If you are an avid online shopper you may have heard of Stylestalker, The Jet Set Diaries or Majorelle on trendy sites such as Revolve. The creative mastermind behind all of these brands is Rachel Zeilic. But what you may not have known is that the now VP of Influencer and Talent Relations at Clique Brands INC. started off as a law school graduate with no fashion knowledge.
Zeilic’s love for fashion was sparked on her summer holidays in Europe during college. The Sydney native became enamored with high street fashion such as Zara’s, Mango and Topshop, brands that were not available in Australia.
Zeilic ditched her law career to fill the high street fashion void in Australia. “I hated law – it just wasn’t me. So I decided to start my own fashion line even though I had no idea what I was doing,” she explains. “All I really knew is I wanted to create a brand of trendy, yet affordable pieces for young women like me.“
Although Stylestalker landed in 150 Australian stores in its first season, Zeilic wanted to take a more organic guerilla marketing approach to grow her brand. “It was around 2007 when blogging was in the very beginning stages. It was a very tight knit community with only a handful of successful bloggers so it just made logical sense for me to approach these bloggers with clothes from Stylestalker in return for a write up,” recalls Zeilic. “No one was doing this at the time. The word “influencer” didn’t exist and brands never gifted.”
Zeilic credits the success of Stylestalker to what we would call today influencer marketing. “I was funding Stylestalker with money I saved from working at a hardware store. I had zero marketing dollars. This was my only option,” she explains. “I made sure to nurture relationships with these bloggers and to essentially join their community by attending the fashion weeks and all parties that came with it.”
Four years into Stylestalker, Zeilic decided to move to Los Angeles to focus on their second largest marketing and growing the influencer marketing. Soon after, Zeilic and her business partner received funding and were able to launch their second brand, The Jetset Diaries. By 2015 Stylestalker and The Jetset Diaries were top sellers on Revolve. While the brands were successfully growing, a difference in opinions with investors and partners caused Zeilic to part ways with her first business.
“I ended up joining the team at Revolve to help grow their in house brands while I created my own brand, Majorelle,” Zeilic says. “I ended up tapping back into influencer marketing for Revolve because I had all these great relationships with influencers. We launched #revolvearoundtheworld, which were influencer trips where the influencers would create content with our clothes. It became a brilliant marketing tool for us.”