Fashion Businesses? where are you?

Ahmed-Sadman's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 13

Hey guys, I'm new here in the Fashion For Business Forum but all the discussions here are about fashion advices. Which is great but I'd like to talk about fashion businesses. Let's start here! Tell me about your businesses if you're in the fashion industry.

Financial Modeling Course

  • Get An Edge For Your Interviews & Finance Career
  • The Best (and Most Affordable) Financial Modeling Self-study Courses.
  • WSO Members receive a 15% discount

Comments (15)

Nov 1, 2018

Ahmed-Sadman, sorry about the lack of response. Maybe one of these topics will help:

  • S&T Summer Intern Clothing Guide arena, as for many this may be the first time you have to dress for a business environment for an ... in color. Do not wear a black suit or something overly light unless you are 100% sure that you can ... then you are fine. Make sure to not wear anything that is overly dark. If you go with white, buy some ...
  • Female banker attire? Why everyone is not fashionable at all? is wearing brooks brothers, jcrew, banana republic... those are definitely amazing brands but not ... fashionable at all. I am not saying that everyone should be super fashionable...and wear the most expensive ... I don't want to wear boring and not fashionable just because others do. But I am also worried that others ...
  • Women's attire for hot weather that I might be able to wear. Which means I have to go shopping for clothes (I imagine you're not ... allowed to repeat what you wear within a month). I am a bit clueless when it comes to fashion. Any ... suggestions in terms of type of shirts/dresses/pants/skirts, and also any particular brands you would ...
  • Do I have to buy expensive high fashion attire? If I buy a sub $300 suit, sub $100 dress shoes, $30 tie, and $45 dress shirt as my business attire ... ties, zegna suit, and a diamond earring (princess cut) to fit in. I do have a nice build and clothes fit ... on me pretty well so people always ask me "oh your shoes look good, what brand are they?" ...
  • Difference between dress shirts and business casual shirts? Can't you wear dress shirts for business casual, just unbutton the top button and don't wear a tie? ... casual wear. Recommended Reading New To Formal Fashion? Start Here. PT1 Best Wrinkle Free Dress Clothes ... Also are button down collars acceptable for business casual? dress shir
  • Female intern clothes the following, match your tastes to conservative business attire. If you think you think a piece in ... clothes I have is one smart dress. We haven't been told anything specific from HR about any kind of ... dress code, what I'm reading online seems to say either wear a suit the entire time, or that ...
  • Do you wear a tie everyday to work? industry? I know a few places or regions where the lifestyle is very laid back and ties are not required ... unless you have to meet with a client or something. In my current job we have to dress nice but ties are ... definitely not required. It's almost like if you wear a tie you look like a dumbass and out of place ...
  • What are your thoughts on changing dress code? attire. I saw a fashion magazine categorize traditional dress codes as 'draconian'. Are we going ... even wear interesting clothes, or else it'll look inappropriate. That means, favorite video game? ... Basically, I think this sensationalizing of modernizing workplace attire is just getting corny. ...
  • More suggestions...

I hope those threads give you a bit more insight.

Nov 11, 2018

I've always been interested in fashion, and becoming an entrepreneur in the space, but what's steered me away is the fact that a) it's overly saturated and b) it's so much based on luck. If you don't have enough social media clout in the industry, then you probably won't go very far. All of the top fashion brands make so much money because of high demand and limited supply. It's really hard to figure out how to create that kind of demand aside from celebrity endorsement. But I have a lot of ideas and if I ever end up wealthy, I'll definitely pursue fashion just as a side-hustle.

Nov 12, 2018

Was in it years ago on a small scale. Had a few contracts with major us department stores. It's become harder due to "fast fashion" Stores want product delivery in 5 weeks after presentation. It's very hard to meet those requirements without scaling up.

Most Helpful
Nov 15, 2018

In my last corporate job, I ran Global Innovation and the RFID business at the Retail Group of Avery Dennison, serving large brands and retailers like Adidas, Burberry, Levi's, Macy's, Marks & Spencer, Nike, Uniqlo, etc.

I concluded that the supply chain is badly broken, with extremely long supply chains stretching from East/South Asia and Central America supply for low cost, to EU/North American demand. This means that merchants need to guess about demand months in advance, and ~30% of the time they're too optimistic and need to discount excess inventory to make room for the next container load of product arriving from overseas.

Emerging brands struggle to earn space at established department stores, or pour millions into digital marketing campaigns where CAC (customer acquisition cost) is the new rent.

The situation is unsatisfactory for the demand side as well: shoppers have to guess which brands fit their size and style, and confirm with painful trial and error in stores 80% of the time. Online orders suffer 30-40% return rates, and many shoppers end up settling for barely "good enough."

Rather than chasing the female fashionista marketplace with yet another DNVB (digitally native vertical brand), I decided to take a contrarian approach that's fit for the 21st century.

