Lily France


 

Hi all, and welcome to September’s edition of our Proper People blog. Summer is coming to an end and our women’s AW21 collection of shoes and boots is all re-stocked and ready for the change in season. We thought it fitting to dedicate this month’s Proper People instalment to LANX customer-turned-stylist, Lily France. Knitwear designer, model and early days LANX fan.
Lancashire local Lily has played a significant role in the evolution of LANX, helping us transition from a men’s footwear company to a brand which caters to all genders. Allow us to introduce Lily and give you a little back story as to how she came to be involved with LANX… 
Now a successful knitwear pattern designer with customers spanning the globe, Lily recalls that it was around 10 years ago when she first discovered an interest in knitting. As a teenager she took up this hobby with a passion, commandeering her mum’s online blog to share her knitted creations, along with tips and tutorials for other knitting enthusiasts. 
Over the following years, Lily’s blog grew organically and alongside this she dabbled in modelling, signing with acclaimed British modelling agency, BMA Models. By her early twenties, the once knitting-specific blog had transitioned into a fashion and travel blog that, as fate would have it, would lead her to cross paths with LANX.
Her posts featured clothing and footwear from brands large and small, international and local, and it was a crisp autumn day in 2019 that Lily first crossed the threshold of the LANX HQ, unbeknownst of the role that she would go on to play in the development of the brand.
After a sample sale advert caught her eye, Lily travelled down to our Whalley warehouse shop on the hunt for a pair of tan shoes; successfully parting with a pair of our men’s Blundell Tan brogues (a trusty style from our SS19 range which we still stock today). 
Blogging about her new LANX shoes days later in the picturesque Whalley Abbey, the post caught the attention of LANX founder, Marv, prompting him to reach out to Lily about her purchase. At the time very much a male-targeted brand, LANX was at this point attracting a rapidly growing following of women, and Lily was invited to come on board to model the men's range to show that women could wear the shoes too... 
The LANX x Lily Kate campaign went down a storm and a flurry of female customers began snapping up the smaller sizes in many of the men's shoes and boots. Demand was high and so the first official LANX women's range was subsequently released - made up of popular men’s styles, but built on female-specific lasts, with sizing more accessible to women (UK3-8).
The shoes were well received, yet, admittedly, were still simply a scaled-down version of the men’s range. The following year, when the pandemic reared its ugly head and forced the world to move at a much slower pace, the team all sat down and decided: if we‘re going to release a LANX women’s collection, we’re going to do it “proper”.
Fast forward 18 months to the release of our first dedicated women’s collection, Lily was with us behind the scenes every step of the way; from design discussions to fitting advice, shoot styling to road-testing, Lily was on hand throughout the whole process to give her insight and help shape the collection that you see on the shelves today.
Perhaps Lily’s biggest role was the styling of the studio photoshoot. A great deal of pressure lay on this shoot to visually portray the direction that LANX female footwear was heading, and the final result hit the nail on the proverbial head - encapsulating everything we had been working on over the past year and a half, clearly communicating a fresh launch in the women’s range, whilst remaining authentic to the brand.
At present day Lily is the proud owner of 7 pairs of LANX shoes from both the men’s and women’s ranges, and is focusing once again on her knitwear business full time (and of course still popping into LANX HQ for the occasional cuppa).
Lily has her own yarn line launching this month, her biggest launch to date, with plans for the product to be stocked in stores around the world (another Lancashire lass doing the county proud!). Her input with the AW21 range was invaluable, and we can’t wait to work with her again on future collections.
The AW21 women’s collection is available now online and in our Whalley Warehouse Shop: