Clio Goldbrenner, 5 lessons for growth Fashion - 12 January 2016
In the beginning, there was an idea: to create a bag cut from quality leather adorned with an emblematic chainmail, a nod to the name of its designer, Clio Goldbrenner. Spotted, the following summer, on a Malibu beach at Sharon Stone's side, this soon became an 'it' bag. A look back at a Belgian and international success story in 5 strong images.
1. A highly recognisable product
The chainmail, that was her idea. Because you only have to talk to Clio Goldbrenner for a minute or two to understand that brand image is her thing. Convinced that an accessory has to have a strong and distinctive symbol in order to create a buzz, in 2011 she decided to display that well-known little gold chain on each of her bags. Belgian women soon fell for the feminine, trendy yet quite timeless look of the label's accessories. Today, the label is sold in fifty or so sales outlets in Belgium.
2. Intelligent distribution
Today, four years after the brand was first launched, Clio Goldbrenner bags are sold in a substantial - but controlled – number of boutiques. "The idea is no longer to expand the network of sales outlets nationally," explains Clio. "I want to retain a degree of exclusivity. Our growth strategy is now oriented towards the international market. In cooperation with Brussels Invest & Export, we take part in the Tranoi trade show in Paris four times a year." The brand has a presence in France (the second largest market after Belgium in terms of volume) as well as in Switzerland, Singapore, Japan and Spain.
3. A strong visual identity
Last year, the brand moved into the Galeries Lafayette by means of a pop-up concept store. This store-within-a-store provided an opportunity for the young firm – which now has 5 full-time employees – to open itself up to an international customer base as well as to refine its visual identity. "Until then, we had been present only in multi-brand retail spaces. So, for the first time, I was able to devise a complete world of its own for the brand, based on raw materials but ones with a warmth that sum up the spirit of my label: a label geared to the city customer, a woman who loves bags that are sophisticated but easy to live with in everyday life," adds Clio. A fashionable customer too, with an appreciation of the specialised and strongly teaser nature of a brand that offers a two-stage distribution: a pre-collection launched before the start of the season, followed by the complete collection two months later.
4. Muses with appeal
In terms of image, Clio Goldbrenner operates on all fronts. What's more, her choice of muses is a key part of her work. This spring, after several seasons working with Solweig Rediger-Lizlow (former weather girl of Canal+, model and actress), she has decided to turn to another muse. More modern, less demure and completely in step with the current collection, she embodies perfectly that urban and fashion-forward spirit dear to Clio. On the periphery of the campaign, Clio has also appeared in mini teaser-videos shown through social networks as a prelude to the launch of the official campaign.
5. Amazing exclusives
From the moment the brand was first launched, Clio Goldbrenner was able to ride the wave of the exclusive, the ephemeral and of inspiring co-branding. In 2012, she joined forces with jewellery designer Vanessa Tudenhaft, lately set up in a Saint-Germain boudoir-boutique in Paris. An opportunity to create a buzz and to give the brand a people showcase. Last year, she created a vanity case in tandem with the cosmetics brand Kiehl's. The super-exclusive product was available only in Kiehl's sales outlets. More recently, Clio – the new mother of a 6-month-old baby – dreamed up a baby changing bag for her personal use. Her idea: to incorporate a removable inner section in it and give it a similar look to that of a classic shopping bag. A functional and trendy concept that she will begin marketing in spring as a limited edition. "Regardless of the product or idea, my approach is always the same: to stay true to the DNA of the label, its values and its brand image". It's more than a strategy, it's a leitmotiv.
By Marie Honnay
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