When Ann Mashburn launched her namesake women’s brand in 2010, she had some concerns about the concept panning out. Mashburn’s first store, which she opened in Atlanta alongside her husband Sid Mashburn’s namesake men’s store, has now been in business for seven years, and the company has since launched e-commerce and opened three more retail stores. Mashburn joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss how she made the leap from editor to brand owner, how she grew her team from the ground up and how she built her brand with word-of-mouth marketing.
Under Nancy Green, Athleta has leaned into being a brand associated with both women’s empowerment and sustainability, by carving out a list of related core values and updating its branding around those. On Tuesday, the company announced it was officially a certified B Corp brand, a stamp of officiation for purpose-driven brands that follow environmentally and ethically conscious practices. Green joined the Glossy Podcast to talk about how Athleta differentiates itself within the broader Gap corporation, how to outlast the athleisure bubble, and what threats and opportunities retailers face today.
Since Milly launched in the early 2000s, the rules luxury brands are supposed to follow have changed. Now that department store traffic is falling and boutiques are struggling to master e-commerce at scale, luxury brands that could once rely on wholesale networks for growth now have to allocate time, money and resources to building up direct retail channels, both in brand stores and online. To recapture stalled growth, Milly has started direct-to-consumer operations and brought sales and marketing teams in house, and will launch a capsule collection later this year targeted at millennials, with more affordable prices and more frequently released pieces. Andy Oshrin, the CEO and co-founder of Milly, joined the Glossy Podcast to share more about the brand’s evolution, the challenges that come with rerouting business and the role customer data plays.
Deborah Lippmann's nail polish and treatment brand is credited for being the first luxury line to sell products like base and top coats, cuticle oils, hand creams and polish remover alongside colored polishes. Today, Lippmann sells her polishes and treatments at Sephora, department stores and select luxury salons, as well as her own salons in Arizona and California. She also works with designers like Jason Wu and celebrities like Lady Gaga in backstage primping sessions. Lippmann joined us to discuss the importance of choosing the right retail partners, the competition in the industry and plans for her next investment.
When Stitch Fix CEO Katrina Lake took her company public in 2017, her pitch was a little bit rusty. Stitch Fix’s IPO, which valued it at nearly $2 billion, was the biggest exit for an e-commerce company last year. Now, the company has to prove it can continue to recruit new customers -- on top of the more than 2 million who use Stitch Fix already, according to its S-1 -- if it wants to keep growing. For the first few years of business, Stitch Fix did little paid marketing, relying on word of mouth and organic growth to bring in new users. That’s changing, as the company figures out the best ways to reach potential customers, and it’s top of mind for Lake as she navigates her first year at the head of a public company. Lake joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss Stitch Fix’s category expansions and marketing push, plus the changing customer behavior it’s both leading the way for and adjusting to.
Finery co-founders Brooklyn Decker and Whitney Casey, in an attempt to create the ultimate virtual closet, confronted the issue that caused all the versions that came before them to fail: They removed as much manual work as they could. For inspiration, Decker and Casey looked to similar life-simplifying apps for other industries, like Mint for finances and TripIt for travel itineraries (rather than the idealistic “Clueless” closet other virtual companies have claimed to build). From there, they spent a year and a half building proprietary technology with a team of coders that can pull together every wardrobe-related online purchase a user’s made by combing a linked email inbox for receipts. Decker joined the Glossy Podcast to talk about Finery’s obstacles, goals and future potential. Edited highlights below.
There are only a few aspects of the runway show that Rebecca Taylor misses: the way the clothes move down the catwalk, the post-show euphoria (before any critiques come in) and all the congratulations. But to her, all of that amounts to only 5 percent of a show production. This New York Fashion Week, Taylor has been showing her collections -- the entirety of which are meant to be sold commercially -- in one-on-one appointments with buyers in her showroom. There she can discuss every item in detail, express her inspiration and get direct feedback from a valuable, if selective, audience. Taylor joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss the evolution of her relationship with the runway show, her decision to break away from the in-season model and the role technology has played in her collections.
Ken Downing, the fashion director and svp at Neiman Marcus, will see just under 100 fashion shows this season. That's a light year. It used to be about 120 overall -- and at one point, it was that many shows in New York alone. Things are changing. As designers change the ways they show their collections -- be it on the runway, in private appointments at showrooms or at presentations -- the buyer's job is ultimately unchanged, according to Downing. On an episode of the Glossy Podcast's NYFW series, Downing reflected on the future of the fashion show and how the CFDA's role is shaping the path forward for the industry.
