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The Glossy Podcast
The Glossy Podcast is a weekly show on the impact of technology on the fashion and luxury industries with the people making change happen.
2 days ago
'Difficult but not impossible': CR Fashion Book's Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld on launching in China
CR Fashion Book president Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld doesn't usually go the easy route. In the spring, as the pandemic threatened to make this a bye year for the company's fashion show, he pitched another event organizer threatened by the pandemic (amfAR, a non-profit supporting HIV/AIDS research and prevention) on collaborating on a fully digital show. "We worked on it for about a month and a half. It was non-stop," Restoin Roitfeld said on the Glossy Podcast. "Everybody agreed to do a little runway very safely from their own house[s] or apartments, and to wear whatever they wanted to wear from their closet." Another feat in the face of serious inconvenience: launching a magazine in China. "It's not an easy place to launch a publication, with the political difficulties or censorship that you have to also face," Restoin Roitfeld said.
Nov 18, 2020
Kendra Scott on the 'muscle memory' gained from a financial crisis
Kendra Scott insists she isn't kidding when she says she's thankful for 2008's Great Recession. "I honestly believe we would not be talking today if that recession hadn't happened, because it forced me to have to run my business differently," Scott said on the Glossy Podcast. Scott quickly pivoted the jewelry business to sell directly to consumers, as opposed to via wholesale only. Today, the brand has more than 100 stores nationwide. When the pandemic hit, she said, she felt like she'd been here before. "It was like my muscle memory came back." Scott joined the podcast to talk about the importance of charitable giving ("Since 2010, we've given over $30 million to women's and children's charities," she said), the human need for physical places like stores and the company's Texas origins, which give it an edge.
Nov 11, 2020
Another Tomorrow CEO Vanessa Barboni Hallik on how the fashion industry can catch up on sustainability
Fashion is a notoriously damaging industry for the environment. "It was clear to me that the industry was a solid 7-10 years behind a number of other major consumer industries like food and CPG -- in owning up to the problems, putting in place solutions and educating the consumer," Another Tomorrow CEO Vanessa Barboni Hallik said on the Glossy Podcast. Another Tomorrow is a certified B corp, making it for-profit, but with a clear set of social responsibilities. Its industry peers in that regard include Patagonia and Allbirds. Each of the company's garments include a QR code that can be scanned for "the customer to see the entire provenance journey," Barboni Hallik said, adding that most customers use the function.
Nov 4, 2020
7 For All Mankind's Suzanne Silverstein: 'Retailers with brick-and-mortar locations will have to work harder'
7 For All Mankind is nearly synonymous with the top-shelf denim trend of the early 2000s. "Premium denim didn't exist [prior]; we really launched this category," company president Suzanne Silverstein said on the Glossy Podcast. Twenty years after its founding, the company is now doing a bit more reacting to established trends. The pandemic has put a premium on comfort above all, so the jeans maker is fast-tracking a few articles that focus on just that -- via an "elastic waist, forgiving fit," Silverstein said. One focus of 7 For All Mankind that has remained intact is sustainability. The denim industry has a notoriously wasteful reputation, which it's "probably earned," Silverstein conceded. Two-thousand gallons of water are typically required to create one pair of jeans. But by 2023, 7 For All Mankind expects that 80% of its products will clear certain scores by the Higg FEM standard. "The only thing that's really slowing us down, quite frankly, is our existing raw materials," Silverstein said. "All new materials we work with fit our criteria."
Oct 28, 2020
Designer Daniella Kallmeyer: 'You could become irrelevant' if you don't take a social stand
It took a pandemic for Daniella Kallmeyer to put more of her own voice in the self-named fashion brand she started in 2012. "I'm being more vocal about my personal experience and my political views," Kallmeyer said on the Glossy Podcast. "I've given some really raw interviews over the past couple of months, and I certainly have had people reach out to me and tell me how much they appreciate that." Taking a stand on social issues is a big part of what companies are expected to do now, she said. And for those that don't? "You could become irrelevant." Kallmeyer had projected "major growth" for the calendar year -- "January was our best month in business, to date," she said -- but then the pandemic hit. Since March, she has temporarily closed and reopened the company's newly opened physical store, and has launched a range of digital services for Kallmeyer customers.
Oct 21, 2020
Bonobos CEO Micky Onvural: ‘October 1 was the beginning of holiday’
As the CEO of digitally native menswear brand Bonobos, Micky Onvural has experienced both extreme challenges and lucky breaks in getting the brand through 2020. “We've always been predominantly e-commerce, so we didn't have the same catch-up game to play as other retailers did,” she said on the Glossy Podcast. “The biggest catch-up game we had to play was on the product side -- because we were ‘wear-to-work,’ but now we want to be ‘wear-everywhere.’” To swiftly transition the product, among other untimely elements of the business, the Bonobos team kicked its operations into high gear. As Onvural sees it, that expedited pace is set to define the company’s new normal. “We’ve all gotten used to the fact that change is normal -- and that we have to be very fleet-of-foot, and we need to be half a step ahead, if possible, of what's going on with the customer, the competition and the industry,” she said. “[Five month ago] we were innovating fast, and we've just gotten used to that new pace of working.” In addition to sharing how Bonobos plans to build on new learnings, products and initiatives, she discussed how the company is tackling the holiday season and why she believes, “There is always going to be a place for physical stores.”
Oct 14, 2020
Todd Snyder on the DTC space: 'Most customers don’t want to buy a shirt from an investment banker’
Todd Snyder is a master of collaborations. “I've always looked at brands I want to work with, and they're almost all originators in their space,” Snyder said on the Glossy Podcast. “They’re authentic and real, and American -- and the first of their version.” Snyder launched his namesake brand in 2011, after stints as a lead designer at Ralph Lauren, Gap and J.Crew. The brand now averages 2-5 collaborations per year, which account for 50% of the business and vary in length: Its first, with Champion, is eight years running. Most recently, the brand linked with LL Bean on a fashion collection and a lodge in Kennebunkport, Maine on a room’s decor. “Part of our business plan is we look at: How do we expand our audience and also do things that are original, different?” he said. “I lean heavily into the design piece, just because I'm a designer by trade. It's not just, ‘Let's do some cool stuff, I want to slap my name on it.’ I really get into the weeds with the design team; that's the part I love.” The 30-year fashion industry veteran also discussed how his brand transitioned from wholesale to DTC, where it’s filling white space and why print is still alive.
Oct 7, 2020
Joe’s Jeans' Jennifer Hawkins on collaborating closely with influencers
Joe's Jeans is heavily invested in working with influencers. It's a relationship that has to make sense to work, said Jennifer Hawkins, the brand's svp of marketing and innovation. "It's not just plucking someone off a list and saying, 'Let's do a collaboration,'" Hawkins said on the Glossy Podcast. "It's finding people that you organically fit with from a product standpoint and working with them." Hawkins talked about why she's bullish on Instagram Checkout, why Joe's needs a TikTok strategy and what separates a Nordstrom shopper from an Amazon one.
Sep 30, 2020
Clearbanc's Michele Romanow: 'You have to be a digital business and own your customer'
In Clearbanc president Michele Romanow's view, regular banks are pretty clueless. "Banks don't understand digital business," she said on the Glossy Podcast. "They understand if you're a restaurant with a pizza oven, and that if your business goes out of business, they can sell the pizza oven, as it has residual value." But they're less likely to accurately value inventory or to understand that a strong customer acquisition strategy -- if a DTC company has gotten there -- is a valuable asset in itself. Founded in 2015, Clearbanc provides funding for widespread companies -- each of which are typically bringing in at least $10,000 in monthly revenue -- for a flat fee. To date, it's invested $1 billion in more than 3,000 brands, including Public Goods, Nectar and Haus. By the numbers, these companies are more diverse than the ones venture capital typically underwrites. A year and half into the company's existence, "we had funded eight-times more women than the venture capital industry average, which I'm super proud of," Romanow said. "We've funded founders in all 50 states in America. In comparison, 80% of VC dollars last year went into four states in America: California, New York, Texas and Massachusetts." The company has invested heavily in DTC -- "right now is an incredible time for the DTC world," Romanow said -- but also on SaaS.
Sep 23, 2020
'Sales are up': Bombas co-founder Randy Goldberg on selling socks even as more consumers stay home
People may not be getting dressed and going out like they used to, but for Bombas, sales are up. The sock company is beating the target it set for itself back in January, before the pandemic kept people at home (where socks are a little more optional). "Sales are up," Bombas co-founder and chief brand officer Randy Goldberg said on the Glossy Podcast. "There's that response to comfort and a response to community. And people are looking for these little moments for themselves." Bombas was founded in 2013, starting with an Indiegogo campaign. For every pair sold, the company donates one to the homeless -- "but also people who are at risk and in need," Goldberg said, through a network of more than 3,500 "giving partners." "Those are anything from a small shelter in a small town to big organizations like the VA [Department of Veterans Affairs] and the Special Olympics. We're in all 50 states." Bombas has also recently moved into different categories, including cotton T-shirts. Goldberg talked about how Bombas aims to make the most comfortable socks around, how DTC strategies have changed in recent years and which of the brand's product categories isn't as hot as he thought it would be this year.
Sep 16, 2020
'Not replaceable': Ami founder Alexandre Mattiussi on why he's hosting an IRL fashion show
After a summer of virtual fashion showcases, Paris is going back to the real thing. Among the labels on the (outdoor) catwalk schedule for the upcoming Paris Fashion Week is Ami, the company founded in 2011 -- but which only got into womenswear in 2018. "I do this job, for nine years now, because of the show. The show is a magical moment. It's a rendezvous which is not replaceable," founder Alexandre Mattiussi said on the Glossy Podcast. The coronavirus hasn't slowed Mattiussi's roll much in general. The company hasn't had to lay anyone off, just opened a new store in South Korea (making for about 10 stores in total) and had strong sales for its latest spring/summer collection. "I don't want to scream it too loud, because I feel very grateful, but the business has been wonderful during this time," Mattiussi said. As a result, the company has had the resources to take on certain responsibilities, like supporting struggling wholesalers by maintaining longstanding partnerships and making…
Sep 9, 2020
'Business shot up 161%' in a month: Maison de Mode's Hassan Pierre on new demand for sustainable fashion
Maison de Mode CEO Hassan Pierre knows that if sustainable fashion doesn't look as good as everything else on the market, it's not going to make much of a positive impact on the environment. "I always say that if a shirt saves a thousand lives, but it's ugly, no one's going to buy it," Pierre said on the Glossy Podcast. "So we need, as a retailer, to make people dream and to really make people want to buy things -- not just because they're good, but also because they want to wear them." Maison de Mode launched in 2015 as a two-part business -- it's an online platform selling sustainable fashion from different labels (both off-the-rack and made-to-order) and a consulting firm, too. Maison de Mode makes a cut of every purchase on the marketplace side, and as a whole, the business grew 161% between March and April, Pierre said. Like every online retailer, Maison de Mode keeps an eye on purchasing data. During the pandemic, consumers have turned to many of the categories you'd imagine -- "…
Sep 2, 2020
'We're all going digital': Designer Ronny Kobo on the big changes in the year ahead
Ronny Kobo's self-named fashion line is nearly synonymous with "party dress," and there aren't many occasions for those these days. "Luckily, we have not seen a lot of canceled styles and canceled orders," Kobo said on the Glossy Podcast. But the brand is still pivoting to selling online, including for the swimwear line it will be launching in the spring. "Retail's going to change drastically in the next year. We're all going digital," Kobo said. "Even the local boutiques are going to need to figure out a way to communicate with their customer."
Aug 26, 2020
Menswear designer Billy Reid: 'We're bullish' on the return of physical retail
The pandemic has been hard on fashion brands -- but especially for Billy Reid, which hosts an annual arts festival in its hometown of Florence, Alabama that has become part of its identity. "I can't tell you how many texts I get per week from friends, going, 'What's up with Shindig this year?' And you have to let them down easy," Reid said on the Glossy Podcast. The menswear-first company is looking forward to doubling-down on the event next year, and Reid said he's just glad to see it surviving the economic downturn. Personnel cutbacks have leveled off, he said, and all of the company's 14 stores have opened, though traffic is down. "We believe that, eventually, it will come back," Reid said. "We're bullish on it." Womenswear makes up 20-25% of Billy Reid's sales and is only carried in its own stores.
Aug 19, 2020
Italic's Jeremy Cai: Today's DTC brands 'price high, but still use the narrative of cutting out the middleman’
The direct-to-consumer brands that have sprung up in the last decade have promised to deliver quality at a better price by cutting out the middlemen: retailers. Italic wants to do the same, but is taking a different approach by working with multiple manufacturers that supply top brands. Its result is a lineup of quality products, without brand names or premium price tags. The company launched in 2018 with a different membership than the model it recently adopted -- the annual cost is now $100, which can quickly pay for itself in savings, according to founder and CEO Jeremy Cai. The company sells products ranging from leather jackets to handbags to cookware. For each one, Italic's site specifies which companies its manufacturer supplies (like Hugo Boss, Armani and Longchamp, in the case of backpacks). "Italic is actually a very easy math exercise to just do in your head: 'Hey, am I going to make my money back on $100, if I purchase one time?' And over 90% of the time, that is correct,"…
Aug 12, 2020
'A return to simplicity': Soludos founder Nick Brown on the trends brought about by the pandemic
To forecast the next fashion trends, Soludos founder Nick Brown looked to past crises. Before the 2008 crisis, "it was all about ornaments and stuff being very sexy and over-the-top," Brown said on the Glossy Podcast. "Then in 2010, it shifted toward minimalism and modernism." Brown wagered that fashion will stay on the minimalist side. But either way, shoes are a tough category. "In some of these customer surveys, and certainly in my own life, I'm only buying what I need to, and I'm not going out that much," Brown said. As a result, Soludos is focusing on fewer products and sustainable production. Product delivery has also evolved. Soludos' sales have moved online; 70% of its sales now come through its own website, Brown said. "We've all seen the numbers that, in two months, there's been 10 years' worth of e-commerce penetration," he said.
