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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 industry, the normalization of resale and her expansion into new categories.
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.
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.
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 sits down with Wil Whitney, who was one of the original founders of Nom de Guerre and now manages U.S. brand relations for Sneakersnstuff. Whitney discusses how sneaker retail and the drop model has evolved over time and why the hype bubble will inevitably burst.
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.
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, fashion reporter Danny Parisi sits down with Babenzien to to discuss the evolution of streetwear, including the reason he believes it's now dead.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 inventory, and why its partnerships with outside retailers are a win for all involved.
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 north star is profitability.
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.
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 dominated by men, but the women’s sector was taking off, and the available products were a result of a “shrink it and pink it” mentality. So she looked back to her original inspiration — this customer base she had become fascinated with — and set out to build out a marketplace serving these women in a way no one had before. In 2013, Carbon38, in its current form, officially launched. As Carbon38 continues to scale and grow, and the athleisure boom continues, Warner Johnson sees plenty of opportunities to continue serving the core clientele her business was built for, especially now that she has become one of them. On this week’s episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Katie Warner Johnson, co-founder and CEO of Carbon38, to talk about dressing modern women, the company’s recent investment from Foot Locker, and the problem with the word “athleisure.”
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.
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.
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.