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The Glossy Podcast
38 minutes | 15 hours ago
Saucony president Anne Cavassa on prepping for the new Roaring Twenties
The team behind 120-year-old Saucony is no stranger to the competition in the running shoe market. But within the last year, as former gym rats took up running and more brands entered the space, they’ve been stepping up their game."The running boom is real,” Anne Cavassa, president of Saucony, said on the latest Glossy Podcast. “So we're making sure that we're connecting and engaging with consumers where they're at -- whether that's around what shoes they need, what their training should look like, what their diet should look like. When it comes to [anything] around the running lifestyle, we've been working on it from a communication perspective and from an inspirational perspective.”At the same time, the brand has continued to roll out innovative launches, including its “most eco-friendly shoe ever,” the Jazz Court RFG sneaker, in March. According to Cavassa, being one of 12 brands under the Wolverine Worldwide umbrella enabled Saucony to be “nimble and agile,” which was required throughout last year. Access to its “back-of-house systems and resources” proved invaluable, as did learnings from fellow WW brands, including Keds and Sperry. “We were able to [compare] what was working and what wasn’t, and … to communicate on how to [best] respond during the crisis,” she said.
27 minutes | 8 days ago
Dr. Harvey Moscot and Zack Moscot on running a global, fifth-generation family business
More than 100-years-old, Moscot's Lower East Side store is decidedly a New York institution. And worldwide, the eyewear company has 15 retail locations. But that's not to suggest that physical retail is the company's sole focus."We started our transition [to go] fully into digital several years ago," Zack Moscot, a fifth-generation Moscot and the company's chief design officer, said on the latest Glossy Podcast. "So when the pandemic hit, we were able to pivot and really step on the gas when we needed to."Along with the company's direct-to-consumer sales channels, it has wholesale distribution in Europe, retail partners in Asia and "selective distribution" through retailers in the U.S. "We partner with those that help tell our story, and understand who and what we are, and don't view us as just another eyewear brand," said Dr. Harvey Moscot, a fourth-generation Moscot (Zack's father) and the company's CEO.The company's history is a key differentiator, said Zack Moscot. "Very few businesses, especially in America, make it to the fifth generation and keep it in the family," he said.And the company is just as selective about where it sets up its own shops."We get offered opportunities in malls. We just never felt like we could really portray ourselves in a mall environment," said Dr. Harvey Moscot. "Where we have the opportunity to select a location that feels right for the brand, that reminds us of the Lower East Side in New York City -- which happened in London, which happened in Amsterdam -- those are the areas that we seek. It's those kind of creative epicenters."
32 minutes | 15 days ago
Arezzo & Co.'s Aleksander Birman: 'The most adaptable' brands will survive
Arezzo & Co. CEO Aleksander Birman is prepared to handle a rough 2021.“The first half of the year will be very challenging,” he said on the latest episode of the Glossy Podcast. “It's not going to be easy. And who is going to survive is not the strongest, but the most adaptable. So we have to be very prepared to adapt.”The company managed just fine in 2020, emerging relatively unscathed though big changes were necessary. Those adjustments, including putting its 6,000 store employees to work as digital sales associates, set it up for a strong start to 2021. Though 80% of its stores are now closed due to pandemic-related restrictions -- they’re largely located in the company’s home base of Brazil, where the vaccine has been much less widely distributed -- it finished March with 70% of the revenue it earned in March of 2019.“That's decent," said Birman. "It’s going to be a gradual rebound."Brazil-based Arezzo & Co. owns six shoe brands and the distribution license for Vans in Brazil. In the fourth quarter of 2019, it expanded its focus to clothing by acquiring apparel group Reserva Group and 75% of online luxury resale platform Troc. Birman discussed the company’s investment strategy, as well as its future plans for physical retail and expansion in the states.
