Simona Walters is the owner of lingerie independent Dolci Follie in Notting Hill.
As a small, independent business, we’re very aware of the need to think outside the box when it comes to attracting new customers and creating a buzz around the company. In order to get noticed and compete with the bigger chains, independents have to constantly plan exciting and innovative projects extending beyond their comfort zone.
That’s why we’ve set our sights on launching Dolci Follie in Japan. Last November we planned a spectacular party in Tokyo to introduce our range to the Japanese market. Co-hosted with Japanese men’s underwear brand Hidden Agenda and held at one of Tokyo’s hottest nightclubs, Le Baron de Paris, the party was a huge success.
We put on a sensational catwalk showcasing the collection, which was very popular with guests and press alike.
We received an impressive amount of coverage in some of Japan’s top publications, including the Elle Japan blog. Our website received a huge surge in traffic from Japan and, of course, online sales followed. In such a cosmopolitan city, the idea behind the party was not only to create new customers online, but also to put the boutique forward as an essential destination for Tokyo residents to visit when travelling to London.
Building on the success of the party, we are now planning a pop-up shop in Tokyo’s top department store, Isetan. It will run for two weeks in December on the lingerie floor of the Shinjuku branch, in the biggest shopping district in Tokyo. We’ll be showcasing a wide selection specifically tailored to the Japanese market.
It’s an extremely exciting prospect and we can’t wait to witness the response.
Since opening the store my dream has been to have ‘London - Tokyo’ on our bags, so the ultimate goal is to open a flagship store in Japan. While we’re working hard to make sure our UK sales continue to grow, we’re also looking to the future and focusing on expanding into this exciting new market.