How I Started a Luxury
Streetwear Fashion Brand
Hi! Who are you and what business did you start?
My name is Luca Brocca, and I founded the company NoLuxury with my graphic designer Enrico Peotta. We design and create luxury streetwear apparel and make our own personal graphics which are printed onto the clothing.
What is your personal story and how did you come up with the idea?
My background is in the luxury clothing industry, and I still work within it today. As such, I have been lucky to work with many world-renowned luxury fashion houses. My co-founder Enrico has a degree in Graphic Design, and we both share a passion for music. Our journey started two years ago with the idea to enter the market with a new idea that could work in line with current trends. After lots of market research and observation of our competitors, we officially launched our brand in March 2020.
What challenges did you face when creating your product/service?
One of our main challenges is location. I live and work in London, while Enrico lives and works in Milan. While our communication is excellent and regular, we heavily rely on WhatsApp to have our daily contact. Our other major challenge is time! As stated earlier, I work full-time for a luxury fashion brand and Enrico is studying at university. This simply means that we both work very long hours every day.
Who is your target market?
Our brand is aimed at young men and women between 16-34 who have a taste for luxury clothing (though of course anyone can wear it!). It is specifically for those who are looking for something different from what is available on the urban apparel market already. The majority of our current customers are aged in their twenties with a strong sense of style. Some of our major customers include top Instagram ‘influencers’ and some very well-known rappers!
How do you market your business and which approaches have been the most successful?
The most successful marketing strategy to date has been our usage of Instagram. Both Enrico and I are highly active on Instagram and we both have a large circle of friends and connections. Whenever we create a new post on the platform, it is shared by others widely, even at such early stage of the brand’s launch. We have also invested in paid advertising with Google and Facebook, as well as Instagram influencers frequently contacting us asking to advertise for us.
Since you launched, what has worked in not only attracting but retaining customers?
We are very successful at attracting attention with our bold and high-quality advertising photography on social media. At this stage, it is too early to determine what works well for us at retaining customers. Both Enrico and I work extremely hard to ensure our customers are happy with their purchases and we make sure we are always available if anything else is required.
What kind of culture exists in your company, and how did you establish it?
Well at the moment we are only a team of two, and Enrico and I have a strong bond of trust and loyalty between us, meaning we find it easy to work well together. A testament to this is that we have never met in person and have still managed to launch a clothing brand together! Despite this, through the communication we’ve had over the years, we know each other very well!
What software, services or tools do you use within your business?
Because of the nature of our business, much of what we do is not online or on a computer, except of course for the graphics, for which we use Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. With our brand launching recently in mid-March 2020 we are currently using Google Analytics to monitor traffic to our website and advertising campaigns. Our site is powered by Shopify which is (of course) where we sell our clothing!
What are the most important lessons have you learned on your business journey?
A really important lesson I have learnt through my business journey is that some personal relationships such as friendships may change once you begin to do business together. As such, it sometimes may be better to separate the two. We have found that it is best to discuss our company goals and intentions (and how to reach/achieve them) and expectations of each person and what their specific roles/tasks will be right from the outset so as to avoid future disputes. This has worked well so far, even with our situation of being geographically distant from one another.
What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
My favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur is being my own boss and having the freedom and control to make your own decisions that will affect the company’s direction. It is also nice to look at an idea that existed in our mind and see it become a physical reality!
What is your LEAST favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
There is no aspect I least enjoy because I understand that running a brand is a full time job in itself and launching my own brand was always a dream of mine. When you choose to pursue something that you love, you will never have to work a day in your life!
What books, podcasts or other resources have inspired and influenced your business journey?
In terms of books, Steve Jobs’ official biography was a huge mind opener for me. I also often feel inspired by art, history and photography which come in the form of exhibitions, travel, culture and music festivals. The atmosphere in all of these places has been extremely inspiring to me on my journey.
Where do you see your business 2-3 years from now?
In 2-3 years I hope to have a larger team of employees which a high annual turnover. I also hope to have opened my first physical store somewhere in London.