Rank #1: Madewell's secret sauce
J.Crew Group-owned Madewell is often pegged as the namesake brand’s younger, hipper sister (although president Libby Wadle refutes the notion that Madewell is millennial-geared). As J.Crew scrambles to revitalize stalled sales growth, Madewell’s story couldn’t be more different. Wadle joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss how a brand in the J.Crew umbrella stays nimble, what the brand identity is, and how customer feedback and data feeds into that process.
Jun 27 2018
Rank #2: [TREND WATCH] Influencer Julia Engel on prioritizing her own brand
Over the next few weeks, we’re bringing you bonus episodes of the Glossy Podcast.
Glossy Trend Watch: Influencer Edition features interviews with some of the most prominent fashion influencers on how they’ve used their success and social media followings to launch major brands. Our guests made the leap from interacting with existing brands online to creating some of their own.
For our first episode, Glossy senior technology reporter Katie Richards sits down with Julia Engel, who leveraged her fashion and lifestyle blog Gal Meets Glam to build the Gal Meets Glam Collection, a fashion brand focused on timeless, classic pieces including dresses, coats and sweaters.
On the first episode of our limited series, Engel talks about transitioning from blogger to brand founder, learning the ins and outs of the apparel industry and finding the right wholesale partners.
Feb 28 2020
Rank #3: Nordstrom's Sam Lobban: 'Retailers as gatekeepers is a notion that doesn't exist anymore'
Sam Lobban has been working in men's fashion for nearly a decade. His career has taken him from the shop floor of a boutique in the U.K. to his current post, vp of men's fashion at Nordstrom. Throughout his expansive career, Lobban has had a front-row seat to the rapidly changing fashion industry. As he sees it, understanding the evolution of the industry is pretty simple: Things are moving faster, and more people are watching. Since joining the team at Nordstrom in 2018, Lobban has launched a handful of New Concept pop-ups in stores, which offer a carefully curated assortment of products tied to a central theme. Some previous concepts include Concept 001: Out Cold, which was designed to showcase cold-weather performance wear, and Concept 004: Patagonia, which was in collaboration with the popular outdoor brand and hosted a wide variety of sustainably produced, fair-trade products. Now, following his fifth and most recent New Concept launch with Nordstrom, Lobban wants to continue to push the boundaries of wholesale menswear by redefining his relationships with brands and the way he tells the story of their products. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Lobban joins Hilary Milnes in the studio to discuss the changing landscape of men's fashion, the modern retailer-designer relationship and the internet's increasing impact on menswear.
Jul 17 2019
Rank #4: Designer Clare Vivier: 'I've never been intimidated to sell direct-to-consumer'
Clare Vivier’s designer handbag brand, Clare V., was direct-to-consumer before anyone was using the term “direct-to-consumer.” Over the past 10 years, Clare V. has expanded its line of handbags and accessories to include apparel. She joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss evolving as a designer-founder over the past 10 years, marketing in a department store versus Instagram, and keeping up with the pace of the industry.
Aug 01 2018
Rank #5: Naadam co-founder Matt Scanlan on being the CEO of three separate brands
Lately, Naadam co-founder Matt Scanlan has been juggling leading three fashion brands -- on top of being CEO of his 6-year-old cashmere brand, he's the CEO of Thakoon and the interim CEO of Something Navy -- and making regular appearances on QVC.
For someone who's easily distracted unless he has a lot of work in front of him, selling stuff on TV is a good outlet. "If you're an instant gratification person like I am, I don't think there's anything better than this," Scanlan said on the Glossy Podcast.
It also plays into his strategy of selling Naadam's sustainable cashmere products across as many channels as possible. Beyond TV, "that means online, working with multi-brand retailers and having your own storefront or collaborating with others," Scanlan said. He plans to have eight brick-and-mortar Naadam stores by the end of 2020.
Scanlan talked about the marketing value of sustainability, the draw to work with recent Glossy Podcast guest Thakoon Panichgul and the guerrilla marketing campaign that got attention from the police.
Dec 18 2019
Rank #6: Revolve's Raissa Gerona: We're in the early years of influencer marketing
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.
Mar 27 2019
Rank #7: Bando founder Jen Gotch: 'Retail is better when everyone wins'
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.