As other designers reconsider the role that runway plays in their businesses, Alice McCall is just getting started at New York Fashion Week. For her debut runway show, which took place Saturday morning, the Australia-based designer said she embraced the exact elements of the production that others find to be distracting. That included planning the music; choosing the hair and makeup, and coordinating accessories; overseeing model castings and even designing punchier products that make for a splash on the runway. It all had to come together fairly quickly, too, as it was only in December when McCall decided to show in New York. For the latest episode of the Glossy Podcast’s NYFW series, she shared what she believes to be the benefits of a traditionally formatted runway show, which includes a “spicier” collection, specially designed shoes and bags, and the runway’s lasting halo effect.
Celine Semaan, the CEO and designer at the sustainable fashion and accessories brand Slow Factory, realizes that running her own fashion brand is, in and of itself, an unsustainable exercise. During New York Fashion Week, Semaan hosted an event about sustainability, technology and human rights in the fashion industry because, as she put it, she wants to do her part to mobilize the industry to taking steps, no matter how small, toward becoming more sustainable. She also planned to watch out for meaningful messages around change during the runway shows, now that being considered an activist brand is considered cool. Semaan spoke to how the customer-brand dynamic is changing, what she expects to see during NYFW and how even fast-fashion companies are making headway.
Vicky Yang, a talent and digital strategy manager at the talent agency The Society Management, has picked up a few new tricks over the last several years. While managing modeling jobs and schedules for the company's roster of talent, Yang now also deals with the daily schedules, PR and brand contracts for the group of influencers (called "creatives" internally) she now represents. Yang joined the special NYFW edition of the Glossy Podcast to discuss how her role has changed in the digital age, how traditional modeling management has kept up and how the front row has evolved.
Designer Audra Noyes has put in hours working at luxury fashion houses Lanvin and Ralph Lauren. But she's always had her sights set on putting on a fashion show of her own. And her brand, Audra, held a spot on the official NYFW runway calendar for nine seasons. But this year, she’s taken business behind closed doors, deciding not to host a show but to instead host private appointments with editors, buyers and influencers. Noyes joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss her departure from the runway, how a wholesale brand can still have a direct and intimate relationship with customers, and what she wishes she had known when she was first starting out.
Taking his company public was a longtime goal for Bonobos CEO Andy Dunn. But a week before he was about to sign a private equity deal to raise more capital for the menswear brand, he got a call from a friend: Preston Bottomy, the vp of fashion group business development at Jet.com and Walmart.com. Now, in addition to being acting CEO of his brand, Dunn is the svp of digital consumer brands at Walmart. Dunn joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss life since the acquisition, his new position, and how he convinced customers and employers alike that he had made the right decision.
Three years ago, designer Mara Hoffman went through what one could call an existential crisis. After running her eponymous label for 15 years when she hit a wall. Feeling like all her brand was doing was adding more “stuff” to the world -- and causing harm to the environment -- she knew she had to completely overhaul her business, or walk away from it all together. Hoffman said the process to make her company fully sustainable is still ongoing, but the challenge has been an exciting one. She joined the Glossy Podcast to talk about why she felt the need, as a creator, to recreate herself, why she left New York Fashion Week and what's to come for open-source sustainability.
At The Fashion Institute of Technology, staff and students are focused on fixing the industry. That’s a big ask. As Michael Ferraro, the executive director of the Infor Design and Technology Lab at FIT, puts it, “industry problems” and how they can be solved were at the center of a recent collaboration that brought together students, faculty, IBM executives, Infor employees and representatives from Tommy Hilfiger that centered around artificial intelligence and where it fits into the design process. Fifteen FIT design students were asked to create pieces of clothing that would be designed using AI: one would incorporate wearable technology, the other wouldn’t. Students from other departments were asked to incorporate AI into manufacturing and production cycles, as well as marketing initiatives. McCarty and Ferraro joined the Glossy Po
Chriselle Lim launched her blogger and influencer career on YouTube in 2010, creating videos centered on makeup tutorials and style advice. Since then, her face has been closely tied to her brand as she's built her Instagram following (@ChriselleLim now has 1 million followers) and her lifestyle blog, The Chriselle Factor. As her brand has matured, though, Lim has come to realize that her business can’t always be centered around her likeness. In October, Lim launched Cinc Studios, a production company that takes on brand clients, particularly in the luxury fashion and beauty industries, to help them create digital content that appeals to the Instagram-obsessed generation of young customers. Lim joined us on the Glossy Podcast to discuss the path to longevity for influencers, the thing she wishes brands knew about influencer partnerships and the forthcoming micro-influencer shakeout.
