Although the Lele Sadoughi brand has been around for a decade, founder and creative director Lele Sadoughi brings a wealth of knowledge to her namesake business. Previously, she worked at Tory Burch, Club Monaco and Banana Republic. She launched the jewelry category of J.Crew in 2005 before creating her own line.
“Working for these big companies, you had interaction with merchandising, writing, planning, production, visuals – with everything. Looking back, that was the best introduction for me to the start of my collection,” Sadoughi said. in the latest episode of the Glossy Podcast.
After making a splash in 2018 with her bead and jewel headband, Lele Sadoughi has since expanded to nearly 15 different categories, including handbags, eyewear and home decor. Sadoughi credits the brand’s success to her organic marketing, dedication to her DNA, and authentic collaborations, like the one she did with LoveShackFancy in 2020.
According to Sadoughi, the company has posted record revenues since the start of the pandemic and shows no signs of slowing down. Currently, Sadoughi is focused on opening more physical retail spaces. The plan is to open the brand’s first New York location on Bleecker Street in late summer. It has two existing stores, in Dallas and Newport Beach.
“Our best and newest ad is the opening of all of our stores. It’s a way people can see the brand and see all the categories in one space,” Sadoughi said.
Below are additional highlights from the conversation, which have been lightly edited for clarity.
Focus on retail
“We didn’t have to invest. It’s great because we were able to grow at our own pace. We opened our first store in Dallas – I really wanted connectivity. I moved [to Dallas] over the past year, while our office is still in New York. … The opening in Dallas was very meaningful and special [because I grew] here, and it’s phenomenally well done. Not only has the store performed well, but our online customers in the region have also increased. It’s just a win-win. The same thing [happened when] we opened in California in May. And New York is our biggest clientele, so I’m excited to see how it’s going. We can do same day delivery which is huge for New York City. »
Zoom as an unlikely marketing tool
“[People] share a lot on social networks, [and that’s about] 99% via their mobile [device], which frames their face. Much of what I do frames your face, whether it’s a headband, glasses, earrings, or hats. [Social media] has been a very viral way for people to share and express their fashion. [Creating pieces for those moments] wasn’t something I looked for in the categories I create, but it’s something that I realize is fun for people. [Workers’ widespread move to] Zoom was the perfect thing. [Nobody knows] what you wear below the waist, but [above the waist], you can look polished in the blink of an eye. Just put on some earrings and a headband, and you’re good to go.
Stay true to your roots
“As a company or as a designer or a design-based company, it’s important to stay true to its DNA. I never made a little treat [jewelry] because it just wasn’t us. We are known for [our statement pieces] and always be sold at the same retailers, be it Neiman’s, Nordstrom or Saks. [Our customers] come to us for the big and fabulous statement pieces. There is always that person. There are times when the trend comes your way and then you just run with it.