After having deepened his knowledge at Marc Jacobs and Dries Van Noten, American designer Spencer Phipps founded his own ethical brand in 2017, distributed by the most prestigious stores worldwide (MatchesFashion, Printemps, Harrods, SSense etc.). He chose Le New Black to digitise his wholesale just before the SS21 season, when retailers had to limit their travels and fashion week became 100% digital.
Le New Black: you use Le New Black since May 2020, what were your expectations when you integrated Le New Black to your organisation?
Spencer Phipps: the situation last May was exceptional. Like many other brands, we were looking for solutions to adapt to the new constraints of the market, we wanted a simple tool, that would allow us to be reactive.
"Six months later, the team is convinced by the platform and has quickly adopted it. It’s been very useful for our internal processes, specially thanks to the connector with Zedonk, our ERP."
LNB: what are the feedbacks of your buyers about their order-taking on your digital showroom?
SP: the feedbacks have been positive. We knew that having a digital showroom means producing more content that for a physical showroom, we therefore added to this digital experience “fabric books” sent to the buyers before the presentation of our SS21 collection: “Spirit of freedom”.
LNB: how did the new constraints or opportunities of these first ever digital fashion weeks have impacted your creativity and your organisation?
SP: the organisation of this new kind of fashion week was very different. We had to get organised earlier to be able to produce the content expected, which is almost at the opposite of organising a fashion show. It went fine, it was just a new way of structuring a collection. We actually loved producing our movie « Spirit of Freedom », it is a format that we will continue! For me, the only negative side of this 100% digital season was the lack of human contact, with our buyers, our clients, the customers: with digital you can not see the first reactions.
LNB: what are the three innovating companies or people that you follow in the fashion industry that you think can answer major challenges our society is going through (environment, society, economy etc.), and that you would advise the actors of the industry to follow carefully?
SP: I think about Gabriela Hearst, she has her own ethical womenswear and also created the Sustain Chain™ in collaboration with the United Nations. I also think about Julie Gilhart, founder of Julie Gilhart Consulting Inc., who works with big brands and companies such as LVMH, The RealReal, Amazon, Parsons, Mulberry etc. to guide their efforts toward more sustainability.