Le New Black team met Cécile Deknuydt, LEONARD’s Sales Manager, in the brand’s Paris showroom to find out more about their wholesale strategy and discover the new Spring-Summer 2022 pre-collection.
What are the inspirations for the new LEONARD collection?
For his second season, our new Creative Design Director Georg Lux invites the LEONARD woman for a trip to Italy. From Naples to Portofino via Rome, the LEONARD Spring-Summer 2022 pre-collection is an ode to summer and new-found freedom, to the scents of the Mediterranean and the landscapes of Italy.
How is wholesale organised at LEONARD?
We generate 80% of our wholesale sales in Asia, particularly in Korea, Japan and Taiwan. In Europe, LEONARD collections are distributed in Germany, Belgium and France and we plan to strengthen our partnerships on the American market in the coming year.
How is this new sales season shaping up?
We are presenting our “Bella Vita” collection on June 22nd and will welcome the press and our distributors in our showroom on Rue Jean Giraudoux in Paris 16e. This season again, physical meetings are mostly replaced by video meetings. We propose a 3D virtual visit on our digital showroom to allow buyers to discover the collection from a distance while living an experience that will make them travel! We are also sending material books to some of our customers so that they can touch our materials and the iconic prints of the House. We hope to be back to normal in 2022!
How do you use the LEONARD digital showroom on Le New Black?
We use our digital showroom all year round to give buyers access to our collections, so that they can discover our universe, be informed of our news and place their orders independently, like a B2C e-shop. The iPad order-taking application is also used to be mobile in the showroom and to present product details both on the rack, worn by our mannequin or on the product sheet.
We have been creating more content for our digital showroom for the past 3 seasons, including wearable photos that we reuse on our B2C e-shop. We have tried 360° visuals but are thinking of increasing our video content to show the product in motion on all our digital media.
Have you observed any changes in your buyers’ behaviour in recent seasons?
What do you see as the future of wholesale?
Our buyers have become rapidly autonomous, and the reduction in their travel time gives them more comfort and reflection in their decision making. Most of our customers have embraced the digital platform with no worries, our Asian customers better than any others!
We know that our American buyers want to come back to Paris, Milan, London, at the heart of fashion weeks! I think that we will find this energy in the heart of the city over the seasons, punctuated by fashion shows, physical meetings, reunions with our buyers, our agents and our partners. It would be a pity to lose this emulsion created by fashion weeks! As far as LEONARD is concerned, the use of a digital solution has made life easier for us for several years, and I think that digital showrooms are and will remain an essential complement to future wholesale sales seasons.
Interview conducted by Julie Bompas and Romain Blanco.