Katie Finnegan is shaping the future of Walmart’s relationship with technology. As the principal of Store No. 8, an incubator that’s owned by Walmart but operates as an individual LLC, Finnegan is playing the long game. Her company acquires businesses that are at the forefront of the next generation of retail technology, mastering capabilities like personalization, virtual reality and robotics in the supply chain. Finnegan said it’s realistic that the technologies won’t be viable for another five, 10 or 15 years — but when they are, the goal is that Walmart will have the leading edge over the competition. She joined us to recap Store No. 8’s first year in business, share her predictions around how the relationship between customers and retailers will evolve, and explain what should be at the forefront of fashion brands’ work with technology.
This year on the Glossy Podcast, we discussed the forces of change, driven by digital technology, that designers, brand founders, and the agencies who work with them were forced to adjust to. We explored topics including how Instagram is changing the way people interact with brands online, the rise (and fall) of see-now-buy-now and designer burnout, what the digitally native brand market looks like now that the space is matured, and the elephant in the retail room: Amazon. Here's our end of year edition to capture the biggest conversations we had this year with guests like Tim Coppens, Hilary Swank and Rachel Zoe.
Rachel Shechtman is the founder of the concept store Story in Chelsea, a neighborhood in New York City. Story changes its inventory and physical layout every few weeks, and each new remodel is based around a theme. The merchandise carried by Story is usually sourced from small businesses who get facetime with both potential customers or other retailers that are looking for new merchandise. According to Shechtman, 15 percent of foot traffic is from B2B companies. Shechtman joined the Glossy Podcast to share more about how Story operates, how new retailers are (or aren’t) reinventing the wheel, and how department stores are faring in the new landscape.
Designer Dan Liu, who owns both his namesake label as well as the fashion brand Tatsuaki, needs fellow designers to pick up the pace. Designers used to have months to design new collections, and that window has been dwindled down to about two weeks. It’s not just designers who are in jeopardy, either — department stores, according to Liu, are at risk of going extinct thanks to the institutions navigating digital advancements in the industry like dinosaurs. Liu joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss how designers are dealing with the new crushing pace of the industry, what changes are coming next year, and why see-now-buy-now isn’t the answer.
Luke Grana, the founder of the apparel startup Grana, joins the Glossy Podcast to discuss the state of digitally native retail, why he decided to launch his business in Hong Kong, and what defines a modern, successful brand.
Nadine McCarthy Kahane, founder of online jewelry marketplace Stone and Strand, joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss her company's experiments offline, its influencer partnerships and how it has tried to compete with Amazon.
Rachel Zoe launched her brand in 2011, as direct-to-consumer businesses were booming online. But even though she already had a following from her time spent working as a celebrity stylist and sending out her then-newsletter, The Zoe Report (now a media company), Zoe targeted traditional retailers first. Zoe didn’t launch her own e-commerce site for the brand until 2016, in fact, but since finally coming around to selling direct online, she and her brand have been much more experimental. She’s also become more entrepreneurial: In addition to her fashion line, she’s in charge of The Zoe Report as well as Box of Style, a subscription box of clothing and other lifestyle products chosen by her and her team. Zoe joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss the perks and downfalls of traditional retail, her take on see-now-buy-now, her plans to open Rachel Zoe stores and how she uses customer data to her advantage.
AYR, the direct-to-consumer brand for women’s apparel, has an origin story that sets it apart from the sea of other digitally native brands selling women’s clothing without the middleman. For its first two years in business, it was incubated by the more mature direct-to-consumer brand Bonobos. When Bonobos decided it needed to focus on its core business in 2016, AYR spun off into an independent brand, raising two rounds of funding and hiring a full team of employees in the business development, fulfillment and finance departments to pad out what Bonobos’s infrastructure had been supporting. More than a year into running her brand independently, Winter joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss the benefits of being bred by Bonobos, the lessons she’s learned so far and the opportunity that still remains for direct-to-consumer brands.
