BrandVerge 5 for 5 - Lyssé Spotlight

In our latest 5 for 5, we sat down with Jennifer D’Aponte, Head of Marketing at Lyssé.

Lyssé, a clothing brand focused on travel and comfort for women, centers its business model around its three pillars: fabric, fit and fashion. Using these pillars, Lyssé has created a line called“Lysséntials,” which includes well-made clothing created with expensive material and top-rate fabric technology to guarantee the best fit and feel for customers. Lyssé focuses its clothing design on what women want, not the trends that the fashion industry imparts on women.

With BrandVerge’s tools, D’Aponte makes connections and partnerships that establish wider brand recognition for Lyssé. She believes that Lyssé has an amazing product, and wants the rest of the world to know that as well.

Read her full interview below!

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1. Introduction

Industry Leader Jennifer D’Aponte, Head of Marketing for Lyssé New York

Role The Head of Marketing is definitely an integrative roll that’s hyper focused on bridging retail marketing with the online side of the business. That means providing marketing support though all our wholesale retail partners as well as driving our direct-to-consumer business and making us more digitally native.

Please tell us about Lyssé

Lyssé was started in 2009 by Beth Gold Cohen, who was on a mission to find the perfect-fitting leggings and pair of pants. At the time, she was undergoing cancer treatment and couldn’t find the comfort she was looking for. So, she was inspired to create this amazing line of leggings with a signature, patented inner waistband. While business took off relatively quickly, and the brand is built on an amazing foundation, Lyssé is really about delivering a product for all women, that transcends age groups. Now, as we evolve the brand, we like to think of ourselves as bridging the fashion world with the athletic world. We’re not necessarily what the industry refers to as athleisure. Claudia Marenco (Lyssé’s new creative director) has essentially created an entirely new category that takes nods and inspiration from the athletic world (like anatomical seaming) and has transformed it into an elevated, versatile, all-day wear brand. We’re moving into the direction of being a full lifestyle concept and introducing new product categories.

Every woman is constantly triple-tasking and needs a versatile clothing that is “easy-care, easy wear” but also super figure-flattering. We are the ultimate travel brand. Everything has 4-way stretch and is wrinkle-free.  

At the end of the day, the pillars of our brand are fabric, fit, & fashion, and we really stay true to that by spending a lot of time working with well-made, expensive material and prioritizing fabric technology. Since we’re super focused on fit, we have what we refer to as our Lysséntials, which are foundational pieces of your wardrobe that fit beautifully and travel well throughout all seasons. We also have a more fashion-oriented component of the brand with items that are meant to mix and match with your foundational pieces.

2. How do you make sure you're embracing disruption to push your company and counterparts forward in the industry?

I'm 4 months into this role, but as the new head of marketing, and with Claudia as our new creative director, we’ve been leading the creative and product vision that will take us to the next level. We’re focused on customer acquisition and multi-channel e-commerce growth;  which for us means creating a compelling content strategy and working with like-minded partners.

I think the good thing about my experience and my background, is that I've worked for much larger organizations; going from a $29 billion organization to now a much smaller organization. What's exciting is that there's so much opportunity and ability to change things and be innovative really quickly; even change product quickly. I mean, we're on the frontlines every day, we have the ability to innovate and react quickly.  

We’re not a brand that’s so obsessed with chasing fashion trends, but really a brand that is authentic and takes cues from our customers and what women want. I think that's what's so great about working on a brand like this. It used to be that brands dictated what you should wear, so you sort of just followed along. Now, so much about fashion and style is really coming from the customers. We really take that seriously, so while we’re not a brand that is trendy and may not call ourselves, you know, super fashion-forward, we listen and make the brand feel comfortable and accessible for everyone.

3. So while you want Lyssé to be accessible for everyone, how do you make sure you’re keeping your brand relevant?

Well, you know, that's actually why I came to BrandVerge. So that we can tell our story.  We know our story, now let's get out of our way and connect with partners who are reaching the women we want to talk to. Coming to BrandVerge for me was untapped access to partners who we can dabble and test branded content with. The brand is built on wholesale and specialty market. So we have very good distribution throughout the country. But I’ve got a very big challenge in telling our story and how we’re evolving. It’s not just about our leggings, it’s about the Lyssé lifestyle and the new categories we’re introducing like washable stretch jumpsuits and deconstructed jackets.  We’re a small brand with so much potential in an amazing product. We’re ready to scream it from the rooftops.

4. What brands, in your category or not, do you believe are activating break-through and exciting work with advertising? What separates good brands from great?

I think that less is more today. When I first started my career, you could just do things and make a splash. Now it's so much harder to get attention. So, I think the brands that I'm following, and the brands that separate themselves, are the ones tapping into underserved customers or underserved product niches.

I love what's happening within the inclusive movement. I think there are brands that are doing some really innovative and provocative things. It’s what inspires me at the moment. Especially as we think about our brand as one for every woman. I’m seeing this with niche brands but also in mainstream brands, like Target or Gilette, who are being more inclusive in their advertising with body positivity and just overall inclusive messaging both with campaigns but also within owned channels. It’s one thing to do it via influencers but a whole other thing to own it.  It’s definitely a time to be bold if you want to be noticed.

5. If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give to yourself when you started in media?

I would say, talk to everybody. I mean, I've always been a big advocate of just talking to as many people as possible, at all stages, and not being shy or not having the confidence, you know, to initiate. Just talking to the person at reception, all the way to walking into the executive office, asking a question, and branding yourself as a curious person. Careers aren’t linear anymore. So while I think that there's so much focus on having this prescriptive path, I really believe in career serendipity. You never know how your path might change by talking to somebody. Or how something that might feel like a step back is really a step to propel you forward. So there's the serendipitous moments in a career that you really have to take and ‘feel’, if you will, and I think those are important. But ultimately, I do think just being curious, asking questions, and exposing yourself to as many people early on is super important.

Lynn Browne