Sale of Lascivious: Interview with founder Chloe Hamblen
Update: Lascivious are now working with Pudding, a UK based lingerie consultancy run by former lingerie retailer Helen Masters. For any purchase enquiries please contact Helen Masters on email@example.com.
After fourteen years of raising her brand to an enviable status in the industry, Founder and Creative Director, Chloe Hamblen, has decided to sell Lascivious.
Chloe made the announcement this past November after coming to a decision that it was time for new direction both for herself and her beloved award-winning luxury brand, known for its sexy, daring and risqué fashion concepts.
And whilst the decision to sell might have incited shock and awe amongst brand fans, it is one that Chloe acknowledges she hasn’t found easy to make, but has had to consider due to financial constraints, as she revealed on the brand blog (on November 1, 2017) where she said:
“It has always been my priority to work hard and give all of my passion to whatever I do. After 14 years, Lascivious is at a point that it needs a serious level of investment to grow and cannot be self-funded anymore. We have looked at investments, but none of the potential partnerships were right. It has meant that financially, for the last few years we have been under a cloud of uncertainty and it has undoubtably affected our ability to expand the collections and grow as a brand.”
Since her announcement, we at TLJ had a little heart to heart with Chloe about selling her brand, Lascivious, and here’s what she shared with us:
1. Chloe, you announced the sale of your brand Lascivious in November this year. If you can, please tell us how the process has been going and have you had keen interest so far?
As a brand we have always been fortunate to achieve a lot of recognition; because of our innovative style, press coverage and awards, and with that, interest in acquiring or working with us. I have looked at a couple of investment opportunities in the last few years, but they did not progress. We have interest, but are still on the lookout for someone with the financial resources and vision to expand on, or re-direct our vision.
2. Chloe, take us back to that day you made the decision to sell. What was running through your mind or happening at the time when you thought, “I need to sell my brand”?
I don’t think this is something that you decide overnight, but that is part of a wider process and feeling. Financially the brand needs investment that I can’t provide and after 14 years it feels like the right time for me personally. I would be so thrilled to see it grow and flourish under new direction. Now would be the perfect time to build on our ‘Coolbrands’ foundation with something new.
3. This might be a bit early but what do you see yourself doing after Lascivious, which has been a big part of your life for 14 years?
I am planning to make the move down to Brighton with my dog, which will give us both a lovely fresh start. As yet I’m not entirely sure, but am open to working with the new owners in whatever capacity they need to ensure a smooth transition. I may look at doing some consultancy work and remaining in the lingerie sector – primarily on the creative/art direction side. On a personal note I am learning how to mix… so who knows, perhaps I will become a superstar DJ!
4. How did you feel immediately after you went public with the intention to sell Lascivious?
I probably mainly felt relief – it was nice to be able to say it out loud and be clear on the direction we are taking. It’s obviously sad for me too, I have dedicated a lot of my life to Lascivious, it has created memories that I will always treasure.
5. Are there any last, outgoing projects or activities you need to do for Lascivious before new ownership is finalized?
No, I think ending our seasonal collections with SS17 and the theme of nudity was really appropriate – it felt like we came full circle to produce that collection and it championed our core principles – love, diversity, playfulness and sexuality. We work so far in advance that any new projects would really need to fit with the new owners, so we are leaving it open for now.
6. It’s your brand and you know how it has spoken in the industry and the marketplace so far, in terms of how it has been received, perceived and what it has achieved. What advice, if any, would you offer to the new director of Lascivious to continue to receive the recognition it has gained in the last 14 years?
I would suggest that it requires innovative thought and collaborations with the right people. I think the reason we have been so successful in terms of our brand identity is because we have a clear vision of who we are and what we are trying to say. I think the key is to decide what you want that message to be as you grow and develop the brand into the future.