“LaunchBox gave us some really significant long term benefits as we transitioned to
working on the magazine full time. The funding allowed us a cushion to develop the
business free from revenue pressures before we launched our fourth issue and the
mentors and contacts we gained have proved invaluable to our growth and development.” - Briony Somers, Founder of FRANC, LaunchBox 2017
Founder: Briony Somers.
One line Description: FRANC is a fashion company that offers a new form of luxury. Launched in 2015 with a print magazine FRANC offers content and products of intelligence and integrity.
In 2015 Lauren Henshaw told Briony Somers she wanted to produce a college magazine
about fashion that would be “nice with a cup of tea”. Although just back from walking for
Simone Rocha, Briony hadn't been reading fashion magazines; she was finding history
and philosophy much more interesting.
FRANC began its mission to break the industry's dichotomy between intelligence and
accessibility with a print magazine offering considered and concise responses to
interesting questions. Receiving demand from both readers and advertisers outside the
college's walls, when Lauren left college, Briony decided that there was probably a world
full of people who weren't reading fashion magazines.
Lauren and Briony met while studying History and Politics in Trinity College. Following
the launch of issue two Lauren graduated going on to work on Hunter’s social media
team. Remaining in Dublin finishing her course Briony met fellow Trinity student Eva
Morrissey while the pair were working in Selfridges’s owned Brown Thomas. One of the
college’s top English students Morrissey joined as senior editor for issue three and is
now FRANC’s deputy editor.
Briony feels that the “immersive quality of the experience allowed the
pair to learn the value of focus and a clarity of values”.
Having operated as a side project for two years Somers sought to develop FRANC into a
sustainable and growing business following graduation. Having received press attention
from outlets such as the Irish Times and image.ie as well as gaining readers in the
State’s and its first UK stockist it it had become clear there was potential for FRANC to
grow its reach globally.
Learning of LaunchBox from Trinity alumni and former Hist auditor Hannah McCarthy the programme provided the time, free of financial pressures, to develop long term plans for the business. Having the time to consider the long term future of FRANC allowed the expansion of
FRANC’s offering. Over the course of the programme the print edition was expanded with product integrated into its editorial offering and digital content put into development. Securing a total of six prestige UK retail locations as well as a domestic national distributor the fourth issue of FRANC was launched with expanded distribution, nearly tripled launch revenue and advertising from luxury brands such as Bang & Olufsen and Weir & Son’s.
Where are they now?
Working with mentors and advisors gained over the course of the programme the team
is working to build on the successes of issue four. Through direct to consumer sales the
FRANC has gained new readers in Hungary, France and the States and has been
developing its American network in anticipation of a State-side launch.
Over the coming season FRANC will be launching its digital content as well as the fifth
edition of the print magazine with projected growth on both readership and