Holding a master's degree in Fashion Design and passionate about emerging brands, Vincent Lyleire has had a colourful and multifaceted career in the world of fashion. Having launched his own company dedicated to helping fashion businesses develop their sales, network, and partnership activities in March of 2022, Vincent’s experience includes stints at several Parisian fashion houses such as Aganovich, and Martin Grant, working in sales for tradeshows such as Who's Next and Premiere Classe, at the press offices of Michelle Montagne and the No Season showroom, in business development at La Redoute and developing the activity of incubators and crowdfunding platforms for young designers such as Lab Scene and Ulule X Who's Next. His more recent entrepreneurial activities have also led to the nurturing of partnerships with Parisian fashion school LISAA, Korean state organisation THE SELECTS, leather goods brand 10.03.53, and South Korean brand Songzio for its international relaunch.
LNB: Thank you for accepting this interview, Vincent. You have been using LE NEW BLACK’s wholesale solution for a number of years and are a sales agent for several brands on our platform, notably as part of your partnership with THE SELECTS showroom. Could you tell us a little about what motivated you to start your own agency, how you select the brands you work with, and what services you offer them?
Vincent: My business was created from a very natural place, as an answer to the demand for my services. It gives me the privilege of working with brands in a very hands-on way, as a fully-fledged member of the team for the duration of my freelance contract, whether that be for one or more years. The decision to work with a brand is often made intuitively and is largely motivated by the feeling I get from its product, the meaningfulness behind its brand story, and therefore the potential I see for its development.
When I begin working with a brand, the first thing we do is to refine its creative intention and create a commercial environment in line with the designer’s vision and its new commercial strategy. Once the creative vision and commercial strategies have been decided, I also assist the brand in the calculation and setting of its prices, the implementation of the commercial strategy, and the organisation of sales sessions, following the company’s development throughout the season, from prospection to order confirmations, and from delivery to payment, right up until the end of the season when the collection arrives instore.
LNB: You use several digital wholesale platforms to manage the sales of the brands your agency supports. What do you think are the advantages of the digitalisation of wholesale for brands in 2023?
Vincent: It’s worth mentioning that the events of the past two years accelerated the digitalisation of fashion wholesale. From one day to the next, we had to find solutions in order to maintain the presentation of collections from a distance. Amongst the digital wholesale platforms that existed at the time, it was particularly those that allowed for the rapid creation of reports and the analysis of sales that quickly became essential.
Whilst we are in an industry where the physical element continues to be important, wholesale platforms help to save time for brands but also money for the distributors who no longer need to travel every Fashion Week. Buyers are increasingly familiar with the different solutions available and save a lot of time during showroom meetings by making their selections in just a few clicks. They also simplify production launches thanks to the rapid generation of reports allowing for faster quantity analysis.
LNB: Which are the features you use the most on the LE NEW BLACK platform, and why do you think they are essential for B2B sales management?
Vincent: The key features I use on LE NEW BLACK are:
- The digital product catalog, to present the collection to buyers. Being able to digitise an entire collection is essential for both the sales and production teams. Creating a product catalog that can be made available for your buyers or creating a selection personalised especially for them and having them place their orders directly via the platform, saves us a lot of time, especially during the size selection.
- Online ordering capabilities that include the commercial order placement conditions, allowing us to host the sales season either remotely or live depending on the season
- Order validation directly via the platform, which saves me time thanks to the automatically generated email confirmation that the buyer receives after confirming their order
- Reporting and analysis tools, that help to organise and consolidate information. The customisable analysis tool allows me to review sales, analyse our bestsellers, and give commercial recommendations for the next season. We only need a single software to analyze all of our activity and launch production.
Even though today, I work with an address book that I have built up over my years of experience within the industry, I also appreciate the fact that the platform can be used as a tool for prospecting, being able to get in touch with buyers already registered with LE NEW BLACK and invite them to discover the brand, allowing me to capture another audience and find potential new clients.
It is also worth mentioning that having a B2B platform as a brand allows it to be seen as more professional in the eyes of retailers, in turn reassuring them.
Stay tuned for part two in this series, to find out more about the specificities of the French wholesale market, and the trends to look out for in 2023.