Best of 2022: The year in interviews

nikholas

As the year comes to a close, FashionUnited has sifted […]

As the year comes to a close, FashionUnited has sifted through the mass
of notable interviews that have taken place and has highlighted some of the
most stand out conversations from its archive.

January

Women in leadership: Isabella West, founder and CEO
Hirestreet

Rental has inched its way into the fashion industry slowly but surely,
and in recent years has seen significant growth in demand as consumers lean
towards more sustainable alternatives to shopping.

Founded in May 2018, Hirestreet was one of the first rental platforms in
the UK, launched by Newcastle Upon Tyne’s Isabella West. The idea sprouted
from personal savings and flourished in her parent’s basement, from which
the now nationally-renowned company was formed.

Read the article here.

Ready for take off: Ambitions of Berlin streetwear trendsetter
Highsnobiety

Highsnobiety is more than a print or online magazine. Innovative retail
concepts, cross-sector collaborations and its own collections have
attracted international attention for the Berlin streetwear expert. In
addition to its headquarters in Berlin, the platform also has locations in
New York, London, Amsterdam and four other cities.

Read the article here.

Highsnobiety-CCO Max Berger (left) and Herbert Hofmann, Head
of buying for Highsnobiety (right) at Gatezero-Opening | Image:
FashionUnited

February

Brooklyn-based BIPOC brand discusses impact of Black History
Month on business

In honor of Black History Month, Edify, an online direct-to-consumer
marketplace for ethical and sustainable BIPOC(Black, Indigenous, and people
of color)-owned businesses highlights brands to make it easier for shoppers
to allocate their purchasing power accordingly. Edify’s purpose of
hand-picking products and companies that appeal to a conscious consumer
simultaneously aims to support, empower, and celebrate underserved
communities, with their ultimate goal to end racism in the fashion industry.

Read the article here.

S.Oliver head of sales Daniel Schmidt: ‘Currently we are above
the level of 2019’

S.Oliver finally wants to leave the pandemic behind and starts the year
optimistically. FashionUnited visited the Rottendorf-based clothing
supplier during the Düsseldorf Order Days. Sales director Daniel Schmidt
explains why the company has changed the order rhythm, how the current
order date has gone and to what extent prices have been adjusted.

Read the article here.

LFW AW22: Rixo presents its most size inclusive
collection

British brand Rixo brought a party atmosphere to London Fashion Week to
unveil its autumn/winter 2022 collection inspired by the 1930s with a
champagne reception at the opulent Goldsmith’s Hall in London.

Image: Rixo

Entitled ‘The Golden Age,’ Rixo co-founders Orlagh McCloskey and
Henrietta Rix celebrated the opulence and splendour depicted on the
Hollywood movie screens during the 1930s with geometric patterns, sequins
and velvets adorning the brands signature hand-painted prints.

Read the article here.

March

Anine Bing on celebrating 10 years of her eponymous
brand

In 2012, Anine Bing launched her brand from her garage in Silver Lake,
fast-forward 10 years, the womenswear brand is heading into its biggest
year to date, with more store openings, new categories, collaborations, and
an expansion into China.

Read the article here.

April

Founder of kidswear resale platform Dotte: ‘The idea came from
genuine parental frustration’

Launched during the height of the pandemic, Dotte’s debut fell in line
with the swift emergence of resale as an alternative form of shopping.
However, unlike other platforms, co-founders and mothers Samantha Valentine
and Louise Weiss, decided to opt entirely for the resale of kidswear, a
largely untouched market in the secondhand sector.

Read the article here.

Image: Rares, Gerome Sapp

CEO Interview: Sneaker investment platform Rares introduces
secondary market trading

“Investing in culture” – that’s the core concept of Rares, a sneaker
investment platform set up by former NFL player, Gerome Sapp.The platform
allows users to invest in sneakers as they would do in typical stocks and
provides sneaker enthusiasts an alternative to simply reselling shoes. In a
discussion with FashionUnited, Sapp said the concept gives “people access
to cultural relics that have somehow transcended into investment
assets”.

