Going Viral: A cautionary tale for consumer brands

From cronuts to fidget spinners, the rise and fall of viral products are clouded in mystique. Largely outside of a company’s control, viral products gain momentum thanks to myriad external factors, as they spread throughout social networks and…


Playbook: How to approach virality as a consumer brand

From cronuts to fidget spinners, the rise and fall of viral products are clouded in mystique. Largely outside of a company’s control, viral products gain momentum thanks to myriad external factors, as they spread throughout social networks and…


Kylie Cosmetics and the value paradox of celebrity brands

Forbes recently put Kylie Jenner—member of the Kardashian clan and founder of Kylie Cosmetics, one of the fastest growing beauty brands ever—on the cover of its America’s Women Billionaires issue. The feature, which came with an…


Joy Bomb — with Natalie Mackey of Winky Lux

#73. Winky Lux is a quickly growing beauty brand built around accessible and fun products. We talk with co-founder Natalie Mackey, who started the company after realizing the mass market opportunity around drugstore-priced cosmetics that embody…


PrimeTime: Amazon expands Prime Wardrobe, braces itself for new state taxes, outpaces Best Buy as top electronics retailer; Amazon Echo partners with home builders; Amazon Fuse will expand the company’s media ecosystem; Walmart may buy stake in Flipkart

The latest news on everything Amazon   Amazon will allow more Prime members to access the Prime Wardrobe program, which lets shoppers try on clothes before paying for them. Prime Wardrobe—which has yet to officially launch and serves…


The Grinds: Walmart plans to redesign site, Click-to-buy morphs into click-to-buy-and-make, b8ta expands “retail as a service,” Domino’s delivers to customers en route

Walmart is making its website more sleek, but where does that leave Jet? What happened Walmart, which continues to devote more resources to its ecommerce operation, plans to debut a resigned website that spotlights its higher-end brands and…


PrimeTime: Amazon grows its private-label presence; U.S. warehouses unfit for ecommerce fulfillment; Amazon wants Alexa to compete with Venmo; Walmart continues to compete with Amazon via price matching, pickup kiosks and healthcare; Amazon’s R&D expenses surpass those of all other U.S. companies

The latest news on everything Amazon   Amazon now has over 70 active private-label brands on its platform. The majority of these brands emerged in 2017, though the company began testing its private-label products in 2009. These brands and…


The Grinds: Ulta Beauty will begin selling Chanel Beauté, Nordstrom family ends buyout effort, ThredUp wants to create a consignment ecosystem, Google launches new advertising program online with its AI assistant

Ulta Beauty will begin selling Chanel Beauté—a coveted and surprising addition to the beauty retailer that mixes high and low. To-the-point analysis about one of the four important stories from the week.   What happened Ulta Beauty,…


The Grinds: Target opens small-format stores, BuzzFeed adds new beauty and style vertical, JAB Holding Company conquers coffee, Glossier launches new pop-up

Target is the latest mass retailer to open small-format stores, whose focus on private label could help it provide even more differentiated products. To-the-point analysis about one of the five important stories from the week.  …


Manufacturing the Moment — with Ben Kaufman of BuzzFeed

#61. BuzzFeed Commerce, the media company’s commerce and product arm, has proved in only a short span of time that it might be the most agile and prolific team in consumer products. We talk with its director, Ben Kaufman, who joined the company with…


How to Navigate the Off-Price Epidemic

As the off-price market continues to grow despite the improving economy, many brands and retailers are falling into a trap, selling more off-price products to compete in the consumer economy, and lowering their margins in the process. This Playbook,…


Dear Zara: One Thing I Would Do

Working in the consumer products space, I have examined many different companies, but Zara remains one of the most fascinating studies. Your accomplishments—from a supply chain, retail, digital and culture perspective—rival few others because of the…


Shoes and SKUs — with Jodie Fox of Shoes of Prey

On the 49th episode of the Loose Threads Podcast, a show about the new consumer economy, I talk with Jodie Fox, a co-founder of Shoes of Prey, a company that allows women to custom design their own shoes and get them delivered in two weeks. Jodie…


An Unexpected Journey to the Source — with Matt Scanlan of Naadam Cashmere

On the 21st episode of the Loose Threads Podcast, a show about the intersection of fashion, technology and commerce, I talk with Matt Scanlan, the founder of Naadam, a direct to consumer brand that is reinventing the cashmere supply chain. Matt…


Focusing on the Rules of Business, Not the Glamour — with Vishaal Melwani of Combatant Gentlemen

On the 11th episode of the Loose Threads Podcast, I talk with Vishaal Melwani, CEO and co-founder of Combatant Gentleman, about the brand's founding; how the team decided to build a suiting essentials brand meant to scale; how they incorporated…


Building the Knitwear Platform of the Future — with Ben Alun-Jones of UNMADE

On the 5th episode of the Loose Threads Podcast, I talk with Ben Alun-Jones, CEO and co-founder of UNMADE, a fascinating fashion tech company based in London. UNMADE is building a platform that brings legacy knitwear machines into the 21st century,…


Artificial intelligence and fashion: a platform play

Artificial intelligence, often called AI or deep learning, will undoubtedly transform the fashion industry. This transformation will have a few important qualities: 1) AI will be a platform play, not something brands build and launch individually;…


Supply chain and cashflow: two keys missing from the CFDA’s fashion system report

Last week, the CFDA and Boston Consulting Group released the results of a study about the future of the fashion system, entitled Examining the future of New York Fashion Week. There's currently a lot of anxiety in the fashion world and many corners…