Specialising in a range of luxury fashion products including its famed handmade pocket squares, the design brand Sebastian Cruz Couture was first launched back in 2013 by husband-and-wife team Cesar and Natasha Cruz. The company has expanded substantially over the years and now offers products including jackets, shirts, vests, shoes and accessories, but it was its distinctive pocket squares that first won attention for the brand.
Increasing brand engagement
The company has an enthusiastic social media following and has been covered by media outlets ranging from Eurasian Vogue to the Daily Mail to USA Today. It has almost 400,000 Instagram followers and prides itself on setting trends as opposed to following them. One of the biggest causes of growth for the company was the way it was able to dramatically shorten pocket square manufacturing teams once a bespoke machine was designed and created. It is now possible for the company to produce 25 squares within just one hour.
The growth of the brand
The company takes its name from two sources other than the couple’s surname. The couple plan to call their first son Sebastian, and the Couture part of the name is inspired by the way all products are handmade. The company is an online-only operation, as the couple decided not to invest in physical stores some time ago. There were several reasons for this including the increasing popularity of eCommerce and the rising costs of brick-and-mortar operations. Running a physical store can also be incredibly time-consuming, and Cesar wanted to ensure his task remained a pleasure rather than a chore. The team offered out franchises for a short-time but soon found that the owners were unable to meet expectations. The Cruzs took the territories back once the contracts ran out.
Advice for luxury fashion start-ups
Many people flirt with the idea of entering the fashion business, but what advice does Cesar have for would-be entrepreneurs and innovators? Cesar says those who wish to achieve fashion market success must think carefully about what they want to sell and what kind of demographic they plan to sell to. He says selling “high volume, low ticket” items requires a totally different approach to marketing to the 1 percent. He also says that those offering luxury products are more likely to keep customers on-side for the long haul. Another point Cesar makes is that it can take longer to build up luxury fashion brands, but customers will likely remain loyal for a lifetime once relationships have been established.
The importance of innovation
Those who wish to enter the luxury fashion market must be less focussed on competitive pricing but should aim to offer something truly distinctive, according to Cesar. Such businesses must prove that they are “here to innovate” and can help their customers “look and feel great”. Consistent messaging is also important, as is paying close attention to areas that competitors are failing in. It’s also essential to seek out customer feedback and to engage with consumers whenever they have a question or leave comments on their social media pages.
Reinvestment constantly made
Sebastian Cruz Couture was able to grow despite vast investment being unavailable. One of the key growth drivers was the luxury pocket square which quickly proved to be highly profitable and helped the brand raise funds to expand into other products. The company continues to re-invest sizeable sums of money each month. Cesar warns others to ensure that the execution of business and marketing ideas is even more unique than the product itself. You can learn more about the brand by heading to www.sebastiancruzcouture.com.