Date Posted: Wednesday 11th April 2018
DIARY directory recently caught up with Olivia Cantillon, Co-founder of OWNTHELOOK.COM, the UK’s first editorial styling and multi-brand shopping platform. With experiences ranging from deputy fashion editor of Star Magzine, fashion and beauty editor of HELLO! Middle East and in-house stylist of Mojeh Magazine, Olivia co-founded OWNTHELOOK.COM. after spotting a gap in the market for a company that not only offered trend-led affordable fashion but also showcased how to wear those trends by a team of industry insiders. Launching only last year, OWNTHELOOK.COM has been a breakout success since day one and has worked with influencers including Lissy Roddy, Danielle Peazer, Sophie Milner and Nina Suess, and has dressed the likes of Millie Macintosh, Pixie Lott, Caroline Flack, Mollie King, Rosie Fortescue and Chloe Lewis.
Talk to us about working with influencers...
For me, the main factor when it comes to working with influencers isn’t down to the level of followers – it’s that the relationship between us is organic and there is a genuine fit on both sides. I want the girls supporting the brand to be girls that would actually shop the brand and we manage that by creating a really open relationship with influencers. We want to build long-lasting relationships with influencers when it comes to our campaigns as ultimately, we need to gain the trust of their following, and that isn’t done within one post. I would also look at engagement over following and the demographic of the influencer's followers – would they be a target consumer of OWNTHELOOK.COM? That information is vital. With our OTL girl being so digitally savvy, this is where our focus lies.
In such a competitive retail market, what gives you the edge? What are you doing differently?
In a nutshell, we’re making outfit dressing our focus and doing it with brands that are new to the market. We strive to be a voice in not only what to wear but how to wear it, and we want to be considered not only an e-commerce platform but also as a styling tool for women looking to embrace the digital evolution of shopping. Our USP is that we provide a two-click wonder to ‘Owning The Look’ where our customer can browse through the site and buy the head-to-toe look within two, quick clicks. These looks are super trend-led and offer an alternate offering when it comes to traditional e-commerce styling. We also offer stylish tips alongside every look on site. This is something we are keen to continue evolving in the future with authoritative industry voices.
What would you say is the biggest risk for the retail sector given the current climate?
With Brexit approaching, I feel the biggest risk for the sector is the unknown. We work with multiple brands and consumers both inside and outside the EU and we’re unsure of the impact Brexit will have.
Anything you’d do differently and what's the biggest lesson you've learnt?
My hardest challenge when launching OWNTHELOOK.COM was getting people, suppliers and the industry to believe in just ‘another online startup’. In such a saturated market, I had to make people believe in me as opposed to the non-existent business and that wasn’t easy! When I was looking to on-board brands, I really had nothing to show for myself other than an idea so ensuring I created a niche and developed something that wasn’t just ‘another online startup’ was not only my biggest challenge but also my biggest achievement.
Social media is so crucial to gaining traffic to your website, talk us through how your brand and social media link up. How do you think this will change in the coming years?
With the women we’re targeting, social media is absolutely vital and ensuring our social channels align with the brand is my number one priority. I’ve mentioned our ‘Own The Look aesthetic’ before and this is something that is followed through all the way to our daily posts on social – they reflect the mood and experience we’re creating on site. Social media is a vital tool, but one that sits within a larger marketing strategy, all areas must align for a campaign to be successful. We work with our social channels in so many different ways, from influencer collaborations to video content to ads – this is how we interact with our consumer on a daily basis. The millennial woman or ‘Gen Z’ are so digitally minded, I believe social media is only going to become even more vital to digital businesses.
How does having a DIARY directory membership benefit you as a brand owner? What do you most use it for day to day? What would you love to see us do?
DIARY directory is a vital tool for us when it comes to keeping our finger firmly on the pulse of the industry, keeping up to date with all day to day goings on; new launches, influencers requests, media requests and events. The marketing team use the platform daily if not hourly in order to connect with the media and ensure the brand is at the forefront of journalists' and influencers' minds and in their inboxes. With such a large focus on our digital strategy, the ability to have eyes on Influencers' figures and analytics all in one place is key. Essentially we need to be able to move fast, react quickly and reach out…with this at our fingertips, we can.
What other social / information tools do you use and why? What tools do you wish existed to make your working life easier?
As mentioned above, the ability to have an Influencer's full analytics at our fingertips is essential.
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The DIARY directory platform provides fashion, beauty and lifestyle industry news, interviews, dates, vacancies and contacts. Our huge database of contacts includes thousands of digital influencers, media titles (UK and overseas) and their editorial teams, freelance journalists and creatives, PRs and brands and representative agencies. Live and sortable social media stats for entries allow comparative analysis and insight within filtered sections, plus additional engagement metrics for industryINFLUENCERS.
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