Before launching her lingerie brand Fleur du Mal, Jennifer Zuccarini had a stint at Victoria’s Secret — giving her an idea of what to avoid.
“I think people just got tired of that one note of what sexy is,” said Zuccarini on this week’s episode of the Glossy Podcast.
Launched in 2012, Fleur du Mal is applying all the strategies of a small brand looking to challenge a more established industry giant that’s on the ropes, creating a lot of web content and tapping social media influencers to get consumers interested in the brand. Along the way, it’s avoiding Victoria’s Secret’s pitfall by making and marketing products for customers of all body types.
Here are a few highlights from the conversation, lightly edited for clarity.
About social media advertising
“[Digital advertising] is kind of the only game in town right now. And I think that’s scary. I was saying to my husband, who used to work at Condé Nast, ‘I wish we could just go back to advertising in Vogue. It would be so much easier.’ Now it’s much more complicated. And the demand for content creation is so high. We have to be creating content relentlessly. I feel like we need to hire an in-house photographer, an in-house videographer, a bigger social media team. That’s what you do now as a brand; you’re a content creator. We create all of our content in-house.”
It takes more than just making products for all body sizes
“We had to hire new fit models — models of different sizes within that range. We started [fitting] on a 38DD, and we had a 40F cup. So that’s expensive. It’s a big commitment in terms of time and development. I think more brands don’t do it because it is a little bit [difficult]. For us, the [issue] was: How do we market to that customer? Our current customer was not that size. We had to think, ‘How do we reach a new customer that is this size and that would be interested in this product?’ And that requires a separate marketing strategy, budget and social initiatives.”
Where Victoria’s Secret went wrong
“I had a great experience working there. I think they were just too late to move. They waited too long, and people were just begging them to change something and to show more diversity and inclusivity. And they just held on, and that was their demise. I think now they’re trying to make up for that, but unfortunately, it’s also that mob mentality of people wanting to hate them right now. And even though I’ve had my issues with them recently, as well, I think they could have avoided a lot of it had they made changes earlier. I think people just got tired of that one note of ‘what sexy is.'”