Brand Girls We Love: Chanelle Laurence, Co-founder of Valley High

If you’re not the exactly a dresses and pearls type of girl and that off-duty look is more your style, I have a brand for you. Valley High is a clothing brand made in Los Angeles, co-created by designer Chanelle Laurence and her fiance Christian Ojeda. Chanelle began as a fashion blogger and vintage shop owner while Christian Ojeda was formerly a graphics designer for multiple street wear brands.

Growing up in LA, Chanelle and Christian have always had their pulse of what the “cool kids” are into. Compiling influences from music, art, and street style, Valley High is a distinctive brand built with that Southern California lifestyle in mind. From athleisure separates to silk bomber jackets, many of the pieces pull from boyfriend-style silhouettes and feature bold graphics. I’ve been lucky enough to offer some PR support to the brand and today, Chanelle shares her journey developing the Valley High brand from concept to launch and beyond.


Chanelle Laurence,Co-founder/Creative Director, of Valley High
Name: 
Chanelle Laurence
Title: 
Co-founder/Creative Director
Location:
Los Angeles, CA
Company:
Valley High
Instagram:
@valley_high / @chanelledotcom
Twitter:
@valley_highh / @chanelledotcom

How did you get started in the industry?

I started by getting my degree in fashion design at FIDM, then went off to dance professionally for a couple years (not fashion related). After that, I started a fashion blog in conjunction with an online vintage clothing store and the rest is history. I made sure to throw myself into everything and learn everything I could when I was first starting out. I went to every event I was invited to, met every person I could meet and read every article I could read. I’m able to apply all of that experience to what I’m doing today and it’s really rewarding.  I’m still learning and growing all the time and one of the promises I made to myself is that I will never stop learning and growing.

Tell us a bit about Valley High

I always found myself shopping in my boyfriend (now fiance’s) closet. I always wore his sweatshirts and t-shirts and when I would go to look for stuff like that for women, there was nothing. There were cute shirts that said funny phrases, but nothing was edgy enough for me. We really wanted to bring men’s streetwear graphics to the women’s side as well as presenting  boyfriend style fits that fit women in the right places. Everything that was sold as a “boyfriend fit” was still a “girlfriend fit” to me, it was never long enough or baggy enough.

Our brand has morphed into this edgy, yet girly, collection (I’m not even quite sure if it’s considered streetwear anymore) that you can wear no matter what mood you’re in. We want to make pieces that you can mix and match with each other while providing you with everything you need to be stylish no matter what day it is or no matter how you’re feeling. You can be confident in knowing  that you can wake up,  throw a piece of Valley High on and look great no matter what.

Lastly, being LA natives we really want to bring the Southern California lifestyle to our girls, whether they live here or not. There’s always an underlying, laid back vibe in our pieces that really encompasses who we are and what we wore growing up here.

Valley High 2017 lifestyle and fashion brand shares her brand secrets

What has been the most powerful and remarkable piece of media coverage you received recently?

We were featured in Nylon Japan earlier this year, which was pretty amazing. We were featured alongside 2 other LA based brands, representing Los Angeles, which was such an honor.

What is the role of PR in your communication strategy?

We’re focused on introducing ourselves to the world and sharing what we have to offer. PR helps get everyone familiar with us and allows us to tell our story.

Now in our second year, I’ve really started to see the value and need for PR, especially for a women’s brand. Girls need to know who you are, they need to read and hear about you multiple times and you need to earn their trust. I know this because that’s how I am with brands when I’m shopping around. PR plays such a crucial role in all of that which is essentially what grows your business.

We’ve been working with Kristen Conahan on the PR side of things, while Kacie Anderson has helped us connect with stylists and other important people. As far as social media and marketing goes, that’s my department that I tackle with my intern and brainstorming sessions with my partner, Christian. I love, love, love the social media side of things and coming up with fun ways to market our product.

Valley High founder shares her branding secrets with PR Couture

We’ve been working with Kristen Conahan on the PR side of things, while Kacie Anderson has helped us connect with stylists and other important people. As far as social media and marketing goes, that’s my department that I tackle with my intern and brainstorming sessions with my partner, Christian. I love, love, love the social media side of things and coming up with fun ways to market our product.

Girls need to know who you are, they need to read and hear about you multiple times and they need to trust you. I know this because that’s how I am with brands as well.

Valley High clothing company founder talks branding on PR Couture

Looking over the past year, what are you most proud of?

Having 4 seasons under our belt is such an accomplishment when I really stop to think about it. I’m so proud of us for pushing and making it this far. Another highlight was getting featured in Nylon Japan as I mentioned prior. Something that always makes me feel all the feels is when customers post photos of their purchases from us on social media and are stoked on them. I love our Valley Girls.

Chanelle Laurence Co-founder and designer of Valley High shares her branding secrets with PR Couture

What social media platforms do you invest in and why?

I’m a firm believer in not spreading yourself too thin with social media. If you’re accounts don’t look poppin’, they ain’t poppin’ –  so I only take on what I can give my attention to. Instagram is one that I’ve worked really hard on since the beginning and it’s important to me that we have organic growth on it. I’m also trying to post on Instagram stories more and our intern posts on our Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter accounts pretty regularly.

What are some of the challenges you face as a newer brand?

Right now the challenge is to get our customer to trust us because we’re so new. They haven’t seen us enough to fully let themselves commit and I totally understand that. I think this is something that comes with time and will come with more exposure and more and more with girls taking the chance on us and vouching for us. Our price point is a little higher as well and I know it can be difficult to splurge at times. One thing I always try to stress is our quality and design; it’s worth it, I promise!

Everything is made in LA and we see, feel, touch, and approve every single step each of these clothes take. Each piece is like a little baby we’re sending out in the world to go to a wonderful new home.

Chanelle Laurence, co-owner and designer of Valley High Women's Fashion Brand

 What are you excited about lately?

We’ve been getting some good traction this year so it’s been getting me really excited. Also watching the brand grow as well as ourselves as designers, business owners and partners. It’s such an enjoyable process (even with the stress that comes with it).

What projects are you currently working on?

We’re getting ready to launch a small capsule of t-shirts and coaches jackets that we’re really excited about. We’re also planning a really fun concept for Cyber Monday that you’ll have to follow our social media accounts to see!

Everything is made in LA and we see, feel, touch, and approve every single step each of these clothes take. Each piece is like a little baby we’re sending out in the world to go to a wonderful new home.

What are your big communications goals for 2017?

More write-ups, more fun collaborations and unique ways to incorporate social media to interact with our Valley Girls. I love when people have genius marketing and I’m really striving to do that as well.

Chanelle Laurence Co-Founder/Designer of Valley High is featured on PR Couture's Brands We Love

Thanks, Chanelle!

ABOUT KRISTEN CONAHAN

Kristen is a style blogger at Style Wax Poetic and freelance publicist working with various fashion and social impact accounts clients.As a blogger, Kristen has been asked to host events at Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus and has been featured on numerous publications and brand’s websites including Banana Republic, Racked.com, PopSugar.com, Boohoo.com, Lack of Colours, Beauty Collection, StyleSpotters and more and has collaborated on various brand campaigns including Target, DSW, Banana Republic, HP, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Starbucks and Jockey to name a few. When working as a publicist, Kristen enjoys helping companies thrive and specializes in smaller accounts that are working to gain attention and brand awareness through PR.