The Glossy Podcast is a weekly show on the impact of technology on the fashion and luxury industries with the people making change happen.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
'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.
'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 its production more sustainable.
"We all want [more sustainability]," Mattiussi said. "I just want to look at my face in the mirror every day when I wake up in a few years and say we've been part of it."
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- Cassandra McClure
Clean Beauty Podcast
This is not a beauty business podcast. Period.
Please stop supporting predators. Arielle charnas took COVID bailout money she didn’t need, meaning that actual companies that needed the money missed out - small businesses closed because of her greed. And yet you’re ignoring this and pretending she’s a good business woman - yikes. This is after Arielle received 10M in Venture capital investment money to relaunch her failed brand. Please stop glorifying a woman who is a TERRIBLE business person willing to lie and steal from folks who don’t have $2.5M personal wrath in the bank (which she notably refused to use to save her business, more interesting facts). Arielle’s brand already failed once and was dropped from Nordstrom, it can be found on clearance racks at TJ Maxx, now she’s trying to relaunch that failed brand with tax payer money while exposing people to COVID (and bragging about it on social media from the Hamptons). You claim to be a business podcast? Pass.
Why give a platform to terrible people?
AC has proven to be a terrible business person and a morally bankrupt human. Also her line is unoriginal and failed at Nordstrom’s. Unclear what the story is here?