This year on the Glossy Podcast, we discussed the forces of change, driven by digital technology, that designers, brand founders, and the agencies who work with them were forced to adjust to. We explored topics including how Instagram is changing the way people interact with brands online, the rise (and fall) of see-now-buy-now and designer burnout, what the digitally native brand market looks like now that the space is matured, and the elephant in the retail room: Amazon. Here's our end of year edition to capture the biggest conversations we had this year with guests like Tim Coppens, Hilary Swank and Rachel Zoe.
Rachel Shechtman is the founder of the concept store Story in Chelsea, a neighborhood in New York City. Story changes its inventory and physical layout every few weeks, and each new remodel is based around a theme. The merchandise carried by Story is usually sourced from small businesses who get facetime with both potential customers or other retailers that are looking for new merchandise. According to Shechtman, 15 percent of foot traffic is from B2B companies. Shechtman joined the Glossy Podcast to share more about how Story operates, how new retailers are (or aren’t) reinventing the wheel, and how department stores are faring in the new landscape.
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.
Designer Dan Liu, who owns both his namesake label as well as the fashion brand Tatsuaki, needs fellow designers to pick up the pace. Designers used to have months to design new collections, and that window has been dwindled down to about two weeks. It’s not just designers who are in jeopardy, either — department stores, according to Liu, are at risk of going extinct thanks to the institutions navigating digital advancements in the industry like dinosaurs. Liu joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss how designers are dealing with the new crushing pace of the industry, what changes are coming next year, and why see-now-buy-now isn’t the answer.
Luke Grana, the founder of the apparel startup Grana, joins the Glossy Podcast to discuss the state of digitally native retail, why he decided to launch his business in Hong Kong, and what defines a modern, successful brand.
Nadine McCarthy Kahane, founder of online jewelry marketplace Stone and Strand, joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss her company's experiments offline, its influencer partnerships and how it has tried to compete with Amazon.
Rachel Zoe launched her brand in 2011, as direct-to-consumer businesses were booming online. But even though she already had a following from her time spent working as a celebrity stylist and sending out her then-newsletter, The Zoe Report (now a media company), Zoe targeted traditional retailers first. Zoe didn’t launch her own e-commerce site for the brand until 2016, in fact, but since finally coming around to selling direct online, she and her brand have been much more experimental. She’s also become more entrepreneurial: In addition to her fashion line, she’s in charge of The Zoe Report as well as Box of Style, a subscription box of clothing and other lifestyle products chosen by her and her team. Zoe joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss the perks and downfalls of traditional retail, her take on see-now-buy-now, her plans to open Rachel Zoe stores and how she uses customer data to her advantage.
AYR, the direct-to-consumer brand for women’s apparel, has an origin story that sets it apart from the sea of other digitally native brands selling women’s clothing without the middleman. For its first two years in business, it was incubated by the more mature direct-to-consumer brand Bonobos. When Bonobos decided it needed to focus on its core business in 2016, AYR spun off into an independent brand, raising two rounds of funding and hiring a full team of employees in the business development, fulfillment and finance departments to pad out what Bonobos’s infrastructure had been supporting. More than a year into running her brand independently, Winter joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss the benefits of being bred by Bonobos, the lessons she’s learned so far and the opportunity that still remains for direct-to-consumer brands.
Brooke Taylor Corcia, the founder of online fashion and lifestyle store The Dreslyn, wanted to launch her own company to get a more accurate representation of West Coast fashion into the e-commerce lexicon. Three years after launching The Dreslyn as an online destination for access to the chic side of West Coast style, Corcia spoke to Glossy about the art of restraint in building an online store, the key to building two-sided brand relationships and the importance of data.
Bando, the e-commerce site selling kitschy office supplies and accessories designed for the Instagram generation, has struck a balance between mass and niche. The brand’s strong, mostly pink aesthetic, cult-like customer following and best-selling items — like agendas that say things like “I Am Very Busy” — have become its biggest signifiers, and the brand has grown to around 50 employees after a near-shutter in 2012. Instead of closing, it sold to licensing company Lifeguard Press, and grew a network of wholesale partners that included Anthropologie, Nordstrom and Macy’s. Those mass retail partners sell its agendas and other everyday items like tumblers and notebooks to a wide audience. That pays the bills. Bando’s online store, then, is an opportunity for co-founder and creative director Jen Gotch to experiment with her more wild design side, even if the results don’t sell as much. Gotch joined the Glossy Podcast to share how she grew a side business selling hair accessories into Bando, which has expanded to bags, accessories, art supplies and clothing.