Read the article here.

May

Primark Germany head: ‘We are not immune to
inflation’

Since its founding in 1969, Primark has stood for affordable clothing.
In this context, the Irish clothing retailer often faces criticism,
especially when it comes to the issue of sustainability. The company wants
to get rid of this rather bad reputation and introduced its sustainability
strategy

in September. It stipulates, among other things, that by 2030 all garments
would be made from recycled or more sustainable materials and that women
would be promoted along the supply chain.

Read the article here.

Richard Quinn on designing the Creative Spot + British Fashion
Council pop-up

London-born fashion designer Richard Quinn is one of the UK’s brightest
fashion talents and a lot has happened since he presented his MA collection
at Central Saint Martins in 2016. Quinn was the first recipient of the
Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design

in 2018, even luring the Queen to London Fashion Week, and earlier this
month he was named the recipient of the 2022 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund

.

Read the article here.

June

OTB founder Renzo Rosso as a person in the metaverse – image
via OTB

OTB founder and chair Renzo Rosso talks the metaverse and IPO
plans

The 15th edition of Greentech Festival in Berlin launched Wednesday with
a gala at the former Tegel Airport, an area that is now called Urban Tech
Republic. During the Green Awards gala, Renzo Rosso, the founder and
chairman of OTB, received the ‘Special Prize Italy‘, with Italy being this
years’ guest country of the festival.

Read the article here.

TM Lewin MD on website relaunch and post-pandemic
formalwear

British menswear retailer TM Lewin relaunched its websites last month,
six weeks after being bought out of administration for the second time in
two years. Like many formalwear companies, it was hit hard by the pandemic
as it faced prolonged store closures and the cancellation of large social
events such as weddings and the Royal Ascot.

Read the article here.

July

’Shopping is about fit, not size’: Bods founder Christine
Marzano talks virtual avatars and sexy tech

As returns and fit become increasingly evident issues within fashion,
brands are looking into innovative ways to avoid playing a part in these
areas. Los Angeles-based start-up Bods is hoping to help drive this change
in the industry through digital-first fit solutions.

Read the article here.

Image: Bods x Khaite

August

Business in uncertain times: How Zalando is dealing with Brexit,
inflation and shifted consumer sentiment

Online retailer Zalando is one of the leading destinations for fashion
and lifestyle in Europe. The Berlin-based company serves 25 European
markets with an overall consumer base of around 49 million. With its
Platform Strategy at its centre, namely the marketplace model and connected
retail, Zalando aims to achieve international growth by increasingly
expanding its partner programmes to half of its gross merchandise volume
(GMV) by 2025.

Read the article here.

Soon-to-be-launched marketplace Draup hopes to maximise the
value of digital fashion

There is no denying that digital fashion is continuing to strongly
cement its place in the fashion industry. However, the virtual world is
still under constant development, a process that has been left in the hands
of the few who have put it upon themselves to build the space up in a
responsible manner. “Because we are so early, every platform that has
launched in this space is not just representing themselves but also the
whole digital fashion industry,” said Daniella Loftus, founder of a
soon-to-be-launched digital fashion e-commerce platform, Draup, in
conversation with FashionUnited.

Read the article here.

September

Swagga hopes to define the future of phygital fashion metaverses
with its new platform

The ‘phygital’ concept is a one being rapidly adopted by brands,
retailers and designers alike, and sees the merging of physical and digital
activations, such as in-person events shown in the digital world or vice
versa. Its integration into various marketing strategies has been adopted
by a number of big name brands, including Tommy Hilfiger, which exercised
the concept in its recent New York Fashion Week event, where it held a real
life show parallel to a metaverse-based event on Roblox.

Read the article here.

Image: Model of Photogenics, Mouna Fadiga

Photogenics launches new avatar division helping models monetise
in the digital world

LA-based modelling agency Photogenics has announced the launch of a new
Avatar division, allowing brands to further explore the digital world while
enabling models to monetise their careers beyond the physical.