Oct 18 2017
Rank #8: Influencer Chriselle Lim: 'People who say yes to everything won't do justice for anyone'
Chriselle Lim launched her blogger and influencer career on YouTube in 2010, creating videos centered on makeup tutorials and style advice. Since then, her face has been closely tied to her brand as she's built her Instagram following (@ChriselleLim now has 1 million followers) and her lifestyle blog, The Chriselle Factor. As her brand has matured, though, Lim has come to realize that her business can’t always be centered around her likeness. In October, Lim launched Cinc Studios, a production company that takes on brand clients, particularly in the luxury fashion and beauty industries, to help them create digital content that appeals to the Instagram-obsessed generation of young customers. Lim joined us on the Glossy Podcast to discuss the path to longevity for influencers, the thing she wishes brands knew about influencer partnerships and the forthcoming micro-influencer shakeout.
Jan 10 2018
Rank #9: Jetblack's Jenny Fleiss: 'We're democratizing luxury'
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.
May 01 2019
Rank #10: Stitch Fix CEO Katrina Lake: 'The current shift in customer behavior is permanent'
When Stitch Fix CEO Katrina Lake took her company public in 2017, her pitch was a little bit rusty. Stitch Fix’s IPO, which valued it at nearly $2 billion, was the biggest exit for an e-commerce company last year. Now, the company has to prove it can continue to recruit new customers -- on top of the more than 2 million who use Stitch Fix already, according to its S-1 -- if it wants to keep growing. For the first few years of business, Stitch Fix did little paid marketing, relying on word of mouth and organic growth to bring in new users. That’s changing, as the company figures out the best ways to reach potential customers, and it’s top of mind for Lake as she navigates her first year at the head of a public company. Lake joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss Stitch Fix’s category expansions and marketing push, plus the changing customer behavior it’s both leading the way for and adjusting to.
Feb 28 2018
Rank #11: Rebecca Minkoff: 'When people are inspired by a brand, they'll shop with you'
Rebecca Minkoff wants more designers to share their experiments and their outcomes, even when they’re negative. While the fashion industry tries to come to terms with its ongoing existential crisis, she believes transparency is something that would benefit the overall designer community. Minkoff joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss what's behind her brand's current customer approach, why she doesn’t sell her products on Amazon and what’s going to happen when the dust settles.
Sep 12 2018
Rank #12: Designer Mara Hoffman: 'As a creative, standing still will kill you'
Three years ago, designer Mara Hoffman went through what one could call an existential crisis. After running her eponymous label for 15 years when she hit a wall. Feeling like all her brand was doing was adding more “stuff” to the world -- and causing harm to the environment -- she knew she had to completely overhaul her business, or walk away from it all together. Hoffman said the process to make her company fully sustainable is still ongoing, but the challenge has been an exciting one. She joined the Glossy Podcast to talk about why she felt the need, as a creator, to recreate herself, why she left New York Fashion Week and what's to come for open-source sustainability.
Jan 24 2018
Rank #13: Former Amazon manager Elaine Kwon: 'There are a lot of things that are scary to brands about Amazon'
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.
Oct 11 2017
Rank #14: Cinq à Sept founder Jane Siskin: 'It's a scary time for retail'
Cinq à Sept founder Jane Siskin prides herself on the fashion brand's ability to quickly respond to the stuff that sells. "We have a great 'fast-track program' where we can quickly build on the good styles," said Siskin. To do that, she and her team lean on sales data -- "We can see by store, we can see by color, we can even see by size if we want to," she said -- though the actual turnaround time depends on a few factors. Fabric is a big one.
"If it's a repeat style, exactly as it was before -- a reorder in a fabric that we own -- it could be four to six weeks. If it's something new, there's a material change to it, add another couple weeks to it. And if we don't have the fabric, you're adding a month."
On this week's Glossy Podcast, Siskin spoke about fashion, the branding boon that is having a French name (even if you're based in Los Angeles) and the reason why "you have to have your head in the sand if you don't think it's a scary time for retail."
Nov 06 2019
Rank #15: Celebrity stylist Micaela Erlanger: 'Instagram is a phenomenal tool'
When celebrity stylist and author, Micaela Erlanger started her styling business in 2013, the fashion world was a much different place than it is today: Instagram was still in its early days, collections came out according to a strict fashion calendar, and lookbooks were sent through snail mail. Today, Erlanger is working faster and has more access than ever before to new designers and brands. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Erlanger to discuss how the role of the celebrity stylist has evolved, the importance of Instagram and why Fashion Week is still relevant to her.
