Aussie label’s baffling Instagram stunt
Australian fashion label Tigerlily has wiped clean its entire social media after confirming it is moving in a totally new direction.
The brand, founded in 2000 by James Packer's ex-wife and model Jodhi Meares, is largely known for its itsy-bitsy bikinis and beach-babe attire, but after 20 years, it has decided to shift focus - starting with its Instagram page.
As of midnight on Friday, more than 4300 photos and video content was deleted off its official account leaving many of its strong following baffled by the stunt.
Tigerlily CEO Chris Buchanan revealed to news.com.au it is part of the company's new direction which will focus more on apparel and less on its iconic swimwear range.
"The most common misconception is that we are a swimwear brand, but we have been about apparel for the past 20 years," Mr Buchanan said.
He said while they may be famous for swimwear, Tigerlily has always been a "ready-to-wear" fashion brand.
"We will have much more of a focus on apparel given it accounts for 80 per cent of our sales," he said.
Speaking exclusively to news.com.au Mr Buchanan said the label will undergo a complete rebrand, launching a sophisticated yet playful Resort '20 campaign to celebrate its evolution.
This will also include moving away from its signature gold Tigerlily branding.
Speculation of a shift in focus sparked in May this year when the brand chose not to showcase its popular bikinis at Fashion Week in Sydney.
Instead, it focused firmly on apparel - a bold "comeback" statement after having been absent from the runway for 17 years.
Mr Buchanan said it was a conscious decision to showcase a "more elevated offering" at the time and in part to dispel the common myth about the brand - that's it's just about swimwear.
He said it made sense to return to the Fashion Week runway on the eve of the brand's 20th birthday, with 2019 also marking the second evolution of the iconic Aussie label.
"Each collection we create is aspirational but accessible for women, who embrace curiosity for exploring the new things," Mr Buchanan said.
Tigerlily has also seen huge success in the international market from the UK, Middle East and the US.
"And all that growth comes from the apparel business. After 20 years, we see it as the perfect opportunity to really crystallise and communicate our new brand purpose," Mr Buchanan told news.com.au
"As we expand into new markets and grow with our consumer, comes a refreshed look and perspective for the brand."
After 12 months in the making, Mr Buchanan said the brand was now ready for its next adventure, disregarding the shift as a risky move.
"We believe they (customers) will respond well, because our fans who have been shopping with us from the beginning already know what we are about - a 'ready to wear brand'."
"This is going to bring together a cohesive message across all our touch points."
Since 9am on Friday, Mr Buchanan said Tigerlily's Instagram page has already increased to an extra 1000 followers.
"About 50 to 100 people are dropping in every half an hour - it has created incredible interest and shows people are very supportive of brands that want to evolve.
"The world is constantly evolving, as is consumer taste and we need to evolve to remain relevant."
The official launch of the brand's new-look will be unveiled on November 19, but fans will be treated to teasers on its social media, giving a sneak peak into what the label's future will hold.
"In an era when experience matters most - Tigerlily is for the adventurous at heart who seek fun, freedom and lives in the moment," Mr Buchanan said,
The brand, which offers four ready-to-wear collections and four holiday edits per year, operates 26 stand-alone retail boutiques in Australia.
It also continues to expand globally with Selfridges, ASOS and El Corte Ingles among its growing list of distributors.
In 2009, former swimwear model and Tigerlily founder Jodhi Meares sold her popular brand to Gold Coast surfwear giant Billabong for an undisclosed amount.
Billabong then sold the business for a reported $60 million to Crescent Capital Partners in 2017 as part of its "get back to basics" plan.
Tigerlily's revenue was about $30 million in 2016 and was expected to contribute between $7 million and $8 million in FY17, according to the Gold Coast Bulletin.