Brooke Taylor Corcia, the founder of online fashion and lifestyle store The Dreslyn, wanted to launch her own company to get a more accurate representation of West Coast fashion into the e-commerce lexicon. Three years after launching The Dreslyn as an online destination for access to the chic side of West Coast style, Corcia spoke to Glossy about the art of restraint in building an online store, the key to building two-sided brand relationships and the importance of data.
Bando, the e-commerce site selling kitschy office supplies and accessories designed for the Instagram generation, has struck a balance between mass and niche. The brand’s strong, mostly pink aesthetic, cult-like customer following and best-selling items — like agendas that say things like “I Am Very Busy” — have become its biggest signifiers, and the brand has grown to around 50 employees after a near-shutter in 2012. Instead of closing, it sold to licensing company Lifeguard Press, and grew a network of wholesale partners that included Anthropologie, Nordstrom and Macy’s. Those mass retail partners sell its agendas and other everyday items like tumblers and notebooks to a wide audience. That pays the bills. Bando’s online store, then, is an opportunity for co-founder and creative director Jen Gotch to experiment with her more wild design side, even if the results don’t sell as much. Gotch joined the Glossy Podcast to share how she grew a side business selling hair accessories into
When Elaine Kwon realized just how much fashion and luxury brands don’t understand retail’s new digital world order, she started her own e-commerce management firm, Kwontified, to help them figure it out. Kwon had been working at Amazon, helping luxury fashion brands find success on the platform once they'd signed on. She joined us on the Glossy Podcast this week to talk about focusing on shipping and return structures, online customer service, and -- of course -- whether or not to work with Amazon.
James LaForce started his career hand-delivering printouts of press releases that highlighted the biggest news and best gossip from parties the night before. He would drop them off at the home of the society reporter at Women’s Wear Daily and return to his office by foot. Things have changed. LaForce joined us on the Glossy Podcast to discuss that mindset, the separation of social media and e-commerce, and the one industry that can’t tell a good story on Instagram.
Designer Daniella Kallmeyer got her first internship in the fashion industry when she handed Luca Luca designer Luca Orlandi her resume at age 15. She went on to more internships with brands including Proenza Schouler and Alexander McQueen, but by the time she decided to launch her namesake ready-to-wear brand, the path to getting a new label off the ground had changed. In Kallmeyer’s words, “there is no traditional way to becoming a designer” anymore. Kallmeyer joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss her biggest regret around launching her brand, the power shift from brand to consumers, and her brand's next milestone.
Hal Rubenstein, one of the founding editors of InStyle magazine, joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss retail's "too much stuff" problem, the crime of athleisure and why he's skeptical of all influencers, except maybe Selena Gomez.
Adriana Marie started her production company, Amco NYC, with the perspective of a fashion designer. Marie had been designing her own line of T-shirts and other items for the 10 years prior, and wanted to transition that experience into a business that supported other up-and-coming designers. Today, she coordinates fashion shows, manages influencer and brand partnerships, and runs an e-commerce marketplace to drive sales of her clients’ designs. She’s a big believer in see-now-buy-now, as well, with the mindset that if emerging designers build their businesses with this model in mind, it will eventually become par for the course. Marie joined the Glossy Podcast during New York Fashion Week to talk about scaling new businesses, the importance of the customer relationship, and how her production agency also manages to pull off e-commerce operations.
Ahead of the madness that is fashion month, we invited Rony Zeidan — the founder of the luxury agency RO NY, who spent time at Donna Karan and Ralph Lauren — to join our New York Fashion Week podcast to share his predictions for the upcoming season, and speculate on questions like whether or not social media has been a blessing or a curse for luxury brands, and if see-now-buy-now is truly dead.
As brands shut down brick-and-mortar stores and dedicate resources to e-commerce, many see Amazon as a constant elephant in the room and look to its strengths to drive their own strategies. But Jenny Baike, co-founder and CEO of Orchard Mile — a luxury marketplace — says her company is not competing with the retail giant. Baike joined us on the Glossy Podcast to share what brands should know before selling online, why luxury brands are keeping their distance from Amazon and what a marketplace offers shoppers that other retailers can't.
When brands try to act like customers’ friends, they typically fail. Even so, Of a Kind has made it its ongoing mission to feel like an “in-the-know best friend” to those who receive its email newsletters and visit the site. Behind the brand are Claire Mazur and Erica Cerulo, who had the idea in 2010 to launch an e-commerce site for exclusive, limited-edition goods made by independent designers. Co-founder Claire Mazur joined us on the Glossy Podcast to share more about what makes Of a Kind work.
