016 – Alexandra Wilkis Wilson of Gilt and GLAMSQUAD and Julia Macalaster of Preeline – “Aha Moments, Flash Sales and Full Margins”

Gilt & GLAMSQUAD Co-Founder Alexandra Wilkis Wilson and Preeline co-founder Julia Macalaster, “Aha Moments, Flash Sales and Full Margins”

Alexandra Wilkins Wilson (co-founder of Gilt and GLAMSQUAD and author of “By Invitation Only”) sitsWILKIS WILSON AND MACALASTER  with Pavan Bahl (OS Fashion), Rob Sanchez (Manufacture New York), and Marc Raco (Monkey Radio) during the FDMobile event March 24, 2015 about problems solved by the intersection of fashion and technology, the growing on-demand economy’s ability to enable consumers to get what want when they want it, and how technology addresses the increasing sense of consumer urgency. Wilkis Wilson touches on how Gilt and GLAMSQUAD comparatively fit into fashion tech industry including partnering with fashion brands, existing in multiple markets, the increasing pressures of competition, and how success forces one to keep an eye on the ball, be innovative and relentless. A comment about smart hiring resonated deeply with the hosts, and Wilkis Wilson reveals what gets her excited about , about the flash sale model, and the aha moments that were the genesis of Gilt. She touches on her sales-person tendencies, what motivates her, and what she’s learned since she started in business (hint: no silver platters are involved). Plus Wilkis Wilson teases a new vertical in the men’s market, and shares group-dynamic advice for startup teams for success.

Later, Julia Macalaster (co-founder of Preeline) shares the value of allowing customers to start a trend and get a glimpse of fashions before they arrive in stores. She explores why brands can benefit by customers sharing what they want, and the democratization of fashion. Macalaster reviews the genesis of Preeline, the move from reactionary management how technology can start a conversation to start solving a problem, and why the fashion industry is hurting.

The value of “don’t sell more, sell smart” and how getting back to a full margin, telling a story and creating an experience online like the brick and mortar can be the secret ingredients to course correction. Macalaster discusses the importance of listening, and the struggle between brands and the consumer for control of what is sold. A conversation about how innovation and rethinking designs can connect designs with the audience who wants them, and the impact of taking into account fits, and cultural references, the importance of the “What About Me Voice”, the trend of mass customization, and why everyone should be shedding ego. While mentioning that mobile apps should be focused on addressing pain points, the group comes up with an app for assembling Ikea furniture. And how constant buzz keeps Julia in New York and what she’s learned about letting a seed grow

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