THE SOLUTION: THE WARDROBE ESSENTIALIST is a 2-sided marketplace
* for men who want to look great but hate shopping for clothes
* for the apparel brands who need to grow their online business profitably

BEACHHEAD CONSUMER SEGMENT: 20-something men in the US who are transitioning into jobs where they can no longer dress like college students: ~30% who are in offices with Business Casual or Suit & Tie dress codes.

DEMAND-SIDE SOLUTION MVP (
my.wardrobeessentialist.com
http://my.wardrobeessentialist.com/?utm_source=WSO... )
* Automated personalized assortment: "An Online Dress Shirt Shop, Built Just for You," with no styling fees, subscriptions, or markups.
* 30-second profile process drives proprietary algorithm selecting the best-fitting items
* Text/image analytics clusters similar-looking items for easy visual browsing
* Current production system draws from a selection of 80,000 dress shirts from 17 top brands, with up-to-date pricing & availability
* Users find their best value in minutes, 10X faster than a trip to the store.

BUSINESS MODEL
* Free to the end-user
* Earn commissions from retailers on transactions we route to their sites.
* Longer-term: earn marketing fees from brands by connecting them with their best prospects, based on first-party size and style preference data shared by users who have opted-in.

While our initial business plan delivers value by connecting men with the established brands that designed with them in mind, I'm actually most excited about the opportunity to help new brands reach under-served market segments, or bring entirely new styles to market, with much lower Customer Acquisition Costs that either brick & mortar or digital marketing currently allow.

Looking for your feedback

Nov 20, 2018

For me, I like the idea but I'm wondering what you see as your defensibility, or if you see any barriers to entry to enter your space?

Also, the reason a lot of consumer start-ups take off is due to a subscription model where customers are encouraged/made to return as part of the business plan. What would the retention curve (in terms of usage and revenue creation) look like with your business?

Really, you want to examine the 3 Year LTV (Lifetime Value, yes I see the irony but it's an industry standard metric in e-commerce) of a new customer acquired via your site vs the CPA of a new customer acquired from your site. If this high enough (>3x) then companies should be happy enough to pay you for some premium above a 3x LTV payback.

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Nov 15, 2018

You're putting your finger on the critical question: can an open marketplace platform achieve critical mass that powers positive network effects (trusted user feedback on product quality, insights into team style norms by industry/geography/company, emerging brands based on what guys actual are buying vs. what Miranda Priestly is telling us to buy, etc.)

Concerning the subscription model, my personal assessment is that it's more appealing as a spreadsheet exercise than as something that really serves the needs of the average guy. You may want to ask the Corporate Development team at Nordstrom, who paid $350mm for Trunk Club in the summer of 2014, and then wrote down $200mm of the purchase price in the fall of 2016. I'm guessing the primary driver was customer attrition, which is not unique to Trunk Club. I recently had a conversation with a VC who's been very disappointed in the results of Bombfell's $7.5mm Series A three years ago. Here's a chart to ponder:
goodwater capital chart

If you're interested in the category, the full report is worth reading Goodwater Capital Stitch Fix Analysis

Here's a question for you: my primary motivation in building this business is to solve a problem for men who want to look great at work but hate shopping for clothes. If the business were structured as a coop like REI (owned by the members) would this significantly increase the appeal to the guys I'm trying to serve, and therefor lower the cost of enrolling new users?

How REI's Co-op Retail Model Helps Its Bottom Line

Nov 17, 2018

Hello,
I am also thinking about fashion business which never ends. Soon I will open my fashion business because fashion is the only thing which will not let us down and Indian fashion academy Nagpur will always there to help you. Hope this information will be helpful for you.Best luck!!

Nov 19, 2018

I was involved with a custom window treatment company in NYC. Good business to be in, people routinely drop 10 grand on window shades and we'd pay around 2 in fabric 2 in workroom expenses and 1 to the installer. 50% sounds nice but the business is high risk high reward. If the installer slips up and does a bad job the consequences are brutal (bad review, remake fabric, lose money on job). It was a lot of fun because of the thrill in closing and beauty of our designs.

"Truth is like poetry. And most people fucking hate poetry."

Nov 20, 2018

I own a woman's boutique retailer. For any retailer we get involved with, we immediately leverage their customer base and data to launch our own in-house brand and supercharge margin. It's the only way (IMO) to stay relevant VS Amazon. I also like pushing a more experience-heavy focus as opposed to competing on pricing/product range.

Nov 21, 2018

CLOTHES are DUMB and OVERRATED. I think NUDITY is more fashionable!

    • 1
Nov 15, 2018

Assuming you don't put your ideology into action at work, is your primary motivation:

  1. being as comfortable as possible for long days at the office
  2. look like you belong on the team at work
  3. winning the "best dressed" award from your teammates
  4. expressing your unique personal style