With the fall issue of GQ Style, featuring cover celeb and modern man Aziz Ansari, now on shelves, Welch joined the Glossy Podcast to break down how he built a magazine for the digital and mobile era, tracing the evolution of GQ Style as a GQ spin-off, and
It was the Coach saddle bag that first made Liz Kaplow realize that brands needed to do a better job of communicating their stories to customers. Kaplow, who launched her PR and communications agency Kaplow Communications in 1991, joined the Glossy Podcast to reflect on why storytelling is as relevant as ever, while brands are being forced to evolve.
Poshmark co-founder Tracy Sun appeared on the Glossy Podcast to discuss how her company identified an emerging market in social selling on mobile and built that niche into a full network for individual seller boutiques.
Tara Foley, the founder and CEO of clean beauty retailer Follain, joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss the growth of the organic beauty and skincare industry, and why she put her degree in public policy toward raising awareness around the lack of industry regulations.
As The Limited has since filed for bankruptcy, its former plus-size brand Eloquii has raised $21 million in funding and expanded into brick-and-mortar. Chase joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss the plus-size fashion landscape, why it’s still thin on competition, and how ‘body positive’ brand messaging isn’t always so positive.
Eric Korman, CEO and founder of the direct-to-consumer, sustainable perfume brand Phlur, joined the Glossy Podcast to share what he's learned about the opaque fragrance industry and supply chain, and how he created a company for the modern consumer.
Mejuri is a direct-to-consumer brand for fine jewelry, which cuts out the middlemen retail partners and focuses on a new marketing message supported by a transparency strategy. Founder Noura Sakkijha joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss the problems riddling the traditional jewelry industry and how to sell jewels online.
Johannes Leonardo founding partner and creative director Ferdinando Verderi wants brands to think beyond their Instagram feeds. "Media consumption is something that brands have imposed on themselves," he said on this week's Glossy Podcast.
Anna Lecat, the founder of sustainable clothing line Les Lunes, is hoping her global brand can help take down the idea that Chinese-produced fashion is cheaply made and low-quality. The brand’s factory, which it opened in 2012, is located in Shanghai and makes all of Les Lunes' collections, from lingerie to evening gowns. Lecat joined us on the Glossy Podcast to discuss slow fashion, the complicated relationship between American companies and Chinese manufacturers, and the fact that a sustainable fashion brand can work on a 12-week production cycle.
For Hilary Swank, launching her line of high-performance luxury apparel was a crash course in starting and running a business. She learned every detail, down to the minutiae of how long you can hold someone’s credit card online before you have to reach out and ask for it again. Swank joined the Glossy Podcast to share more about those fabrics, where the idea for Mission Statement came from and what a typical day in the life looks like when balancing a brand and an acting career.
Liz Bacelar has been straddling the line of fashion and technology since 2011, when she launched Decoded Fashion, an event series that connects entrepreneurs with fashion brands and designers. Now, she has a new business, TheCurrent, a platform that matches brands with technology solutions. She joined us for the Glossy Podcast to discuss the evolution of the fashion-tech space, the conundrum facing fashion CMOs and what brands have that Amazon doesn’t.
Farfetch has big ambitions for its Store of the Future project, a new service rolling out later this year that isn’t a store itself -- rather, it’s an API for in-store technology that luxury brands can use to modernize their physical boutiques. It’s hard to pin down exactly what a Farfetch-enabled “store of the future” will look and feel like. On this week’s podcast, which was recorded live at the first Glossy Summit in Miami, Farfetch North America president Jeff Fowler did his best to explain.
M. Gemi is hoping to get as close to on-demand retail as possible. The two-year-old brand, known for handmade Italian shoes, promises high quality without the middleman markups and launches new styles of women’s and men’s shoes (the latter of which it launched in 2016) every Monday. Thanks to a closely monitored production network of workshops in Italy, M.Gemi is nimble enough to act on customer response that same day, deciding which styles to invest in further and which to scale back. Cheryl Kaplan, M. Gemi's President, joined us for an episode of the Glossy Podcast to discuss on-demand retail at scale, how to respond to customer reactions in real time and moving into brick-and-mortar.
When former fashion editor Libby Callaway relocated from New York City to Nashville, the industry there was still centered around star-spangled suits and dressing the Grand Ole Opry. Lots has changed since then. In a recent study, the NFA estimated the Nashville fashion industry to be worth $5.6 billion, putting it third behind New York and Los Angeles, as far as American fashion capitals go. On a recent trip back to New York, Callaway stopped in for the Glossy Podcast, where she discussed the need for organized support around Nashville’s fashion industry and the attitude shift around the market.
Just two months in at his new position as CEO of the agency Laird + Partners, Patrick Yee has a clear idea of where he sees the industry heading -- and his team's role in making that happen. Yee, who left his post as Refinery 29’s evp of marketing and strategy to go agency-side, joined the Glossy Podcast to talk about the importance of knowing your end consumer, the parallels between media and retail, and the challenges facing CMOs today.
Tibi founder Amy Smilovic has seen a lot in the 20 years since she launched her brand, from the explosion of Amazon and Zara to the decline of the department store. Smilovic runs the Tibi brand, which she considers to be in the “advanced contemporary” market, with her husband. The company is self-operated, as Smilovic has intentionally steered clear of the demands of a higher-power board that would accompany an acquisition. Smilovic joined us on the Glossy Podcast to discuss her first two decades in fashion, and what it’s going to take for her to last another 20 years.
Bayard Winthrop, the founder of American Giant, is building out his apparel company at a snail’s pace compared to the quickening speed of fast fashion retail. That’s intentional. He joined us on the Glossy Podcast to discuss retail competition, the value of the in-store experience and the difficulties of scaling an American-made brand.
The areas of fashion and law don’t often intersect, but digital and social media’s proliferation has changed the game, with brands now more concerned about influencers, social media trolls and copycatting issues. We hosted Julie Zerbo, who saw this as a gap in the market, and launched the Fashion Law six years ago. She has since become a keen observer of the vagaries of the market.
Today, Bill Blass does close to no advertising, doesn’t adhere to the fashion calendar and does everything on e-commerce. And perhaps most interestingly, Chris Benz, its creative director, who joined us on this week’s Glossy Podcast, doesn’t even think of himself as a “serious fashion person.”
Fashion advertising has turned a corner, and brands are trying hard to stay current when it comes to changing platforms and a new type of customer. On this week’s Glossy Podcast, two veterans in the fashion advertising space, Lloyd and Co. executives Doug Lloyd and Jodi Sweetbaum, joined us to discuss why brands in the fashion world are finding it difficult to get the basics right.
While Brit + Co started in 2011 as a DIY destination for crafting, cooking and learning other new skills, it’s spread into a broader lifestyle site. Most recently, the team hired a new fashion reporter to expand coverage there. To build it out, founder Brit Morin is also focusing on video and educational classes. Morin joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss where Brit + Co is headed next, how the company participates in politics, and the evolution of content and commerce.
The confluence of the streets and couture -- and the advent of social media -- has transformed the industry of streetwear. From a growth in “hustle” and the rise of re-selling to a genuine expansion of the streetwear community from the streets to inside Neiman Marcus, Bobby Kim has seen much of it happen.
On this week’s episode of the podcast, Hilary Milnes, senior reporter, joins managing editor Shareen Pathak on the show floor at the NRF’s Retail’s Big Show, the flagship industry event in the retail industry, to talk about the biggest trends for 2017.
For new designers entering the fashion industry today, knowing and understanding the fundamentals of running a business is deemed just as important as having the skills to design. Tim Coppens joins the podcast to discuss why creativity is most important.
Dia&Co, the online styling service for plus-size women, was born out of a personal need of its co-founder Nadia Boujarwah. In just two years, the company — which began in 2014 — has secured four rounds of capital investment and has grown to employ more than 200 people. Boujarwah discussed the most challenging aspects, and why the most important element is improving the shopping experience for women.
Phil Picardi is at the forefront of a new era for Teen Vogue—one that tackles the importance of masturbation, the personal stories of Native American women and the implications of congressional elections, as well as what Kendall Jenner just wore while out in L.A.
For Jennifer Hyman, the journey is just beginning. The CEO of Rent the Runway, the darling fashion-tech company that rents designer clothing to women at low prices, said that her mission is to have every woman in the world paying for a subscription to fashion.
Glossier has grown astronomically since its launch in 2014 as a skincare brand born out of Emily Weiss’s beauty blog, Into the Gloss. The brand has expanded to include more product categories from its initial offering of moisturizer, balm and face masks. Now the company carries a line of serums, lipsticks, eyebrow gel, a lightweight foundation, and a highlighter stick. With each new product launch, Glossier cements its position in the cool girls' beauty arsenal, with minimalist packaging and signature millennial pink hue.
The democratization of fashion is being led not only by the information to which technology is giving us access, but also by the designers who are approaching the industry with a different mindset. Becca McCharen, the founder and designer of the New York-based label Chromat, considers herself to be an industry outsider. Growing up, she didn’t realize that being a designer could be a real job. She went to school for architecture, not fashion. Her introduction to the industry was through Susie Lau’s blog, Style Bubble.
Let’s get it straight: Birchbox is not a sampling company. That may surprise you: The New York-based beauty firm is perhaps best known for its beautiful boxes of makeup samples that get delivered to customers every month. But Katia Beauchamp, co-founder of Birchbox, is adamant that it’s about much more than that.
The customer is king. Except when it comes to fashion, according to The New York Times' fashion director and chief fashion critic, Vanessa Friedman. The fashion industry is in the midst of upheaval. Consumers are demanding to get their hands on products as soon as they see them. Luxury designers from Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger, and Alexander Wang, to name a few, have responded by shifting their production schedules, or some elements within it, to offer see-now-buy-now straight off the runway.
There may be no figure as connected in the world of fashion as that of the PR person. In an industry where a lot of marketing dollars flow exclusively toward PR, PR agencies operate in some ways as the nexus of the attention. On this week’s podcast, Rachna Shah, managing director of KCD, one of the best-known PR, fashion and production firms in the industry, joins us to discuss the shifting role of PR and how the rise in digital outlets has changed the industry.
The pressure on the fashion industry is increasing: The advent of new production and show cycles and a more complicated logistics operation is affecting not only the retailers and the brands, but the designers themselves. On this week’s Glossy Podcast, Tanya Taylor, designer of her eponymous women’s line, joined us to discuss how she is adapting to an industry in the throes of change.
From customer data to in-store technology, the role of retail marketing teams is just one element within the fashion industry that's been shaken up in the digital era. Retail marketing teams can no longer just focus on PR and creative elements. Denise Anza, the former svp of marketing at Saks Fifth Avenue and now a brand consultant, joined this week's Glossy Podcast to discuss the fast-shifting retail marketing landscape.
Influencers are the hottest thing in the fashion space, letting fashion brands, distanced from their audiences for so long, feel more connected to them. But the growth hasn’t come without its share of tensions. Legacy brands like Neiman Marcus are now outrightly blaming influencers and bloggers for changing consumer expectations faster than they can keep up.
Bra shopping is about to get more interesting. A swathe of retailers are in the space, trying to take a piece of the $100 billion bra market that continues to be dominated by Victoria’s Secret. One of them is ThirdLove, a company founder by Heidi Zak, who started the company when she found herself shopping at Victoria’s Secret in her 30s. Zak, formerly head of retail at Aeropostale, said she doesn’t called ThirdLove “lingerie” because “real women wake up in the morning to put on a bra and underwear,” not lingerie.
As the ongoing democratization of fashion continues, there has been a drastic shift in the role of the industry's so-called gatekeepers. And nobody is as much a gatekeeper as the fashion editor. Usually seen front row at shows, these tastemakers have historically been the bridge between the designs and the customers. “Covering shows has changed dramatically. What we used to do was go, come back, look at our boards and see what’s the story we want to tell our audiences,” said Joyann King, editor of HarpersBazaar.com on this week’s Glossy Podcast. “Now, we’re giving them that information directly from the ground. They want to see everything right then. In some ways we’re editing on the job.”
It’s almost New York Fashion Week and Laurie DeJong has just arrived from a show construction site near Manhattan's Penn Station. Par for the course, since DeJong, the CEO of LDJ Productions, is behind 65 fashion week shows, responsible for directing and producing one of New York's biggest events. On this week's Glossy podcast, we caught up with DeJong to talk about how social media has changed fashion and her hacks for making it through the week alive. (Tip: Get a Metrocard and stick to the subway.)
On this week’s Glossy Podcast, Tony King, founder of King and Partners, and Inii Kim, creative director, joined us to talk about the changing mores inside fashion brands, how digital demands better marketers and what it was like doing e-commerce for Gucci two decades ago.
Designers design -- but they rarely know the business of design. That’s where Launch Collective, a management firm that has launched the businesses for designers including Monique Pean and Tanya Taylor comes in.
