Heidi, Marc, Dixie and Charli on the shoe brand – The Hollywood Reporter

The D’Amelios are known for their massive online presence – Charli, 19, has long been one of the biggest stars on TikTok with a current fanbase of over 150 million – and are now testing the waters for the first time in a real-life pop-up one big brand. D’Amelio Footwear launched in May as an e-commerce-only brand under family-owned umbrella company D’Amelio Brands, but has set up shop in LA retail hotspot The Grove for a limited time for the month of September. The Hollywood Reporter I recently stopped by for a group interview with parents Heidi and Marc and famous daughters Dixie and Charli to talk about what they’ve learned so far while working in the footwear industry, the strategy for converting followers into customers, and her next business venture in snacks.

DAmelio family

Michael Simon/startraksphoto.com

A crowd begins to form behind us. Can you two come to The Grove alone?

Dixie: I feel like we can because there are so many people here during the day and there’s so much going on. If there are a lot of kids or younger people it can get crazy, but usually it’s not that bad. We were here the other day and there was a line for a huge dog and we said, “Oh yeah, okay.” Everyone just did their own thing.

Charli: A real dog?

Dixie: Yeah, it was huge. There was literally a long line of people to see it.

It’s been four months since you launched D’Amelio Footwear. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about the footwear industry so far?

Heidi: How you have to think and plan so far ahead. It’s amazing, but now we have to wait [the shoes] getting out, which is the hardest part. I’m so excited about what we’re releasing now and I’m so excited for spring and what’s to come next year. I love being in the shoe business. We’re new to this and it’s exciting, but we’re still learning and I feel like we’re keeping up so far.

Marc: One of the things we learned is that followers are not the same as customers. You have to do the work. That’s why we do something like this [pop-up]. It’s difficult for people to go to a website that already has a shoe brand and find something new that they like. Consumers want to be able to touch, feel and try on the product. This is a game changer.

How do you convert followers into customers?

Marc: We have a great team of people around us, all working in the industry. Our head of shoe design has been in the business for 20 years. Our production manager knows every little aspect to ensure the product fits and feels right. There are things we can give advice on; The girls are great at giving advice on styling and trends, but ultimately we needed a skilled team to actually produce a shoe. That’s what we’ve been doing and it’s starting to make us successful.

Ensuring that something fits and feels right can also apply to the authenticity of connecting with your audience on social media. How do you go about promoting your business while remaining authentic to your fans and followers?

Charli: Make things that you really love and want to wear every day, and you’ll have no problem promoting it. I think this is the easiest and most authentic way. We are very lucky that we can dream up any shoes we can imagine and actually make them happen, wear them and keep them. There is something very special about having a thought or idea and then seeing it come to life and soon you can transfer it to your body.

Dixie, what’s wrong with you? Your style has been a bit chameleonic in recent years and people respond to what you wear. What input did you give in terms of style and products?

Dixie: Every time we have a design meeting, I have a different opinion about what I like. It’s cool because I can change with the shoes on and then they try something new and say, “Oh, I like that.” Other times I’m like, “Oh no.” But then I get it and fall in love. Like the giant sequined glitter boot. It’s the cutest thing ever. It’s definitely fun to try new things and style outfits around your shoes. There are no rules at all. You can do whatever you want.

What can people expect from D’Amelio Footwear in the future?

Marc: We’re excited about the new price points, which people will like because they allow us to offer different types of shoes.

Higher or lower price points?

Marc: We have a younger follower base and want to make sure we have an offering for consumers on all budgets. We’re trying to get a sneaker in the $60 price range, so we’ll see if we can get there, but we’re pretty close.

Beyond shoes, I read that D’Amelio Brands is preparing to expand into snacks…

Marc: Yes, we are there. We have founded a snack company that we will launch at the end of October together with a large, internationally known retailer. It’s really exciting and all under the D’Amelio brands umbrella. This is something I’ve started to do, not only to eliminate the dependency on Charli and Dixie, but also to create a unity that we stand behind. Hopefully the company can survive beyond anything else we have planned that doesn’t involve social media.

How do you both feel about this decision, which can take some of the pressure off of focusing on your social footprint as you build a business for the whole family?

Charli: It’s great. It’s also really great for our family relationship. They never said, “You have to post this” or “You have to do this.” But if we continue to not do that, we’ll all continue to work great together so we can all continue to grow brands.

What is the best thing about running a business as a family and what is the biggest challenge?

Dixie: It’s hard to pick one particular thing as the best because there are so many good things. It’s really fun. We all understand each other and it has brought us closer. We have a different relationship than typical parents and children because it’s strange when your parents listen to something you say and take your advice like they do in business. The worst? I don’t want to say it. [Laughs] We have many meetings.

Marc: She doesn’t love the meetings.

Dixie: Basically, they’re all so close to having the same things, and that’s what we’re going to do too a bundle. But I know that the meetings are necessary…

Marc: I don’t think you really feel like they’re necessary…

Charli: It’s just like the meeting could have been an email. It could have been an email.

Marc: I’ll tell you one thing that’s especially great for them. When they sign endorsement deals, sometimes they don’t have a creative say. In this business and other businesses we have, they have complete freedom to make decisions that I listen to and Heidi listens to. We trust them. I remember when Charli went to meetings and came back to me, she said afterwards, “Dad, they don’t understand.” They know we’re here for them, and we understand that too. We want you to share your opinion and information with us. That’s one of the greatest things about working together as a family.

DAmelio family

Dixie D’Amelio wears the Camdon leather boot, Charli wears the Eyekonn platform sneaker in white and Heidi wears the Eyekonn platform sneaker in black while holding up the Camdon platform boot. More from D’Amelio Footwear Here.

Michael Simon/startraksphoto.com

Brian Ashcraft

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