How ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Helped ‘Scandaval’ Business Boom

Norman Ray
Norman Ray

Global Courant

It was the betrayal heard all over the world.

Earlier this year, when Bravo’s “Vanderpump Rules” star Tom Sandoval cheated on his longtime girlfriend Ariana Madix with their co-star and real life boyfriend, Raquel Leviss, it reverberated from social media to front page news.

Madix summed up the cheating scandal dubbed “Scandoval,” well, days later, she stepped out on her way to the much-anticipated “Vanderpump Rules” reunion in a yellow hoodie and matching sweatpants from the clothing brand Guys lie.

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Tori Robinson and Leah O’Malley, best friends and co-founders of Boys Lie from Los Angeles, said the paparazzi photo caused an immediate spike in sales of the brand’s “1-800-BOYS-LIE” sweatshirt and sweatpants.

“It exploded in a way we had never seen before,” Robinson said.

Robinson and O’Malley started the company in 2018, but it wasn’t until they started making clothes with their simple slogan “guys lie” — and celebrities started wearing it — that their brand took off.

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More recently, Tori Spelling wore a Boys Lie T-shirt on her first outing after news of her divorce from Dean McDermott broke after 17 years of marriage. Once again, the catchy logo caused a stir.

“Our brand is a way to express your emotions without having to say anything,” said O’Malley.

Their marketing strategy includes donating the clothes to celebrities and social media influencers for free. In return, Robinson and O’Malley hope that the celebrities and influencers themselves will post photos in the clothes on feeds. This alone helps boost sales.

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A company born on Instagram

Tori Robinson and Leah O’Malley, co-founders of Boys Lie from Los Angeles.

Guys lie

“We strictly give as a gift in the hope that a celebrity will wear it,” Robinson said, before circulating the photos online. So far it has worked. Last year, the pair earned $8 million in revenue selling both wholesale and direct-to-consumer and are on track to reach between $9 million and $10 million by 2023, the company said.

TikTok and Instagram have quickly become the easiest and cheapest way start a business.

As e-commerce platforms, they are also very effective. Most people, especially millennials and Gen Zers, have spent money they didn’t originally plan on on products they saw in their social media feeds, according to several studies.

What’s next for Boys Lie

Now the duo are working on their next “drop” and have a podcast of the same name. Boys Lie has become “more of a lifestyle,” Robinson said.

O’Malley compares them to “big sisters” to their clients who often write to share their own relationship horror stories.

“Anyone can go through a broken heart,” she said. “We’ve become a voice to air.”

Disclosure: CNBC’s parent company, NBCUniversal, owns Bravo.

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How ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Helped ‘Scandaval’ Business Boom

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