Rank #1: 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 #2: 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 #3: 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 #4: 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 #5: 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 #6: Anine Bing's Annika Meller: Paid promotion is a slippery slope
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.
Mar 13 2019
Rank #7: Allbirds' Tim Brown: 'It's about making better things, in a better way.'
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.
Jan 09 2019
Rank #8: BaubleBar co-founder Daniella Yacobovsky on bringing jewelry to a previously ignored price point
Don't tell Drake, but bling doesn't always have to be so pricy. BaubleBar has raised millions from investors confident in its business model of delivering stylish earrings, necklaces, and rings at affordable prices. The company sells its products online, and in over 17 countries via 200 retailers -- some of which, like Target, the company teamed up with to create exclusive lines. "We had been doing our research on the market and felt that there was a huge opportunity at a lower price point than where the main BaubleBar brand sat," says Daniella Yacobovsky, the company's co-founder. That's where Target came in.
Yacobovsky also talks about the consumer opportunities opened up by affordable accessories, the data goldmine BaubleBar sits on, and what a difference Julia Roberts can make.
Oct 09 2019
Rank #9: 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 #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: 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 #12: Reformation's Yael Aflalo: 'Sustainability is about people, profits and environment'
A lot has changed for Reformation since its 2009 Los Angeles launch, but one thing that has remained constant is founder Yael Aflalo's dedication to sustainability. From the fabrics used in products to the employees in the manufacturing plants, Aflalo has set high standards for her brand and is working to ensure they're met. In this week's episode of the Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sat down with Aflalo to discuss what investment is needed to be a sustainable brand, why Reformation's retail experience is unique and why she doesn't use data to manipulate customers.
Oct 24 2018
Rank #13: Carbon38’s Katie Warner Johnson: ‘We’ve rebranded the idea of what a retailer is’
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.”
Jan 23 2019
Rank #14: Banana Republic CMO Mary Alderete: 'You have to be fast to be culturally relevant'
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.
Apr 24 2019
Rank #15: 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 #16: ba&sh's Sarah Benady: 'We want to have real relationships with our customers'
On this week's episode of The Glossy Podcast, Hilary Milnes sits down with Sarah Benady, ba&sh's CEO of North America, to discuss the difference between the French and American consumer, using unique offerings to connect with customers and fostering the perfect brand-investor partnership.
Jun 19 2019
Rank #17: Schutz's Marina Larroude: Brands and their retail parters need to be agile
Prior to taking the lead at Schutz International, Marina Larroude was vp and fashion director at Barneys New York, a role she took on after holding fashion director roles at Teen Vogue and Style.com. For this week's episode of the Glossy Podcast, Larroude joins Jill Manoff to talk about her multiple career changes within the world of fashion, the untapped market for good, affordable boots, and the reason brands should consider bucking the usual wholesale purchasing timeline.
Oct 02 2019
Rank #18: 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 #19: 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 #20: 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