Entrepreneur Fashion: young brands are choosing pre-sales

Fashion: young brands are choosing pre-sales

It’s a new kind of shop where you don’t buy anything on the spot. Since last July, at 14 rue Froissart in Paris, we can try the different sizes of a prototype that will be made in two to four months. Or come and collect the copy of a model ordered and paid for ruby ​​on the nail before the summer, via the website of Forlife who “does not produce a part more or less than the quantities ordered” ensures Lucas Bonnichon, co-founder of this male label which only offers presale items.

In the same genre, there is the Asphalte brand which advocates the concept of subscription, since 2016, and its mission is to “put quality on a maximum of guys” by going to find small specialized producers with whom it deals in direct in order to display tight prices. Without forgetting the pioneer of crowdfunding in fashion, Thomas Huriez and its brand 1083 which, in 2013, launched the idea of ​​a new label of 100% made in France jeans and, at the same time if it reached the goal of 100 models sold, the challenge of making itself by bike the 1083 kilometers separating the two most distant cities of France … A journey that he must have made much faster than he imagined.

Take the market temperature

Presale is THE new business model in fashion, continues Lucas Bonnichon, who is not a beginner in the sector. With his older brother Séverin in 2011, they co-founded the label Frog leg which continues its activity according to the classic system of a collection conceived six months before its arrival in store, in order to be produced and sold in quantity to stores which will perhaps end up selling it with force sales and discounts so that it does not remain on their hands.

We got the idea for Forlife after meeting an Indian manufacturer of high quality leathers, says Lucas Bonnichon. Unfortunately, we arrived at a public price for the jacket that was too high for Cuisse de Grenouille and, moreover, we were not sure if we would sell it well. We have therefore decided to take the temperature of the market and offer it in a new format, in presale Kickstarter or Ulule style, while telling its story and all its manufacturing secrets. “

Reuni women’s coat model, to be ordered for 2022.

Three years later, the Forlife site launches several editions per month. “We are addressing consumers directly, cutting out all intermediaries and thus offering the best prices, continues Lucas Bonnichon. At the start of the pandemic, it was thought to put the project on hold and, finally, sales jumped to the next level. Men have never bought too many clothes on the spur of the moment. This is even less true today. They are even prepared to pay for an item in advance and wait for it for several if they are guaranteed it will be of good quality. “

A slightly cheaper call price

Adrien Garcia who launched, in the fall of 2019 with his wife Alice and his brother Julien, the feminine label Reunited according to the same principle of subscription editions, was “Deeply convinced” that this business model could be transposed to women. “It is customary to say that women are more impulsive and spontaneous when it comes to shopping, that they are not receptive to discourse on know-how and quality, nor able to wait a few months before being able to deliver their last blow. heart, but I had never noticed this eagerness in my entourage, tells the one who had also crossed plethora of professionals of the sector in the context of interviews for the podcasts Entreprendre dans la Mode which he continues to produce in parallel to the development of Réuni. We are now at two launches per month, recording between 500 and 1,500 orders depending on whether it is a large piece or a first prize. From next January, we should switch to one new product per week… Our success in less than two years is proof that women also like it. “

The entrepreneur Romain Trebuil will not say the opposite, he who launched, in spring 2020, the brand Circle Sportswear specializing in urban running and yoga outfits, in the form of a subscription to which a female audience first joined. “Women were the first to be seduced and to advertise us to those around them”, tells this “beginner” in the textile-clothing which launches any novelty in pre-order. And to justify: “This makes it possible both to assess the market for the type of product in question and, moreover, to test the attractiveness of our version without taking too many risks. This also makes it possible to launch it with a slightly cheaper call price in order to reward the people who support our approach and help us to produce without creating stock. “

Everything to please your community

Circle Sportswear’s eco-responsible discourse is perfectly targeted: 100% recycled and recyclable fibers, manufacture in a nearby radius in Europe, reusable packaging and deliveries by bicycle couriers … In the absence of being able to give the garment to touch, the storytelling of any brand presale must be eye-catching on the Internet and social networks.

On its site, Asphalte begins by recounting “how the clothing industry has gone into a spin over the last decades” before taking a stand against the approach of an esthete concerned with quality, nature and people. ” Everybody wins ! “ launch Benjamin Hooge and Benoît Tardif on the Instagram account of their eco-responsible label Later, also launched in subscription during 2020. They speak of a “Reasoned model which avoids overproduction, therefore unnecessary pollution, which makes it possible to offer lower prices without affecting quality and, also, which offers manufacturers and themselves more serene working conditions”.

Valentine dungarees from the Royal Mer brand.

At the beginning of September in Paris, at the Made in France trade fair which brought together a plethora of French manufacturers after eighteen months of canceled appointments, the mechanism of the pre-sale collections which were boosted by the closure of physical stores, was at the heart of the discussions. “It’s a virtuous system that ticks many eco-responsible boxes and, moreover, allows new brands to start up”, abstract Gilles Lasbordes, the general manager of Première Vision Paris organizer of the event.

“When a brand in presale gives us the production order, it has already received the proceeds of the sale and there is no risk of a default., add Herve Coulombel, the CEO of the company Royal Mer which manufactures sailor sweaters for various young labels. This new system has many advantages as long as you anticipate everything. You have to perfectly fine-tune the product before launch, schedule the supply of raw materials, reserve the production line months in advance, and react immediately when sales exceed their targets. In short, you have to work hand in hand between stylist and manufacturer. It is a new economic model which encourages proximity, which pleads in favor of made in France. “

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