Aug 5, 2020
Commando founder Kerry O'Brien: Boutiques are set to see a resurgence
In fashion, the small businesses have suffered more than the big ones since March. But Commando founder Kerry O'Brien thinks that, for those boutiques that can survive a tortuous shutdown, the other side will be a lot brighter. "I think they're going to have a resurgence if they can make it through these times," she said. "Women are going to want to go to their local shop, and they're going to want to have a conversation with someone they know in a small setting." Boutiques were where Commando, which started off in the underwear category, got its start. It's still carried in more than 1,000 boutiques, as well as at major department stores. O'Brien launched the company in 2003, a few years after having quit her job at public relations giant Edelman the day after 9/11. The company has since grown, playing a role in the surge in popularity of bike shorts, according to O'Brien. Bella Hadid wore a pair by Commando at Paris Fashion Week in 2017. O'Brien thinks women shopping for clothes are…
Jul 29, 2020
Designer LaQuan Smith on overcoming lockdown challenges and industry tokenism
The ongoing demand for LaQuan Smith's signature sexy designs is both a blessing and a curse, as he put it on the Glossy Podcast. "It was a very humbling experience, because I had to find alternative ways to still be able to produce these orders," Smith said. "Thankful they didn't get dropped, but also, damn, because I'm now in a compromised position: How do I get these done, how do I fulfill all these orders on time?" Smith pulled it off by having his cutters work from home while "packing and shipping from my living room," he said. To him, the fact that his designs are in demand despite a pandemic gives him further confidence in his self-named brand, which he said faced significant doubts when it debuted in 2013. But he said he's recently faced tokenism, whereby his achievements as a designer have been flattened by his grouping with other Black designers. "You can't group me with [someone] who just started designing three months ago on Instagram. That's not fair," Smith said, referrin…
Jul 22, 2020
Something Navy's Arielle Charnas and Matt Scanlan on the brand's delayed (and massive) launch
After a pandemic-caused delay, influencer Arielle Charnas' clothing company Something Navy finally relaunched last week as a direct-to-consumer brand, after selling exclusively as a Nordstrom collaboration. For her and interim CEO Matt Scanlan, it was worth the wait: Online, Something Navy grossed $1 million in just 30 minutes, according to Charnas and Scanlan. "The velocity and speed of sales totally broke our back end," Scanlan said on the Glossy Podcast. Charnas has a considerable Instagram following of 1.3 million to thank for the marketing push. In fact, Something Navy didn't spend a dollar on traditional marketing, Scanlan said. But a massive following can also come with scrutiny. Back in March, Charnas drew criticism for the way she handled a Covid-19 diagnosis -- withdrawing to a house outside of NYC, rather than staying home. "People wanted me to be more sensitive about what was going on in the world, and I should have been," Charnas said. Scanlan and Charnas talked about the…
Jul 15, 2020
'A great way to get everyone's attention': Anifa Mvuemba on the Instagram Live show that turned heads
Putting on a digital fashion show isn't especially revolutionary. But Anifa Mvuemba, the founder of Hanifa, gave her Instagram Live show a novel twist: there weren't any models, whether digital or real. "This will be a great way to get everyone's attention," Mvuemba recalled thinking, on the Glossy Podcast. Her virtual runway was stalked by Hanifa dresses, moving of their own accord as if draped over moving ghosts. It was a painstaking endeavor of animation and design, but it paid off. Tens of thousands tuned in, according to Fast Company. "The sales, it was immediate -- probably the best month we've had since I started my company," Mvuemba said. The attention was big enough to push Mvuemba into a more significant public relations hire in the Hinton Group. Next, Mvuemba plans on turning heads again with technical feats (even though "we're still coming down from the high from the first one") and launching shapewear for women of color in the coming months.
Jul 8, 2020
Sarah Ahmed on making Warp+Weft's future 'pandemic-proof'
Speaking for her corner of the fashion industry -- luxury denim -- Warp+Weft founder Sarah Ahmed said that discussions around racial issues should only be beginning. "If everyone was always receptive to this -- to racial equality -- we wouldn't be having these problems," Ahmed said on the Glossy Podcast. "We all need to take a look: maybe the joke that we make, the model choice that we made -- why did we make that?" she said. Warp+Weft is progressive on other fronts. Its manufacturing process consumes a fraction of the water that jeans -- a notoriously resource-intense garment -- typically do, according to Ahmed. And because of the impact of the pandemic, Ahmed hopes to make the family-owned businesses she's a part of (Warp+Weft is one, DL1961 is the other) smarter about human resources. Ahmed said the company saw a spike in e-commerce sales -- yes, even though they're jeans, not sweatpants. But it still had to make layoffs. For the future, Ahmed said, "I talk to people on the team and…
Jul 1, 2020
Trina Turk on getting political: There's a lot of 'stick to fashion'
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Trina Turk's self-named fashion label made 15% of its sales through e-commerce. But with Neiman Marcus' filing for bankruptcy in May and an ongoing lack of foot traffic at mall stores, Turk ideally wants that percentage raised to 50% or more. "If they weren't shopping online prior to this whole thing, they are jumping online now," Turk said about shoppers on the Glossy Podcast. "I don't think we're alone in really examining how we can pivot our business to be much more e-comm-focused. Turk talked about managing her relationship with department stores to minimize the excess inventory brought about by the global retail shutdown, exploring the potential of client meetings done via Zoom and hiring more diversely once the company recovers from its layoffs and hiring freeze.
Jun 24, 2020
Knix founder Joanna Griffiths: 'The next legacy brands are being created in real time'
Womenswear brand Knix has already gone through the painful transition to DTC that other clothing companies are being forced into during the pandemic. "I feel for those brands," Knix CEO Joanna Griffiths said on the Glossy Podcast. "But I also know that it's possible." Griffiths founded the company in 2013 to make and market leakproof underwear. At the time, the business model was entirely about wholesale. "I did trunk shows at every Equinox location in the United States, I think," Griffiths said. But in the 2016, she decided to pull out of more than 700 retail locations across North America and shift to direct-to-consumer, out of a concern for size inclusivity. "A lot of the traditional retailers wouldn’t carry our size assortment," Griffiths has previously told Glossy. On the podcast, she described it as a "really scary decision" to "basically cut our revenue in more than half and start over," she said. That decision is panning out. This past May, sales were up 135% year-over-year,…
Jun 17, 2020
Toms' Amy Smith: 'We've inspired many, many companies to be purpose-driven'
Protests continue around the country and world three weeks after George Floyd's death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. This new instance of police violence caught on video has boosted public support for Black Lives Matter while driving policy changes from governments, police departments and companies. Toms is used to building strategies around public good. "We're incredibly proud to have inspired many, many companies to be purpose-driven," Amy Smith, the company's chief giving officer, said on the Glossy Podcast. The original, core initiative behind the company -- to donate a pair of shoes to those in need for every pair purchased -- isn't exactly adjacent to the public challenges facing America today. But the shoe company is among dozens of beauty and fashion brands that have donated to Black Lives Matter, and it plans on contributing another $100,000 in the next three months. Beyond that, Toms is looking at its own practices. "We're taking the time now to do a full asses…
Jun 10, 2020
'This is the moment for black designers': Anna Sui on fashion's cultural and creative shakeups
Fashion designer Anna Sui thinks the industry is overdue for a reckoning, in terms of diversity. "This is the moment for black designers and companies to step up. The curtains are open. Go for it," Sui said on the Glossy Podcast. Though not equivalent to the black experience, Sui's childhood was filled with dreams to become a designer despite not seeing anyone who looked like her at the forefront of the biggest labels, she said. "I came from the suburbs of Detroit. At the time when I started designing, there really weren't other Chinese designers." Now Sui's main collection is sold in 50 Anna Sui boutiques across eight countries and over 300 retailers globally. "In China, I'm more known for my lipstick and my perfume than I am for my fashion," Sui said, noting the contrast to the U.S. market. And in the states, she said, a fashion shakeup is looming. "We've drifted into this minimal look before -- this almost uniform look. Business usually gets bad during that period. Then, all of a su…
Jun 3, 2020
Richer Poorer CEO Iva Pawling on the company's abrupt shift to DTC: 'We had to rebuild and restructure overnight'
In a three-week period shortly after the pandemic outbreak, Richer Poorer sold three times as many sweatpants than in all of 2019. That was a small part of an overall trend for the basics clothing brand: The first five months of 2020 have greatly boosted online sales, transforming it into an e-commerce business first and foremost. "We essentially had to kind of rebuild and restructure our team overnight to now go, 'OK, we're a DTC brand,'" the company's CEO Iva Pawling said on the Glossy Podcast. Richer Poorer had already been planning to gradually shift to a focus on e-commerce over wholesale. The plan was to grow direct sales to 40% of revenue in 2020 and reach parity next year on the way to a primarily DTC model. Now, Pawling estimates e-commerce is set to make up roughly 75% of the company's bottom line this year. Pawling said that a pivot in branding, already underway before the pandemic struck, has helped the company pitch its products as right for the moment. "We very much had r…
May 27, 2020
Brideside CEO Nicole Staple on navigating the postponed wedding season
Brideside co-founder and CEO Nicole Staple predicts there will be a wedding boom as the threat of coronavirus subsides. "We are seeing pretty overwhelming data that suggests women are postponing -- not canceling -- weddings," Staple said on the Glossy Podcast. But she isn't sitting back and waiting for the upswing. Launched in 2012, the company went from selling bridesmaid dresses exclusively to offering wedding dresses, as well, both via e-commerce and showrooms -- that is, until the pandemic hit. Now it's working to bring the physical shopping experience online. "We decided on a Thursday to shut down our showrooms that weekend, and by Tuesday, we had a fully launched virtual appointment platform," Staple said. Brideside has done about 1,000 virtual appointments in a six-week period, according to Staple. She also talked about the need in the market for inclusive sizing, the outsized importance of Instagram and the fact that there may be more "groomzillas" than "bridezillas."
May 20, 2020
Designer Alejandra Alonso Rojas: 'No one is going to judge us for whatever decisions we take right now'
Designer Alejandra Alonso Rojas is taking these uncommon times as permission to question the industry she operates in. “I think I’m going to come out of this as a rebel, because I’ve been really analyzing the business and what I want to do, and there are so many things I want to change in order to survive this and to make the business profitable,” Alonso Rojas said on the Glossy Podcast. The usual fashion industry calendar is one of them. “The calendar makes no sense at all," she said. "The new generations don’t shop six months before they can wear something. And the fact that, by the time you want to wear it, it's already 70-80% off — the impact on the brand was terrible.” Alonso Rojas is currently looking to her own items from seasons past -- via her first “archive sale” -- in order to boost sales for the luxury label. The profits are going toward supporting the company’s staff, and to paying rent for the company's combined office, studio and showroom space in S…
May 13, 2020
Frame co-founder Jens Grede: 'We have to bring back manufacturing to the United States'
Jens Grede's denim-first fashion line, Frame, was growing fast until the pandemic hit. The company has 10 stores and had planned to double that number in 2020. Instead, the company is looking to 2021. "I'm still very confident about our store strategy right now," Grede said on the Glossy Podcast. Whenever doors do open again, Grede said they'll have a lower customer capacity, masks for visitors and employees, and an emphasis on keeping things clean. "Safety for our employees and our customers is and has to be everyone's top priority right now. Long term? We don't know anything about the long term," Grede said. Still, he has faith in the brick-and-mortar model, even as Frame's e-commerce sales are up "close to 300%" over the last few months, thanks in part to a 25% off sale. "It's really replaced [the sales of] all of our physical stores, and a little bit more than that." Making up for the revenue from wholesale is a bridge too far, however. And if Grede could go back in time in anticip…
May 6, 2020
Mack Weldon CEO Brian Berger on the perks of selling sweatpants DTC
Sweatpants are a best-seller for Mack Weldon in normal times. But unsurprisingly, they're especially popular now, as many Americans have seen their commute to the office replaced by yet another day of getting comfortable at home. "A lot of people are wearing sweatpants, that's for sure," Brian Berger, Mack Weldon CEO and founder, said on the Glossy Podcast. The activewear brand's focus on e-commerce has also well-positioned it to weather the pandemic. The brand has only one brick-and-mortar store, at Hudson Yards, and no significant partnerships with department stores. Berger talked about leveraging e-commerce, establishing redundancy in supply lines and being the "cheerleader-in-chief" to his staff.
Apr 29, 2020
Designer Nicole Miller: 'The whole fashion calendar is going to change'
Fashion designer Nicole Miller knows her brand is best known for its dresses, and she sees the pandemic as one more reason to diversify her product line. "[We're] trying to become more of a lifestyle brand, giving our customer a broader range of things to choose from," Miller said on the Glossy Podcast. "I'm not just there for your party dress." Miller talked about how direct-to-consumer isn't a silver bullet for challenged businesses, how she doesn't think there will be any fashion shows in September ("or it'll all be online") and how she learned to put more of herself into the brand's social media presence.
Apr 22, 2020
Morgan Lane founder Morgan Curtis on the different challenges facing swimwear, lingerie and sleepwear
For apparel sales, under the pandemic, different items are suffering different fates. Swimwear sales are at a halt, while lingerie and sleepwear are doing much better. Morgan Lane knows this first-hand, specializing in all three of these categories. "Fall orders, for the most part, were being received in February. And for stores that are getting their budgets canceled, because they can't be selling right now, the first thing they're going to cancel is fall. They know it's not in production yet," founder Morgan Curtis said on the Glossy Podcast. "There's going to be a big gap between probably June and October, where there isn't that much newness, at least in the retail world -- from everyone." Curtis talked about which parts of her global supply chain have seen the most slowdown, how to promote products online without leaving home and what a difference it makes to have well-timed product placement in a "Trolls" music video.
Apr 15, 2020
The Arrivals co-founder Jeff Johnson on the silver lining behind lowered sales
If much of the retail industry is feeling squeezed by the coronavirus pandemic, outdoor apparel may be especially hard hit. "It's been kind of a mix," Jeff Johnson, co-founder of outerwear brand The Arrivals, said on the Glossy Podcast. "Sales, even traffic, has been lower." Johnson still manages to find positives. The company's main sales season runs from August to January or February -- this year, that was before the pandemic was declared. And while the average order value has gone down, he said, order numbers are up. In other words, within a smaller group of online visitors, more people are making actual purchases. "For the last two weeks, we've seen a 2x spike in conversion," Johnson said. He talked about how the company is crowd-sourcing the apparel design process, how it's changing its communications and why he's thankful that The Arrivals didn't end up opening a flagship store just before the pandemic.