Engineered alongside designers Nina Hawkins, also known as Ninocence of
Lilium Labs, and Horizon Lab’s Sage Morei, with the help of John Caldwell
of Wave Financial & Unicorn DAO, who served as a mentor, the new division
will offer up avant-garde, photorealistic avatars, created by scanning a
model’s face using a camera and a proprietary stitching algorithm.

Read the article here.

October

How The Edit LDN plans to take over the world of sneakers,
resale and NFTs

Sneaker and apparel collectible culture has naturally intertwined with
the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and circular resale models,
bringing together already sizable groups into one enlarged like-minded
community. It is this vast community that online marketplace The Edit LDN
is hoping to continue building on, as it looks to spread its reach
internationally, online and in the metaverse.

Read the article here.

Rails CEO Jeff Abrams discusses how the Californian brand is
diving into European retail

“Over the last 15 years, we have grown from a 5,000-dollar investment to
over 750 million dollars in retail sales, to date,” said Jeff Abrams,
creative director and founder of Californian lifestyle brand Rails, in a
conversation with FashionUnited. Since the brand’s founding in 2008, the
company has grown beyond its LA-roots in pursuit of international markets,
with the past two years’ focus on expanding physical retail.

Read the article here.

The new Rails store in Amsterdam, image via UPR

November

Plein Sport aggressively targeting 295 stores by
2024

Philipp Plein, known for his signature maximalism and more-is-more
aesthetic, is taking on the active sportswear market with Plein Sport,
complete with innovative products, a disruptive retail experience with a
self-service vending machine concept, and licensing details. Just don’t
call it a diffusion line!

Read the article here.

The positive impact of virtual fashion according to the world’s
first metaverse stylist

When gaming platform Roblox released its Metaverse Fashion Trends 2022

report earlier this month it underscored the global demand for digital
fashion, its widespread impact in the industry, and the opportunities for
brands and creators that lie ahead.

Read the article here.

Image: Alibaba, Tmall Luxury Pavillion

Alibaba’s Mei Chen on how Tmall is helping luxury brands
digitally transform for the Chinese consumer

Five years on from its launch, Alibaba’s Tmall Luxury Pavillion has
positioned itself as a “one-stop shop” for China’s consumer, and as the
segment continues to grow in the region, its impact on the global luxury
industry is starting to spill out into wider markets. The high-end
e-commerce platform initially launched in 2017, just as Chinese consumers
were beginning to favour online stores over physical retail when purchasing
luxury or high-end products.

Read the article here.

December

Axel Arigato founder: ‘If you don’t take risks, you’re
dead’

Swedish sneaker label Axel Arigato is expanding in Germany and
internationally. With the help of social media, the brand first took off
digitally in the direct-to-consumer business before growing via wholesale
and through its own stores in recent years.

At the opening of its newest store in Berlin Mitte, the two founders,
creative director Max Svärdh and managing director Albin Johansson,
explained why they value their physical presence despite starting out as a
digital-native brand.

Read the article here.

Sophie Hersan | Image: Vestiaire Collective

Vestiaire Collective co-founder Sophie Hershan: Gen Z enters
luxury consumerism with secondhand

The second hand market is booming and, especially with the current price
increases, offers a cheaper and more cycle-oriented alternative for
consumers. But it can also offer more than that, says Sophie Hersan, the
co-founder of resale platform Vestiaire Collective. In the age of the
internet, filled with fashion drops and the hype of exclusivity, second
hand fashion is no longer reserved only for thrifty shoppers who rummage
through bargain tables at the flea market – it also offers real treasures
and investments.

Read the article here.

Victoria’s Secret alum built multi-million dollar lingerie
business by putting people before panties

Almost an overnight success story, Michelle Cordeiro Grant founded her
direct-to-consumer intimates brand Lively in 2015. A veteran of Victoria’s
Secret, which built its global megabrand on the pillars of exclusion,
unattainable beauty standards and a male gaze fantasy, she set about doing
things differently. Her product celebrated comfort, community and
inclusivity.

Read the article here.

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