Fun and flirty fuller-cup brand Tutti Rouge has seen its stockists double in the last six months thanks to a solid new marketing strategy and the appointment of long-standing agents in the UK and abroad. Creative director Jessica Prebble sits down with Sarah Blackman to talk about her whirlwind adventure and the exciting campaigns she has lined up for SS16.
Never underestimate the power of a great marketing strategy.
Two years ago, British fledgling Tutti Rouge was plodding along nicely, keeping afloat by stocking its merchandise here and there and making a stable income to support itself for the future.
But creative director Jessica Prebble had bigger and boulder ambitions for her fuller-bust lingerie label; she wanted to see her brand reach for the sky, and finally, in the last six months, Tutti Rouge has been given its wings.
“The brand had all the right formula,” says Prebble. “But it just needed to be geared into the right places to go to that next level, and that’s what we’ve done. The last six months have been really quite exceptional.”
In 2015 alone, Tutti Rouge has strengthened its social media, appointed three sales agents, enlisted a new brand ambassador, improved its product range and embarked upon a series of clever campaigns to get the brand seen, heard and celebrated.
Together, these actions have opened doors for the brand, doubling its stockists to 106 from 53 this time last year, with 21 UK-based stores and counting.
“That increase has only happened since the last [Salon International de la Lingerie] show in January,” says Prebble.
NEW SALES AGENTS
It was at the Paris exhibition when the brand’s success started to snowball, where it teamed up with long-standing sales agents Philippa Bradley Agencies in the UK and Easton International in the US.
“Philippa Bradley approached us in Paris and we took it from there. They had been looking for a new brand for some time and they recognised that the fuller-bust market was growing and that it was an area they wanted to be pitching to,” explains Prebble.
“I have always admired Philippa Bradley and their fabulous reputation, which the agency has built with brands such as Princesse Tam Tam and Eberjey. So it’s really lovely to have people with such experience and knowledge of the market to actually look at a young brand – we’re still only two years in – and see the potential,” she adds.
“I feel like they showcase Tutti in a way that we would like an agent to showcase us – as a design-driven, fun brand – but with that middle-market price point.”
Tutti Rouge had been in talks with Easton International for six months before joining forces with the company in January.
“This partnership has been really good for us. We were present in America anyway, but Tutti is now infiltrating into more independents and boutiques over there,” Prebble reflects.
“Easton carries brands like Aubade, Falke and Hanro, so, again, it’s a really nice umbrella to be under.”
Explaining how the collaboration came about, Prebble says: “They approached us, which was really lovely. We had a retailer in New York and he knew Russ [Klein] – the guy who owns Easton – and introduced us to him.
“He said to Russ, ‘you have to meet this English brand; they’re offering something different and they’d be great for the US market’.”
Last month, Tutti Rouge further expanded its international reach with the appointment wholesaler Joy & Happiness, which will handle the sales and distribution of its merchandise in Portugal.
With these new sales agents in place, Tutti Rouge has worked hard to provide them with a collection that they can successfully pitch to buyers.
The brand has kept the same best-selling shapes and styles to ensure consistency of fit, but reworked them based on feedback from retailers and end consumers.
“We are tailoring some of it to be a little bit more commercial, but it still has the fashion element, and the fun and the sassiness that is always going to be Tutti. That will never leave the collection, but it’s all about engineering products based on customer requests,” explains Prebble.
The Tutti Rocks collection, inspired by British summertime, includes Liliana, which, due to popular demand, returns in black for SS16. This style is also available in a vibrant fruit salad colourway this season.
“We’ve also continued with Nichole and launched this in an animal print and a Parma violet colourway. We also offer this in nude/black, which retailers have asked for,” says Prebble.
“We then have Kitty in orange and nude, which sits in nicely with the ivory and nude side of the collection. So we still have the vibrant Tuttiness, and then we have a softer, vintage side,” she explains.
