LE NEW BLACK: You launched CGHP Beespoke Consulting in 2018 to accompany brands in the international development, can you tell us more about your experience?
Christel Guidon: I graduated from an international business school and my thesis was about emerging talents on an international market. At that time, I already wanted to have my own consulting agency. Before that, I worked 17 years for various brands and groups (Ted Lapidus, Kenzo Kids, Catimini, Ovale etc.). I was directly in charge of international wholesale developments, or via agents, importers, distributors, with retailers from 70 countries.
Two years ago, I launched CGHP Beespoke Consulting for brands to benefit from my experience. The agency is a member of OSCI and Stratexio and proposes various services: audit of the sales organisation, market studies, recruitment of agents, distributors, importers, as well as the direct management of the sales organisation, from prospection to sales and cutsomer loyalty. We are market experts in Europe, Middle-East and Asia.
LNB : What are the deep changes that the market is facing now? On mid and long terms? What are the advantages for a fashion brand to develop wholesale today?
CG: Wholesale market is more and more structured and is digitising rapidly. With the sanitary crisis, and multiple confinements, retailers have had to reinvent themselves to keep on their activity, trough the e-shop of the store, an e-shop gathering multiple stores, or again with virtual visits of stores on social networks, as well as shopping meeting on Whatsapp. They also developed their rang of service with “Click and collect” or deliveries for their customers. Professional retailers now prefer to invest on a brand for several season, like an investment, instead of only one season.
"Brands on their side gain great benefits from wholesale increase growth, increase visibility in France and internationally, test markets for a potential retail project etc."
LNB: You support brands such as Marie Martens and Sonia Rykiel Kids who joined LNB a few months ago. According to you, what is the role of BtoB platforms for the international developments of brands?
CG: Retailers today limit their visits in showrooms, fashion brands had to reinvent their BtoB commercial relations to keep contact with their buyers and prospects. BtoB platforms allow brands to sell their collections through in a professional way. Brands used to send lookbooks, line sheets, excel files by email. Today, the buyer can just place its order online, alone or supported by a sales manager through a video meeting. Also collections are enhanced thanks to the storytelling of the brand, videos, detailed descriptions and an e-commerce buying experience!
BtoB platform do not provide retailers networks: prospection remains mandatory. The tool allows prospects to enjoy a good visibility collection and products. The brand keeps track of the visits, the opening of the invitations etc. Regarding the brands I work with, we also organised video meetings this season, where I was in the showroom, presenting the collection to our buyers.
LNB: You recently founded “Club Mode et Luxe”, a club to develop the export for fashion brands. Can you tell us more about this initiative and your actions to support brands activity internationally in this particular context?
CG: I am a member of the “Stratexio” club, created by Medef to support companies in their international development. Stratexio creates clubs gathering dozens of CEOs in a region or a sector. Once of this club is “Club Mode et Luxe”, we just launched it. The aim is to gather fashion professionals that can discuss international development matters and be supported by expert. The membership to this club gives access to a dedicated magazine, and a personalised mentoringwith an expert, five days of trainings with an ecosystem of partners, and events (webinars, Stratexio académie etc).
At our last meeting, we had the pleasure to welcome Michael Jais the founder of Launchmetrics, and sponsor of the club, who told us about the importance of marketing in the development of a fashion company.