This Designer Collab Transformed The Business Of Le Specs

Have you seen those sharp cat-eye-angled sunglasses all over Instagram lately?

You most probably have. If anything, you’ve seen celebs like Rihanna, Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, wear them.

And “those” glasses are actually called the “Lolita” and are by Australian eyewear brand Le Specs.

The “Lolita” is just one of the many products from the collaboration between Australian eyewear brand Le Specs and American womenswear designer Adam Selman – but is major standout in terms of success.

The demand for the $119 shades is so high that it has spawned countless waiting lists and has generated resale margins on eBay of up to four times its retail price.

Hamish Tame, creative director of Le Specs told BoF:

“It’s been so crazy — to see that people are willing to bid and pay such a high inflation price for them, that was what was mind-blowing.”

Tame also jokingly states:

“That one style is by far our highest-selling style across the board. It feels like they are a pair of Yeezy’s, or something from the Louis Vuitton x Supreme collaboration.”

The eyewear brand originally gifted 100 pairs of Lolita’s to major influencers, and Gigi Hadid was one of them to receive a pair.

Note: These gifts were not paid endorsements.

Gigi Hadid took it to Instagram to photograph herself wearing a pair of black Lolita frames in July of last year. Since then, the picture received over 1.6 million likes, and that’s when Le Specs sold out of all its inventory. Yes, all of it’s inventory which equated to over 1,000 pieces, which were sold out overnight.

This Designer Collab Transformed The Business Of Le Specs

With that, in the last three months alone, Le Spec’s social media audience has increased by 30 percent, which Tame attributes to celebrity endorsement.

The Adam Selman x Le Specs collaboration was born in September of 2016 and was originally suppose to be a one time collab. But since the collaboration was such a success, Le Specs has extended it to 2020.

Tame tells BoF about the morning of the black Lolita release:

“I had a Skype meeting with Adam the morning the black Lolita got released. We had just received 1,600 pieces. Over the duration of that hour that we were talking, I was like, ‘Ok, we’re up to 500 units sold, we’re up to 600 units…’ By the end of the Skype call we had totally sold out.”

Le Specs is now available in 70 countries and is stocked in over 1,000 retailers and can be found on e-commerce sites like Net-a-Porter, MatchesFashion, Neiman Marcus.

Le Specs is also one of the only brands stocked to be across a mix of high and low end retailers, with that, the eyewear happens to be a bestseller on both MatchesFashion and Asos.

And it’s also the cheapest brand to ever garner a Matches waiting list.

Chelsea Power, lifestyle buyer at MatchesFashion notes:

“Le Specs resonates well with our customers globally — they are always ahead of the curve in a contemporary and exciting way.”

And while luxury retailers will typically only buy 20-30 units of an eyewear, Power’s notes:

“The Lolita style in particular has been popular — even in November we are selling out.”

With that, Tame notes:

“But [Matches] now buy a couple of thousand units and they sell them within the day. We constantly have back orders for the Lolita.”

Tame also mentions that scarcity seems to be one of the reasons behind the brands success.

This Designer Collab Transformed The Business Of Le Specs

The company manufactures their products in China and has a three or four month lead time on orders. While it wasn’t initially a deliberate strategy, Tame says he has decided to keep production levels low because he believes that the low levels of stock have helped fuel the high level of demand.

“We’ve been undercooking it each time, and that’s the reason we can’t keep it in stock.”

With that, Le Specs is planning their next drop to be around November 15 and you can expect all future Adam Selman x Le Specs collabs to be limited in both style and quantity.

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Romana Hai

Founder, CEO & Editor-in-Chief

Romana Hai started blogging full-time in 2013 . Fashion Ambitions is more than a blog and more-or-less acts as a portfolio containing brands/collaborations and achievements. Although Romana was born and raised in New York, she currently resides in the Financial District of Boston, MA. Romana attended Penn State University and graduated in 2010 with two degrees: Economics from the Smeal College of Business and Telecommunications from the College of Communications. You can reach Romana at romana@fashionambitions.com.

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