Tutti Rouge packages the new collection as a ‘lingerie drawer’, with a different style for every occasion. Each bra is likened to a type of shoe. For example, Liliana is compared to a ballet pump, which “gets you to A to B in no time”, while Kitty is referred to as the kitten heel, an everyday style that “adds a little sass to your outfit”.
“With the lingerie drawer, we’re trying to get the message across to consumers that they don’t have to have just one bra shape – they can have various bra shapes that all do different jobs,” says Prebble.
“You can have all different shoes for different occasions, so you can have all different bras for different occasions. When we present to the retailers, we really bring home the fact that this is part of our philosophy. Our line sheets show which bras are for shallow busts, amazing uplift, major cleavage and forward projection.”
The latest style from Tutti Rouge is Jessica, which is thought to be the world’s first non-padded plunge bra with removable cookies available up to a HH cup.
The bra, adorned with black lace and framed with a nude ribbon, will be delivered to stores this month, and to support the launch, Tutti Rouge is embarking on its first marketing campaign, #IllegalCleavage.
The campaign will run alongside the launch of Tutti Rouge into Fenwick, Leicester – the second independent department store to carry the brand after Jarrolds of Norwich took stock of the label in April.
“It’s mainly going to be a digital campaign, so we’re going to reshoot the Jessica bra on [glamour model] Lucy Vixen and we’ll unveil a billboard in Leicester, which will generate traffic to Fenwick,” explains Prebble.
The campaign will also be promoted in independent boutiques through an in-store window competition.
We’ll give them the POS and some scratch cards printed with the words ‘penalty fine’, so when anyone buys an illegal cleavage bra, they’ll be get a ‘penalty fine’,” says Prebble, laughing.
“The retailer with the best window display will get a ‘Tutti Booty’ party where we’ll provide Prosecco and sweets for their customers.”
The Jessica bra will be launched in ivory and nude for SS16.
The #IllegalCleavage campaign will be closely followed by the launch of the SS16 Tutti Rocks campaign fronted by new brand ambassador Felicity Hayward, who replaced Made in Chelsea star Ashley James in May.
Hayward, an international curve model, who has previously modelled for Vogue magazine, Simply B and Asos, has been photographed wearing the new collection on Brighton Pier for the brand’s latest shoot.
“When we looked to enlist Felicity for SS16 it was a real conscious decision for us because we’re about embracing all different looks,” says Prebble.
“Our sizes start from a 28D, so it’s not all about the big boobs; it’s also about the small back sizes,” she continues.
“We also offer Liliana in sizes 40 to 44D to F, so we’ve been testing that market for the last couple of seasons. With
Tutti Rouge, we don’t like to pigeon hole people; it’s about embracing all body shapes and sizes and that’s what we aim to do in our campaigns.”
With retailers facing the challenge of stocking a wide range of sizes in store, are smaller back sizes taking off?
“I think that market is definitely growing. People love the fact that we do 28 backs and I think it’s important that we offer that, even though it’s not our best-selling size,” says Prebble.
“I think as consumers become more aware of their true bra size, as opposed to what they thought they were wearing, there is more demand for those sizes,” she adds.
The last six months has also seen Tutti Rouge promote its collection in store, generating excitement amongst consumers and retailers, whilst ensuring sales through.
“When we launched in Jarrolds, we held an in-store event. It was great talking to girls and seeing what their reactions were when they tried on the bras,” says Prebble, with a smile.
“One woman, who was in her 50s, was fitted in Liliana and she loved it. We did a special order for her in the white. That was just great,” she adds.
“It was also great to talk to the sales advisors in store and get them excited about the brand because we’re their only point of contact. We showed them the love heart details and the sliders – things that they might otherwise bypass.”
Tutti Rouge will hold a similar event in Harvey’s of Halifax, which will launch the brand in store this month, and will head back to Jarrolds in October to host a
“At the moment, as a young brand, we’re all very excited for the future and every time we get a new stockist there is a little squeal in the office because we all want the same end goal, which is success for the business,” enthuses Prebble.
“When you work with a new brand and everybody gets stuck in, the reward of seeing it grow is so much stronger.”