Vishaal Melwani, knows the men’s fashion business. The co-founder and creative director of Combatant Gentleman is a third generation tailor with 17 years of experience as an apprentice. He’s also part of a growing number of executives in the menswear industry who embodies his own customer: A millennial man. “Men are getting more interested in what they’re wearing and how they’re wearing it,” said Melwani. It's this trend that's given rise to a number of new men’s fashion labels. But how men shop and stay loyal to a brand is something many brands are exploring and experimenting with.
Fashion is opening up. Old gatekeepers are moving on, being replaced by a new breed of consumers who double as fashion editors (and influencers.) Keeping this change in her sights, Alexis Maybank launched in April Project September, a new app that links brands with shoppers. The twist: They shop via photos uploaded by users, who get a cut of the revenue each time a purchase happens.
Luxury brands have long resisted change, but a changing consumer mindset is forcing a revolution. That revolution needs some handholding. Lyst is a fashion e-commerce aggregators that lets people shop from brands like Proenza Schouler, Valentino or even Asos is one of those guiding lights — helping brands make sense of e-commerce and build marketplaces to appeal to a new type of consumer.
A shifting consumer mindset has forced the fashion industry to try to adapt, but the effect of those adaptations on the designers themselves hasn’t completely been understood. But digital pressure — symptoms include a new show cycle and a more complicated logistics process — has certainly affected designers. In fact, a string of high-profile departures from creative directors last year were caused, say observers, by the increasing “designer burnout” in the industry.
In two years, Kit and Ace, the technical apparel -- don’t call it athleisure! -- brand founded by Chip Wilson’s wife and son, Shannon and JJ Wilson, has grown at a breakneck speed, with 63 locations in two years. It came in hot, arriving just after the functional-but-stylish clothing boom in the U.S. Lacey Norton, head of retail at the company, joined this week’s Glossy Podcast to talk about growing too fast, creating a brand’s own identity and if athleisure can really scale.
The world of trend forecasting has a special place in fashion — the traditional fashion calendar runs, after all, anywhere between six months to a year and is based on both macro and micro trends in the economy, the workplace and on the ground. Behind many brands’ decisions to show capes or culottes on runways and in shows is WGSN, or World Global Style Network, a trend-tracking and research tool whose designers, buyers and merchandising clients use it to decide clothing and apparel choices from color to cut to fabric.
Billie Whitehouse is in the business of creating an “enchanted” future. A lot of what the designer and founder of Wearable Experiments says sounds like something right out of “Minority Report.” But Whitehouse says she envisions the connected future as being closer to Harry Potter in reality. Whitehouse, the brains behind Durex’s “Fundawear” connected underwear and the creator of soon-to-be-launched smart yoga pants (they correct your form), joined us this week on the Glossy Podcast.
When it comes to in-store tech, the industry often points to the Rebecca Minkoff brand as a success. Its smart mirror technology and emphasis on bringing the online shopping experience to its five retail stores is widely touted as proof that it is possible for fashion to be tech-forward. The tech brains behind the operation is Uri Minkoff, brother to designer Rebecca and CEO of the brand, who last year also launched his own eponymous ready-to-wear mens collection. Minkoff, who is a special executive in the sense that is actually embodies his own customer — young and digitally savvy — joined this week’s podcast.
Susan Naci loves to talk about fear. The 32 Laight Street Partners investor is struck by how many decisions by VCs, startups and big brands are all driven by that most crippling of emotions. People are so afraid of not seeing scale or growth, that they often miss out on the best ideas. Naci, formerly the CEO of lux beauty sub-box Glossybox, joined this week’s episode of the Glossy podcast.
John Varvatos is the epitome of cool — and it’s Nate Poeschl’s job to keep it that way. The director of digital marketing at the hip men’s brand joined this week’s Glossy Podcast to talk men’s fashion and the need for a more logical fashion production cycle.
Trey Laird’s only “wearable” is a bracelet from Africa. It’s telling because the rest of Laird’s points of view on luxury and fashion are pretty traditional. Makes sense: Laird, the creative director and founder of Laird + Partners and the former head of brand at Donna Karan is part of a stable of fashion branding greats who remember when outdoor advertising was considered avant garde in fashion.
Every Monday, we’ll bring you a conversation with someone movingthings along in the fashion or luxury industries. On this first,very-special episode, we brought the founder of a company that hasbecome one of the more intriguing success stories in the mobilefashion space in the last three years. Alan Tisch, founder ofSpring, launched the mobile shopping app three years ago to solvetwo problems: To create a marketplace that fulfilled both supplyand demand while offering trustworthy online shopping -- all on aphone.