In every sense of the phrase, Lisa Mandy Seskin is a true leader in heels. Quite quickly after founding her own shoe brand (worn by Bella Hadid!), she realised there was a highly committed market for vegan shoes. Not wanting to alienate customers, especially those who loved her brand, she developed her first entirely vegan collection. However, like many businesswomen, Lisa knew that having a great product simply wasn’t enough and thus she developed a strategy working with influencers, to raise awareness and sales. Read all about Lisa’s journey below.
How to get started on working with influencers
Gifting product has been an essential part of the success of LMS. In the months leading up to launching the new collection I personally reached out to hundreds of influencers. I gave them information about myself and LMS so they really had an idea of who was behind the brand. I think this is extremely important as you don’t want to be another brand throwing free product their way. It is so important to create connections with every person you cross paths with, as you never know when you will meet again.
You have to know that not everyone you gift to will wear your product or feature it on their social media. Don’t be disheartened by this. Keep gifting and reaching out to the right people. Every action and result is a lesson.
The best advice I was given about working with influencers
The best advice I was given was to create a list of people who really embody your brand and who you think would actually wear your product. I am quite picky with who I gift LMS to. I have always wanted to ensure that the person reflects the essence of LMS and that LMS would be something that would appeal to their audience. This is where quality vs quantity comes in. It’s easy to fall into the trap of a high follower count. As an example, there is no point in me gifting shoes to a swimsuit model who A) Never posts outfit pictures with shoes or B) Has a highly male-dominated audience.
The domino effect of influencer outreach
What I also learned very quickly is that you will see a domino effect, once an influencer is seen wearing your brand it puts your products not only in front of customers but also other influencers. You will find that as soon as an influencer either features your brand on their social channels or is seen wearing it at an event, you will have multiple other influencers getting in touch with you to request a collaboration.
How to get your product seen by celebrities
The same goes for celebrities. All celebrity stylists will keep an eye out to see what other celebs are wearing and what new brands are hitting the circuit. In regards to celebrity gifting, the best way to do this is to reach out to celebrity stylists. Send them your look book, information about yourself and your brand.
I have recently started working with an agency in the US who has connections with both celebrity stylists and personal assistants. This can definitely help but as this costs money I’d advise to hold off on this until your business can afford and additional cost.
In the meantime, whilst you are still starting out, do the outreach yourself. You really can do anything you set your mind to. I learned the hard way that best person for the job is always you as you are the only person that cares enough about your business and your success. I was nervous at first reaching out to influencers and media, but I knew I had to face my fears and do it for my business.
About Lisa Mandy Seskin
LMS is the it-girl shoe label loved by the likes of Bella Hadid and Emma Roberts. Founded by Lisa Mandy Seskin and hailing from Bondi, the brand stems from Lisa’s lifetime of being behind the scenes of the fashion industry and her desire to innovate.
Having worked in fashion since she was 15, Lisa started in retail and quickly moved into fashion buying at trend-led Glue Store. It was there that she noticed an obvious gap in the market for affordable shoes for the fashion-forward girl – and from here LMS the Brand was born. An ambitious entrepreneur, Lisa’s goal is to inspire millennials and aspiring women in business on the industry and offer advice on how to start a business – having launched an exclusively vegan capsule and about to drop her fourth collection.