The Critic’s Corner: 3 CEOs Who Are Killing It in the Fashion Industry

Are you learning from the CEOs taking the industry by storm?

We often hear of fashion industry CEOs from major companies being profiled and lauded for innovation, but small growth stage companies are really the ones making the biggest waves. Growth stage businesses can pivot faster and experiment more often with smaller teams and lower overhead than their big business counterparts. Today we’re assessing three CEOs making waves in retail- and what we love about what they’re doing. Read our profiles of the talents heading DSTLD, AYR and The Arrivals.

Corey Epstein, CEO of DSTLD

Corey Epstein of DSTLD

Launched in Los Angeles in 2014, DSTLD has been killing it by cutting out the middlemen to sell high-end products for less – via a direct-to-consumer business model (DTC). Having just raised over $3 million through a crowdfunding platform, DSTLD sold equity shares to over 1,700 investors.

Crowdfunding through investment is an exciting strategy that many businesses have been gravitating towards lately. Beyond Kickstarter where you donate money, these new platforms sell pre-IPO stock. Here are a few to check out: NextSeed, SeedInvest and CrowdFunder. This is a great way to get community investment, and raise the capital you need. Check out their campaign here.

I’ve always been a fan of DSTLD’s advertising, brand DNA, and 360° approach to hosting long-term pop-ups and a digital platform. They currently have a pop-up in LA, with NYC slated to launch next.

We’re definitely excited to see what’s next for DSTLD…

Maggie Winter, CEO of AYR (ALL YEAR ROUND)

Maggie Winters of AYR

As one of three co-founders, Maggie is the CEO of AYR, which stands for All Year Round. The company launched in 2014 out of NYC, raising $6.2M in 2016 to fuel growth. Some parts of the growth strategy we love includes strategic pop-ups, expansion into the plus-size market and – of course – lots of advertising. And just last month, they opened their first brick-and-mortar store, a flagship in NYC’s SoHo no less. Entry into the wholesale market seems to be next on the horizon.

At Scaling Retail, we’re big fans of how AYR’s assortment is always so edited. They have a clear brand message, a generous return policy, stellar emails – and their seasonless, affordable basics bring something new to the market.

Kal Vepuri & Jeff Johnson, Co-Founders of The Arrivals

Kal Vepuri and Jeff Johnson, The Arrivals

If you’re not familiar with The Arrivals, definitely check them out. Started by two co-founders who were completely outside of the fashion industry in 2014, their claim to fame is no stores, no middlemen and no markups. And they offer some seriously amazing products! They’re high quality, elevated and made from innovative materials.

We’re obsessed with this classic DTC business’s marketing strategies including creative contests and events, pop-up shops, clever email marketing and the chance to snag shopping credits for referring friends.

Make it a point to follow these companies on social, sign up for their newsletters and see if any of their creative strategies spawn any great ideas of your own.

Keeping up with what’s happening in the industry helps. But there’s nothing like having strategies specially customized for a business of your own. That’s where we can help. We can assess your business to see where you stand, analyze your goals and determine your next best steps. Let our team execute your marketing strategy, including anything from pop-up shop activations and digital marketing campaigns to influencer partnerships. Call 310-957-5264 to schedule a consultation session today or email hello@scalingretail.com.