Cherry LA: A Lesson in Creativity for Any Small Business

When it comes to 2019 fashion, streetwear is still king. Brands like Supreme, Stüssy, and even Louis Vuitton, continue to buzz in circles of hype beasts and fashionistas alike. The rise and reign of streetwear is intrinsically tied to social media, with brands like I.AM.GIA proving that overnight success is just one Hadid or Jenner Instagram tag away from blowing up in popularity.

Though breaking into the landscape may seem impossible as a small business, Cherry Los Angeles has shown there’s plenty of room for the small guy to shine in the streetwear scene. While Cherry LA’s re-worked Dickies and bold graphic tees are worthy of praise, their ever-growing success can really be attributed to their bold and brilliant branding. If you’re looking to carve your own path in the streetwear sector, be sure to add Cherry LA to your inspiration board for ideas in creativity.

New to the brand? Don’t worry, we’ll get you up to speed!

Continue reading “Cherry LA: A Lesson in Creativity for Any Small Business”

Has Next Level Created the Perfect Fashion Tee for Women?

A t-shirt is the most basic and powerful clothing item women can own. There’s something intrinsically satisfying about a blank canvas that pulls together an outfit with such simplicity. A good tee, when you find it, is the epitome of the “no-makeup” makeup look.

For decades, women have had to scour men’s closets to find a quality tee thanks to the “shrink it and pink it” marketing era. So, when it comes to t-shirts what exactly are women looking for?… 

Continue reading “Has Next Level Created the Perfect Fashion Tee for Women?”

Tommy Hilfiger: America’s Favorite Preppy Brand

Following bankruptcy in the late ‘70s from his first apparel business, The People’s Place, Tommy Hilfiger set out to master not only the creative pulse of fashion, but also the business of commerce. By this time, preppy style had manifested into a class of its own, with aspiring designers opening doors to wealthy clientele left and right. With the style originating from upper-class Ivy League college students on the East Coast, it drew inspiration from popular New England sports like sailing, fencing, golf and polo. Preppy became so much more than a fashion statement, it was (and is) a culture and lifestyle. So, how exactly did Hilfiger go from bankruptcy to iconic, internationally-recognized, “preppy American luxury”? Continue reading “Tommy Hilfiger: America’s Favorite Preppy Brand”

Goodbye Casual, Hello Fashion: Athleisure is Here to Stay

The days of the “Mad Men” era, with separate attire for work, dinner, and a night out, are long gone. We’re living in modern times where “casual Fridays” are becoming a daily occurrence. Close to 40 percent of the U.S. workforce is freelancing and style has officially been paired with comfort.

As the workforce continues to change and high-fashion consistently transforms activewear into fashionable, yet functional pieces—the need for the suit-and-tie is decreasing. Instead, people are opting for Continue reading “Goodbye Casual, Hello Fashion: Athleisure is Here to Stay”

Adidas: The Rise and Evolution of an Icon

Three stripes, a simple signature, has grown to become as ubiquitous in global fashion as the crossed C’s of Chanel or the Nike swoosh. Without even mentioning the brand’s name, you probably already know who we’re talking about—that’s the power of Adidas. What started as a small dream in a laundry room has manifested into a cultural empire. But how did they become such an iconic brand?  Continue reading “Adidas: The Rise and Evolution of an Icon”

From Skate Shop to Fashion Powerhouse: Business Lessons From Supreme’s Rise

Supreme, often referred to as “the Chanel of streetwear”, has inched its way to the top as one of the most influential brands in the industry. A-list celebs, skaters, cool kids, hip-hop legends and hypebeasts alike can be seen donning the infamous red-and-white logo. So, how did a small skate shop on Lafayette Street in downtown Manhattan turn into a complete fashion powerhouse? Ask savvy entrepreneur, James Jebbiathe founder of Supreme.  

Jebbia was a teen in the ‘80s growing up in Crawley, West Sussex, England. He used his spare money to travel to London and shop at a hidden store, which would eventually mold Supreme’s business model. By age 19, he moved to the United States and started working as a sales assistant at a store in SoHo, before eventually opening Supreme in New York.

While you probably won’t be able to replicate Jebbia’s secret business sauce, we’ve listed some valuable lessons in Supreme’s rise that can be used to help shape your company:

Do Your Research

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James Jebbia learned about the retail industry when working at Parachute in SoHo. Before opening Supreme in 1994, he actually opened a different streetwear brand, Union NYC (now closed), in 1989. All this to say, he had a bit of experience in the retail industry before starting a wildly successful company.

Wanting to start your own brand can be exciting, but always make sure you research the industry before diving head first into the unknown. Some basic things you should know:

  • Where to find quality, wholesale apparel and products  
  • How to price your products competitively  
  • Ways to sell your items

Beyond just researching how the industry works, know your target audience and what matters to them. By 2020, Millennials will make up 30 percent of total retail sales in the U.S., and Gen Z will make up 40 percent of all consumers. Studies have shown that both Millennials and Gen Z consider environmental issues in their purchasing decisions. So, if you’re looking to sell graphic tees, considering water-based, eco-friendly ink choices may be a unique selling point.

