The Archive

Articles in The Archive laid the foundation for the modern-day Loose Threads.

Why brands can’t escape the reality of politics


I recently attended a discussion with Jacques Panis, the president of Shinola, a company convinced it exemplifies the unrivaled power of American manufacturing and the ingenuity of the private sector. Panis spent a considerable amount of time explaining how the public sector has failed to create…

If people are price-sensitive to ethical products, then redefine the pricing scheme


Liz Pape, the founder of Elizabeth Suzann, a direct to consumer brand based in Nashville, recently wrote a thorough post about the complexity of making ethical clothing and running a successful business in a time where consumers are increasingly price sensitive. The post, which is worth reading, as…

What happens when beauty, health and wellness products move from standardized to personalized?


Right now, if you walk into your nearest grocery store, drug store or department store, you'll find at least thirty different types of toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, mouthwash, sunscreen, moisturizer, makeup, lipstick, foundation and a litany of other cosmetics and daily essentials.…

Loose Threads 2016 year in review: six trends at the intersection of fashion, technology and commerce


2016 was quite a year for fashion, technology and commerce. This was the year where the reality of different ventures, channels, and theses started to become clearer, as we moved on from the pure hype cycle of endless venture funding and direct to consumer brands popping up left and right. There…

The Scale Series — Part V: Bigger isn’t always better


Part I of this series explored the capital conditions that got us to a place where many brands swung for the fences, while Part II and Part III investigated some of the successes and failures in this growth environment. Part IV proposed a new framework for scaling brands globally while keeping them…

The Scale Series — Part IV: Localized Luxury


The early 2000s were full of brands launching adjacencies, some of which we looked at in Part II and Part III. Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Burberry and many others created endless diffusion lines and offshoots that tried to take the spirit and cache of the mother brand and infuse it into sister…

The Scale Series — Part III: Brands that have endured


In Part II we looked at brands that have overscaled their promise. Now, we'll examine successful fashion brands that have balanced their creative and commercial aspirations over the long term, which allows the strength of a brand to compound.

The Scale Series — Part II: Brands that overscaled


In Part I, we looked at the factors that both businesses and brands need to consider when scaling. With this foundation, we'll now examine some of the failures and some of the successes in the fashion industry. This piece will look at the former, while Part III will look at the latter.

The Scale Series — Part I: How and why brands overscale


A person starts a business to grow it. The general goal is to earn some revenue, and then some more revenue, and then lots and lots of revenue, while being profitable along the way. The process of getting there is often called scaling the business, with different definitions of what…