London’s Heist launches in France today.

LONDON — On the back of a strong first year in the UK (at last count, hitting around $300k in revenues per month), premium tights specialist Heist leaps (appropriately) into the French market today.

You’ll note that Heist is an online-first, direct-to-consumer brand. By default, this makes them globally-capable. So how does an upstart like this — which doesn’t have any stores, and is technically optimized to sell internationally by default — go about opening up in a new region?

That’s the question we posed to CEO Toby Darbyshire, who told us that internal efforts are being directed towards optimizing France-specific press and PR for this push:

  • Taking a very targeted media approach. “We’re talking portal press (think: Vogue; Le Figaro’s fashion title), mass portal press (Grazia; Elle), mixed press (mainstream consumer, fashion, bloggers) — and of course, influencers, seeding, digital ads.”
  • Optimizing the message. “Cleverness actually comes more from how you think of the “messages” and the “non-press” engagement than the PR.”
  • It’s not always as structured as it seems. “Plus in a perfect world it’s all highly sequential but in reality it is a bit more messy.”

What he’s saying: Essentially, that it’s less about a pure operations shift, and more about tweaking the outreach and press strategy.

What’s interesting about this: For most emerging UK and US brands, France is rarely a market they look to expand to when expanding internationally this early in their life cycle. At the same time, France is also a market that, though steeped in old world luxury traditions, has begun to warm up to modern luxury brands (MLCs) of Heist’s ilk. France has also produced several of its own in recent years.

What to look out for: Toby revealed that France is the first of several European expansion moves this year. Germany and Scandinavia are up next. A US launch is also in the works in the coming months.

We’ll check back in after the launch for an update on early results.

In the meantime, for more on Heist, read this backgrounder.

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