Although many fashion firms are undergoing difficult times, there are some bright spots among specialized fashionistas and related companies.
“The following five companies illustrate the power of building a brand atop an authoritative editorial voice, whether it’s in the form of viral videos and lifestyle blogs or influencer ‘grams and disappearing Snaps. They’re also fostering conversations with consumers—sneakerheads, fashionistas, and beauty obsessives alike—that inform everything from product design to distribution and marketing. In their hands, content has become a robust engine for commerce.”
- CLIQUE MEDIA GROUP — “For parlaying fashion advice into retail gold. Clique Media leaped out of the digital world and into the physical one in January 2016 with a clothing line for Target. The millennial-minded Who What Wear collection offers runway trends at big-box prices ($34.99 for velvet pants, $44.99 for a cape blazer) and keeps up with the frenetic pace of fashion by committing to 12 updates a year. It’s a natural evolution for the company, which grew out of the Who What Wear blog started by Elle magazine veterans Katherine Power and Hillary Kerr.”
- GLOSSIER — “For collaborating with customers to create cult cosmetics. The beauty industry has generally flowed in one direction: Executives in glass towers decide which products they’re going to put on shelves, and women buy them (or don’t). Glossier founder and CEO Emily Weiss has turned this process into a two-way conversation by asking readers of her beauty news and reviews website, Into the Gloss, to weigh in on every aspect of her skin-care and makeup company.”
- HYPEBEAST — “For uniting sneakerheads into a lucrative demographic. ‘In the world of hype, in the world of cool, you need to be the coolest platform selling the coolest products,’ says Kevin Ma, the unflappable founder of the Hong Kong–based streetwear site Hypebeast. Championing edgy brands such as Raf Simons, Vetements, and Hood by Air, Ma’s site has grown from a simple sneakerhead review hub (created in his Vancouver bedroom) to a multifaceted arbiter of all manner of urban fashion and culture that includes Hypebeast, the year-old female-focused Hypebae, and an online marketplace called HBX that sells everything from Yeezy Boosts to Leica cameras.”
- KENZO — “For ripping up the seams of fashion marketing. When actress Margaret Qualley shot lasers from her fingers during a dance routine in the Spike Jonze–directed short film Kenzo World, that’s likely when marketers went slack-jawed. Commissioned to celebrate the launch of the French fashion house Kenzo’s Kenzo World fragrance, the spot (which went viral) and won a top industry award, led to a wildly successful soft launch of the perfume — no paid media or marketing required. (Parent company LVMH cited the campaign as helping drive the 8% growth in its perfumes and cosmetics division in 2016.)”
- REWARDSTYLE — “For giving influencers a must-have accessory. Founder Amber Venz Box has channeled her frustration as a fashion blogger who wanted to make more money into a full suite of back-end publishing and tracking tools. Today, RewardStyle allows her and her fellow bloggers and Instagram personalities the chance to earn commissions on the products they promote. ‘Our mission is making [influencers] as economically successful as possible,’ she says. Users who like a RewardStyle influencer’s ’gram receive an E-mail on where to buy the featured look.”
Click the image to read more about these five firms.