How will branding for Foley + Corinna change with launch of your new site?
Anna: We are going to town with this one – I feel like our new site allows us to put up everything we have been wishing we had done the first time around! We are working on some really exciting socially integrated projects that will sit behind our products to evoke the spirit of our brand. Since we own the space in which our product sits, we can be playful and really give added value back to our website shopper.
Dana: The functionality of the site has improved, but we also are focusing creative efforts on our blog. We are launching a Tumblr page which will have our daily musings on vintage shopping, style icons we adore and what’s new at F+C’s New York studio. The girls who work at Foley + Corinna have become part of our family and we’re excited for everyone to contribute to our digital love letter to the brand.
The new collection will offer one of a kind pieces going back to your vintage roots. Where will these pieces be retailing? Just through your site or through other retailers as well?
Anna: Of course on our site and then perhaps through some great partnerships with retailers we feel a strong alliance with. We are also doing more trunk shows, which is a really special opportunity for us to meet our girls and see our product in new spaces. Recently, we did a small one-off collection of our iconic bags in exotic skins for our top clientele and celebrities. I’m excited for everyone to see those, they are so beautiful.
Dana: We’ve always made sure that vintage was a huge part of our business and that will never go away. We want to make the online shopping experience much like how it was in our boutique. Since we have a studio in the heart of New York’s garment district, we have the ability to do more hand crafted capsule collections, like the hand splatter-painted capsule we just launched with REVOLVE clothing.
You opened your namesake early on in your business on the Lower East Side. How has your customer changed over the years?
Anna: Well, we have been around for 12 years now and have matured and hopefully become a bit more sophisticated along the way – I believe our customers have as well.
Dana: The coolest part about our fan base is seeing how the women who started shopping with us in the beginning are now shopping with their daughters. It’s a second generation of consumer we are so happy to watch grow.
Do you think it’s a neighborhood you would ever return to for retail? What’s your next choice?
Anna: Change is good…and I have always loved Nolita.
Dana: I agree. We loved the Lower East Side but Nolita is another neighborhood we are constantly finding ourselves in.
In 2011 you joined the Artisan House portfolio. In what ways did this provide opportunities for the growth of your business?
Anna: Wow – Artisan House has really broadened our horizons. Suddenly we’re thinking about new product categories that we never thought were possible! We’ve been able to scale our business with new retail partners on a domestic and international level. You’ll have to keep an eye out!
Dana: Artisan House offers artists a place to create without bounds, to really focus on building an amazing product with the full support of all supplemental departments. We have some really exciting things in the pipeline and we can’t wait to share.
How did you deal with your famous Anna Corinna bags being copied?
Anna: Not well – it is hard to combat copying when you are a small fry in a big pan. One of the greatest things about being a part of the New York City design community is the immense support from your peers, particularly organizations like the CFDA.
What are your thoughts on efforts toward copyright protection in the fashion industry?
Anna: I think the CFDA is putting up a great fight and we have fought the fight right alongside them. It is so great to have such a powerful organization in your corner.
Dana: We love the CFDA and all of their amazing initiatives. They really are going up to bat for their members every minute of the day, from social media campaigns to turning up in Washington to stand up for our rights.
As you enter a new phase in your business, what’s on the horizon?
Anna: Well, we can really explore e-commerce and the flexibility it allows with trying new concepts and showing off unique pieces. And of course helping to be creative and direct the most beautiful photography to showcase the collection.
Dana: With several different product categories opening up, we’re excited to share new collaborations and collections in the coming months. One thing that everyone recognizes about the Foley + Corinna girl is that she is fearless, and I believe that reigns true in every aspect of our identity, from design to business strategy.
What is the ultimate identity you see for your brand?
Anna: I love the cool city girl. A girl with style, individuality and attitude.
Dana: I could never limit the identity to one specific type of girl. Like Anna said, Foley + Corinna is an attitude, a way of life. It requires a type of independent thinking.