Apr 8, 2020
For Rebecca Minkoff, the pandemic accelerates the business's pre-existing plans
For Rebecca Minkoff, the coronavirus pandemic is a chance for her namesake business to accelerate pre-existing plans. That starts with reexamining the brand's dependence on its own brick-and-mortar stores versus wholesale. "We always had a plan to have the ratios be more equal, and I think this has forced that to happen," Minkoff said on the Glossy Podcast. "I see a strong desire to return to physical retail when this is all over." The tighter focus also extends to the brand's social media strategy. The content that's been proven to work on shut-in customers, she said, usually features Minkoff herself. "I'm not trying to sound egotistical, but that's what drives the revenue and the clicks and the sales," she said. "So we're saying, 'Enough with any other type of franchise or content pillars; we are going to do what works and what gets the customer excited.'" Minkoff talked about how she's helping to focus attention on smaller, women-owned businesses, what she thinks of TikTok and why s…
Apr 1, 2020
Ramy Brook Sharp on why the future of the company is DTC, no matter how long the pandemic lasts
Ramy Brook Sharp opened a brand flagship store in Manhattan last fall, before the coronavirus pandemic shut down just about every brick-and-mortar store in New York City -- though since, the company's focus has changed to the company's e-commerce site, of course. Direct-to-consumer was a priority even before the crisis. "That's definitely going to be the future of the company," Brook Sharp said on the Glossy Podcast. "We were going in that direction to begin with, but I think with everything happening, you realize how important that is." Until then, the contemporary fashion company has had to furlough all 45 of its employees. "The hope is that everybody comes back," said Brook Sharp, adding that the company is continuing to cover affected employees' health insurance. "We're not allowed to ask anybody to work; we can't expect people to work," she said, but she's found that "a majority" of her team is working despite that, unpaid. "Most of the people want to see the company succeed and u…
Mar 25, 2020
Rebag founder Charles Gorra: 'We compete against idleness'
For Charles Gorra, whose company Rebag has bought and sold luxury handbags since 2014, the competition isn't Hermès or Louis Vuitton. "We like to say we don't compete against this or that company, but we compete against idleness," Gorra said on the Glossy Podcast. His estimate is that nine out of 10 "luxury owners" have never sold those items and that most of his customers (on the selling end) are doing so for the first time. It helps that Rebag buys such pieces upfront, in its nine physical locations in Los Angeles, New York State and Miami. Thirty stores is the "medium-term goal" for the company, said Gorra. Handbag sales, however, are mostly done online, with only 20-30% sold in store. "We're still largely a digital company," Gorra said. Accordingly, Gorra thinks Instagram Checkout -- which is still in beta -- could be "game-changing" for e-commerce in general. And last year Rebag launched Clair, or Comprehensive Luxury Appraisal Index for Resale, a freely-available tool for apprai…
Mar 18, 2020
Gorjana's founders on growing a profitable jewelry business: 'No home runs here'
Jewelry company Gorjana is growing, self-funded and profitable, but its founders insist that it was a slow and tricky road. "No home runs here," Gorjana Reidel said on the Glossy Podcast. She and her husband, Jason Griffin Reidel, first sold their jewelry in small boutiques before partnering with Nordstrom in 2014. "We were kind of the pioneers of the category that you see so many people getting into now, of gold, delicate, layering jewelry," Griffin Reidel said. Early on, Nordstrom partnered with the brand, launching it in 25 stores at a time (the Reidels got to pick which ones), and Gorjana Jewelry is now available across the chain's approximately 120 outlets. But despite its success with Nordstrom, in recent years Gorjana has made the shift to selling direct-to-consumer via its own stores and e-commerce site. Three years ago, 90% of Gorjana’s sales were coming through wholesale channels and only 10% from DTC. Today, 80% of sales are direct-to-consumer. Gorjana has nearly 200 emplo…
Mar 13, 2020
[TREND WATCH] We Wore What founder Danielle Bernstein on making the move from influencer to fashion designer
For our final episode of Glossy Trend Watch: Influencer Edition, senior technology reporter Katie Richards sits down with Danielle Bernstein of We Wore What. Danielle is a fashion blogger turned clothing designer, brand founder, author and entrepreneur. When she got started as an influencer, payment schemes were a bit arbitrary. "There weren't any set fees for posting on a blog, taking photos for a brand," Bernstein said. "We sort of went off of what modeling agencies traditionally did for models." Since those uncertain days, Bernstein has developed longer-term collaborations with brands and launched a workflow tool for influencers, and she has a book in the works. Glossy Trend Watch: Influencer Edition features interviews with some of the most prominent fashion influencers on how they’ve used their success and social media followings to launch major brands. Our guests -- including Julia Engel and Moti Ankari -- made the leap from interacting with existing brands online to creating s…
Mar 11, 2020
Amanda Uprichard on how her namesake brand is handling the coronavirus epidemic
Amanda Uprichard's namesake fashion company has quickly reshaped its supply line to work in a world living with the coronavirus. "Now, we make maybe 90% of our stuff here because of the virus," Uprichard said about her New York operation. Previously, half of the line's manufacturing was based in China. "Anyone that's in manufacturing, you're just affected by the supply chain," she added. "But I do believe China will be completely normal in another month." For Uprichard, making things out of New York was a return to the brand's beginnings. Everything was made out of New York City, "until about a year and a half ago, when we started switching to China because the resources are drying up here," she said. Uprichard talked about the importance of influencers, the reality TV show "The Bachelor" and walking away from Amazon (and, just maybe, going back to it).
Mar 6, 2020
[TREND WATCH] Moti Ankari on going from Instagramming shoes to selling them
Over the next few weeks, we’re bringing you bonus episodes of the Glossy Podcast. Glossy Trend Watch: Influencer Edition features interviews with some of the most prominent fashion influencers on how they’ve used their success and social media followings to launch major brands. Our guests made the leap from interacting with existing brands online to creating some of their own. For our second episode, Glossy senior technology reporter Katie Richards sits down with Moti Ankari, a menswear blogger who co-founded footwear brand Ankari Floruss with fellow blogger Marcel Floruss. "I was actually one of the first wave of male influencers," Ankari said. "Nine years ago, there were like five of us out there." Tellingly, the word "influencer" didn't exist to describe someone making a living off of their social media connections -- the word got its own entry on Dictionary.com in 2016. Ankari talks about learning the ins and outs of designing footwear and how to leverage his social following t…
Mar 4, 2020
Switch co-founder Liana Kadisha Cohn on bringing the rental model to designer jewelry
Rent the Runway, but for jewelry. That was the animating idea behind Switch, the company that buys and rents out jewelry for $29 a month. "Ultimately, jewelry is a very different product from apparel, for rental," Kadisha Cohn said on the Glossy Podcast. "It's a perfect product for rental. You don't really feel like it's ever been worn before. We sanitize it, we polish it, we kind of bring that shine and make it feel like it's new -- and oftentimes, it is new," Kadisha Cohn said. Switch also authenticates the jewelry in its collection, which includes thousands of styles. ("We have Chanel, Hermès, Dior, real diamonds and gold," Kadisha Cohn said, also listing Sophie Ratner, Mateo and Do Not Disturb.) Some of Switch's items are one of a kind, and none are valued under $100. Their average value is about $700, which is basically the cost of being a Switch member for two years. "In two years, to have an endless rotation of jewelry instead of just purchasing one piece -- that, probably, aft…
Feb 28, 2020
[TREND WATCH] Influencer Julia Engel on prioritizing her own brand
Over the next few weeks, we’re bringing you bonus episodes of the Glossy Podcast. Glossy Trend Watch: Influencer Edition features interviews with some of the most prominent fashion influencers on how they’ve used their success and social media followings to launch major brands. Our guests made the leap from interacting with existing brands online to creating some of their own. For our first episode, Glossy senior technology reporter Katie Richards sits down with Julia Engel, who leveraged her fashion and lifestyle blog Gal Meets Glam to build the Gal Meets Glam Collection, a fashion brand focused on timeless, classic pieces including dresses, coats and sweaters. On the first episode of our limited series, Engel talks about transitioning from blogger to brand founder, learning the ins and outs of the apparel industry and finding the right wholesale partners.
Feb 26, 2020
'There's no silver bullet': Pandora's Charisse Hughes on charting a growth-driven plan
Despite sharing a name with a popular music streaming platform, Pandora -- the jewelry company -- never had a problem with name recognition. Charisse Hughes, the company's CMO for the Americas, put the company's name recognition at 90%. "People know Pandora," Hughes said on the Glossy Podcast. However, that hasn't meant that people are buying from the brand. The company lost more than a quarter of its market value in 2017, followed by another 61% in 2018. Hughes attributed the decline to a lack of innovation in the brand's aesthetic and not using consumer data to react to shoppers' wishes. But the company has made changes, bringing on a new CEO last year, striking partnerships with the likes of Millie Bobby Brown to appeal to younger consumers and overhauling its stores with engraving stations and a popular items section. "There's no silver bullet to get us back to where we need to be," Hughes said. Hughes talked about the company's iconic charm bracelet (which is turning 20 this year)…
Feb 19, 2020
Birdies co-founder Bianca Gates on how the shoe company adapts to shoppers' needs
Birdies co-founder Bianca Gates started her company as a side hustle while working at Facebook, but it took a two-month sabbatical to realize she ought to dedicate herself to the shoe company full-time. "We saw the impact of me jumping in and helping out more," Gates said on the Glossy Podcast. "We started to look at different data points. There were sales, editors were talking about us, celebrities wearing us, people wanting to invest, and I thought: 'I guess this is kind of that moment where you just take that leap of faith.'" Birdies launched in 2015 and has since raised $10 million in funding, opened a brick-and-mortar store in San Francisco and expanded its original product line -- slipper-like shoes chic enough for a party host -- to include tougher-soled shoes that can be worn about town. Gates talked about that critical moment mid-sabbatical, her evolving leadership style and the reason the startup rush for unicorn status is like the housing crisis.
Feb 12, 2020
The Collected Group's James Miller: 'The U.S. department store model isn't going anywhere'
In a 35-minute conversation, James Miller brought up the concepts of speed and the need to keep up repeatedly. "If you stand still for too long, then you're just going to fall behind," he said on this week's Glossy Podcast. Miller would know about those things. He's the CEO of the Collected Group and just took on the added role of chief creative officer last week. That puts him in charge of the design as well as the business side of the clothing company's three brands: Joie, Equipment and Current/Elliott. Still, the group plays within the industry's established timelines: "We do 12 deliveries a year for each brand, and they're sold in seasons," Miller said. It was late January, and he was fresh from reviewing some of the deliveries that would go out this fall. Where the Collected Group does innovate is in its gender-fluid clothing, its emphasis on email marketing over social media and its sustainable practices that extend even to the clothes' labelling.
Feb 10, 2020
'The anti-fast fashion': Badgley Mischka president Christine Currence on not following every last trend
This week, we bring you a bonus, New York Fashion Week Edition of the Glossy Podcast, featuring Christine Currence, the president and owner of Badgley Mischka. Glossy Podcast host Jill Manoff sits down with Currence to discuss working with Rent the Runway, collaborating with a game app and making big adjustments this season, as Oscar Sunday overlapped with fashion week.
Feb 5, 2020
'I like to be scrappy': Argent founder Sali Christeson on easing into fundraising
Sali Christeson has worked in industries from banking to big tech, but one thing has remained consistent about her day-to-day work life: "I've always been frustrated with shopping for workwear," she said on the Glossy Podcast. Christeson found the same pain point among her friends, which was further confirmed by a study she stumbled on in 2015. The study's authors measured "the impact of what someone wears on their bottom line over [their] lifetime," Christeson said, meaning that your look impacts your salary and job level. "It ends up being a 20% to 40% difference on your personal income. That was the catalyst for me. I read that, and I was like, 'OK, see ya, corporate world!'" Argent, the women's workwear company she went on to found, has offices in San Francisco and New York, and sells direct-to-consumer items ranging from blazers and pants to dresses. Since launch, the company has raised more than $4 million in Seed funding (with a Series A coming toward the end of the year, Christ…
Jan 29, 2020
Foot Locker's Mel Peralta: 'You want to be able to stop the scroll'
Whatever the challenges of Mel Peralta's job, he has an honest customer keeping him on track. "Kids don't lie to you," Peralta said on the Glossy Podcast. "They'll let you know if they think your stuff is whack or your stuff is dope." Peralta is head of the new Foot Locker-owned brand incubator known as Greenhouse, which partners with both established labels in the sneaker game -- like Fila and K-Swiss -- and up-and-comers who might create the youth market's next cult product. Accordingly, the retailer changed its mission statement last year, saying it aimed "to inspire and empower youth culture." In Peralta's words, "Project Greenhouse is Foot Locker's incubator to find what's next." The company wants to do that by being involved with designs from square one. "Because we are a product creation hub -- and we're not just launching other people's things -- we have to be involved with every single project at the very beginning," Peralta said. The incubator's products are mostly sold via i…
Jan 22, 2020
'There's a return to retail': Michael Stars co-founder Suzanne Lerner on fashion's direction
Michael Stars wants to strike a balance between evolution and tradition. "You could call it quote-unquote sustainable, because my stuff doesn't get thrown away," said Suzanne Lerner, the company's co-founder and president, on the Glossy Podcast. "It doesn't end up in the landfill after that season that it was so trendy." As evergreen as its styles are, Michael Stars' revenue model is quickly changing. "Fifty percent of our business is specialty stores," Lerner said. "About 20% is our own e-commerce site, and the balance -- 30% -- is a mix of other [retailers'] e-commerce sites and subscription boxes," she said. Next, the company is looking to rebuild the brick-and-mortar retail network that it "successfully" pulled away from, Lerner said, starting with pop-ups. On the podcast, she talked about how the company has embraced direct-to-consumer model, how she met her husband-slash-business partner and why, when it comes to the company's political engagement, "We've got to be out there spea…
Jan 15, 2020
'The second-hand market isn't going anywhere': Fashionphile founder Sarah Davis on the evolution of luxury resale
Luxury brands typically want little to do with the second-hand market, but resale companies like Fashionphile are slowly winning them over. Founded in 1999 by Sarah Davis, the company invites customers to drop-off top-shelf accessories at one of its physical locations, where Fashionphile will buy them upfront. Trained Fashionphile employees verify the authenticity of the item before it's sold online, and the original owner gets a piece of the pie -- often a big one. A 70-30 split is common, with Fashionphile taking the smaller cut, Davis said. "But if the velocity of sale will be quick or if it's a super high-dollar item, or it's very popular, we'll give you much more," Davis said on this week's episode of the Glossy Podcast. Fashionphile limits its inventory to 51 luxury brands, many of which were once worried about resale tainting their brand image -- second-hand isn't exactly synonymous with luxury, after all. What's more, there's been concern from full-price retailers that the resa…
Jan 8, 2020
Universal Standard co-founder Alexandra Waldman on making fashion for the 70%
Plus-size models have made uncertain gains in advertising in recent years, though for Universal Standard co-founder Alexandra Waldman, the problem is also in how these models are often depicted. "I always looked at ads of these women in pattern-wrapped dresses and high heels and I thought: 'I don't understand where she's going,'" Waldman said on this week's episode of the Glossy Podcast. "'Where is she going with the bows and the things, and why does she have kittens on her T-shirt? She's obviously in her 30s.'" Universal Standard launched in 2015 to offer all of their items -- no kittens, thanks -- in sizes from 00 to 40. And though they've opened five stores all in the last several months, they've also made sure their website caters to women of all sizes, in a way they might not be used to. "That size 8 doesn't look anything like I'm going to look when I put on that dress," Waldman said. "So we thought 'why not photograph everything on every single size and then allow women, if they…
Dec 18, 2019
Naadam co-founder Matt Scanlan on being the CEO of three separate brands
Lately, Naadam co-founder Matt Scanlan has been juggling leading three fashion brands -- on top of being CEO of his 6-year-old cashmere brand, he's the CEO of Thakoon and the interim CEO of Something Navy -- and making regular appearances on QVC. For someone who's easily distracted unless he has a lot of work in front of him, selling stuff on TV is a good outlet. "If you're an instant gratification person like I am, I don't think there's anything better than this," Scanlan said on the Glossy Podcast. It also plays into his strategy of selling Naadam's sustainable cashmere products across as many channels as possible. Beyond TV, "that means online, working with multi-brand retailers and having your own storefront or collaborating with others," Scanlan said. He plans to have eight brick-and-mortar Naadam stores by the end of 2020. Scanlan talked about the marketing value of sustainability, the draw to work with recent Glossy Podcast guest Thakoon Panichgul and the guerrilla marketing cam…
Dec 13, 2019
Glossy 50 Live: Patrick Herning and Tanya Taylor on the state and future of size inclusivity
Dec 11, 2019
Fleur du Mal founder Jennifer Zuccarini on avoiding the missteps of Victoria's Secret
Before launching her lingerie brand Fleur du Mal, Jennifer Zuccarini had a stint at Victoria's Secret -- giving her an idea of what to avoid. "I think people just got tired of that one note of what sexy is," said Zuccarini on this week's episode of the Glossy Podcast. Launched in 2012, Fleur du Mal is applying all the strategies of a small brand looking to challenge a more established industry giant that's on the ropes, creating a lot of web content and tapping social media influencers to get consumers interested in the brand. Along the way, it's avoiding Victoria's Secret's pitfall by making and marketing products for customers of all body types.
