110 – James Rhee of Ashley Stewart – When Underdogs Win

James Rhee FIYB Shoptalk

James Rhee on building a fashion brand as social commerce …

James Rhee

James Rhee [link], Executive Chairman and CEO, Ashley Stewart [link] (the number one fashion brand for plus size fashion and trends) and Founder/President, FirePine Group [link] (an investment firm which invests in special situations requiring structured capital and operational catalysts, with a particular focus in the rapidly transforming, branded retail-consumer product industry), joins Pavan Bahl, Rob Sanchez, and guest host Ilan Tito on location at the 2016 SHOPTALK retail and ecommerce event in Las Vegas.

Amazing turnaround

Rhee discusses the history of the company and its extraordinary turnaround, its original focus on plus-size African American women and unprofitable, stormy business history, how Rhee saw it as the most powerful single business brand ever and loved what it stood for. His background as a high school teacher, how he became the man in charge of a company near collapse, the old roach infested warehouse now occupied by Rent the Runway, the WiFi pushback and being unable to ship goods, business suicide, when a brand can make someone cry, how Rhee didn’t want it to go away, and overcoming great adversity.

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109 – Andrew Rosen of Theory – A Seam in the Market

Andrew Rosen 3

Fashion mogul Andrew Rosen of Theory …

Andrew Rosen [link], co-founder and CEO of Theory [link], joins Pavan Bahl, Marc Raco and Liz Bacelar on location at the Fashion, Culture and Design UNCONFERENCE in New York City.

Evolving, resonating, and killing the mystery

Rosen talks about the 1997 genesis of Theory, working with great talents and minds, the disruption of Fashion Week, how the world and industry are changing, that every part of the fashion industry must evolve and change, and reinventing the business platform. He touches on methodology, what it takes to resonate, the way one must look at reaching consumer, ways the industry is more complex and global, rethinking the prior approach, and how some worry about killing the mystery.

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108 – Ryan Weldon and Darian Baugh of Men’s Style Lab – Style Scientists

Mens Style Lab 1-min

Online concierge menswear with Men’s Style Lab…

Men's Style Lab

Ryan Weldon (Co-Founder & Director of Member Experience) and Darian Baugh (Co-Founder & CEO) of Men’s Style Lab [link], a concierge clothing service for men, join Pavan Bahl and Marc Raco on the floor of the Innovation Center of the 2016 ECommerce Show USA in Atlanta, GA. This interview is sponsored by Alert Tech, a powerful tool for retailers to understand the performance of their retail stores and make better business decisions.

Identity, packaging, and second mover advantage

Weldon and Baugh discuss that how men dress helps them accomplish and be who they want to be, how the sense of fashion drives the brand and how the brand drives the sense of fashion, the way the brand’s surveys are aspirational, gravitating to a polished and professional look, the team of packaging stylists, hand written notes and wax seals, the $3 Million raise, how guys hate to shop, a possible second-mover advantage, and curated commerce.

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107 – Gihan Amarasiriwardena of Ministry of Supply – A Lasting Aesthetic

Ministry of Supply 1

High performance menswear apparel…

Ministry of Supply 2Gihan Amarasiriwardena, Co Founder and Executive Chairman of Ministry of Supply (a performance professional menswear brand creating wear to work essentials) joins Pavan Bahl, Rob Sanchez, and guest host Louis DeJianne, Director, of Marketing and Consumer Goods, Apparel and Retail for UPS (the world’s largest package delivery company and provider of supply chain management solutions) on location at the 2016 SHOPTALK retail and ecommerce event in Las Vegas.

NASA, heat and crowdfunding

Amarasiriwardena discusses the genesis of the brand from the onset at MIT, its wild Kickstarter success, starting with a marquee product dress shirt, using the same material used in NASA space suits, the absorption and return of heat in fabric, the importance of a live prototype, cracking a code that worked and discovering what people wanted. Simplifying tech, building a tight narrative on the problem people had and understanding the stories needed, changing a crowd-funding video mid-campaign, remaining authentic while tuning a video based on comments, how socks with coffee grounds to absorb odors were created, using tech to advance the brand, developing garments in 3D around the body, a stitch for each pixel, programming details in digital manufacturing, how customization is the vision, the tension of shrinkage, and the accomplishable challenge of creating great fit for anyone.

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