The LXR&CO story began in a small retail store located in Montreal, QC. The original location was a small scale boutique that sold vintage luxury exclusively to clients who visited the location. It was only after the launch of our flagship store in Beverly Hills, California in October of 2012 that the small retail boutique shifted from a store into a full-time office that housed the first 12 LXR&CO employees. These initial 12 included Founder and President, Frederick Mannella as well as Co-Founder and Vice-President, Kei Izawa. During this time, LXR&CO was also operating as a wholesale business; supplying contracted companies with high-end vintage merchandise. With hands in retail and wholesale, Mannella and Izawa began to look to e-commerce to expand their business, believing that the next big step would be to establish a presence online. The launch of LXRCO.com came shortly after LXR's Beverly Hills boutique's opening party.
LXRCO.com launched to 7,000 members online; most of whom consisted of family and friends of current employees, as well as people who had heard of the company through word of mouth. Mannella and Izawa wanted to push the momentum they were building after opening Beverly Hills and were working hard to establish LXRCO.com as the go-to in vintage luxury online.
From the get-go, Mannella and Izawa tried to stand out from their competitors. One of the essential components of this was that LXR&CO never worked on a consignment basis and has always had full ownership of the merchandise sold in stores, online and through our wholesale channel. Not only did owning the merchandise help guarantee authenticity, we were also able to ensure that all products sold were offered at fair market value. By controlling the buying and selling aspect of the business internally – we were able to offer both quality and prices that were beneficial for both the company and the consumer. Although there was risk associated with outright purchasing all products sold, (Mannella and Izawa would have to front their own money to pay for these products) they didn't want to offer LXR&CO customers anything short of the best in vintage luxury.
In late 2012, LXR&CO began growing exponentially. Fred and Kei decided to move offices to accommodate the growing number of employees. It was just before the holidays (and the busiest time of year) that LXR&CO moved into their new headquarters in the little Italy neighborhood of Montreal. From 12 employees at the get-go to over 25 employees and growing, LXR&CO was really starting to take off.
Today, LXR&CO consists of 3 retail boutiques, a thriving e-commerce site as well as an expanding wholesale division that supplies vintage luxury to companies all around the world. The last year has been more exciting and challenging than ever before. Today, LXR&CO has 30 employees working in the Montreal head office, over 70 employees worldwide in our retail stores and warehouses, and more than 200,000 members online.
Over the last year and a half, LXR&CO has done collaborations with renowned fashion blogger, Chiara Ferragani of The Blonde Salad; Blair Eadie from Atlantic-Pacific, as well as artist extraordinaire and luxury logo visionary, Mike Frederiqo (to name a few.) The launch of LXR&CO's SoHo boutique in November of 2013 allowed for us to expand to a younger, trendier crowd that were interested in a broader range of high-end brands old and new. LXR&CO settled comfortably into New York and has slowly become a staple shopping destination in the Big Apple.
June 2014 saw the launch of LXR&CO's first Canadian retail boutique in Toronto, Ontario. This was a huge step for our retail side, as it not only marked the first flagship store in Canada; it was also part of a huge collaboration with Canadian department store, The Hudson's Bay. Toronto has taken off more than we could have anticipated. Torontonians have fallen in love with our selection of vintage luxury and we could not be happier.
From collaborations, to launch parties, to new retail stores and an expansion into the Canadian marketplace, we are so excited for what the future will hold.
As a growing company, you need to continue building towards the future, hope for the best, work harder each day and prepare yourself for what's to come. Here's a sneak peek at what we've got going on so far.
Currently, we are looking forward to announcing an upcoming collaboration with a legendary retail partner in the United States. Stay tuned as this is some pretty big news for LXR&CO.
As well as working alongside big retail moguls, we have a range of trunk shows and lifestyle concept stores coming up in the near future. There is a lot to look forward to in the new year, but we don't want to spoil the surprise just yet.
While the company has grown significantly over the last few years; the roots and DNA of LXR&CO have stayed the same. The commitment to quality, authenticity, selection and customer service remain to be the pillars and backbone of LXR&CO. Now, we just keep looking forwards; onwards and upwards for all things vintage luxury. We are so excited to see what the future will hold for LXR&CO and we are so happy that you all have come along for the ride.