Daily Insights

Ready for Big Little Growth

By: Brett Finkelstein | Jan 29, 2019

News came out Monday that Reese Witherspoon’s clothing brand Draper James is taking a leap forward with the addition of industry insider Kathryn Sukey. With time as a senior design director at Kate Spade and handbag designer at Coach under her belt, she’ll debut the new spring 2019 collection with Draper James.

When Reese Witherspoon founded Draper James in 2013, it was an exclusively direct-to-consumer brand. Four years later, the fashion label began working with retail partners starting with Nordstrom, but has since expanded to Stitch Fix, Rent the Runway, and Dillard’s, the latter being its largest revenue driver. Still, the digital-native brand knows how to tailor an effective digital marketing strategy, as it fired all channels to share the news across site, social, and email.

Celebrity-founded brands continue to be a craze in the beauty world, and they’re proving that they’re also good at digital, with Kylie Cosmetics dominating the lip kit scene and Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty line breaking the top 10 in its first appearance in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty this year. Draper James has proven a similar ability to garner attention for fashion, pursuing unique collaborations and expanding collections like eyewear. 

Witherspoon’s celebrity status brings attention to the small label that’s usually reserved for fashion brands with big wallets that can spend on influencers and paid promotions. With her 16.2 million followers, she counts as a celebrity influencer, proven to garner higher engagement on Instagram by drawing from their outsized fan base.

This distinction is crucial for fashion labels: over half of posts by brands in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Fashion tag an influencer, but only 62% of those brands see aggregate lifts from influencer usage. With its digitally native background, superstar founder, and now the addition of an industry insider from Gifted brand Kate Spade, Draper James might be ready for some big little growth.