Dec 4, 2019
Aurate's Sophie Kahn on making DTC jewelry that measures up to Fifth Avenue's luxury options
Aurate sits somewhere between Fifth Avenue's legacy jewelers and the brands that take a cue from Etsy's aesthetic. At least, that's how the company's co-founder (and designer) Sophie Kahn describes it: "There was nothing really in the middle," she said on this week's episode of the Glossy Podcast. The direct-to-consumer company's products start around $50 and go up from there. Many customers have an eye for the higher-end stuff. "Something like the top 40% of our sales are generated by 10% of our customers," Kahn said. "I think that's a testament to [the fact that] once you feel our product, you kind of fall in love with it," she said. "We're going up against the big guys that have way more funding, way more everything. The only thing we have, hopefully, is the hearts of our women." On the Glossy Podcast, Kahn discussed her career path from Marc Jacobs to DTC fine jewelry, the company's use of crowdsourcing to steer product development and its plans for international expansion.
Nov 27, 2019
Somsack Sikhounmuong on designing for Alex Mill and life after J. Crew
After 16 years at J. Crew, Somsack Sikhounmuong switched to a much smaller company to design clothes for Alex Mill. But he's remaining close to the Drexler family. "I always joke that he's my fairy god agent," said Sikhounmuong about Mickey Drexler, the former CEO of J. Crew Group. During a sabbatical after his work at J. Crew and Madewell, the J. Crew subsidiary that continues to outshine its parent company, Sikhounmuong got a phone call from Mickey Drexler: "I was in line at Whole Foods, because I wasn't working and I could be in line at Whole Foods in the afternoon," he said. Mickey asked him to meet with his son Alex Drexler about designing for Alex's company, Alex Mill, for which Mickey Drexler is both an investor and an advisor. On the Glossy Podcast, Sikhounmuong discussed his work for Alex Mill, which was founded in 2012 out of "a tiny store on Elizabeth Street." Sikhounmuong also talked about the difference between designing clothes for women versus men, the transition from a…
Nov 20, 2019
Need Supply founder and CEO Chris Bossola: a brick-and-mortar store 'has to be an experience'
When Chris Bossola opened Blues Recycled Clothing in 1996, "all three TV stations came because they couldn't believe that we were selling vintage, used Levi's for $35. They thought it was crazy." Nearly 25 years later, what started with a 200 square foot store in Richmond, Virginia has become Need Supply, a retailer that makes most of its revenue online -- and sells much more than used jeans. On this week's Glossy Podcast, Bossola -- the multi-brand retailer's founder and CEO -- discusses Need Supply's plans for expansion, their acquisition of Totokaelo and why the DTC model is overrated.
Nov 13, 2019
Ledbury CEO Paul Trible: We credit our wholesale partners when we make a DTC online sale
With the recession in full swing, 2009 was a tough year to start a luxury brand, as Ledbury CEO and co-founder Paul Trible knows. But Ledbury bet on luxury, at a price range that invited both younger customers to step up their wardrobe, and older ones to save money, compared to what they were buying. "That's anywhere between $125 to $185," Trible said on the Glossy Podcast. "It's still expensive for folks, but what we saw very early on is we were pulling people down from Canali and Zegna and Eton, people who were spending usually $250 or $300 a shirt." Direct-to-consumer makes up 70% of Ledbury's sales, Trible said, with another 20% coming from wholesale. Brick-and-mortar stores -- of which the company has three -- fill in the rest of the revenue pie. On this week's Glossy Podcast, Trible spoke about quality manufacturing, a unique revenue-sharing model Ledbury started with its retailers and fact that the second button is what makes or breaks a shirt, just like Jerry Seinfeld said.
Nov 6, 2019
Cinq à Sept founder Jane Siskin: 'It's a scary time for retail'
Cinq à Sept founder Jane Siskin prides herself on the fashion brand's ability to quickly respond to the stuff that sells. "We have a great 'fast-track program' where we can quickly build on the good styles," said Siskin. To do that, she and her team lean on sales data -- "We can see by store, we can see by color, we can even see by size if we want to," she said -- though the actual turnaround time depends on a few factors. Fabric is a big one. "If it's a repeat style, exactly as it was before -- a reorder in a fabric that we own -- it could be four to six weeks. If it's something new, there's a material change to it, add another couple weeks to it. And if we don't have the fabric, you're adding a month." On this week's Glossy Podcast, Siskin spoke about fashion, the branding boon that is having a French name (even if you're based in Los Angeles) and the reason why "you have to have your head in the sand if you don't think it's a scary time for retail."
Oct 30, 2019
Huckberry's head of marketing Ben O'Meara on creating emails people actually want to read
This week's guest on the Glossy Podcast is Ben O’Meara, the head of marketing at Huckberry. Sure, it's a men's retailer, but Huckberry isn't just trying to sell stuff. It also wants to tell stories, including one about a merino T-shirt that can be worn for 72 hours without smelling all that bad by the end of it. "It's anti-microbial, you don't have to wash it, it doesn't stink... you can wear it for multiple days on end," O'Meara said. "So let's call it the 72-Hour Tee [we decided]. But if we're going to put that stamp on this product we better sure as hell make sure that we stand behind it. And if we're going to tell you you can wear it for three days -- [let's make sure] we've actually done that before." Ahead of an international flight, O'Meara threw on a shirt, before later stopping a stranger in Iceland to ask, "Can you smell my shirt?" Huckberry turns its travels and product tests into content for its email newsletter, which goes out to more than 1 million readers three times a…
Oct 23, 2019
Andie founder and CEO Melanie Travis: Investing in customer service is good business
In 2016, Victoria's Secret dropped out of the swimwear market, a business worth $500 million to the company. That same year, Melanie Travis founded Andie Co., the direct-to-consumer swimwear company allowing consumers order, try on and send back as many swimsuits as they'd like. Regardless of a massive brand bowing out from the sector, Travis said, "There's room for competition. This is not a winner-take-all market." Instead, it's a market worth billions of dollars per year and growing. "Swimwear is bigger than the men's shaving market, and God knows how many razor startups [there are]," Travis said. Travis was on the Glossy Podcast to talk about how the direct-to-consumer model has worked to consumers' advantage, how a new equity model is "quietly" growing among DTC entrepreneurs and how Andie managed to not pay rent for the past two-and-a-half years.
Oct 16, 2019
Phillip Lim on growing a brand while upholding tradition
Phillip Lim's business is one of the last of its kind standing. "We're one of the few brands left in New York City with an in-house atelier. All the clothes are made in-house," he said, pointing to 3.1 Phillip Lim's new headquarters in Brookfield Place. Lim encourages interns to appreciate the rarity of seeing clothes go from drawing board to production line, all in one venue. "I'm like 'OK, you guys have the privilege of sitting in the real masterclass here. Really learn from this, because it's disappearing. Now everything is: 'Pop-up, startup. Where did it come from? It doesn't really matter, because we're going to market the shit out of things.' You can't trace it back. But if you come to visit us, you can trace everything back." On this week's Glossy Podcast, Lim talks about waste and sustainability in fashion, and why going fur-free doesn't mean sacrificing luxury.
Oct 9, 2019
BaubleBar co-founder Daniella Yacobovsky on bringing jewelry to a previously ignored price point
Don't tell Drake, but bling doesn't always have to be so pricy. BaubleBar has raised millions from investors confident in its business model of delivering stylish earrings, necklaces, and rings at affordable prices. The company sells its products online, and in over 17 countries via 200 retailers -- some of which, like Target, the company teamed up with to create exclusive lines. "We had been doing our research on the market and felt that there was a huge opportunity at a lower price point than where the main BaubleBar brand sat," says Daniella Yacobovsky, the company's co-founder. That's where Target came in. Yacobovsky also talks about the consumer opportunities opened up by affordable accessories, the data goldmine BaubleBar sits on, and what a difference Julia Roberts can make.
Oct 2, 2019
Schutz's Marina Larroude: Brands and their retail parters need to be agile
Prior to taking the lead at Schutz International, Marina Larroude was vp and fashion director at Barneys New York, a role she took on after holding fashion director roles at Teen Vogue and Style.com. For this week's episode of the Glossy Podcast, Larroude joins Jill Manoff to talk about her multiple career changes within the world of fashion, the untapped market for good, affordable boots, and the reason brands should consider bucking the usual wholesale purchasing timeline.
Sep 25, 2019
Deveaux designer Tommy Ton: You have to think of your customer on a global level
In this week’s episode of the Glossy Podcast, Jill Manoff sits down with Tommy Ton to discuss his transition from street style photographer to artistic director of fashion brand Deveaux, the evolution of men's style and the importance of inclusivity on the runway.
Sep 18, 2019
Thakoon Panichgul: Going DTC means 'control in the messaging you want to build'
Renowned designer Thakoon Panichgul is back to work after a two-year sabbatical from the world of fashion: "I traveled -- went to Cuba, went to Mexico City, went to Bali, went to Thailand, Marrakesh. I needed time to open up the mind and figure out what this fashion world is all about," he said. In this week’s episode of the Glossy Podcast, Jill Manoff sits down with Panichgul to discuss what today's consumers want in a clothing brand and why he's a firm believer in the DTC model.
Sep 12, 2019
Emily Current and Meritt Elliott: 'There is some real validity in wholesale right now'
Emily Current and Meritt Elliott have been business partners for 20 years, owning and running at least three companies over the timespan, while collaborating with brands including Kate Spade and Pottery Barn and styling celebs on the side. First came denim brand Current Elliott, which they sold and, soon after, launched L.A.-based apparel company The Great. "We didn't set out to get into the denim industry or disrupt the denim industry; we just knew that we couldn't find what we wanted," said Current, referring to Current Elliott introducing boyfriend jeans to the market during the heyday of "fancy" styles. In this week’s episode of the Glossy Podcast, Jill Manoff sits down with Current and Elliott to discuss how the process of building a brand has evolved, why wholesale still matters and who's really providing influence among fashion fans today.
Sep 11, 2019
Fashion designer Misha Nonoo: 'I honestly think that Fashion Week in its entirety will go away'
This week, we bring you a bonus, New York Fashion Week Edition of the Glossy Podcast, featuring Misha Nonoo, founder and creative director of her namesake fashion brand. Editor-in-chief Jill Manoff sits down with Nonoo to discuss the evolution of her company's business model, its plans for physical retail and the downfall of the traditional runway show.
Sep 4, 2019
Zyper CEO Amber Atherton: ‘We've reached peak social’
When marketing platform Zyper launched two years ago, brands were just starting to work with influencers and micro-influencers had barely begun to emerge. Since, influencers have become a line item in most every brand’s marketing budget, and the space has expanded to include even nano-influencers, or influencers with fewer than 1,000 followers. But influencer marketing’s heyday may have already come and gone. The reason, according to Zyper CEO Amber Atherton: “Influencer content has become inauthentic.” In response, consumers are relying less on influencers to tell them what to buy, instead turning to peer-to-peer referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations from their inner circle. And brands are strategizing accordingly, shifting their focus from influencers to existing customers. “Brands today want to turn their most passionate customers into brand advocates -- not just to create content, but to develop new products, to provide feedback, to be a focus group 2.0,” said Ath…
Aug 28, 2019
Aldo head of omnichannel Gregoire Baret: More than 70% of in-store shoppers browse the website first
When Gregoire Baret joined Aldo Group in 2015, “omnichannel” wasn’t the industry-wide buzzword it is today. But even now, there’s some mystery around his unique, trendy-sounding position of senior director of omnichannel experience design. “Omnichannel experience design is about the consumer journey,” said Baret. “It’s about improving the shopping experience through communication, services, tools -- anything that’s going to help someone discover the right and relevant products.” In addition to the in-store and e-commerce experiences, the focus of his role -- which was new when he joined the company -- encompasses customer touchpoints from pre-purchase to post-purchase, including customer service. “I was brought in to be a kind of neutral agent that would connect people across [Aldo] departments, but also to be a voice for the consumer,” said Baret.
