audience to step into her world and become more familiar with the brand.
“I want to catch people’s attention and curate more of an experience, instead of just having it be a standing presentation. We don’t have our own retail environment, so it’s a way for us to communicate who we are. One of the feedbacks from our Eurostar show was that everyone found it really refreshingly different, it wasn’t as strict as normal shows, the whole atmosphere was just fun,” added the designer. “We tried to get people to have that same traveling experience and get them talking. Obviously they have to like the clothes, that is the most important thing, but to get them to [see the clothes in the first place], community-building initiatives like these are key.”
She added that this approach is also more representative of her customer base of young professionals.
“Unless you are going to a Dior or a Chanel show, which have these incredible productions, it’s just a bit boring to walk into a room and there’s just models standing there. There’s no difference between me having models standing and a cast of characters singing and moving and dancing, except that it’s much closer to the lives of our customers. It’s a nice way for young brands to know who they are,” Lyons said.
Lyons has been focused on growing her wholesale business since launching her label in 2017, some of her key partners including Harrods and Harvey Nichols. She has also recently started working with Rent the Runway and is standing behind the business of rentals, both as a more sustainable means of consuming clothing that’s relevant to her audience of young professional women and as an alternative way to ensure growth for her business.
Pop-ups, that will channel the same playful, celebratory spirit of her fashion week presentations, are also in the works for later this year both in London and the U.S.