Fashion and wholesale succeed through partnerships. The industry’s highly interconnected ecosystem makes it strong, agile, and able to continuously reinvent under fire. The independent designer/department store collaboration exemplifies this dynamic: it re-energizes wholesale year-on-year, serving as a vital innovation engine and a bridge to the future. Outdated marketing and operations practices, however, have begun to hold it back. Through the ‘100 Project,’ JOOR and Not Just a Label (NJAL) are forging more open and efficient digital pathways to set up the young talent/retailer alliance for the long term win.
Same Collaborations, New Activations
NJAL--a free platform that supports diverse emerging designers, connecting over 42,000 of them to both the international fashion industry and consumers worldwide. Last fall, we joined them for this innovative initiative that will allow their young talent to connect with the 200,000+ retailers on JOOR’s platform for digital wholesale management. Launched as a contest and drawing 1,000 applicants, the 100 Project called for entries to discover NJAL’s top 100 emerging designers using criteria such as uniqueness, creativity, and commercial viability.
A panel of JOOR Pro Retailer fashion directors, buyers, and assistant buyers from Al Tayer, Printemps, Shopbop, Neiman Marcus, and Darial chose the finalists earlier this year. The 100 winners received complimentary membership to JOOR Pro--a resource independent designers have called “...a great relationship building tool.” The end product will enable them to efficiently and inexpensively introduce their brands, present their collections and form lasting partnerships with retailers.
JOOR empowers retailers to not only find young designers but also truly experience their collections and brands: it enables a dynamic and sophisticated virtual showroom where retailers can get a thorough understanding of a brand in a single page. Emerging designers can clearly and compellingly tell their brands’ unique stories through digital media--an important advantage in an era when purpose, originality, transparency and social impact play such a crucial role.
Once emerging designers have partnered with retailers, the JOOR platform gives them both a seamless way to do business. Designers can create customized linesheets at scale, seamlessly tailoring them to specific retail partners’ needs and sensibilities. And those retailers can shop linesheets directly 24/7 online from anywhere in the world. The customized linesheet functionality also gives young designers the chance to promote available-to-sell (ATS) styles, potentially reducing excess inventory and helping in sustainability efforts.
A Pathway for Now, and the Future
The 100 Project offers a smooth and accessible way for emerging designers and retailers to connect and build partnerships digitally. Of course, at a time when the health crisis proscribes in-person events, it also presents one of the only feasible alternatives. Although virtual branding and wholesaling has spiked under the present conditions, analysts predict this shift to digital will remain long after the pandemic has passed. Up and down our value chain, digital is becoming more dominant, which means new pathways will continue to open up collaborators to do inspiring and sustainable work.