Lauren Conrad reflects on her brand’s expansion mirroring her own life changes.
As Lauren Conrad has evolved through her life and grown as a designer, her brand at Kohl’s has too. Next up: the LC Lauren Conrad Maternity collection.
Kohl’s has had a long-standing partnership with Lauren since 2009 and the brand has continually evolved alongside her pivotal life moments. We caught up with Lauren and Michael Gilbert, Kohl’s executive vice president of product development, to chat about the partnership and her recent expansion into maternity.
Q: Tell us about your partnership and how it came to life?
Michael: Lauren is a style icon and a true influencer among the younger demographic, so we knew right away that a Lauren Conrad collection would be successful at Kohl’s. Since we launched in 2009, the partnership has been very collaborative, which has led to the growth and success of the brand.
Lauren: Kohl’s has such a large presence and really stands behind the brands they work with. After learning about their production capabilities and the category selection they offer, I knew I wanted to create a line with them. When we began our partnership, it was important to me that we start with apparel and grow the line slowly and organically over time.
Q: How has the brand evolved over the past eight years? Has it been a true collaboration?
Lauren: Absolutely. My aesthetic is my own. I’m in design meetings and even some buy meetings. From designing and choosing fabrics to reviewing customer feedback and modeling in our program shoots, I’m extremely involved with every step in bringing the collection to life and keeping the styles authentic and fresh. As I’ve hit various stages in life, we’ve been able to evolve the brand to grow alongside those milestones, including my maternity collection. Every category expansion or new capsule has had a purpose.
Michael: We’ve been very lucky to have a partner like Lauren. Our teams have an ongoing dialogue on how the LC Lauren Conrad customer shops, what she likes and how she’s connecting with us. The consistency of launching new categories has been phenomenal and keeps the product relevant for the ever- changing consumer.
Q: How does digital fit into your brand?
Lauren: My friends and I love to shop online so we are always looking for ways to make the digital experience easier for our customer, whether it’s through Kohls.com or through social media. I love using Instagram to connect with our customers to better understand what they like or dislike. I’ve also used it as a polling tool when I can’t decide on a particular pattern or color.
Michael: The LC Lauren Conrad social handle is by far one of Kohl’s most popular and engaging brands on social media. We’ve recently expanded her brand across Snapchat and Instagram Stories for more behind-the-scenes photos and videos.
Q: What made you decide to expand into maternity?
Michael: Kohl’s is a destination for families and we are always looking to create new products that are compelling to our customers at key life moments. When Lauren announced she was pregnant, an expansion into maternity was a clear next step for the brand – and it complements our other maternity brands, a:glow and Pip & Vine, which launched earlier this year.
Lauren: Yes, it was a natural next step for me. It was important for me to be able to wear the clothes I would normally wear when not pregnant, so we created a maternity line that compliments my current collection. Kohl’s has an amazing production team – I only gave them six months to create the collection!
Michael: (Laughs) We were prepared though. The brand is a part of our speed initiative, which enabled us to act as fast as we did. Lauren was even able to model the collection in the brand shoot.
Be sure to check out the full LC Lauren Conrad Maternity collection on Kohls.com.