The Case Study: Florian London’s Successful Retail Launch on Shopbop
Founded in the UK in 2013 by entrepreneur Tola Adeagbo, Florian London creates high-quality handbags infused with vibrant pops of color, with a focus on contemporary design and craftsmanship.
Produced by skilled artisans in a third-generation family-owned atelier in Italy, Florian’s handbags are made with care, quality, and an accessible price point always in mind. Florian sets itself apart through a dedication to unique, contemporary designs. All collections are crafted in limited runs, with functionality and longevity at the heart of the brand’s philosophy.
With a well-established e-commerce channel providing its handbags directly to customers Florian London decided to make the transition into the wholesale market. This strategic move was essential for the brand as it not only assisted with cash flow but also conferred legitimacy by aligning with reputable retailers. “We decided to move into wholesale a few years after launching our business because, as an independent brand, being on well-known premium retailers helps us gain recognition from customers,” Adeagbo says. This led Florian London to embark on a transformative journey to expand its reach and secure a place at a prestigious retailer.
Below, we explore how Florian London’s membership on The Folklore Connect wholesale platform played a key role in facilitating its launch at Shopbop.com and drove business growth.
Joining The Folklore Connect
Florian London’s decision to join The Folklore Connect stemmed from a referral by a friend. The platform’s unique emphasis on celebrating Black-owned brands and the inclusion of premium retailers alongside independent and concept retailers immediately caught the creative director’s attention. Florian London recognized Connect as an ideal one-stop-shop for their wholesale needs, providing a platform to showcase its exquisite handbags to a global audience.
Seamless virtual interactions and Showroom experiences
The Folklore Connect operates in a digital landscape, where most interactions occur virtually. Florian’s experience with virtual meetings on the platform has been positive. Retailers predominantly reached out to the brand through the platform while the Folklore team provided valuable guidance on preparation for these meetings, adapting to the post-pandemic shift toward virtual interactions. “Virtual meetings are now the way forward since the pandemic and we are very comfortable with that.”
Florian also participated in the Paris Fashion Week Showroom organized by The Folklore Connect. This experience was instrumental in enhancing the brand’s visibility, drawing the attention of premium retailers, editors, and influencers. The showroom played a significant role in generating leads and expanding Florian London’s presence.
Connecting with Shopbop
Shopbop, a prominent online retailer, discovered Florian London’s products on the brand’s Connect showroom and initiated contact through the Folklore team. The process was remarkably efficient, with Shopbop sending an order almost immediately. Florian London received valuable support from the Folklore team in engaging with Shopbop and the order fulfillment process proceeded seamlessly.
“I was immediately drawn to the fact that The Folklore Connect celebrated and put the spotlight on Black-owned brands like mine. I was happy to see premium retailers on the platform alongside concept and independent retailers” – Tola Adeagbo
The launch process and ongoing relationship
The journey from the initial contact with Shopbop to the launch of Florian London’s products at the online retailer took approximately three months. The collaboration with Shopbop has since evolved into a solid relationship, with Shopbop placing multiple orders. Florian maintains regular check-ins with Shopbop’s buyers, ensuring a strong ongoing partnership.
Reception at Shopbop
Florian’s presence on Shopbop has been well-received, with some items nearly sold out and re-orders for specific pieces. The brand has experienced robust social media engagement, underlining the increased brand awareness and consumer interest resulting from their partnership with Shopbop.
The impact of The Folklore Connect
Joining The Folklore Connect has not only facilitated Florian London’s launch at Shopbop but also provided opportunities for meetings with other premium retailers such as Nordstrom and Saks. The brand has also seen a notable increase in social media followers from editors and buyers since joining the platform.
Florian London’s success story, culminating in its launch at Shopbop, is a testament to the power of strategic collaboration and the role of wholesale platforms like The Folklore Connect in shaping the future of fashion brands.
The seamless transition from e-commerce to wholesale, coupled with ongoing support and guidance from The Folklore team, exemplifies the potential for growth and recognition in the competitive fashion industry. Florian London’s journey underscores the value of partnerships, visibility, and adaptability in the ever-evolving world of fashion.