31 minutes | 22 days ago
‘The store of the future’: Chief product officer Jana Henning on Athleta’s rapid retail expansion
Athleta chief product officer Jana Henning described 2020 as both “a blockbuster year” and “a rollercoaster.” The company managed to do $1 billion in sales, even with amid pandemic-driven obstacles.“I credit our success last year to listening to our teams and listening to our customer,” Henning said on the latest episode of the Glossy Podcast. “We really put them at the center of everything we do, and that's been good for business.”Responding to that feedback meant quickly entering new product categories, including sleepwear and masks, and offering more sizes. As of January 2021, Athleta offers sizes 1X-3X in 70% of its styles. The company also leaned into styles that were selling, resulting in a record year for leggings.Henning, who’s been with Gap Inc. since 2010, said Athleta was well positioned going into the pandemic due, in part, to its brand values.“They really resonate with our customers and what's happening in the zeitgeist right now,” she said. “Athleta is a B Corp, we are committed to empowering women and girls to really reach their limitless potential, and we are committed to inclusivity by design -- really thinking about how we can invite as many different women and girls into the brand as possible.”This year, the company plans to open 20-30 stores, and it’s projecting $2 billion in annual sales by 2023.
41 minutes | a month ago
Stoney Clover Lane's Kendall Glazer on recreating an Instagram feed in stores
When sisters Kendall and Libby Glazer launched Stoney Clover Lane in 2009, Kendall was 17 and Libby was 15.“The brand you know today is not the brand that started Stoney Clover Lane,” said Kendall Glazer on the latest episode of the Glossy Podcast. “It started as beaded bracelets. It was a hobby. But we always kind of had this business mindset. We took something that so many other girls were doing and went through the motions of turning it into a business.”Today, Stoney Clover Lane is known for customizable lifestyle accessories, from makeup pouches to duffel bags. It has around 100 employees and is getting set to launch its fifth and sixth stores. Despite travel being put on hold, negating hot sales moments for the brand like spring break, Stoney Clover Lane had a successful 2020, with 200% sales growth.Glazer owed the strong sales, in part, to the brand’s strong community. “They've always been engaged,” said Glazer. “And in the last year, we did more to engage them, with crowdsourcing and just making ourselves more accessible.”Glazer also discussed Stoney Clover Lane’s 2021 plans, including collaborations and its retail expansion.
37 minutes | a month ago
‘Scarcity, exclusivity and storytelling’: Re/Done's Sean Barron on what millennial shoppers want
Re/Done co-founder Sean Barron never set out to launch a sustainable denim brand. “We thought it was a project,” versus a company, he said on the latest episode of the Glossy Podcast. His business partner, Jamie Mazur, “had this idea of taking Levi's apart and making jeans that fit girls,” Barron said. “It took nine months for us to make that work. Then we built a website.” On the brand’s launch date in 2014, after Bella Hadid hyped the brand in an Instagram post, the first pairs of Re/Done denim sold out in 12 minutes at midnight and attracted a 1,200-person waitlist. “Vogue and every kind of media covered it,” said Barron. “It was like, ‘Oh, maybe we have something here.’”Now, Re/Done is the biggest purchaser of vintage Levi's worldwide. To date, it’s upcycled 120,000 pairs of Levi's. The company’s ongoing partnership with Levi’s is key to its success among millennial shoppers, said Barron. “What resonates and [works] to build a community in the millennial space are [styles] with scarcity, exclusivity and storytelling. And those three [characteristics] actually live inside of one pair of Levi's,” said Barrron. “If you have a vintage pair, they're very exclusive. They're one of one. And they're scarce because there's not an infinite amount. And each jean really tells a story. Maybe a trucker bought it and then he gave it to his girlfriend, and she gave it to Goodwill. There are all these storytelling moments that, even if you don't know them, you know they exist.”Barron also discussed Re/Done's growing direct-to-consumer business, its "big" physical retail plans and its three-part collaboration strategy.
46 minutes | a month ago
‘We’ve implemented reverse morality clauses’: Influencer Patrick Janelle on how 2020 changed brand partnerships
Despite having 400,000-plus followers on Instagram, Patrick Janelle (@aguynamedpatrick) doesn’t call himself an influencer. “I've never fully identified with the term, because it means a lot of things, and influence itself could mean a lot of things. And the way by which people influence others can come about in many different ways,” Janelle said on the Glossy Podcast. “So using the term strictly to define somebody who has a large social media following never felt totally apt to me.”Instead, he’ll use “content creator” or “lifestyle Instagrammer.” The latter is fitting, considering Janelle’s wide range of partners, which include fashion brands, liquor brands and airline companies, to name a few. Recent posts marked "#ad" feature Club Monaco and Ferragamo. In late 2014, Janelle started growing his Instagram following, which is now equally split between men and women, usually in the “upper millennial” age bracket. In January of 2020, he launched his own influencer agency, Untitled Secret, to provide other creatives with the type of “creative business opportunities” that his manager had given him, he said. Among talent he’s signed to date are fashion influencer Rocky Barnes (2.1 million Instagram followers) and "skinfluencer" Sean Garrette (79,000). In October, he was named chairman of the American Influencer Council, which is focused on sustaining the integrity and viability of the influencer marketing industry.According to Janelle, 2020 spawned new opportunities for him and all influencers. “There's no better place to be than in this space, when it comes to being able to activate the marketing dollars and opportunities that actually do exist,” he said. “While it's been very challenging and really difficult, the growth that we've seen as an industry has actually been quite significant.”
44 minutes | 2 months ago
La DoubleJ founder JJ Martin: ‘It’s time to rethink the entire retail experience’
J.J. Martin, founder and creative director of Milan-based fashion and home goods brand La DoubleJ, didn’t take the traditional path to launching her company. And now, six years in, she’s determined to run it her own way. “I started this company selling vintage clothing and vintage jewelry online,” she said on the Glossy Podcast. Prior, she had spent 15 years as a journalist, writing for publications including Harper's Bazaar, the Wall Street Journal and Wallpaper Magazine. “At the time, Italy was really starting to feel the crunch from Asia and the competition there. A lot of [Italian] factories were closing, mills were closing, and it kind of became my pursuit to sort of cheerlead for Milan, cheerlead for Italians. So we started doing a lot of co-branding [with suppliers] -- for example, working with a 120-year-old silk factory [to make styles] and then calling [the factory] out on little hang tags.”Since, the results have proven popular -- even during the pandemic. According to Martin, La DoubleJ saw record sales on its site in January, and in the last year, its e-commerce sales have grown “by leaps and bounds.”La DoubleJ has yet to invest in its own physical stores, but it has linked with select wholesale partners. They don’t include “generic, bigger stores” with outdated approaches to marketing brands, Martin said.“[Those retailers] are just like, ‘We’re going to have a cocktail party in our store to drive people to the sales floor. But, who wants to go into a store for a cocktail party? Nobody wants to do that; that is very 1999. It is time to rethink the entire retail experience.”Martin discussed her own approach to marketing, which is more personal and, uniquely for a fashion brand, promotes mental health.
37 minutes | 2 months ago
Sarah Flint and CEO Mary Beech: ‘2020 was the year we built the foundation to really scale’
According to NPD, sales of high heels were down more than 70% in 2020. But Sarah Flint was an exception to the rule. “Heels are pumps were still our top-selling category,” said Sarah Flint, founder and creative director of her namesake brand, on the latest Glossy Podcast. “There is not a real explanation for that, other than maybe women buy with their hearts more than their heads sometimes.”Even so, the brand rounded out its products in 2020 with more pandemic-friendly categories, including silk scarves, stationary and house shoes. In March, it also grew its executive team, with the appointment of Mary Beech, formerly CMO of Kate Spade. “As we scaled, while I was great with the big ideas and being scrappy, there were really a lot of processes that needed to be put into place -- not my strong suit,” Flint said, of the hire.As for Beech, “I was looking for a brand that was responding to all the changes in consumer behavior that I was seeing," she said. "Honestly, I thought that meant leaving fashion. And then I met Sarah, who looks at where the hockey puck is going. She definitely is always questioning the status quo… I've been at some of the best lifestyle brands out there, and I saw that Sarah has what it takes to be the next great American lifestyle brand. So I thought, 'I have to be there, small or not.'"
24 minutes | 2 months ago
Drest founder Lucy Yeomans: 'There's been a massive shift in how luxury brands speak to consumers'
Because Drest is centered on bringing together notoriously slow-to-evolve luxury fashion brands and innovative gaming technology, it would seem that founder and co-CEO Lucy Yeomans has her work cut out for her.But with more than 20 years of experience working with luxury fashion brands, she knows how to speak their language.“I thought it was going to be much, much tougher than it was [to get brands to sign on to the platform],” Yeomans said on the Glossy Podcast. Among clinchers was the high level of engagement among Drest users -- spending 17 minutes to create a look on the app is normal, she said. Drest’s elevated look and feel were also factors.“[Brands] understood that the environment we created was completely luxurious and respected, that [it followed] all the codes of luxury, and that it was an amazing place to talk about their DNA in a very, very different way,” she said.Formerly editor-in-chief of Porter magazine and British Harper's Bazaar, Yeomans has also had to get acclimated to the fast-paced gaming world since launching Drest in October 2019: “I'm used to being somewhere where you develop an app and you move on, and you come back to it maybe three years later,” she said. “In gaming, we are changing the product every two weeks.”She also discussed Drest’s expansion to beauty and fine jewelry, and shopping’s omnichannel future.
39 minutes | 2 months ago
M.M.LaFleur CEO Sarah LaFleur: 'We have this opportunity to rewrite the rules' of workwear
Workwear was different when CEO Sarah LaFleur launched M.M.LaFleur, her fashion brand targeting working women.“Dresses were the majority of our business [in 2013],” she said on the Glossy Podcast. “We didn’t even have pants until 2016.” But now that working from home has become the norm, the brand has fully embraced casual wear. “The Power Casual category [that includes joggers, hoodies and tees] was probably 15-20% of our business going into 2020. But Covid hit, and -- boom. It's now over 50%,” she said. Tackling change is a growing trend for the brand. In late February, it will introduce M.M. Second Act, a peer-to-peer resale program that’s been on the backburner for years. “I always saw M.M.'s purpose in the clothing world as being not just about selling, but also about showing women how to wear it. And actually teaching women how to take care of their clothing. The final piece in clothing's journey is retiring that piece, if you're not wearing it,” said LaFleur. “It wasn't until recently, when the technology really caught up with this brand value, that we've been able to lean into [resale].”LaFleur also discussed how Slack is fueling the brand's community and why now is the time to redefine the workwear dress code.
37 minutes | 3 months ago
Rails founder Jeff Abrams on 'cautiously moving forward' with physical retail expansion
When Jeff Abrams launched L.A.-based fashion brand Rails in 2008, he couldn’t have predicted the demand for comfortable clothes in 2020. The cashmere-like shirts that the line started with is now driving exceptional sales for the company.“We actually grew over the course of this year,” Abrams said on the Glossy Podcast. To date, Rails has generated over $500 million in retail sales and increased topline revenue and profitability every year since launch. “When Covid came around, we were top-of-mind for people; we [provided] a natural transition into the changing fashion environment.”Though sales of women’s button-downs drove nearly 100% of the business in its first 5-6 years, Rails has since slowly expanded to other categories that can serve as the “top-half” of denim, like T-shirts and “cozy” sweaters, said Abrams. More recently, it’s also introduced bottoms and dresses. It launched a men’s line in 2017.“It’s now very much a full lifestyle collection,” he said, noting that a denim line is set to launch in the fall.Abrams also discussed the brand’s expansion via international markets and physical retail.
34 minutes | 3 months ago
LVMH head of corporate responsibility Karin Raguin: 2020 was a 'tipping point' for brand transparency
Managing corporate responsibility for a global company with 160,000 employees can’t be easy, especially in 2021. But Karin Raguin, vp of talent management and corporate responsibility at LVMH North America, is rising to the challenge.“All of the past year has been about people and safety, and well-being … and values … and how we enable people to shape their professional paths in a very meaningful way,” said Raguin, on the Glossy Podcast. “My job has not changed over the past year, but it has been accelerated.” Raguin, who worked as a social worker before joining LVMH in 2007, said that 2020 marked a tipping point for LVMH, in terms of transparency. That was largely driven by the widespread social unrest following the killing of George Floyd. “There was an expectation [among] our employees and our customers for [us to provide] more direct communication about what we were doing. So, we were louder [about] our diversity and inclusion actions.” Other accelerations included ramping up efforts to ensure employees’ mental health.
40 minutes | 3 months ago
'Skipped a few steps': Erin and Sara Foster on leaning into their fashion opportunity
Erin and Sara Foster are used to being described as writers, producers, actors, entrepreneurs, maybe influencers -- but “fashion brand founders” is a new one. “I think it’s a combination of imposter syndrome and of, like, ‘Wait, pinch me, we have a fashion brand,’” said Sara Foster, upon being caught off-guard by her Glossy Podcast introduction. After a successful collaboration with Joe’s Jeans in 2020, the sisters launched their apparel brand, Favorite Daughter, through Joe’s founder Centric Brands on December 1. They’re now focused on taking it to the next level, starting with reaching shoppers beyond their Instagram follower base (which, combined, tops 1 million). “Right now, people are buying Favorite Daughter because of us. But we don't want that to continue for the long term,” said Erin Foster. “We want people to find Favorite Daughter and like it because they just like it -- and maybe they know that we're behind it, and maybe they don't.” After launching with a focus on women’s ready-to-wear and DTC online sales, the founders have been busy with expansion plans. They’re currently considering brand collaborations in the footwear and jewelry categories, as well as eying the kids’ clothing space and scouting locations for potential stores. “We know that we have to find ways to separate ourselves in this totally oversaturated market,” said Sara Foster.Along with strategies for differentiating, the founders also discussed their “privileged” path in fashion and the lessons they’ve learned from fellow female leaders.
28 minutes | 3 months ago
'A really nice pause': Monrow's founders on lessons learned in their break from wholesale
In 2007, Michelle Wenke and Megan George set out to create the anti-Juicy Couture.“We wanted to be able to wear sweatsuits that catered to people like us, where they weren't so loud and bubble-gummy,’” Wenke said on the latest Glossy Podcast. “We wanted them to look a little more like streamlined and low-key, and not just [be about] hot colors and graphics and bedazzled everywhere. We were a lot younger, so we didn't really have this grandiose plan. We just were like, ‘Let's try it out.”In the 13 years since, their L.A.-based loungewear brand Monrow has been sold by more than 500 boutiques and department stores, including Neiman Marcus and Shopbop, and worn by celebrities from Oprah to Gwyneth Paltrow. Wenke and George discussed how they’ve self-funded Monrow, how they’ve differentiated in the newly crowded sweats market and how they’ve accommodated their new e-commerce shoppers, which grew from 30% of their customer base to 50% during the pandemic.
36 minutes | 4 months ago
'People were stressed': Coco and Breezy on fashion’s scramble to embrace diversity
Corianna and Brianna Dotson, better known as Coco and Breezy, have been playing by their own rules since launching the Coco & Breezy eyewear brand in 2009. “It was challenging for us when we first started [in the fashion industry] -- with nothing, like less than $1,000. We didn't go to college, and we had never been in a professional business setting. We say that we have our master's degree in trial and error,” Breezy said on the Glossy Podcast. Since, the sisters have grown the brand -- which counts celebrity fans including Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj -- as well as careers as influencers, DJs and producers. In 2020, they collaborated with eyewear brand Zenni on a kids’ line and, in October, they were one of seven companies to be accepted into VC firm Andreessen Horowitz’Talent x Opportunity brand accelerator. The program grants them investment dollars, training and access to top mentors. “It's definitely a confidence builder,” said Coco, of participating in the program. “And we're learning so much.”In addition to career challenges and recent opportunities, Coco and Breezy discussed their DTC-wholesale balance, their TikTok plans and their rule to “be intentional” in the projects they undertake across the board.
39 minutes | 4 months ago
'Incredible growth': Duer co-founder Gary Lenett on opening stores mid-pandemic
Many of the fashion retailers who had plans to open brick-and-mortar stores in 2020 wish they could take it all back. Not so, for Duer co-founder Gary Lenett."We just feel very, very fortunate to be in the position we are, given where most of the world is that," Lenett said on the Glossy Podcast. The activewear brand is cash flow positive, and plans to launch new product categories and 4-8 new stores in 2021. Beyond that, Lenett said, the company wants a foothold in the Asian market.The Canadian company was founded in 2013 and launched its first product on Kickstarter, a model that Lenett argues is inherently more sustainable. "You're not creating a bunch of inventory and then trying to create demand; you're gauging demand and then building the inventory to the demand."Duer was "basically doubling" its sales "every year for the last five years," according to Lenett, and it's ending 2020 with a 30% bump compared to last. It's now selling in 52 countries.The company made inroads with men's products that are both suitable for exercise and fit the part in an office setting. While first pitching his products, Lenett said, "my barriers were these retail buyers who kept saying to me, 'No, we don't want to do light and stretchy. That's not masculine.' And I'm going, 'No, I'm wearing it! It's actually a superior product.'"
34 minutes | 4 months ago
'Power has transitioned': Axel Arigato's founders on the importance of listening to customers
Axel Arigato co-founders Albin Johansson and Max Svärdh have worked from the bottom-up, in the literal sense."The footwear market -- that's where we saw the gap," Svärdh said on the Glossy Podcast."How can a shoe cost this much? We couldn't understand that," Johansson added.But like many companies that start out with just one kind of product, shoes were just the entry point into a broader slate of products, which now include head-to-toe clothing items and a range of accessories. "This is where we'll create, hopefully, some brand awareness, and then we'll explore with other categories," Svärdh said about the founders' reasoning when launching the brand in 2014.Despite an ongoing pandemic, the Swedish company has opened two new stores in Germany in recent weeks, and has one in Dubai planned for the first quarter of 2021.Last month, private equity firm Eurazeo took a majority stake in the company, to the tune of a $66.1 million (56 million euro) investment.The United States is one massive market it could turn to next. Online sales from the U.S. make up close to 10% of the brand's digital total, Svärdh estimated.
35 minutes | 4 months ago
Tamara Mellon's co-founders on why the fashion industry has been 'eaten by digital'
Luxury shoe brand Tamara Mellon opened a store in Soho a month before lockdown. "Great timing," company CEO Jill Layfield joked on the Glossy Podcast.But one effort that's stood the test of time better than a brick-and-mortar shop is the company's truck: a shoe closet on wheels that greets customers at the Covid-conscious rate of one at a time. The 24-foot "TM Closet" has made stops in more than a dozen cities across the country.Tamara Mellon launched in 2016 as what Layfield describes as the only "true luxury designer footwear brand that's direct to-consumer," Since then, after a Series C last year, it has raised $87 million.DTC now accounts for an outsized portion of its revenue. Co-founder and namesake Tamara Mellon said the fashion industry, as a whole, has been overdue for a shakeup."As Marc Andreessen said, 'Every business will eventually be eaten by digital,'" Mellon said. "I felt like the business model needed to change, and the way people talked and spoke to their customers needed to change. So that's how we came up with doing direct-to-consumer."
35 minutes | 5 months ago
Alice + Olivia CEO Stacey Bendet on #ShareTheMicNow, 'the most emotional' project of her career
Running a fashion company is work enough, but Alice + Olivia CEO Stacey Bendet has also made 2020 a year of initiatives that serve -- and push -- the entire industry.In May, the Glossy 50 honoree rolled out Creatively, a job platform and networking app for creatives. "This is our gift to the Covid world," Bendet said on the Glossy Podcast."It will always be free to creatives, because it's built for creatives," she said. But it will eventually be monetized by charging those posting jobs on the platform.In June, Bendet also co-created #ShareTheMicNow, starting by handing over her Instagram account (which has, at last check, 1 million followers) to a less represented voice for a day."Like, 'I trust you, here's my password, here's my account, you speak your voice. Let us listen,'" Bendet said.Kourtney Kardashian, Gwyneth Paltrow and Diane von Furstenberg participated, as did dozens of prominent women who replicated the initiative in the U.K. in October, tthe country's Black History month.
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