Aug 21, 2019
Hudson Yards CMO Stacey Feder: 'Rethinking your business is critical'
On this week's episode of the Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Hudson Yards CMO Stacey Feder to discuss the planning process that went into building and marketing the new development, the way Hudson Yards works with retailers. and the evolving meaning of 'experiential.'
Aug 14, 2019
Ministry of Supply's Aman Advani: Performance wear will be the new normal
Before Aman Advani was the co-founder and CEO of performance-infused businesswear brand Ministry of Supply, he was a consultant. Spending most of his days on a plane, in a boardroom or traveling from one hotel to the next, Advani was exhausted by the upkeep his formal workwear required, including lots of ironing and frequent trips to the dry cleaners. He decided he needed to find a way to make these clothes work for his life. So in 2012, Advani co-founded Ministry of Supply with Gihan Amarasiriwardena. Since, the brand has expanded its offering to include both men and women, opened a total of six stores around the U.S., and launched wholesale partnerships with companies like Stitch Fix and MoMA. In this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Advani to discuss why Ministry of Supply has such a strong emphasis on education, what makes fashion an emotional industry and what's on the horizon for performance wear.
Aug 7, 2019
MZ Wallace's Lucy Wallace Eustice: 'Technology has empowered the customer in incredible ways'
When Monica Zwirner and Lucy Wallace Eustice joined forces to start their own company in 2000, they were on a mission to create beautiful, functional, luxury bags. After carefully sourcing their materials and manufacturers, the pair chose to launch their brand, MZ Wallace, by opening and operating a store, which in turn gave them direct access to the customers and their feedback. Just a few short years later, in 2004, the brand launched its e-commerce operation, continuing to operate as a direct-to-consumer brand years before the concept became buzzy. Now, almost 20 years later, MZ Wallace is continuing to build on its direct roots. It now gets customer feedback largely from Facebook, versus face-to-face; it still believes in brand transparency; and it's kept physical retail a central component of the business. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Wallace Eustice to discuss how MZ Wallace has evolved since 2000, why the brand won't be sold anytime…
Jul 31, 2019
Highsnobiety's David Fischer: 'We're really doing e-commerce'
When David Fischer started Highsnobiety in 2005, it was a humble blog for discussing all things fashion and culture. Over the years, the brand grew and flourished into a full-fledged media brand, but remained true to its streetwear roots. Now, in the company's latest expansion, it's taking on e-commerce. Highsnobiety's e-commerce business focuses on carefully curated assortments as well as brand collaborations, released in a drop model and launched with an exclusive relaunch of Prada menswear line Linea Rossa. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Highsnobiety's founder and CEO, David Fischer, to discuss the company's transition to e-commerce, its partnership with Prada, and the future content and commerce.
Jul 24, 2019
The Collective Child's Sandra Makarem: Subscriptions are the next evolution of multi-brand retail
When Sandra Makarem was working in the buying department at Bloomingdale's, she began to see a discrepancy between shoppers' and retailers' behavior. So she decided to create The Collective Child. The Collective Child's model is similar to that of other clothing subscription companies: Subscribers share their preferences, they receive a curated selection of items to suit their needs, and then they keep what they want and send back what they don't. What makes The Collective Child unique is that it targets a very specific audience: moms wanting to buy luxury children's clothes. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with The Collective Child's founder and CEO Sandra Makarem to discuss why she wanted to create a product for high-end moms, how important a unique curation is for a subscription business and how she grew a waitlist of 1,500 people without any paid marketing.
Jul 17, 2019
Nordstrom's Sam Lobban: 'Retailers as gatekeepers is a notion that doesn't exist anymore'
Sam Lobban has been working in men's fashion for nearly a decade. His career has taken him from the shop floor of a boutique in the U.K. to his current post, vp of men's fashion at Nordstrom. Throughout his expansive career, Lobban has had a front-row seat to the rapidly changing fashion industry. As he sees it, understanding the evolution of the industry is pretty simple: Things are moving faster, and more people are watching. Since joining the team at Nordstrom in 2018, Lobban has launched a handful of New Concept pop-ups in stores, which offer a carefully curated assortment of products tied to a central theme. Some previous concepts include Concept 001: Out Cold, which was designed to showcase cold-weather performance wear, and Concept 004: Patagonia, which was in collaboration with the popular outdoor brand and hosted a wide variety of sustainably produced, fair-trade products. Now, following his fifth and most recent New Concept launch with Nordstrom, Lobban wants to continue to p…
Jul 10, 2019
Story founder Rachel Shechtman: 'We're obsessive about our vendor partnerships'
When Rachel Schectman founded Story, she wanted to create a space for experimenting with retail. At a time when many people were skeptical about the future of physical retail, Schectman believed, and proved, that a carefully curated retail experience could be successful. But a few years into a continuous cycle of revamping the store every other month, she wanted to find something bigger. So in spring of 2018, after weighing a few other possibilities, Schectman agreed to an acquisition by Macy's and, at the same time, became the retailer's first brand experience officer. Macy's inaugural Story pop-up, which was color-themed, launched in 36 Macy's doors earlier this year. This week marks the launch of their second concept, Outdoor Story, which includes brand partners such as Dick's Sporting Goods and Miracle-Gro and can be found in select Macy's stores through September. In this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Schectman discusses why Macy's was the right partner for her, what it's…
Jul 3, 2019
Celebrity stylist Micaela Erlanger: 'Instagram is a phenomenal tool'
When celebrity stylist and author, Micaela Erlanger started her styling business in 2013, the fashion world was a much different place than it is today: Instagram was still in its early days, collections came out according to a strict fashion calendar, and lookbooks were sent through snail mail. Today, Erlanger is working faster and has more access than ever before to new designers and brands. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Erlanger to discuss how the role of the celebrity stylist has evolved, the importance of Instagram and why Fashion Week is still relevant to her.
Jul 1, 2019
[TREND WATCH] Intermix's Alexandra Willinger: 'Exclusives are 30% of our sales'
With the rise of the internet forcing major changes across the fashion industry, the role of the buyer has remained largely the same. The curated assortments for ecommerce and in-store can vary and more brands are moving away from the traditional fashion calendar, but the buyer's focus has gone unchanged. For Alexandra Willinger, buying manager of designer secondary, sportswear, denim and outerwear at Intermix, her role over her 10-year buying career has only evolved in that it's expanded. For the final episode of Glossy Trend Watch: Buyers Edition, editor-in-chief Jill Manoff sits down with Willinger to discuss the evolution of her role, the importance of exclusive collections and the difference in curating online and offline assortments.
Jun 26, 2019
Lafayette 148's Deirdre Quinn: 'Having stores gives us confidence'
Founded in 1996, Lafayette 148 has steadily grown to become a massive contemporary brand. Recently, co-founder and CEO Deirdre Quinn decided it was time to introduce change to the SoHo-native company. Following a headquarters move to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Quinn spent her time and resources reinvesting in the company. After decades of building out different departments and teams, her focus was shifted to finding a way to bring all parts of the company together, and to use these new efficiencies to begin international retail expansion and experimentation with technology like AI. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Quinn to discuss where the company is going, what she's learned about physical retail and how Lafayette 148 is creating a focused lifestyle brand.
Jun 24, 2019
[TREND WATCH] Saks Fifth Avenue’s Louis DiGiacomo: 'Luxury is more about experience than price'
Sneakers are 60% to 65% of Saks Fifth Avenue’s men's business. Come July, the NYC flagship store will combine men's shoes on one floor as the luxury department store attempts to rebalance its formal and casual assortment. Louis DiGiacomo, svp and men’s general merchandising manager, joins Jill Manoff on the buyer edition of Glossy Trend Watch to discuss the biggest shifts in men’s fashion and the renovation of the men’s shoe department in Saks' New York flagship.
Jun 19, 2019
ba&sh's Sarah Benady: 'We want to have real relationships with our customers'
On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Sarah Benady, ba&sh's CEO of North America, to discuss the difference between the French and American consumer, using unique offerings to connect with customers and fostering the perfect brand-investor partnership.
Jun 17, 2019
[TREND WATCH] Mr. Porter's Daniel Todd: The editorial team's buy-in shapes product strategy
Mr. Porter, the online-only retail destination for designer menswear, launched in 2011. As it's evolved over the years, it's expanded its focus beyond luxury products and explored a variety of new ways to integrate more designers and products. As a result, the role of Daniel Todd, its senior buyer, has changed. Todd discusses how he works with Mr. Porter's editorial team and how the retailer is incorporating emerging designers on the platform.
Jun 12, 2019
Senreve's Coral Chung: 'Modernization is so hard for luxury brands'
When Coral Chung went to start her luxury accessories brand, Senreve, she felt pressure to do things the way that they had always been done. But by using a combination of consumer data, smart manufacturing and inventory planning, Chung has been able to side-step a lot of the downfalls of traditional luxury brands, like being forced to destroy excess product or deal with slow production. While she won't say "never'" regarding the possibility of joining a more traditional house of brands, Chung said those conglomerates have a long way to go before they're ready for a brand like Senreve.On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Senreve founder and CEO Coral Chung to discuss the careful balance between being a tech and fashion company, the slow pace of luxury market and the future of Senreve as an independent company.
Jun 10, 2019
[TREND WATCH] 10 Corso Como's Averyl Oates: 'We're creating a name in the US'
For modern retailers, a unique product curation has never been more make-or-break. To create a standout shopping experience in the crowded, competitive market, many fashion players are leaning on experienced buyers. Milan-born concept store 10 Corso Como, which opened its doors in 1990, has gained popularity among fashion and art fans for its one-of-a-kind assortment spanning rare photography books, designer home decor, private-label fashion and exclusive accessories collaborations. Prior to launching is first U.S. outpost, in NYC's Seaport District in September, it scooped up Avery Oates, a fashion veteran who's worked as a buyer for more than 20 years. On the first episode of our limited series, Glossy Trend Watch, editor-in-chief Jill Manoff sits down with Oates to discuss the role of the modern retail buyer as shopping moves online, designers' production shifts from a seasonal calendar and consumers' increasingly demand newness.
Jun 5, 2019
Adore Me's Romain Liot: Modern lingerie brands need to be tech companies
Adore Me launched as a direct-to-consumer intimates brand in 2012, using a wide range of sizes and competitive prices to take on the brands dominating the market. According to Romain Liot, the COO of Adore Me, the company's marriage of technology and fashion allows it to adapt to what the customer wants more easily than a traditional, established brand. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Liot to discuss how Adore Me measures the success of its products, what complexities exist in the lingerie supply chain and why transparency is the best way to foster customer loyalty.
May 29, 2019
CFDA's Steven Kolb: 'New York Fashion Week has been unfairly beaten up'
It is no secret that the fashion industry has seen a lot of change in recent years. Steven Kolb, the president and CEO of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), has had a front row seat to it all. With the rise of direct-to-consumer, the impact of Instagram and emerging questions about the relevance of fashion weeks and seasonality, it's clear that fashion is evolving. According to Kolb, designers must be prepared to change, as well. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes welcomes Kolb back on the podcast to discuss how the industry had transitioned over the last few years, what challenges face contemporary designers and what's next for NYFW.
May 22, 2019
Rebecca Taylor's Janice Sullivan: 'Small, contemporary brands have to be as fluid as possible'
When Janice Sullivan was interviewing to head up Rebecca Taylor, the designer promptly asked her asked her what exactly she planned on doing at the company. That was four years ago, and the beginning of Sullivan's revamp of the contemporary brand. Since joining the team, Sullivan has pushed the company in a direction that resembles a direct-to-consumer brand; put the customer first, and find a way to connect with them everywhere. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with CEO of Rebecca Taylor and Parker, Janice Sullivan, to discuss why she decided to take Rebecca Taylor's personal life out of the brand identity, how their retail business is evolving and why the brand reclaimed their e-commerce business.
May 15, 2019
Rothy's Kerry Cooper: 'Our customers feel like they own the brand'
Kerry Cooper knows how to build a brand. From managing global e-commerce at Walmart to scaling the marketing and operations at ModCloth, Cooper has spent a sizable portion of her career working with brands to grow and adapt to the changing retail landscape. In her latest role as the president and COO of 7-year-old footwear brand Rothy's, Cooper has entered into the Wild West of direct-to-consumer brands. The biggest difference, she said, is the sense of accountability. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Cooper discusses her transition into the startup world, the benefits of Rothy's owning the entire supply chain, and the evolving relationship between brands and consumers.
May 8, 2019
Hill City's Noah Palmer: 'We're building a really strong community'
In September, Gap Inc. launched Hill City, a menswear brand meant to provide a perfect balance of performance and comfort, plus a sleek, minimalist look. Now, as the brand moves beyond launch stage, its general manager, Noah Palmer is focused on continuing to develop the identity of Hill City. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes catches up with Palmer to discuss how he's building a new brand in a market full of legacy brands, how the brand's community of wear testers is shaping products and what customers actually want out of an e-commerce site.
May 1, 2019
Jetblack's Jenny Fleiss: 'We're democratizing luxury'
Jenny Fleiss has spent most of her recent career building companies that challenge the traditional consumer experience, and remove hurdles she's experienced in her own life. When she co-founded Rent The Runway, the popular service for designer clothing and accessory rentals, Fleiss was in her 20s and looking to solve the age-old problem she and her peers were constantly facing: of a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear. Now, in a new stage of her life as a working mother, Fleiss is taking on the world of conversational commerce and the luxury consumer. In this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Jetblack founder and CEO, Jenny Fleiss, to discuss the new age of e-commerce, Jetblack's grassroots marketing approach and the way the company's services pay off for brand partners.
Apr 24, 2019
Banana Republic CMO Mary Alderete: 'You have to be fast to be culturally relevant'
For Banana Republic CMO Mary Alderete, it's an exciting time to be in brand marketing. Alderete, who first worked at the company as a senior director of marketing in the early 2000s, left and returned a decade later, motivated by the challenge of developing a connection between Banana Republic and newer generations. She is now working with the brand's in-house creative agency to experiment with new storytelling formats and lean into influencer marketing, with NFL star Jared Goff as the newest edition to the current influencer roster. The goal, across the board, is to be part of the conversation. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Alderete to discuss Banana Republic's evolving media strategy, the ways it's marketing invisible technology and the perks of keeping processes in-house.
Apr 17, 2019
Moda Operandi's Ganesh Srivats: 'We're connecting high tech with high touch'
After a decade of working in the fashion industry, Ganesh Srivats decided he needed something more. The fashion industry wasn't evolving at the pace he wanted, so he made the decision to join a company he felt was: Tesla. But after only three years, an opportunity arose in fashion that he couldn't resist. Now serving as the CEO of Moda Operandi, Srivats is using his passion for technology to make waves in the retail and fashion industries. By using a combination of consumer data–driven algorithms and stylist-curated collections, the fashion e-commerce platform gives consumers a unique selection that includes items directly from the runway. In this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Srivats to discuss the intersection of tech and fashion, the model of giving consumers direct access to runway collections, and the way to serve as a partner for designers.
Apr 12, 2019
[TREND WATCH] Designer Jeff Staple: 'Streetwear is a parasite that is infecting all aspects of society'
Before founding Staple Design, Jeff Staple was studying communication design at Parsons School of Design, sneaking into the silkscreen lab after hours to create small batches of shirts to sell at shops in SoHo. For Staple, this wasn't about designing clothes. Instead, he wanted to find a way to growth-hack his messaging. Now, nearly two decades later, Staple is widely recognized as one of the founding fathers of streetwear. His company has produced collaborations with the likes of Cole Haan, Dr. Martens, Coca Cola and even Facebook. In the fifth and final episode of Glossy Trend Watch: Streetwear Edition, fashion reporter Danny Parisi sits down with Staple to discuss the rising popularity of the collaboration model, the difference between collabs from licensing agreements, and the way street culture is infecting society.
Apr 10, 2019
Stadium Goods' John McPheters: International expansion is easier for startups
When Stadium Goods was co-founded in 2015 by John McPheters and Jed Stiller, sneakers and streetwear were still part of an underground culture. But in recent years, street style has become more mainstream, and high-fashion and luxury brands have begun to embrace it. As a result, the marketplaces for these goods -- both primary and secondary -- have seen a rise of the tide. Stadium Goods, which has received funding from LVMH and others, was acquired by Farfetch in 2018. In this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, John McPheters, Stadium Goods' co-founder and co-CEO, sits down with Hilary Milnes to discuss how the blending of luxury and streetwear elevated both markets, why it's easier for startups to move internationally and what's on the horizon following the brand's acquisition.
Apr 5, 2019
[TREND WATCH] Fila's Louis Colon: 'Too many brands are playing in spaces where they don't fit'
For heritage companies like Fila or Champion -- which have product ranges covering everything from hype sneakers to activewear -- success relies on being able to appeal to a diverse consumer base. According to Louis Colon, Fila's vp of heritage and trend, the company's history in a variety of different categories created an opportunity to authentically stretch the brand and reach a newer, younger customer. On episode four of Glossy Trend Watch: Streetwear Edition, fashion reporter Danny Parisi sits down with Colon to discuss the role of a heritage brand, the categories a brand should enter to feel authentic, and the way a brand built for tennis courts became an essential player in streetwear.
Apr 3, 2019
Nearly Newlywed's Jackie Courtney: The biggest problem in bridal is that it hasn't evolved with the customer
While the rest of the retail industry races to modernize and adapt to the modern consumer, the bridal industry is taking its sweet time. For most brides-to-be, pain points like murky pricing and year-long wait times come standard, especially when it comes to the dress. Shopping for bridal gowns is a long-standing tradition involving the bride, a posse of friends and family, an hour in a showroom, and enough champagne to keep everyone optimistic. But for Jackie Courtney, something about that process didn't feel right. She began reaching out to editors for samples and eventually started scouring peer-to-peer marketplaces like Craigslist and eBay, convincing women from around the country that she had an idea worth investing in. Finally, with a collection of 50 high-end, used bridal gowns, Nearly Newlywed was born. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Nearly Newlywed founder and CEO, Jackie Courtney, to discuss the need for modernization in the bridal…
Mar 29, 2019
[TREND WATCH] Stock X's Josh Luber: Safe sneaker resellers grow the whole market
Before social media and the global trend of hype sneakers and streetwear, sneakerheads would spend hours digging through eBay or combing through the collections of neighborhood resellers to score a great deal on the perfect pair of shoes. While some may still find this practice to be successful at times, they also likely come across fake products and massively inflated prices. Josh Luber, the founder and CEO of StockX, wants to put a stop to that. StockX, a marketplace for the resale of sneakers and other streetwear accessories, was built to level the playing field. By utilizing the same IPO method as the New York Stock Exchange, also known as a Dutch auction, Luber hopes to create a more accessible marketplace for both buyers and sellers. For the episode three of Glossy Trend Watch: Streetwear Edition, fashion reporter Danny Parisi sits down with Luber to discuss how the resale market grew up and what the current relationship is between the primary and secondary markets.
Mar 27, 2019
Revolve's Raissa Gerona: We're in the early years of influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is far from a new concept. Online fashion and beauty retailer Revolve has spent nearly a decade building a massive influencer marketing program, eventually creating an in-house team dedicated to influencer strategy. For Raissa Gerona, Revolve's chief brand officer, it's exciting that the rest of the retail world is beginning to catch up. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Gerona live at Shoptalk 2019 to discuss how Revolve built its brand through influencers, why Snapchat isn't for the company and what untapped potential remains in the influencer marketing space.
Mar 22, 2019
[TREND WATCH] SNS's Wil Whitney: The hype bubble is going to burst
As any sneakerhead or streetwear fanatic will tell you, the drop model is part of the fabric of the streetwear retail industry. The drop model, which is shorthand for a brand releasing a limited amount of highly sought-after product all at once, developed out of the fact that some retailers simply couldn't afford to produce massive quantities of product. Fans began to scheme to grab the latest and greatest styles before they were no longer on the shelves. The retail strategy has since been introduced to the mainstream consumer, adopted by major brands including Gucci, Nike and Louis Vuitton. But as these drops continue to hit the mainstream market, some retailers are starting to fear that consumers are growing weary of the never-ending chase for ultra-hyped products. Others are making the shift to an online drop model to avoid the hazards that can come with having lines of hundreds of people outside their stores. In episode two of Glossy Trend Watch: Streetwear Edition, Danny Parisi si…
Mar 20, 2019
Lively's Michelle Cordeiro Grant: Women deserve more lingerie options
When Michelle Cordeiro Grant founded Lively in 2015, she wanted to create a lingerie brand that fit into the lifestyle of the modern woman. In combining design aspects of traditional lingerie, swimwear and athleisure, Cordeiro Grant said Lively has created a new category altogether, which her team refers to as 'leisurée'. Since the company's launch, it has built a massive ambassador program, launched a podcast and started experimenting with physical retail. Cordeiro Grant said the company's move into retail is still in its beta phase, and her team is constantly learning and evolving its retail strategy. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Michelle Cordeiro Grant, the founder and CEO of Lively, at Shoptalk 2019. They discuss how to break into a crowded market, how Lively's social media channels have become a major part of its content strategy and where traditional retailers have gone wrong.
Mar 15, 2019
[TREND WATCH] Greats' Ryan Babenzien: 'Streetwear doesn't exist anymore'
Ryan Babenzien, the founder and CEO of Greats, has a long history with sneakers and streetwear. When he was growing up, streetwear was a type of fashion that celebrated the rebellious spirit of 1980s youth; it pulled inspiration from luxury brands and flipped them into styles the majority could afford. Nowadays, streetwear has moved up and onto major runways, and for Babenzien, it has morphed into something that can no longer be defined by the same term. On the first episode of our limited series, Glossy Trend Watch: Streetwear Edition, fashion reporter Danny Parisi sits down with Babenzien to to discuss the evolution of streetwear, including the reason he believes it's now dead.
Mar 13, 2019
Anine Bing's Annika Meller: Paid promotion is a slippery slope
When Anine Bing decided to turn her successful fashion blog and social media presence into a brand, Annika Meller was there. In the early days of the influencer's fashion brand, Meller helped Bing with everything from stuffing boxes to fulfilling orders, as they worked to build the company from the ground-up. In the years that followed, Anine Bing continued to grow its following and its business. The brand now has 10 stores, with four more on the way, and is experimenting with social and traditional marketing. The hope is that one day, the brand will be everywhere its customers are. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Annika Meller, COO and co-founder of Anine Bing, to discuss what it was like to build a brand on Instagram in 2012, why paid promotions can be dangerous and why investing in more traditional marketing channels like billboards and magazines makes sense.
Mar 6, 2019
Untuckit's Aaron Sanandres: 'A modern retail strategy includes physical retail'
For most digitally-native brands, a retail concept is nothing more than a pop-up shop in a major city, but for Untuckit's co-founder and CEO Aaron Sanandres, a modern retail strategy demands a permanent physical footprint. Untuckit now boasts 50 retail doors across the United States and Canada. For Sanandres, it is vital to meet the consumers where they are. That's why you can also find an Untuckit shop on Amazon, which operates more like an outlet and is used to sell products that are from seasons past. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Sanandres live at the NRF Big Show to discuss how customer data is being used to improve in-store experiences, what his approach is to selling on Amazon and why retailers need a physical footprint.
Feb 27, 2019
Knix’s Joanna Griffiths: Selling through retailers is doing customers a disservice
When Joanna Griffiths launched her brand in 2013, she wanted to reinvent intimates. Knix, Griffiths’ brand of functional intimates, was built on the premise that women of all shapes and sizes deserve to be catered to. But while selling the brand through wholesale retailers, Griffiths found the industry didn’t quite share her vision. Stores refused to carry the brand’s extended size range, and Griffiths felt that buyers were more interested in filling a hole on their floor than representing the brand. On this week’s episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Knix founder and CEO Joanna Griffiths, live at NRF 2019, to talk about how making the switch to direct-to-consumer empowered Knix to create more products on its own terms, how the change affected the brand’s marketing strategy and how the company is approaching physical retail.
Feb 20, 2019
Vrai and Oro's Vanessa Stofenmacher: 'Modern luxury is much more inclusive'
Disrupting an industry as long-standing as fine jewelry is a tall order for any company. Vrai & Oro, a 5-year-old, DTC company promising fine jewelry with a side of transparency and sustainability, is attempting to do just that. In the years since it's launch, Vrai & Oro has been on a mission to modernize fine jewelry through product transparency and sustainably growing its diamonds. The goal, Stofenmacher said, is to de-stigmatize the process of purchasing diamonds and to empower more people to be a part of the conversation. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Stofenmacher to discuss how Vrai & Oro makes the complex subject of diamonds easy for customers to understand, how the company has reimagined manufacturing systems and how Stofenmacher balances data and intuition when making business decisions.
Feb 12, 2019
ThredUp's Anthony Marino: 'We're trying to create a business that makes money and does good'
As Marie Kondo has everyone rooting through their closets for the items that spark joy and consumers are becoming more conscious of sustainable buying practices, resellers like ThredUp are hitting their stride. The online secondhand marketplace is based on a model that serves both suppliers and customers: Suppliers are able to send in their items free of cost and get paid for them, while buyers have access to an inventory that is always growing and changing, with products listed for significantly less than traditional retail. "I don't want to make it sound like we're bleeding heart activists, because we have to run a profitable business, too," said Marino. "So we're trying to create the ultimate business, which is one that makes money and does good at the same time." On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with ThredUp president Anthony Marino to talk about what's unique about the online resale market, how the company manages its massive and ever-changing…
Feb 6, 2019
Cuyana's Karla Gallardo: 'The north star for us has always been to build a true, profitable brand'
When Karla Gallardo co-founded Cuyana back in 2011, she was driven by 2 things: a true love for fashion and a desire to impact the bottom line in a real way. In the years since it's launch, Cuyana appears to be one of the few direct-to-consumer brands that has real staying power. Gallardo credits a lot of this success to the fact that the brand has scaled steadily and remained profitable. Now, with a $30 million round of funding under their belts, Cuyana is on track to ramp up its growth efforts in the US. According to Gallardo, this cash injection means that they get to do more of what they already do really well. This means growing their retail footprint with both permanent and pop-up stores, expanding customer acquisition efforts and continuing to produce high-quality product. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Cuyana co-founder and CEO, Karla Gallardo, to talk about their newest round of funding, building a billion dollar brand and why their…
Jan 30, 2019
Shoe designer Sarah Flint on going direct-to-consumer: 'I'm controlling my own destiny'
In 2013, Sarah Flint launched her luxury footwear brand in high-end retailers like Bloomingdale's, Barneys and Shopbop.com. Over the years, the brand grew steadily and earned influential fans including Meghan Markle, but Flint felt something was missing: She wasn't able to create a meaningful, direct connection with her customers, she was designing close to 200 products a year and the margins were always slim. So at the end of 2017, Flint cancelled all orders from department stores, pulling out of them completely, cut her prices in half and became a direct-to-consumer brand. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with luxury footwear designer, Sarah Flint, to talk about making the shift from wholesale to DTC, establishing relationships with customers and getting set to scale her brand.
Jan 23, 2019
Carbon38’s Katie Warner Johnson: ‘We’ve rebranded the idea of what a retailer is’
In 2007, Katie Warner Johnson was a ballerina–turned Wall Street analyst–turned fitness instructor. It was in her fitness classes that she discovered a very specific type of woman: a hard-working, high-powered woman who takes her appearance seriously, but doesn’t have the time to really concern herself with it — and she fell in love with her. So Warner Johnson and a few of her friends came together and decided to find a way to connect with this woman. From selling bundled classes to creating a Pinterest account dedicated to fitness to launching a competitor for the app Mindbody, they tried a lot of things that didn’t work. Finally they ended up with the first iteration of Carbon38: a content-driven site where they would interview a celebrity or influencer about their wellness routine and what was in their gym bag, and then make those products available to sale. Eventually, Warner Johnson started to notice a pattern in the activewear being sold on the site. The industry was do…
Jan 16, 2019
Digital Brands Group co-founder Mark Lynn: 'Scale heals a lot of wounds in the DTC space'
Mark Lynn knows what it takes to build direct-to-consumer brands. After launching two successful DTC brands -- Winc Wines and DSTLD -- Lynn made the decision to stop building brands and start bringing them together. So in 2017, he co-founded Digital Brands Group in an effort to both bring promising brands to the consumer and help growing companies to scale. Currently, there are two brands under the Digital Brands Group umbrella -- DSTLD, best known for denim. and suiting brand Ace Studios. Lynn said a few acquisitions will likely be necessary before the group can really spread its wings. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down Mark Lynn, Digital Media Group's co-founder and chairman, to talk about the complexities of the DTC ecosystem, the choice to take DSTLD public and the next steps for his growing group.
Jan 9, 2019
Allbirds' Tim Brown: 'It's about making better things, in a better way.'
In an industry like footwear, which from the outside appears to be ever-changing, how much has actually changed? During his career as a professional soccer player in New Zealand, Tim Brown began to ask himself this same question. Brown set out on a mission to create the simplicity that he couldn't find in footwear anywhere else. What he found was an industry stuck in its ways, followed by a serious sustainability problem. So he saw the opportunity to develop new materials, and a new approach to creating and selling shoes, to address both an aesthetic and an environmental need with his own brand, Allbirds. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes talks to Allbirds co-founder, Tim Brown, about the growing a DTC brand, the constant need to innovate and why, when it comes to sustainability, we're all in this together.
Jan 2, 2019
Aether's Palmer West: 'The wholesale business is not great for a brand'
When Palmer West first became a father, he wasn't quite ready to give up his love for motorcycling. But when he went looking for the proper protective gear, he was greeted by an entire market of products that weren't necessarily suited for a metropolitan lifestyle like his. It was from this 'aesthetic void' that Aether was born. West felt like consumers shouldn't have to choose between fashion and functionality, so he and his business partner Jonah Smith, set out to find middle ground. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with West, Aether co-founder, to discuss the need for fashionable technical wear, how wholesale failed them and why they're considering going back.
Dec 18, 2018
Influencers, acquisitions and the rise of DTC: The best of The Glossy Podcast in 2018
This year on The Glossy Podcast, we covered the biggest trends in fashion business. Voices from across the industry -- from influencers to founders to CEOs -- discussed navigating an industry that is changing more rapidly than ever before. Some major themes of the year included the rise of the direct-to-consumer model, the impact of social media and influencer marketing, and the ripple effect of Amazon. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, we take a look at some of our top episodes of 2018 through clips featuring guests including Madewell's Libby Wadle, Glossier's Henry Davis and influencer Blair Eadie.
Dec 11, 2018
Knot Standard's John Ballay: 'We're taking all of our digital efforts and driving customers into a physical location'
In the early 2010s, John Ballay saw that there was something missing in menswear. At the time he was working in finance in Dubai, and had developed a passion for well-tailored suits. As the retail pivot to DTC was picking up steam, he wanted to find a way to make bespoke clothing more accessible to the average man. So Ballay and Mueller decided to create the first brand that would bring the magic of made-to-order clothing right to their customers' doorsteps. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Knot Standard co-founder and CEO, John Ballay, to discuss the evolution of menswear, creating custom-made products for every consumer, and how a brand with no inventory works with retailers.
Dec 4, 2018
Kate Spade CMO Mary Renner Beech: 'We are data-informed, not data-led'
In the nearly six years since she joined Kate Spade, Mary Renner Beech, the brand's CMO, has seen a lot of change. From a major acquisition by Tapestry, to the entrance of new creative director Nicola Glass, to the loss of the brand's founder, Kate Spade has been making a lot of headlines in recent years. But, according to Beech, these changes have only strengthened the brand and its promise of optimistic femininity. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes catches up with Mary Renner Beech to discuss how Kate Spade is empowering women across the globe, relying on a combination of data and gut instinct, and continuing to evolve with consumers without straying from the brand's heritage. Below are excerpts from the episode, edited for clarity.
Nov 27, 2018
Greats' Ryan Babenzien: 'Direct-to-consumer is the only way to launch a brand'
When Ryan Babenzien decided to launch his own sneaker company in 2014, the direct-to-consumer brand boom was in full swing. He saw it as an opportunity to develop a brand that struck a balance between traditional and digitally-native retail. In this week's episode of the Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Babenzien to discuss how he's growing a brand that embraces DTC and traditional retail, balances quality and cost, and serves casual and fashion-forward dressers alike.
Nov 19, 2018
Etsy's Raina Moskowitz: 'We're investing in our sellers' success'
In an age where e-commerce is moving faster than ever, Etsy is working hard to keep up the pace. By bringing together entrepreneurs from all over the world, Etsy has amassed an online marketplace of over 50 million artisanal products. This network of small businesses has its challenges, like consistency in shipping and customer experience, but they are all part of what Raina Moskowitz, Etsy's svp of people, strategy and services, believes makes their platform a stand out. On this week's episode of the Glossy Podcast, Moskowitz discusses Etsy's investment in its sellers, how they're using marketing to drive consumers, and why she believes Etsy is still in early days.
Nov 15, 2018
The Glossy Beauty Podcast: Revlon's Linda Wells
Since former Allure editor in chief Linda Wells landed at Revlon as chief creative officer in February 2017, she has had a busy last 21 months. Not only has she renovated all of the consumer touchpoints, like packaging and the digital and social presences of the heritage company’s portfolio of brands, such as Elizabeth Arden, Almay and Revlon, she also launched Flesh Beauty. In this week’s episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast, Wells discussed how the industry has become “unrecognizable” because of social media, the shift in power in beauty and how incubation is the future for big beauty companies.
Nov 13, 2018
Krewe's Stirling Barrett: 'We had to create a lot of our own opportunities'
At twenty-three years old, Stirling Barrett found himself sitting on the stoop of his newly purchased home, located just outside of the French Quarter of New Orleans. He had earned a degree in fine arts, won a few notable best in show titles, and knew he needed to make an investment into his future. Shortly after, he founded Krewe. In this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, founder and creative director, Stirling Barrett, talks about how Krewe got its credibility in the market, why mobile retail was key in brick and mortar expansion and why New Orleans really is the best place to build your business.
Nov 12, 2018
Kora Organics founder Miranda Kerr: ‘The clean movement is a double-edged sword’
In our inaugural episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast Kerr discussed how she made the move from a model to a CEO, why she only recently decided to scale Kora Organics internationally, and what it means to have integrity as the beauty and wellness industries become more intertwined.
Nov 6, 2018
Lilly Pulitzer's Michelle Kelly: 'The customers are in charge'
When she first joined Lilly Pulitzer over a decade ago, Michelle Kelly was a huge fan of the brand and in search of the best way to get to know the fashion industry. Her mentors suggested she get her start in sales, which Kelly said taught her one of the most important lessons of her career. Now, as President and CEP, Kelly never forgets what she learned in those first few years-- the customers are in charge. In this episode of The Glossy Podcast, Kelly discusses what it’s like to have a truly loyal following, how Lilly Pulitzer approaches capsule collections and how influencer marketing is a natural extension of the brand.
Nov 2, 2018
Special Announcement: Introducing The Glossy Beauty Podcast
We are thrilled to introduce you to our newest podcast, The Glossy Beauty Podcast! Our show where we cover the beauty and wellness trends of today, and what will show up on your feeds tomorrow, with the people who know them best. Tune in to our premiere episode on Thursday, November 8th, with international supermodel and founder and CEO of Kora Organics, Miranda Kerr. Make sure to like and subscribe to The Glossy Beauty Podcast today!
Oct 30, 2018
Wilhelmina Models CEO Bill Wackermann: 'Brands today are looking for a fuller picture, it's not just about the pretty face'
Since Bill Wackermann joined Wilhelmina Models as CEO in early 2016, his mission has been to bring the company into the 21st century, while remaining true to its original philosophy: Flawed beauty is the most beautiful. Today, being a model is about so much more than taking a good picture; it's about being a real, interesting person, Wackermann said. People, and brands, are demanding authenticity. In this week's episode of the Glossy Podcast, Wackermann discusses why Instagram followers should be more about quality than quantity, how consumer demand is shaping the industry and why his company has turned its focus to Snapchat.
Oct 24, 2018
Reformation's Yael Aflalo: 'Sustainability is about people, profits and environment'
A lot has changed for Reformation since its 2009 Los Angeles launch, but one thing that has remained constant is founder Yael Aflalo's dedication to sustainability. From the fabrics used in products to the employees in the manufacturing plants, Aflalo has set high standards for her brand and is working to ensure they're met. In this week's episode of the Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sat down with Aflalo to discuss what investment is needed to be a sustainable brand, why Reformation's retail experience is unique and why she doesn't use data to manipulate customers.
Oct 16, 2018
Influencer Blair Eadie: 'Brands are trying to become more like people, and people are trying to become brands'
Back in 2010, Eadie was working in the merchandising department at Gap Inc. in San Francisco when she noticed the industry was no longer leaning to runways for inspiration -- instead, it was turning to the streets. That was when she decided to start her daily fashion blog, Atlantic Pacific. She soon realized what she had created could become a viable business, and she never looked back. Now with 1.1 million followers on Instagram and a soon-to-be-released line with Nordstrom's private label Halogen, Eadie is determined to show that the influencers are here to stay. For this week's episode of the Glossy Podcast, Blair Eadie sat down with Hilary Milnes to discuss her early blogging days, her approach to brand partnerships and her recent collaboration with Nordstrom. Below are excerpts from the talk, edited for clarity.
Oct 9, 2018
Glossier COO Henry Davis: 'We're not a crowd-sourced brand'
Just five short years ago, Henry Davis was a venture investor in search of his next e-commerce project. At the time, Amazon was beginning its takeover, DTC brands were on the rise and overhauling the supply chain was the newest trend in retail. But Davis was focused on another forward-thinking idea. Then he met Emily Weiss, the creator of the successful beauty-focused platform Into The Gloss, who was ready to take her digital platform into the retail world. Davis and Weiss joined forces, and just a few months later, Glossier was born. Now, as Glossier's COO and president, Davis has helped the brand become one of the most recognizable millennial-focused beauty brands on the market. For this week's episode of the Glossy Podcast, Davis joined Glossy at Advertising Week for a live conversation. Below are excepts from the talk, edited for clarity.
Oct 2, 2018
Jewelry designer and CEO Kendra Scott: 'I wanted to start a brand that really meant something'
Kendra Scott started her jewelry brand with $500 in the middle of a recession, when the world and retail industry were places of great uncertainty. Scott said she managed to turn a seemingly impossible situation into a billion-dollar jewelry business by making sure her brand always remained true to itself. On this week's episode of the Glossy Podcast, Scott joined us to talk about how she built a brand with heart, why it's important to talk directly to the consumer and why a good retail experience will never go out of style.
Sep 25, 2018
PopSugar CRO Geoff Schiller: 'If you focus on making money, you wind up diluting the brand'
For PopSugar CRO Geoff Schiller, the company’s transition from publisher to lifestyle brand has been an exercise in restraint. Schiller joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss what PopSugar has learned about the fashion and beauty retail industries, how the company uses audience data to make decisions and why publishers and retailers need to work together today.
Sep 18, 2018
Vince creative director Caroline Belhumeur: 'You can't buy customer loyalty, you have to build it'
For the accessible luxury brand Vince, creative director Caroline Belhumeur’s background in retail was a boon that saved it from the brink. Glossy interviewed Belhumeur at Vince’s Mercer Street store in Manhattan at the beginning of September during a live recording for Glossy+ members. To be in the room during the next live recording of the Glossy Podcast, become a member at Glossy.co/subscribe, and use the code ‘podcast’ for 20 percent off an annual subscription.
Sep 12, 2018
Rebecca Minkoff: 'When people are inspired by a brand, they'll shop with you'
Rebecca Minkoff wants more designers to share their experiments and their outcomes, even when they’re negative. While the fashion industry tries to come to terms with its ongoing existential crisis, she believes transparency is something that would benefit the overall designer community. Minkoff joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss what's behind her brand's current customer approach, why she doesn’t sell her products on Amazon and what’s going to happen when the dust settles.
Sep 5, 2018
Frame founder Jens Grede: 'The era of a brand dictating a lifestyle is over'
Frame -- which started as a side project for founders Jens Grede and Erik Torstensson while working full time at the agency they started, Wednesday -- is on track to hit $120 million sales in its sixth year. Grede joined the Glossy Podcast to talk about why he doesn’t worry much about distribution strategies, what's behind his brand’s approach to being a lifestyle business and how it places limitations on itself in terms of growth.
Aug 29, 2018
For Days founder Kristy Caylor: 'Fashion is going to embrace the circular economy'
Kristy Caylor’s first fashion brand, Maiyet, is an ethical brand exclusively selling clothing made by self-sustaining artisans from different areas of the world. But, while running the business, she still felt like she wasn’t doing enough to help fashion’s sustainability problem. In May, Caylor launched For Days, a retail company selling T-shirts and other knitwear on a subscription basis. When customers are done with the shirts, they send them back to For Days in exchange for a fresh batch. The company upcycles the used T-shirts to make new ones. Caylor joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss the idea of ownership, For Days’ early days and how sustainability can work in fashion.
Aug 28, 2018
Megababe's Katie Sturino pokes holes in the modern influencer marketing industry
Katie Sturino is no stranger to wielding the attention of an Instagram audience. Her own blog, The 12ish Style, has 211,000 followers on the platform. And with her network of Instagram-famous dogs — Toast (who recently passed away), Muppet, Cheese and Pants — her total Instagram platform is nearing 1 million followers. She joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss how she broke into blogging by posing style solutions for other plus-size women, what mistakes brands make when working with influencers and where she predicts the industry is headed next.
Aug 22, 2018
Margaux co-founder Alexa Buckley: 'The world is too noisy to be all things to all people'
Direct-to-consumer footwear brand Margaux, co-founded by Alexa Buckley and Sarah Pierson, wants to fix fit for women’s shoes. By designating three width options for every size – narrow, medium or wide – and offering a made-to-order approach, the brand is going after customers who have struggled to find comfort in standard-sized footwear. Buckley joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss how the DTC brand playbook is changing, what was behind her brand’s a-ha moment and what it means to be a modern heritage brand.
