#MondayMentors: Charlotte Stockdale & Katie Lyall of CHAOS
Photo: Charlotte Stockdale and Katie Lyall with Karl Lagerfeld
Charlotte Stockdale & Katie Lyall #mondaymentors
This week, I’m excited to be sharing the story behind one of the most well-known, dynamic duos in fashion (besides the Olsen twins, of course) – Charlotte Stockdale and Katie Lyall.
Meeting while both at British Vogue, Charlotte and Katie have since collaborated with Fendi for over nine years, and have styled for the likes of i-D magazine. Considering their CV’s, it makes sense how they have amassed a gigantic list of celebrity friends.
Capitalizing on their connections and hard work, Charlotte and Katie build their business, CHAOS, 18-months ago in collaboration with Matches Fashion. Serving up luxury phone cases and travel accessories, Charlotte and Katie tapped into a niche, underserved luxury market – that just happens to serve the needs of their jet-set friends (Imran Amed, Gigi Hadid, Adwoa Aboah etc).
Through strategic gifting of personalized product, the phone cases seemed to take over social media out of nowhere. For those who aren’t into personalized phone cases, CHAOS also sell phone cases with funny slogans and bright colours.
While the story of a well-connected person starting a brand is far from revolutionary, I think CHAOS is special because…
Top 4 lessons
1. Surround yourself with the right people, collaborate intelligently
Charlotte and Katie seem to always surround themselves with the right people, and take them up on moments to collaborate when the time is genuinely right (they created phone cases for the BoF500 gala) — how genius is that? Thanks to this collaboration, celebrities felt special PLUS CHAOS received lots of advertising / awareness amongst the world’s top fashion influencers.
2. Build something people need
Most luxury travel brands (*cough Smythson, Tumi, Rimowa etc) are really sophisticated and plain. If you want a fun phone case or luggage tag, they’re usually $3 and break within 1 or 2 uses. Conveniently, well-connected rich celebrities tend to travel a lot (and are non-stop on their phones).
3. Build something that grants access to an aspirational community
Every time I see someone with a CHAOS phone case, it always becomes a conversation. When friends of mine see each other with one, it becomes an even more animated conversation. Personally, I strive to create something that drives this kind of conversation.
4. Build something people can personalize
Personalization is the future. Enough said.
That’s it for this week’s #mondaymentors ? I would love to know: do you own a CHAOS phone case? Who’s inspiring you in the industry right now? Be sure to let me know on Instagram @fashionoriginatorspodcast. In the meantime, be sure to check out the latest episode of Fashion Originators below: