The Taylor Morris brand was started to merge together the best of British design, a love of timeless Hollywood glamour and a rock and roll bohemianism. To learn more about this eclectic brand, RLI sits down with Co-Founder Nicholas Dellaportas to discuss the ideas behind the brand, its brand new flagship space and what’s next.
Founded in 2013 by three londoners, the brand was born out of their inability to find the perfect sunglasses that reflected their personal tastes and styles. This desire to create a pair of sunglasses that suited all of their needs and represent their West London beginnings led to the inception of Taylor Morris.
In the last seven years the brand has been manufacturing modern takes on timeless classics, incorporating modern colours and intricate design details, all at an affordable price. Since day one they have maintained a commitment to creating the highest quality frames with a refined style and enduring appeal.
The journey to date reached a significant milestone last month with the opening of the brand’s flagship store and global HQ at 74 Golborne Road in the heart of London’s famous Notting Hill. Opened on the 15th June, the space offers the always excellent service and attention to detail accustomed with a Taylor Morris experience, but set in a socially distanced environment and with a complimentary bespoke appointment service.
“This kind of HQ that incorporates a retail space as well as the whole team under one roof is something that I’ve always wanted for the brand,” explains Nicholas Dellaportas, Co-Founder of Taylor Morris. “The brand is from London so to have our space here, and to be able to have the retail space on one floor and the team on another was too good an opportunity to pass up.”
Like the rest of the retail sector, Dellaportas has had to review the objectives for the company in the coming months, and he highlights that digital and online has become even more important and these, along with the implementation of its new space in London are key strategic factors for the brand moving forward.
“Ultimately, we are still targeting a certain number of sunglasses sold in the year, it is just that the last three months have impacted and delayed our ability to do this,” says Dellaportas.
One element of Taylor Morris that will not be affected by the impact of Covid-19 will be the level of service to customers and the experience they receive upon entry. The idea behind the space and experience is to make guests to the store feel comfortable, somewhere people want to come to do more than just shop but have an experience and spend time understanding the brand, and even have a complimentary cocktail or coffee.
“The way I would like people to think about it is we are offering the personal shopping experience for everyone, whether you are coming in for a browse, whether you are coming in to buy ten pairs – it is something that anyone can enjoy,” highlights Dellaportas.
In the preceding months before the Coronavirus pandemic, the company had been focusing on a relaunch through its new flagship store and had been planning extensively for this. They were in the process of an excellent build up to opening before the virus broke out across the country.
Dellaportas feels that the business will maintain customer trust moving forward through the launch of this flagship and the fact they have a permanent home for the first time. The quality of the products they make and the price point at which they sell them is another pivotal factor in maintaining this relationship with guests.
“We are looking at ways to attract different audiences and the sustainability side of the brand is a way to do this, as we take it more into account than ever before. We’re building a five-year plan; and we have already removed all single-use plastic from all of our packaging. These are the measures that will build trust with consumers and keep customers for a lifetime,” says Dellaportas.
A predominantly online business, Taylor Morris has taken the time to learn how best to communicate and show the brand experience through a digital platform. Dellaportas feels that e-commerce and digital is key for the business and e-commerce is where they want to focus and grow the business.
So what does he feel to be the key drivers behind the success enjoyed by the company to date?
“That’s always a good question. I feel the quality of our product has always stayed at the forefront of what we do. I also believe the friends and partners that we’ve made and worked with over the years has been unbelievable, have really helped us and been a key essence of what we’ve created here.”
Despite the recent troubles and difficult circumstances, the Co-Founder remains excited by the coming year and feels like the brand now completely understands what works and what doesn’t. He does feel international expansion is going to be more challenging without being able to travel and having the opportunity to present the concept to potential partners, but it is a challenge that he will embrace.
“I think we need to remain positive about retail. It is all about the experience and offering something different, that’s where retail is falling behind. If we remain positive and we innovate in how we offer the experience of retail, I believe there is a lot of life left in it,” concludes Dellaportas.