When Elaine Kwon realized just how much fashion and luxury brands don’t understand retail’s new digital world order, she started her own e-commerce management firm, Kwontified, to help them figure it out. Kwon had been working at Amazon, helping luxury fashion brands find success on the platform once they'd signed on. She joined us on the Glossy Podcast this week to talk about focusing on shipping and return structures, online customer service, and -- of course -- whether or not to work with Amazon.
James LaForce started his career hand-delivering printouts of press releases that highlighted the biggest news and best gossip from parties the night before. He would drop them off at the home of the society reporter at Women’s Wear Daily and return to his office by foot. Things have changed. LaForce joined us on the Glossy Podcast to discuss that mindset, the separation of social media and e-commerce, and the one industry that can’t tell a good story on Instagram.
Designer Daniella Kallmeyer got her first internship in the fashion industry when she handed Luca Luca designer Luca Orlandi her resume at age 15. She went on to more internships with brands including Proenza Schouler and Alexander McQueen, but by the time she decided to launch her namesake ready-to-wear brand, the path to getting a new label off the ground had changed. In Kallmeyer’s words, “there is no traditional way to becoming a designer” anymore. Kallmeyer joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss her biggest regret around launching her brand, the power shift from brand to consumers, and her brand's next milestone.
Hal Rubenstein, one of the founding editors of InStyle magazine, joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss retail's "too much stuff" problem, the crime of athleisure and why he's skeptical of all influencers, except maybe Selena Gomez.
Adriana Marie started her production company, Amco NYC, with the perspective of a fashion designer. Marie had been designing her own line of T-shirts and other items for the 10 years prior, and wanted to transition that experience into a business that supported other up-and-coming designers. Today, she coordinates fashion shows, manages influencer and brand partnerships, and runs an e-commerce marketplace to drive sales of her clients’ designs. She’s a big believer in see-now-buy-now, as well, with the mindset that if emerging designers build their businesses with this model in mind, it will eventually become par for the course. Marie joined the Glossy Podcast during New York Fashion Week to talk about scaling new businesses, the importance of the customer relationship, and how her production agency also manages to pull off e-commerce operations.
Ahead of the madness that is fashion month, we invited Rony Zeidan — the founder of the luxury agency RO NY, who spent time at Donna Karan and Ralph Lauren — to join our New York Fashion Week podcast to share his predictions for the upcoming season, and speculate on questions like whether or not social media has been a blessing or a curse for luxury brands, and if see-now-buy-now is truly dead.
As brands shut down brick-and-mortar stores and dedicate resources to e-commerce, many see Amazon as a constant elephant in the room and look to its strengths to drive their own strategies. But Jenny Baike, co-founder and CEO of Orchard Mile — a luxury marketplace — says her company is not competing with the retail giant. Baike joined us on the Glossy Podcast to share what brands should know before selling online, why luxury brands are keeping their distance from Amazon and what a marketplace offers shoppers that other retailers can't.
When brands try to act like customers’ friends, they typically fail. Even so, Of a Kind has made it its ongoing mission to feel like an “in-the-know best friend” to those who receive its email newsletters and visit the site. Behind the brand are Claire Mazur and Erica Cerulo, who had the idea in 2010 to launch an e-commerce site for exclusive, limited-edition goods made by independent designers. Co-founder Claire Mazur joined us on the Glossy Podcast to share more about what makes Of a Kind work.
With the fall issue of GQ Style, featuring cover celeb and modern man Aziz Ansari, now on shelves, Welch joined the Glossy Podcast to break down how he built a magazine for the digital and mobile era, tracing the evolution of GQ Style as a GQ spin-off, and
It was the Coach saddle bag that first made Liz Kaplow realize that brands needed to do a better job of communicating their stories to customers. Kaplow, who launched her PR and communications agency Kaplow Communications in 1991, joined the Glossy Podcast to reflect on why storytelling is as relevant as ever, while brands are being forced to evolve.
Marissa Vosper's brand, Negative Underwear, wants to offer a different take on the lingerie market with her made by women, for women bras.
Poshmark co-founder Tracy Sun appeared on the Glossy Podcast to discuss how her company identified an emerging market in social selling on mobile and built that niche into a full network for individual seller boutiques.
Tara Foley, the founder and CEO of clean beauty retailer Follain, joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss the growth of the organic beauty and skincare industry, and why she put her degree in public policy toward raising awareness around the lack of industry regulations.
As The Limited has since filed for bankruptcy, its former plus-size brand Eloquii has raised $21 million in funding and expanded into brick-and-mortar. Chase joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss the plus-size fashion landscape, why it’s still thin on competition, and how ‘body positive’ brand messaging isn’t always so positive.
Eric Korman, CEO and founder of the direct-to-consumer, sustainable perfume brand Phlur, joined the Glossy Podcast to share what he's learned about the opaque fragrance industry and supply chain, and how he created a company for the modern consumer.