The Glossy Podcast is a weekly show on the impact of technology on the fashion and luxury industries with the people making change happen.
XRC Labs partner Diana Melencio: 'The future store is everywhere'
As a partner at XRC Labs, a New York-based venture fund and startup accelerator, Diana Melencio is actively working to help underrepresented founders get the funding they need to run successful companies. The fund primarily focuses on retail technology and consumer goods. To date, the company has invested in some of the buzziest names in these industries, including The Lobby, Billie, Caraa and Wear.
"It's a business imperative to invest in underrepresented founders only because ... so much of the untapped opportunity isin those areas," Melencio said on the latest episode of the Glossy Podcast. "It's not a marketing ploy or something that we're actively trying to skew our demographics for, but rather one that is grounded in the fact that there is a huge opportunity in investing in these types of founders."
Melencio has only been with XRC Labs for one year, but her past experience on Wall Street prepared her for this role, she said. For 10 years, Melencio focused on investing in consumer retail and healthcare. She then founded two companies, one of which received an XRC Labs investment. Right before joining XRC Labs, Melencio ran WISE Ventures, an investment fund.
With over a decade's worth of experience in funding and retail technology, Melencio is excited about the future of retail and the new brands and founders that will arise as a result.
"Consumers [want to] purchase a product anywhere and everywhere," Melencio said. "To me, the future store [is] everywhere, like a truly omnichannel experience."
Week in Review: Milan Fashion Week recap and Daniel Lee’s Burberry appointment
On the Glossy Week in Review podcast, senior fashion reporter Danny Parisi and international fashion reporter Zofia Zwieglinska break down some of the biggest fashion news of the week.
This week, the main topic of conversation was Milan Fashion Week, the trends on display and the distinction between MFW and its London and New York counterparts. The second half of the episode is devoted to Daniel Lee’s surprise appointment at Burberry and the potential directions he might take the company.
Irina Lazareanu on the ‘indie sleaze’ vibe shift: ‘It’s not a trend. It’s a feeling of expression’
From getting discovered by Chanel's former creative director Karl Lagerfeld to becoming his muse and eventually a supermodel, Irina Lazareanu has decades worth of experience in fashion.
"It was very much being at the right place at the right time," said Lazareanu on the latest episode of the Glossy Podcast. "I could never be [the perfect model]. I had to find something that was completely mine. And I had to stick to that conviction that I'm still going to show up like [myself]. I'm not going to change because everybody else looks a certain way. [Being different] was terrifying at 18."
Staying true to herself came with a lot of rejection, she said, but it was worth it when Lagerfeld noticed her at a casting call. From there, Lazareanu's career took off, and unbeknownst to her at the time, she ruled the early aughts runway.
Two decades into her career, Lazareanu has had a lot of time to reflect on her upbringing and ascension to superstardom. She published her first book "Runway Bird" in April, an insight into her whirlwind career along with the people who helped her along the way.
Below are additional highlights from the conversation, which have been lightly edited for clarity.
The social media effect
"It's good that people are using their platforms to talk about [issues in the fashion industry]. At the same time, I also think it's very important for somebody to pay their dues and do the work. If you have worked in fashion for years, you want to be paid for your work. But if you had a viral video on TikTok because you did a funny dance and all of a sudden, you want to be paid millions of dollars when people [like] journalists, models, stylists, designers, et cetera have worked for 20 or 30 years to get somewhere [then] I don't agree with that. Your work needs to also reflect your value and what you bring to the industry."
Pioneering the "indie sleaze" trend
"Indie Sleaze as the Gen Zers call it was just called indie [when I was growing up]. It was an amazing time in music and fashion in the early 2000s where you had groups like The Libertines coming and creating this movement that wasn't grunge. It was post-grunge. It had a little bit of the '90s baggy jeans, dirty hair and ripped jeansthing going on, but it was also mixed with glamorous aspects. It wasn't about following trends and wearing brands, it was about getting through your day and surviving it. That's how I look at it. It was authentic. It's not a trend and it’s not a movement. It was a feeling of expression."
Week in Review: London Fashion Week recap
On the Glossy Week in Review podcast, senior fashion reporter Danny Parisi and international fashion reporter Zofia Zwieglinska break down some of the fashion industry's biggest news of the week.
This week, Zofia reports back from her time at London Fashion Week, including how the death of Queen Elizabeth II impacted shows and what differences she saw between the approaches of designers showing at LFW, compared to NYFW.
Stitch Fix's Loretta Choy: 'Every part of the work we do has had to evolve'
According to Loretta Choy, chief merchandising officer at Stitch Fix, data is one of the most important factors in fulfilling the Stitch Fix customer's personalized demands.
Choy joined the Stitch Fix team in 2019, only a few months before the pandemic upended the workforce. She said her team's ability to adapt and analyze data was key to keeping the business afloat. Choy's team uses billions of data points to inform which products and new categories Stitch Fix introduces to its assortment. Under her leadership, Stitch Fix added athleisure and activewear to its offerings after noticing consumer shopping trends had shifted.
"We were thinking, 'How do we ensure during Covid that we have apparel that is right for [the consumer]?" Choy said on the latest episode of the Glossy Podcast. "Some of the [demand we saw] from our clients was item [specific], but often, it was about the end use. It was about, 'How [do] I shift my look or my wardrobe?' Those were important data inputs we received."
Choy admitted that working in traditional retail environments for close to 20 years presented a slight learning curve when joining Stitch Fix, but she said the transition enabled personal growth. Now that Choy feels more settled in her role, she is focused on expanding Stitch Fix's men's, children's and womenswear into more apparel categories.
The executive's expansion efforts are in line with Stitch Fix's growth strategies. Stitch Fix announced during its Q4 earnings report conference call on Tuesday that its net revenue and active clients in the quarter were lower than expected, due to a turbulent retail market. However, leveraging Choy's intentional use of data, the company hopes to tap into under-serviced demographics and increase consumer acquisition.
Week in Review: Glamour, diversity and the metaverse at NYFW
On the Glossy Week in Review podcast, senior fashion reporter Danny Parisi and editor-in-chief Jill Manoff discuss the biggest news in the fashion industry of the week.
This week, on a special New York Fashion Week episode, the hosts discuss the vibe at NYFW this season, compared to the lackluster previous seasons. They also talk about see-now-buy-now, the return of big names like Fendi and Tommy Hilfiger, and the future of the fashion calendar.
Also, this episode marks the 1-year anniversary of Week in Review, which started as a special episode recapping last September's NYFW. Thanks to all for listening!
“ kinda like”
Victoria’sSecrets episode… host is back from vacation
Oy… how many times does he say” kinda like” and “ whatever they call this category”
I mean really ?? You’re in the business and we are supposed to rely on you for this information.
I do think he needs a Toastmasters course… needs to work on public speaking a bit
Try counting his
And maybe slow down!!
Other than that …great podcast
Please change your host
Love the guests and topic but the host is hard to listen to. She sounds like she has a fake smile on her face, even when asking serious questions. Her questions are confusing and she doesn’t really listen to or engage with the guests on a deeper level.
Host sounds like a deranged, insane person, Batsheva is lovely and articulate dealing with this host maniacally laughing after everything she says. Hire a better speaker, just bc it’s fashion it doesn’t have to sound so stupid.