Open Source Fashion is all about connecting people and making information and resources more easily available to those working in fashion and retail. These resources include the latest business news and valuable insights for designers, retailers, and fashion start-ups. Twice a month, OSF Magazine will bring you Fast Fashion Finds, a collection of articles, lists and op-eds curated by OSFashion Founder, Pavan Bahl and Content Coordinator, Alex J. Tunney. For more great articles follow us on Twitter: @osfashion.
Now, after experimenting with a series of successful “shop-in-shops” and showrooms in several US cities, Warby Parker is making its first major push into offline commerce, with the launch of a physical flagship at 121 Greene Street, smack in the heart of New York’s Soho district.
When BoF visited the new store, three days after it opened to the public, it was already buzzing with a fleet of uniformed sales-staff and people of all ages, both locals and visitors, trying on eyeglasses and exploring the airy space. The deep, high-ceilinged interior was flooded with light and, on each side of the store, the walls were lined with 18-foot-high shelves displaying the brand’s fashionable frames, interspersed with a curated selection of books from independent, artsy imprints.
Business of Fashion || Op-Ed: Racial Diversity on the Runway by Demi Sinclair
This isn’t about filling a quota. It’s about getting global brands to recognize that when they send an all-white cast down the runway, they are promoting an ideal of beauty that does not include the majority of the world’s population. This is problematic. It’s not only troubling from a business perspective. It’s also a social issue. And the bottom line is, a casting director is simply not doing their job right if they cannot see beauty or relevance in models of color.
Vine is proving successful amongst sketch comedians, illustrators and filmmakers, (Tribeca Film Festival has even launched a film-making contest on Vine, using the #sixsecfilms hashtag), but for fashion and luxury brands the main challenge is how raw the final video appears.
The level of artistic control and polish are virtually non existent on Vine, which means that in order for your brand to be successful you either need a well defined personality and strong point of view that has proven successful on social media, and/or you need a campaign concept that is intended to strip away (or re-define) a prestige brand image.
StartUp Fashion || How to Grow Your Fashion Brand’s Pinterest Channel by Kathleen Ong
There have been many articles, tips and advice, and general how-to guides out there for why your brand should have a presence on Pinterest. As the third largest social media channel after Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest is a great channel for brands within visual industries to use as a tool for creating an online community. As a designer you can create boards to showcase your collections, design inspiration, and other topics that fit your brand identity.
So now that you’ve set up a Pinterest account and have started to pin away, what are some things that you can do to grow your brand’s Pinterest channel?
StartUp Fashion || Self-Repairing Fabric in Fashion by Jane Hamill
Developers have created a new kind of smart fabric: a plastic textile that automatically repairs itself when ripped. Self-repairing material is not an entirely new concept, having been used in conjunction with substances such as metal. However, this is the first instance the idea has been applied to fabric. Originally purposed for use in rainwear for professional fisherman, this new self-repairing fabric technology could potentially benefit all kinds of outerwear.
While email marketing may seem old school compared to Tweeting, texting and uploading pics to Instagram, it still tops customer preferences for gaining useful insight on retailer sales, promotions, events and more. Plus, it’s affordable to do – which any business owner can appreciate it.
So often, retailers are worried about getting new customers that they forget to care about their existing customers. This type of mentality can lead to a lack of customer retention – and possibly even worse, a bad reputation. The question of “why” this happens is still a mystery, though. If someone has shown you interest in your store, made a purchase or even multiple purchases and possibly even signed up for your email list / loyalty program, then why would a retailer NOT cater more to this crowd?
A study by Deloitte Consulting found that businesses that track their customer loyalty are 60% more profitable than other companies. 60%! What does that number mean to you? Even if you want your business to increase 5% this year (though more never hurts), consider leaning on your existing customers to help you grow your business.
Entrepreneur|| Startup Survival 101: It’s All About Relationships That Work by Martin Zwilling
Most entrepreneurs, and members of any small team for that matter, naively assume that the key to their success is hard work, dedication and long hours at the business. In reality, their effectiveness is usually more related to how well they develop their work relationships with peers and business leaders.
First, they need to decipher correctly every relationship as a workship, friendship or foe.
Facebook has become an indispensable tool for business. Why? Yes, because there are a billion people interacting there. Also because your friends, relatives, and most importantly, your competition, are interacting–creating great relationships and building trust–in this global community.
Did you know that Facebook is primarily a consumer-driven community? And most of them are savvy enough to smell (and block) a disingenuous marketer a mile away. We asked author and speaker Brian Basilico for his top five Facebook “don’ts” for your business.
It’s so convenient, isn’t it? It’s the first thing you’re drawn to every morning. It pervades your life via your desktop and mobile devices. It sucks you in. After all, it’s your life-support system and it has all the answers. Or does it?
Undoubtedly, the Internet does hold a lot of answers, but how we use it and the expectations we have of it are key.
Increasingly, I see that we’re becoming expert at providing and consuming ‘light’ information on the web. As Internet marketing and interconnectivity become more sophisticated, we are bombarded with half-useful information that never quite gets translated into practical improvements in our business. It consumes a lot of time, while seducing us with fascinating infographics, pictures, videos and never-ending threads.
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OSF Contributor Liza Kindred, of Third Wave Fashion, was featured and quoted in an article about consumer data collection from The High Low. José de Cabo of Olapic makes an appearance as well!
We spoke to Liza Kindred, founder of Third Wave Fashion, a consulting company which works with entrepreneurs on top-to-bottom branding strategies and specializes in compelling fashion tech start-ups. First and foremost, Kindred says, “One crucial thing to bear in mind when collecting data is privacy.” To that end, “Incremental data collection,” done in a way “that’s respectful of consumers’ comfort levels, is an important way for companies to get the information they need.” To do this right, the approach needs to be direct and social on one side and behind the scenes on the other.
Original Image created by Dave Bleasdale.