Frankie founder on Kendall + Kylie Jenner and Insti stars
When Kylie Jenner jumps onto your website and purchases (yes, pays with actual money) one of your bikinis – that’s what we call a good day in the office. But for Rebecca Klodinsky’s brand Frankie Swimwear, good days seem to keep rolling in – with the Australian swimwear label now turning over annual yearly sales of $6 million.
Born in 2013 when, uninspired by studying a double degree in psych and forensic psych, Rebecca saw a gap in the market for affordable good quality swimwear. Well hello there, Frankie. Harnessing her inner femalepreneur, Rebecca began using the time in between university tutorials to begin sourcing a manufacturer, googling what a hashtag is, and getting started on her road to millions.
Pointing to Instagram as being key to the brand’s success, Frankie is proving to be yet another success story stemming from the power of social media marketing. Here, we chat to Rebecca about everything from jumping on the Instagram “wave”, growing the brand organically, and having influencer giants as clientele…
Can you tell me a bit about Frankie’s background story? What was the catalyst that led you to deciding to create it?
The penny dropped on an idle weekend afternoon when my younger sister arrived home from a day of shopping. It was while she was proudly showing me her new bikini which she had picked up off lay-by that I felt something had to change. If my sister was lay-buying a bikini, surely she wasn’t alone. There had to be hundreds of other girls out there doing it too?! There was a hole in the market for great swim at happy prices.
Did you always want to get into clothing design? Did you study design?
I have always been very creative, but design was never something I had pursued. I have never studied design.
After launching the brand, what methods did you use to help get it noticed in the market?
I am very fortunate in the sense that I caught the ‘Instagram wave’. Just when this [Instagram] was taking off, I was able to really connect with an untouched audience that had not yet seen the likes of e-commerce marketing via a social media platform. I do believe this single-handedly helped catapult Frankie to where it is today.
You have a huge Insti following, when did you first see this taking off?
This progression has been fast but very stable in respect to the age of Frankie. Our social media stats show that our growth is extremely consistent, and so with the growth of the brand comes the growth of following. We didn’t see a huge ‘spike’ overnight, instead a steady organic following – which is great!
Were there any key moments that helped your Instagram grow?
Definitely being featured on the pages of both Kylie and Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid really did help flow traction through to our Instagram page. It is always a great benefit to our social media platforms when high profile girls are posting Frankie.
Has the success of the brand been helped by having a large Instagram following?
Absolutely. Instagram alone has single-handedly exposed Frankie Swimwear to an untouched international market. We have become an internationally recognised label and our online reach is virtually limitless.
Frankie Swimwear is sold strictly online only and with the power of Instagram on our side, this social media platform has propelled our label throughout Europe, USA and everywhere in-between. We have been internationally accepted and, thanks to our strong online presence and reach, our label is accessible by anyone at anytime, regardless of origin.
You’ve become a bit of an influencers’ darling – how did you first start gaining traction with influencers?
Again, this came very organically. It is likely that almost every high following girl you see post in Frankie has done so on their own accord. The product itself speaks volumes of the label; the moment you put on Frankie Swimwear you feel that boost of confidence. The cuts are great, the fabrics are buttery soft, and I believe this compels our customers to really share their experiences online.
Who have been some of the biggest influencers to wear Frankie Swimwear?
Kylie Jenner has been the biggest so far, followed closely by Kris Jenner and Rihanna.
Having worked with so many influencers, what have been some of your most epic campaigns?
My favourite campaigns are always the ones done at home on Australian sand. I am very fortunate to call the people I work with (models and photographers) my friends. When you are so close with the team you work with, this magic really transpires into the campaign shots. I am so lucky to have this chemistry with our Aussie team.
Any chance you can give us a sneak insight into what’s next for the brand in terms of influencer campaigns/collabs?
We are actually shooting with USA heart throb Sophia Jamora at the beginning of June. This will be a US SS17 / AUS AW17 campaign and focuses very much on the newest ribbed Frankie lycra. We are so excited to have Sophia a part of the Frankie family!