Jul 03 2019
Rank #16: 'The second-hand market isn't going anywhere': Fashionphile founder Sarah Davis on the evolution of luxury resale
Luxury brands typically want little to do with the second-hand market, but resale companies like Fashionphile are slowly winning them over.
Founded in 1999 by Sarah Davis, the company invites customers to drop-off top-shelf accessories at one of its physical locations, where Fashionphile will buy them upfront. Trained Fashionphile employees verify the authenticity of the item before it's sold online, and the original owner gets a piece of the pie -- often a big one.
A 70-30 split is common, with Fashionphile taking the smaller cut, Davis said. "But if the velocity of sale will be quick or if it's a super high-dollar item, or it's very popular, we'll give you much more," Davis said on this week's episode of the Glossy Podcast.
Fashionphile limits its inventory to 51 luxury brands, many of which were once worried about resale tainting their brand image -- second-hand isn't exactly synonymous with luxury, after all. What's more, there's been concern from full-price retailers that the resale market will bite into their revenue.
In the last few years, Davis said, several luxury companies have come around.
"I think the brands have recognized [the resale market] isn't going anywhere. And so, more and more, they're thinking, 'What do we do about this?' It's led to some really amazing conversations we've been able to have with them. They're curious," Davis said.
One thing that helped Fashionphile's image: a recent minority stake investment by Neiman Marcus, which now hosts some of Fashionphile's drop-off locations.
More than 20 years after opening in Beverly Hills, Davis pointed to "a 50% growth rate year-over-year, consistently." The company's since opened locations elsewhere in California, as well as in New York and Texas.
Davis talked about the importance of shipping products in unboxing video-friendly packaging, the trick to selling used shoes and the teenage boys who covet Hermès belts.
Jan 15 2020
Rank #17: James LaForce: 'Social media isn't an extension of e-commerce'
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.
Oct 05 2017
Rank #18: Glossier COO Henry Davis: 'We're not a crowd-sourced brand'
Just five short years ago, Henry Davis was a venture investor in search of his next e-commerce project. At the time, Amazon was beginning its takeover, DTC brands were on the rise and overhauling the supply chain was the newest trend in retail. But Davis was focused on another forward-thinking idea. Then he met Emily Weiss, the creator of the successful beauty-focused platform Into The Gloss, who was ready to take her digital platform into the retail world. Davis and Weiss joined forces, and just a few months later, Glossier was born. Now, as Glossier's COO and president, Davis has helped the brand become one of the most recognizable millennial-focused beauty brands on the market.
For this week's episode of the Glossy Podcast, Davis joined Glossy at Advertising Week for a live conversation. Below are excepts from the talk, edited for clarity.
Oct 09 2018
Rank #19: Tamara Mellon: 'The future of retail is the end of wholesale'
After Tamara Mellon left Jimmy Choo, the luxury footwear brand she founded in 1996 while in her 20s, she had to figure out again how to establish her positioning in the industry, this time under her own name. It wasn’t a smooth transition. After the first incarnation of the Tamara Mellon brand went bankrupt, she started over following the direct-to-consumer model that customers today are much more familiar with than they were at the start of the decade. Mellon joined the Glossy Podcast to discuss how she started building a brand for the third time, how it sits in the luxury market, and the future of retail business models.
May 02 2018
Rank #20: [TREND WATCH] We Wore What founder Danielle Bernstein on making the move from influencer to fashion designer
For our final episode of Glossy Trend Watch: Influencer Edition, senior technology reporter Katie Richards sits down with Danielle Bernstein of We Wore What.
Danielle is a fashion blogger turned clothing designer, brand founder, author and entrepreneur.
When she got started as an influencer, payment schemes were a bit arbitrary. "There weren't any set fees for posting on a blog, taking photos for a brand," Bernstein said. "We sort of went off of what modeling agencies traditionally did for models."
Since those uncertain days, Bernstein has developed longer-term collaborations with brands and launched a workflow tool for influencers, and she has a book in the works.
Glossy Trend Watch: Influencer Edition features interviews with some of the most prominent fashion influencers on how they’ve used their success and social media followings to launch major brands. Our guests -- including Julia Engel and Moti Ankari -- made the leap from interacting with existing brands online to creating some of their own.
Mar 13 2020