Rank #1: Rachel Zoe: Being a designer today means 'navigating the noise'
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.
Nov 08 2017
Rank #2: Moda Operandi's Ganesh Srivats: 'We're connecting high tech with high touch'
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.
Apr 17 2019
Rank #3: Knot Standard's John Ballay: 'We're taking all of our digital efforts and driving customers into a physical location'
In the early 2010s, John Ballay saw that there was something missing in menswear. At the time he was working in finance in Dubai, and had developed a passion for well-tailored suits. As the retail pivot to DTC was picking up steam, he wanted to find a way to make bespoke clothing more accessible to the average man. So Ballay and Mueller decided to create the first brand that would bring the magic of made-to-order clothing right to their customers' doorsteps. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Knot Standard co-founder and CEO, John Ballay, to discuss the evolution of menswear, creating custom-made products for every consumer, and how a brand with no inventory works with retailers.
Dec 11 2018
Rank #4: 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 #5: 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 #6: Untuckit's Aaron Sanandres: 'A modern retail strategy includes physical retail'
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.
Mar 06 2019
Rank #7: 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 #8: ThredUp's Anthony Marino: 'We're trying to create a business that makes money and does good'
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.
Feb 12 2019
Rank #9: 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 #10: Influencer Blair Eadie: 'Brands are trying to become more like people, and people are trying to become brands'
Back in 2010, Eadie was working in the merchandising department at Gap Inc. in San Francisco when she noticed the industry was no longer leaning to runways for inspiration -- instead, it was turning to the streets. That was when she decided to start her daily fashion blog, Atlantic Pacific. She soon realized what she had created could become a viable business, and she never looked back. Now with 1.1 million followers on Instagram and a soon-to-be-released line with Nordstrom's private label Halogen, Eadie is determined to show that the influencers are here to stay. For this week's episode of the Glossy Podcast, Blair Eadie sat down with Hilary Milnes to discuss her early blogging days, her approach to brand partnerships and her recent collaboration with Nordstrom. Below are excerpts from the talk, edited for clarity.
Oct 16 2018
Rank #11: 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 #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: Influencers, acquisitions and the rise of DTC: The best of The Glossy Podcast in 2018
This year on The Glossy Podcast, we covered the biggest trends in fashion business. Voices from across the industry -- from influencers to founders to CEOs -- discussed navigating an industry that is changing more rapidly than ever before. Some major themes of the year included the rise of the direct-to-consumer model, the impact of social media and influencer marketing, and the ripple effect of Amazon. On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, we take a look at some of our top episodes of 2018 through clips featuring guests including Madewell's Libby Wadle, Glossier's Henry Davis and influencer Blair Eadie.
Dec 18 2018
Rank #14: 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 #15: Alice + Olivia's evp of brand marketing Aliza Licht: 'Amazon doesn't need a brand story'
During her time running the DKNY PR Girl Twitter account, Aliza Licht was only asked to delete one tweet. Licht worked on the PR and communications team at DKNY when the company began putting together initial Facebook and Twitter strategies. Social media marketing strategies have only become more complex since then, but the brand-as-relatable-friend voice has held strong. After leaving DKNY, Licht wrote a book titled “Leave Your Mark,” and she currently serves as the evp of brand marketing at Alice + Olivia. She discusses the evolution of authenticity in social media, branding and storytelling, and Amazon vs. wholesale.
Jun 13 2018
Rank #16: [TREND WATCH] SNS's Wil Whitney: The hype bubble is going to burst
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.
Mar 22 2019
Rank #17: Frame founder Jens Grede: 'The era of a brand dictating a lifestyle is over'
Frame -- which started as a side project for founders Jens Grede and Erik Torstensson while working full time at the agency they started, Wednesday -- is on track to hit $120 million sales in its sixth year. Grede joined the Glossy Podcast to talk about why he doesn’t worry much about distribution strategies, what's behind his brand’s approach to being a lifestyle business and how it places limitations on itself in terms of growth.
Sep 05 2018
Rank #18: [TREND WATCH] Fila's Louis Colon: 'Too many brands are playing in spaces where they don't fit'
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.
Apr 05 2019
Rank #19: 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 #20: 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