How Le Specs turned its Last Lolita sunglasses into a must-have fashion item

And how its product landed on the noses of Cardi B, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Gigi Hadid, Yoko Ono, and Kate Upton.

Company: Le Specs
Campaign: Adam Selman x Le Specs / The Last Lolita
Agency: Raw information group (PR agency partner)
Duration: February 2015 - February 2018
Budget: $100,000

Australian eyewear brand Le Specs teamed up with American designer Adam Selman to create one of the most iconic lines of sunglasses in recent history, The Last Lolita.

Joe Chang, director at Raw Information Group, was out to dinner with one of Selman’s associates and suggested a collaboration between his client, Le Specs, and the designer.

"Le Specs was looking to upmarket and be more fashionable, while [Selman] was looking to expand his line with accessories," explained Chang. "It was a pretty fast and easy decision, as collaborations are usually one-time things with limited risk."

The short-term goal for the launch of the Lolita frames was to create a buzz about Le Specs within New York City’s fashion and celebrity circles.

A major component throughout the campaign was for the brand to give out free pairs of the sunglasses to select celebrities, models, and social influencers in hopes of landing posts on social to drive awareness of the Lolita line. Le Specs and Raw Information Group would then work to seed photos of influencers wearing the sunglasses to drive coverage in celebrity and fashion outlets. 

The Last Lolita sunglasses launched on February 8, 2015, with W Magazine and Refinary29 running features on the eyewear in the following days. On February 18, the brand held a launch event.

"We threw an intimate cocktail event at a New York City hotel with a few select editors, stylists, and friends of the brands during New York Fashion Week," said Chang.

Later that month, both Lady Gaga and Rihanna posted pictures of themselves on Instagram wearing the glasses.

In 2016, the brand released several new colors of the Lolita and began focusing on gifting sunglasses to models who were beginning to attract massive fan bases on social.

The campaign hit its stride in July 2016 when model Gigi Hadid posted an Instagram wearing black Lolita frames. The post landed more than 1 million likes and led to Le Specs quickly selling out of its entire inventory of Lolitas at the time.

"Being in touch with celebrities [and] models who I felt were on the verge of huge social media followings helped me to make early fans of the product," explained Chang.


A post shared by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid) on

The campaign team continued media outreach efforts that coincided with paparazzi and social posts of models and celebrities wearing the glasses throughout 2017 and into early 2018. Big names included: Yoko Ono, Kate Upton, and others with social followings in the millions.

A post shared by Kate Upton (@kateupton) on

Cardi B tagged the Lolita sunglasses in several posts in 2017, receiving 2.9 million likes from her nearly 20 million Instagram followers.

The Last Lolita campaign generated upwards of 1,500 media placements, including features in Vogue, The New York Times, Elle Magazine, and Harper's Bazaar. In December 2017, Vogue celebrated the partnership between Le Specs and Selman as one of the top collaborations of the year.

In February 2018, the brand landed a placement in Hollywood Reporter about how Instagram was obsessed with the Lolita glasses, and provided some quotes for the piece.

Although exact figures were unavailable, the campaign team estimates social engagement across all platforms was close to 500 million, via likes, shares, and retweets. In 2017 alone, Gigi Hadid's Instagram posts featuring her wearing Lolitas landed upwards of 4 million likes.

The Last Lolita has sold out of thousands of units multiple times and Le Specs’ website traffic grew more than 150% between 2015 to 2016 and 2016 to 2017.

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