Fashion Disruption: From Manufacturing to Retailing

On Thursday, May 30th, 30 guests gathered at LeGrande Lounge for an intimate, invitation-only event on the topic of Fashion Disruption: From Manufacturing to Retailing. Moderator Anushka Salinas- Chief Revenue Officer of Rent the Runway sparked discussion between panelists Joseph Ferrara- Co-Founder & Co-Chairman of Resonance Companies, Charlotte Fanneau- Chief Product Officer of Heuritech, Matthieu Dejardins- Founder & CEO of Nextuser and Alexandra Cordahi- Business Development Manager at Nextail Labs

The discussion began with a brief state of the industry in 2019, focusing on several aspects: social media and the desire for individuality, expression through clothes & variety; ecommerce and the availability of products -fueling the desire for special things as well as Millenials and Gen Z wanting more out of the brands they buy from. Two additional topics, authenticity and sustainability, are also at the forefront of today's discussions. The industry is changing, whether through digital-native DTC disruptor brands, the rise of resale and the sharing economy or a push towards customization and limited-edition products. 

Each panelist introducted their company and brief case studies, beginning with Anushka who noted that as early as their launch in 2009, Rent the Runway has been introducting a new generation of future customers to brands. For example, their fit data was used by the brand Tanya Taylor to enhance and launch plus sizes, compromising a large part of their revenue today. On behalf of Heuritech, Charlotte, shared that their image-recognition software, coupled with the visionary eye of the Dior designers, was harnessed to identify and measure an emerging trend of reappearing vintage saddle bags. This iconic piece was originally popularized in the early 2000's, catapulting Dior's accessories by more than 60%. After losing traction, the bag was boosted by an endorsement from Beyonce in 2014 and re-launched into production by designer Maria Grazia Chiuri for the Fall 2018 ready-to-wear show in Paris. In between, Heuritech helped analyze images posted on social media and confer with the iconic French brand to inform their strategy and production. 

An additional topic covered was inventory, with Alexandra Cordahi sharing how Nextail helps brands avoid missed opportunity and optimize the placement of their existing stock through store transfers. On the subject of data, Matthieu responded to a question from the audience about GDPR compliance and Nextuser's compliance and ability to export, anonymize and expunge a user's data. Across the board, all panelists agreed that treating disruption and innovation from the top down, whether having a CIO or another executive level advocate to evangelize these practices

Finally, the discussion closed with panelists' predictions for the future of the industry, with Joseph Ferrara boldly betting that half of the legacy brands that are over a billion dollars in sales wille be out of business in five years- meaning that on-demand production will be a definitive game-changer for brands to avoid loss, maximize revenue, test markets and contribute to a sustainable industry. 

At the close of the evening, guests enjoyed passed hors d'oeuvres and a selection of sauvignon blanc, rosé, cabernet and beer. 

Many thanks to our luxury, fashion and beauty series event sponsor for making this evening possible: