After working with an influencer on a limited-edition collection of shoes, digital-native brand Margaux has taken a new approach to the way it drops and markets new collections.
On March 8, Margaux launched its second limited collection with Gal Meets Glam, an influencer brand created by Julia Engel, after seeing huge success with the first collection that dropped in fall 2019. While working with a mega-influencer on a limited-edition collection is something companies from Nordstrom to Revolve have done, it’s not every day that those brands consult so closely with the influencer on how to tease the collection and market it on the brand’s social account and website. Margaux found after working with Engel last fall that the brand could learn a lot from the way the influencer approaches her own Gal Meets Glam brand.
“I was stunned by [Julia’s] ability to train her customer to shop on a drop in a way that was so disciplined. For us, the sell-through rate was just stunning,” said Alexa Buckley, co-founder of Margaux.
With the first collection, Margaux saw a 30% sell-through rate on the shoe’s launch day and a 75% sell-through in the first month. Those numbers, said co-founders Sarah Pierson and Alexa Buckley, were higher than what the brand typically sees with product drops. After consulting with Engel for the second Gal Meets Glam collaboration, Margaux saw four times the normal traffic on its site and double the normal conversion rate. Plus, 72% of day-one sales taking place within the first hour of the launch.
For the latest collaboration, Margaux introduced two new styles — an espadrille and a mule — which is rare for the company. Typically, the founders take a one-at-a-time approach, slowly adding new staple styles to the broader collection. Margaux launched in 2015, starting off with a classic ballet flat. Over the years, the brand has added 11 new styles, including a boot, a loafer and a heel (and the styles in the Gal Meets Glam collaborations) — generally dropping new silhouettes one to three times a year. Engel, on the other hand, tends to roll out 30-plus items at a time.
Additionally, Margaux hasn’t done a lot of promotion around new styles or products leading up to the launch date, instead trying to keep things secretive and surprise customers on the day the item drops.
“When we’ve dropped in the past, we’ve been very tight-lipped, not sharing images ahead of time or sharing what we are working on. This collaboration was a real education in how Julia has built an amazing business generating demand before a product launches,” said Sarah Pierson, co-founder of Margaux.
Engel launched the Gal Meets Glam Collection clothing line in April 2018, with a focus on dresses, and has since expanded to coats and sweaters. The influencer, with 1.2 million Instagram followers, drops products on a monthly basis, and before any items go live on the Gal Meets Glam website, she shares a full lookbook of the styles on her blog and to email subscribers. Engel also teases new styles on her own Instagram account, as well as the Gal Meets Glam account. Going into the second round of products with Engel, the team at Margaux decided to try teasing the new shoes on social media two weeks before the official drop. In that same two-week time frame, Engel posted a lookbook on her blog with styled images of the shoes and shared the collection on social media. Both featured the shoes on Instagram, on a daily basis.
“Knowing how much the fall collection resonated with our customer, we went into this collaboration with an added sense of excitement and anticipation,” Engel said. “We went into this second round knowing what our customers want.”
When followers posted about the collection in their Instagram Stories, Margaux reposted those or engaged with the user over direct message. The team also gifted some products to brand ambassadors and friends as a way to get more images of the products, styled in different ways, leading up to the launch.