Get Scrappy With Your Hustle (And Build Street Cred)

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Supreme is infamous for giving fashion the middle finger—proven by several cease-and-desist letters. It’s also known for encouraging its employees and consumers to add their red-and-white logo stickers on posters and products as a “stamp of approval”. For example, they slapped their logo sticker on the front of a Kate Moss Calvin Klein poster in 1994, and printed Louis Vuitton’s double monogram on their skateboards in 2000 (though they eventually collaborated). Jebbia’s willingness to ruffle a few feathers in the name of creativity built credibility with niche, influential cool kids and it payed off.

Now, we’re not saying to start copyrighting a bunch of artwork, but there is something to be said about Supreme’s hustle and scrappiness. Some ways you can spread the word about your company on a smaller budget include:

  • Partnering with micro-influencers who are willing to promote your brand for a small cost, or exchange promoted posts for free swag
  • Creating short promo videos to post across social media
  • Reaching out to small businesses (relevant to your target audience) to see if you can leave promo cards at the counter

Realize that Culture Shapes Trends, Especially Youth Culture

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Almost every piece from a Supreme drop has ties to art or culture. They have a way of partnering with brands like Nike and infusing their vibe to create a totally unique outfit for the young fashion consumer.

Art and culture always find their way into what we wear and how we represent ourselves, leading to a shared sense of influence. By continually having a pulse on what’s going on in the community, Supreme is able to present apparel and products that are desirable.

When thinking of new designs, look to what’s going on in your community for creative inspiration. However, always remember to remain authentic to your brand.

Know the Power of Supply-and-Demand

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Supreme is good at many things, and utilizing basic economics to its advantage is no exception. James Jebbia was once quoted saying, “…if we can sell 600, I make 400.” The demand for product always exceeds the supply, thus driving up the value. Though, in Supreme’s case, they take it a step further by almost never restocking a dropped collection once it’s sold out (hence the huge resell market).

If you’re just starting out, your demand for product is likely low so this may not be a tactic you can use right away. However, educating yourself on supply-and-demand economics will ultimately help you make strategic business decisions in the long run, particularly as your business grows and competition rises.

Which business lesson from Supreme was the most helpful or interesting? Let us know in the comments!

 

Specialty Ink Basics: Setting Your Screenprinting Business Apart From Competitors

In a competitive screenprinting market, it’s vital for your print shop to continually find areas where niche skills can be added to help set your business apart. One way to catch the eyes of potential customers is by dazzling them with specialty inks. Before you cringe (we know, special inks can be hard to work with), specialty inks can bring a lot of value to your business, create awesome designs, and you can (and should!) charge premium pricing for the services. To help get you started, we’ve listed three Continue reading “Specialty Ink Basics: Setting Your Screenprinting Business Apart From Competitors”

Why Celebrities are wearing Alternative Apparel®?

(CLOCKWISE: Ryan Reynolds wears the Eco-Jersey Crew T-Shirt in Men’s Health; Taylor Lautner sports a 3/4-sleeve tee (photo via Eonline.com); Chris Pratt in his Perfect Pima Cotton V-Neck on Ellen (photo via JustJared.com).

With fame and fortune, comes great responsibility. Many celebrities see that they have the ability to affect the world in ways that can make a difference, so they’re constantly getting involved with causes they believe in.

Whether its Matt Damon helping to give families around the world access to clean waterLeonardo DiCaprio speaking out on preventing climate change and funding conservation projects through his foundation, or Jessica Alba founding the Honest Company to provide moms with natural and eco-friendly products for babies, celebrities have become leaders in helping to change the world. And because of that, they love to be “Responsibly Fashionable.”

Alternative Apparel provides them exactly the kind of gear they can feel good about wearing, and they’ve been spotted wearing the brand on talk shows, editorials and magazine covers. Sustainability and responsibility are in the forefront of their mind, as the company uses biodegradable packaging, recycled/organic fabrics and operates in WRAP Certified factories.

Hollywood’s finest recognizes the importance of supporting companies and organizations that are in-line with their fundamental beliefs. So when they’re looking for something to wear, they look to responsible brands like Alternative Apparel.

CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE ALTERNATIVE STYLES.

5 Fall Trends and Styles You Should Keep An Eye On

Fall (arguably fashion’s favorite season) is almost here. Get ready for crisp air, pumpkin-spiced everything and the chance to break out the layers once again. The fashion industry has spoken, and this year’s fall trends are all about making a statement. We’ve listed a few of the daring new trends to try along with trusty favorites to help spark ideas for your fall inventory.  

Bold Prints

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Animal prints, western motifs and high contrast florals will be everywhere this fall. From soft muted neutrals to Continue reading “5 Fall Trends and Styles You Should Keep An Eye On”