According to its founder Helen Lo, Lo & Sons is not trying to be a fashion brand just concentrating on making simple but elegant luxury bags that are functional and convenient. Their approach is working. The brand which was launched in December 2010 has tripled its sale in 2012 compared to the corresponding period in 2011. Helen Lo started the company as she couldn’t find a travel bag to her liking. Her sons Derek and Jan who were working in advertising and product design were also persuaded to leave their jobs and help their mother with her startup. The company was launched in December 2010 and grew very quickly. The first quarter of 2012 has been the best so far as the entire stock was sold out.
The new family owned and managed company sells almost its entire production online. Going through a distribution channel was an expensive and a cumbersome proposition and hence they have concentrated on the online sales. The first styles launched by the company were called the OG and TT and they retailed for $295 and $260 respectively. The other bags released later retail for just under $200. They recently launched their new spring/summer collection. The event was held at Soho House in New York City last week and the positive response augurs well for the company and very soon they will have to hire people as their operations grow.
Managed by Mother and her Two Sons
The mother and her two sons have managed to run the company so far and haven’t hired any employee. They have divided the work amongst themselves and operate out of three different locations to manage the show. They even design their own bags. Jan who has prior experience in the field says that their designs are user centric. He has been inspired by Apple and their intuitive products. He operates out of Beijing but jets to New York regularly to co-ordinate. He decides on the styles and materials for the new bags and sources them from Hong Kong. They are building up the brand slowly and use their ‘L&S’ logo as the zip pull medallion.
New Collection Launched at Soho House
Derek is stationed in New York and shares his Nolita office with Svpply.com and Skillshare.com. Helen is located in between her sons at Heidelberg in Germany. She is very clear about the way forward for the brand. She is very careful and ensures that they get all the details right. Right from the design to the craftsmanship has to be given special attention. They share a factory with other small companies. Derek also joins Jan so that the production run in Asia is completed without a hitch. They both then go to New York to launch the new collection. This year the spring/summer collection was launched through a trunk show in Soho house. These events give them a chance to interact directly with their customers. It was not a solo show for them but also featured Sarah LaFleur who was there to launch a clothing line memelafleur.com. Rachel Yeomans was also part of the show who was launching a “webzine,” theworkingwardrobe.com.