Aug 22, 2018
Margaux co-founder Alexa Buckley: 'The world is too noisy to be all things to all people'
Direct-to-consumer footwear brand Margaux, co-founded by Alexa Buckley and Sarah Pierson, wants to fix fit for women’s shoes. By designating three width options for every size and offering a made-to-order approach, the brand is going after customers who have struggled to find comfort in standard-sized footwear. Buckley joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss how the DTC brand playbook is changing, what was behind her brand’s a-ha moment and what it means to be a modern heritage brand.
Aug 15, 2018
11 Honore CEO Patrick Herning: 'Sizeism is alive and well in fashion'
11 Honoré founder and CEO Patrick Herning’s biggest priority for the next year: customer acquisition. 11 Honoré is an online multibrand retailer for plus-size designer fashion, which Herning and his business partner Kathryn Retzer founded in 2017 to deliver a luxury e-commerce experience to women sizes 10 to 22. Herning joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss appealing to this customer, giving brands a helping hand and what really holds the industry back from selling plus-size fashion.
Aug 8, 2018
Good American CEO Emma Grede: 'I want to see the plus-size conversation stop'
To hit its next growth stride, denim and apparel brand Good American has to look beyond the passionate followers of famous co-founder Khloé Kardashian. Grede joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss why mainstream sizing is outdated, why she didn’t want to sell only online and how online brands can thrive in a wholesale setting.
Aug 1, 2018
Designer Clare Vivier: 'I've never been intimidated to sell direct-to-consumer'
Clare Vivier’s designer handbag brand, Clare V., was direct-to-consumer before anyone was using the term “direct-to-consumer.” Over the past 10 years, Clare V. has expanded its line of handbags and accessories to include apparel. She joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss evolving as a designer-founder over the past 10 years, marketing in a department store versus Instagram, and keeping up with the pace of the industry.
Jul 25, 2018
Aurate cofounder Bouchra Ezzahraoui: 'We want to be in control at all times'
Direct-to-consumer jewelry brand Aurate isn’t online-only, it’s channel agnostic. The brand, launched in 2014 as an e-commerce site, now has four brick-and-mortar stores and plans to open more on the West Coast this year. While online is still the main channel, for Aurate, the important thing is that no matter where it sells, it stays in control of the transaction. Bouchra Ezzahraoui, cofounder of Aurate, joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss bootstrapping her business, reacting quickly to customer responses and accommodating the way people shop for jewelry today.
Jul 18, 2018
Tradesy founder Tracy DiNunzio: 'Our mission to make resale as efficient as retail, at scale'
Jul 11, 2018
Bluemercury founder Marla Beck: 'What's influencing beauty categories is the Instagram effect'
Bluemercury founder Marla Beck built an anti–department store beauty and skin-care shopping experience 20 years ago. Now, Bluemercury has joined Macy’s to offer its democratizing shopping and spa services to department store customers. Beck joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss how beauty has evolved in the Instagram era, who wins when customers are in charge and how product innovation is changing the industry.
Jun 27, 2018
Madewell's secret sauce
J.Crew Group-owned Madewell is often pegged as the namesake brand’s younger, hipper sister (although president Libby Wadle refutes the notion that Madewell is millennial-geared). As J.Crew scrambles to revitalize stalled sales growth, Madewell’s story couldn’t be more different. Wadle joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss how a brand in the J.Crew umbrella stays nimble, what the brand identity is, and how customer feedback and data feeds into that process.
Jun 20, 2018
The RealReal's Rati Levesque: 'We drive traffic back into luxury stores'
The Real Real, an online marketplace for authentic luxury consignment, is growing and retail stores are their big next step. But over the years, they have also been pitted as a competition to luxury brands and had a difficult relationship with them. Rati Levesque, chief merchant, says she's seeing the dynamic shift as they're starting to drive traffic back into luxury stores. Levesque explores their relationship with brands, similarity to departmental stores and more on this podcast.
Jun 13, 2018
Alice + Olivia's evp of brand marketing Aliza Licht: 'Amazon doesn't need a brand story'
During her time running the DKNY PR Girl Twitter account, Aliza Licht was only asked to delete one tweet. Licht worked on the PR and communications team at DKNY when the company began putting together initial Facebook and Twitter strategies. Social media marketing strategies have only become more complex since then, but the brand-as-relatable-friend voice has held strong. After leaving DKNY, Licht wrote a book titled “Leave Your Mark,” and she currently serves as the evp of brand marketing at Alice + Olivia. She discusses the evolution of authenticity in social media, branding and storytelling, and Amazon vs. wholesale.
Jun 6, 2018
Caraa co-founder Aaron Luo: 'Retail brands should not raise VC funding'
With Caraa, Aaron Luo is looking to prove aesthetic isn't everything. Luo joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss why his brand didn’t raise any VC funding, how he chooses brand partnerships and why he decided to test selling products on Amazon.
May 30, 2018
Eileen Fisher on 34 years in sustainable fashion: 'It's about constantly learning'
When Eileen Fisher started her namesake brand in 1984, it wasn’t the plan from the outset that the label would eventually become synonymous with sustainability in the fashion industry. Her goal was simply to do a better job of making clothing that would outlast everything else in her customers’ closets. The Eileen Fisher approach to sustainability has since evolved to focus on reducing waste through a circular recycling program, a line of “remade” Eileen Fisher items designed from damaged or stained pieces from past collections, and an emphasis on storytelling and education. Now the head of a certified B-Corp organization, Fisher joined the Glossy Podcast to share how the brand’s manufacturing partners, customers and competition have changed.
May 23, 2018
Kirsten Kjaer Weis on the natural-beauty movement: ‘It’s a bit of a jungle right now’
After working as a makeup artist for 25 years, Kirsten Kjaer Weis was tired of rejecting and moving on from different luxury beauty products because the synthetics in them, she believed, caused allergic reactions. She founded her brand, Kjaer Weis, in 2010 on the premise that an all natural beauty brand could also perform like a luxury beauty brand. Kjaer Weis joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss the evolution of the green beauty industry, balancing organic and luxury, and the definition of natural beauty.
May 16, 2018
American Fashion Network CEO Jackie Wilson: 'Amazon's model scares me to death'
Jackie Wilson isn’t known to customers as one of America’s prominent fashion designers, but retailers know her. Her company, the American Fashion Network, is responsible for designing private-label fashion lines for retailers like Kohl’s, Amazon and American Eagle. And she's often the one pushing behind the scenes, convincing retailers to double down on lingerie-style tops, cutouts and fabric trends. Wilson joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss how Zara changed the private-label business, and how Amazon is changing it again. At the core of the shift is speed and, according to her, fashion is only going to keep getting faster.
May 9, 2018
Porter editor-in-chief Lucy Yeomans: 'Content and commerce coming together just makes sense'
Net-a-Porter recently relaunched its editorial content to reflect a new approach: Porter, Net-a-Porter’s print magazine, combined with The Edit, Net-a-Porter’s online blog, for a more cohesive content strategy. In total, Net-a-Porter’s editorial team employs 70 people across print and digital. Whereas before, they were working in siloed teams, Net-a-Porter’s global content director and Porter editor-in-chief Lucy Yeomans said there’s now more collaboration across channels, including around new events and series that reach across both. Yeomans joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss why Net-a-Porter considers content and commerce an integral part of both its marketing and merchandising strategies, how fashion media has evolved and why a cohesive brand voice is so important.
May 2, 2018
Tamara Mellon: 'The future of retail is the end of wholesale'
After Tamara Mellon left Jimmy Choo, the luxury footwear brand she founded in 1996 while in her 20s, she had to figure out again how to establish her positioning in the industry, this time under her own name. It wasn’t a smooth transition. After the first incarnation of the Tamara Mellon brand went bankrupt, she started over following the direct-to-consumer model that customers today are much more familiar with than they were at the start of the decade. Mellon joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss how she started building a brand for the third time, how it sits in the luxury market, and the future of retail business models.
Apr 25, 2018
Why founder Jessica Lee didn't raise any VC funding for Modern Citizen
Jessica Lee was on the M&A team at Gap Inc., scouting for potential young brands appealing to a more modern customer that the corporation could snap up, when she decided to set off on her own and found a new mid-priced women’s fashion brand. Modern Citizen, launched online in 2016, with a trendier take on direct-to-consumer fashion than comparable brands like Everlane, more affordable prices than Reformation and a focus on building a community from scratch. Lee joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss differentiating the company in a crowded market, marketing with a non-existent budget and building the brand's first store.
Apr 18, 2018
Adam Pritzker wants to build a retail alliance
Adam Pritzker, of the Hyatt Hotels family, built Assembled Brands off of the idea that fashion could benefit from the same open-source approach to resources, data and education as the technology industry. Assembled Brands, now six years in, is a holding company for brands including The Line, Khaite, Pop and Suki and more, with the goal of supporting inventory planning, financial modeling, distribution and infrastructure organization for a new retail industry. Pritzker joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss how brands need to adjust to keep up with today’s customers, why there's power in numbers and what type of technology will actually change retail.
Apr 11, 2018
Resonance co-founder Lawrence Lenihan: 'It's the end of the billion-dollar brand'
Lawrence Lenihan is the co-founder and co-CEO of Resonance, a venture operating and holding company for small fashion brands that he started with business partner Joseph Ferrara in 2015. His opinion on fashion feels romanticized, but he hopes to ground it in a viable business model that could change the format through which emerging designers get brands off the ground, and make them profitable. Lenihan joined the Glossy Podcast to talk about how to bring the Zara model down to businesses on the smallest level, how data has interrupted creation and what's to come of the billion-dollar apparel brand.
Apr 4, 2018
Nordstrom's vp of creative projects Olivia Kim: 'Earning trust is how you gain wallet share'
Olivia Kim joined Nordstrom and moved from New York to Seattle in 2013 as the director of creative projects. Now vp of creative projects, she’s in charge of Nordstrom’s pop-up shops, brand collaborations and exclusives with digitally native brands. Essentially, her role boils down to recruiting new customers to Nordstrom by making it more of a destination for fashion inspiration and brands that can’t be easily found elsewhere. On the Glossy Podcast, Kim discussed how she formed her position and, eventually, department, how fashion collaborations have evolved, and what appeals most to customers.
Mar 28, 2018
Ann Mashburn on her namesake brand: 'At the end of the day, your point of view is all you have'
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.
Mar 21, 2018
Athleta CEO Nancy Green: 'We point the arrow toward what's possible for Gap Inc.'
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.
Mar 14, 2018
How Milly CEO Andy Oshrin is reframing the wholesale brand for a direct-to-consumer world
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.
Mar 7, 2018
Deborah Lippmann discusses how to evolve a luxury brand after nearly 20 years
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.
Feb 28, 2018
Stitch Fix CEO Katrina Lake: 'The current shift in customer behavior is permanent'
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.
Feb 21, 2018
Finery co-founder Brooklyn Decker on building the closet of the future
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.
Feb 14, 2018
Rebecca Taylor: 'Runway shows are amazing, and amazingly expensive'
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.
Feb 13, 2018
'We're living history': Neiman Marcus's Ken Downing on the future of fashion week
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.
Feb 12, 2018
Designer Alice McCall makes the case for the runway show
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.
Feb 11, 2018
Slow Factory's Celine Semaan on bringing sustainability to New York Fashion Week
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.
Feb 9, 2018
How talent managers deal with influencers during NYFW
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.
Feb 8, 2018
Designer Audra Noyes discusses why she left the NYFW runway: 'It was too much the priority'
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.
Jan 31, 2018
Bonobos CEO Andy Dunn explains the Walmart acquisition: 'We have a safe and permanent home'
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.
Jan 24, 2018
Designer Mara Hoffman: 'As a creative, standing still will kill you'
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.
Jan 17, 2018
How technology is changing the way Fashion Institute of Technology students design
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 Podcast live from the NRF Big Show this week to discuss the need for technology in the design process, the way schools are adapting to the chang…
Jan 16, 2018
Live from NRF: How Rent the Runway's Unlimited subscription model changed its in-store strategy
Glossy senior reporter Hilary Milnes discuss Rent the Runway's in-store strategy, data and unlimited subscriptions with Hampton Catlin, senior director of engineering at Rent the Runway.
Jan 10, 2018
Influencer Chriselle Lim: 'People who say yes to everything won't do justice for anyone'
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.
Jan 3, 2018
Store No. 8's Katie Finnegan: In fashion, technology is fueling an entirely new business model
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.
Dec 27, 2017
'You can't stand on ceremony': The best moments on the Glossy Podcast in 2017
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.
Dec 20, 2017
Story founder Rachel Shechtman: 'We haven't even seen retail armageddon yet'
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.
Dec 13, 2017
Boll & Branch founder Scott Tannen: 'The more money you have, the sloppier you can be'
Scott Tannen, the founder and CEO of Boll & Branch, has experience on both the brand side and the investor side of the DTC startup world.
Dec 6, 2017
Designer Dan Liu: ‘Fashion is still lacking some major force of change’
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.
Nov 29, 2017
Grana founder Luke Grana: 'Years ago, there was more capital available to DTC brands'
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.
Nov 15, 2017
Stone and Strand founder Nadine McCarthy Kahane: Trying to please everyone is no way to run a business
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.
Nov 8, 2017
Rachel Zoe: Being a designer today means 'navigating the noise'
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.
Nov 1, 2017
AYR co-founder Maggie Winter: For DTC brands, infinite triple-digit growth is a 'fallacy'
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.
Oct 25, 2017
The Dreslyn founder Brooke Taylor Corcia: 'Data needs to be taken with a grain of salt'
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.
Oct 18, 2017
Bando founder Jen Gotch: 'Retail is better when everyone wins'
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 ac…
Oct 11, 2017
Former Amazon manager Elaine Kwon: 'There are a lot of things that are scary to brands about Amazon'
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.
Oct 5, 2017
James LaForce: 'Social media isn't an extension of e-commerce'
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.
Sep 27, 2017
Designer Daniella Kallmeyer: 'The idea of a brand is either going to not exist entirely, or change completely'
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.
Sep 20, 2017
InStyle founding editor Hal Rubenstein: 'If you want to be everything to everybody, you are nothing to nobody'
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.