Wednesday, February 11, 2009

bollocks to a recession....in a manner of speaking

Some would say that this is an unfortunate time to start a business given the economic situation and while I agree, I think new companies can still survive, even thrive if they are smart about what they focus on moving forward.

Its true consumers are buying less and less but one thing we can be sure of is they won't stop buying altogether, especially necessities (Duke & Winston believes it is in fact a necessity). When it comes to apparel, the industry is taking a huge hit but the ones bearing the brunt of it are big lifeless brands like the Gap (shut them all down I say) or young lines with deep pockets (most celebrity clothing lines over the past few years) that threw out a lot of start-up money without putting too much thought into returning those investments and I'm sure not one anticipated a downturn like this...For instance, Justin Timberlake probably spent more money on these fake movie trailers for his clothing line, William Rast than most small brands would need to be in business for multiple seasons.

On the other hand, the upside for new small brands is that they have to cater to this new very cautious customer right off the bat. This means new brands can quickly adapt to this shift by centering their entire business on creative and innovative ways to attract weary customers. Steps that brands previously took for granted or were slow to implement now take precedence for any new brand that wants to last. Designs have to be better, practical and more captivating, product quality has to be at the forefront, prices have to be competitive and new ways of interacting with and providing service to customers have to be thought up and executed. These can be difficult tasks for established business that are set in their ways but brands that are small, nifty and able to adapt quickly can really take advantage of this. I think taking some these steps into consideration can increase chances of survival and success exponentially.

As for Duke & Winston, the plan moving forward is simple. Keep it tight, seek out the best talent and continue to expand the product line, focus on the long term.....The duke is here for the long haul.

1 comment:

viskussity said...

hey man

it's Jireh, friend of Sanche Frolich, the designer you met with the other night, i was there doing a photoshoot and was graced with your awesome shirt. thanks again so much for the sample and seriously if you need absolutely anything done photowise i would love to chip in and help, even if just for the practice...

i really like the line so far and i love your sensibility and approach to the whole thing, humble but with a tight product, hard to go wrong that way!

much success my man. thanks for the shirt, take care and again give me a ring or email if there's any way i can help you guys out.