An Ashton fashion designer is looking to organic ways to grow his menswear brand.Advertisement
Rather than relying on paying influencers, Lennie Reid says he wants the quality of his Lorénzo Black products to shine naturally.
Launched in September 2020, the range features hats, hoodies, T-shirts, shorts, joggers, cargos, socks, jackets.
Lennie, 39, runs the brand while working full time as a Quality Investigator at Leyland Trucks.
Brought up in Fulwood, Lennie went to Broughton High School and Preston College before completing a foundation degree in sports coaching at UCLan. After attending Preston North End’s school of excellence, Lennie followed his passion with a football scholarship at Radford University in Virginia USA. He returned to the UK early after sustaining an injury, and went on to work in fashion.
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Lennie said: “I spent seven years working in fashion, and five of those years were at Voi Jeans, which at the time was one of the top menswear brands in the country. This is where I learnt most about the clothing industry and what it takes to be at the top of your field.”
After friends and family encouraged Lennie to make use of his eye for fashion, he used his extra spare time during the pandemic to create some ideas of his own.
“During the first lockdown I had plenty of time on my hands, so I started messing around with a few designs. I made a T-shirt for a few of my close friends – they all loved it and said I should do it properly and it kind of went from there.
“The clothing brands I have worked for have been mid-market casual menswear brands so subconsciously that’s where my train of thought has gone.
“Lorénzo Black is for anybody who wants to wear nice clothes without the hefty price tag, with quality of fabric and fits being the main focus alongside clean designs.”
While Lennie cites being stocked in several retailers across the country as a highlight, he admits it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.
“My products sit well in stores and hold their own alongside some of the top selling brands in the country,” said Lennie. “I’m getting more enquiries and it’s nice to know people within the industry would like my brand to be stocked in their stores.
“The main challenges I’ve experienced so far are supply related. My products are made in Turkey, which has had its own economic crisis. Fabric prices have rocketed, the minimum order requirements have increased and the minimum wage went up significantly. All these factors have had an effect on the price I pay for my products.
“I had the option to either increase my prices to help raise profit margins, potentially pricing myself out of the market, or reduce my already small profit margins to maintain competitive within the market while reducing growth speed. My vision for the brand is long term, so I’ve opted for for the latter.”
In the short term, Lennie’s goal is to improve marketing and brand visibility while maintaining organic growth.
“I don’t want to pay influencers to wear my products as I believe that doesn’t give a true reflection of the product’s popularity,” said Lennie.
“If a product isn’t selling then I need to hold myself accountable and reassess the design process going forward. If a product is selling then I know it’s what my consumer likes and I can use that design to help drive the brand forward.”
Lennie continued: “Long term I’d like to see Lorénzo Black as an entry level price point brand in a high end store such as Selfridges – that’s the kind of standard I want to reach in the future.
“There’s a hell of a lot of work that I need to do to get there, but if I don’t set my goals high then I will never improve and let Lorénzo Black reach its full potential as a business.”
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