AI Content Chat (Beta) logo

Wear this.

These companies harness innovation and have benefited from the ubiquity of internet. 

Wear this. - Page 2

What does it cost to host a pop-up shop in Manhattan? For online retailer Everlane, it's $239,500 when you add up expenses like rent, branding, travel, construction and deinstallation costs.

That cost-along with the costs and backstory of everyday items like chairs, hangers and food-was on display last night at Everlane's Open House, a pop-up shop in SoHo running from today until June 28.

"Everything that we do centers around good design and transparency, and the transparency aspect is this idea of really educating the consumer," said Everlane founder and CEO Michael Preysman. Showcasing the cost breakdown of products is something Everlane already does on its site through infographics, which detail the materials, labor and transportation costs for something like a $55 men's slim-fit Oxford shirt.

Petra Langerova, Everlane's head of design, is responsible for the brand's aesthetic, which includes T-shirts with clean lines, minimalist leather handbags and fluid silk blouses. Langerova, who has worked for Gap and Narciso Rodriguez, explained the production behind an item like their hand-cut and hand-assembled Italian leather sandals. "This type of product is not in the market for this price," she said. "It's all vegetable dyed leather, which is very sturdy, so the more you wear, the better it looks." Langerova has been working on a women's loafer-the first closed show for Everlane-expected to debut this fall.

The brand's designs and philosophy have appealed to both men and women, with women making up about 70% of Everlane's customer base, according to Preysman. "We've really got our design and production team in line so we can get on a calendar and really ship product in a way that we haven't before," he said. "And next year we're going to expand to shoes [and] bottoms."

Although last year's deadly collapse of the Rana Plaza garment complex in Bangladesh brought awareness to factory conditions in developing nations, Preysman doesn't believe consumer and business habits have really changed.

"People are definitely more aware, but if you look at transparency in general-look at [Edward] Snowden and all the stuff that happens-it takes a make people change their behavior," he said. "That was a negative incident, but I think it will take more negative incidents, unfortunately, for things to actually start to be relevant."

Everlane's Open House is open until June 28, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., at 199 Lafayette St. in Manhattan.

Write to Robin Kawakami at [email protected]. Follow @robinha

By the Numbers: Everlane's Pop-Up Costs

For the latest entertainment news Follow @WSJSpeakeasy

Wear this. - Page 4

The founder of Bonobos is bullish on the future of digital commerce--and it's not just about pants.


When Bonobos founder and CEO Andy Dunn first started his company in 2007, few people believed that clothes could be sold solely online without physical stores.

Seven years later, the men's apparel brand has raised more than 70 million in funding and opened up two new lines under its umbrella: Ayr and Maide Golf.

At the Northside Festival, an annual event that celebrates "emerging music, film, food, and innovations" in Brooklyn, New York, Dunn dished on three trends he thinks will drive e-commerce businesses in the years to come:

1. "The future is not only digital, but digitally-built brands."

When Dunn talked about Bonobos in 2008, people would flash "pity looks" at him when he mentioned that it was a brand that sold men's pants and it was totally online. After all, how could it be a success if people could not try their pants on? And could you be a designer and a store at the same time?

Bonobos figured out a way that made it work. Innately built online, it offers two-way free shipping and builds up a team of "ninjas" that help customers to get the right sizes. It also puts emphasis on technology to aid the online customer experience. (An example is its easy checkout interface that's aptly named "3-step checkout.")

Dunn adds that having a website is just part the modern company's digital makeup. Brands necessarily must be digitally-built. Unlike third-party e-commerce companies that only provide the platforms to sell things, Bonobos believes the future of e-commerce should be an integration of a store and a brand at the same time.

It may sound obvious now, as many brands doing this now, but seven years ago, not many would have thought it was necessary.

2. "The future of building online brands is offline."

Though Bonobos was built as an online brand, it does have offline stores. What's special about it is that people walk out of the stores without buying anything--they still have to purchase the clothes online and have them delivered.

The ten physical shops, located in nine cities of the country, are named "guideshops" where people would receive one-on-one service on trying on Bonobos' clothes. The idea is to create "Apple's experience in the clothing industry."

The genius of this strategy is you can avoid having to stock inventory inside stores, and still give people the style of customer service that offline stores are known for. So far, so good for Bonobos. Dunn says 80 percent of the people who come into the stores actually go back and purchases the clothes online.

The lesson that Bonobos learned: People still care about trying on clothes--and they don't mind getting the clothes a day or two later. In fact, some people prefer to walk out without any bags so they can go on to other things.

3. "All online-driven brands will team up."

The last trend that Dunn sees is one of collaboration. In his view, all the online-driven brands will work together.

For e-commerce companies, the most important things are user acquisition and traffic driven to the sites. A way to achieve that, says Dunn, is through cross-selling. Brands can have different identities, but they can also have the same check-out process.

Dunn expects his two own brands, Bonobos and Ayr, a women's apparel company that launched this year, will operate on the same platform.

"My dream is that we all team up and we take on Amazon," says Dunn.

IMAGE: Yolanda Lu


No. 1 on the Inc. 5000: Meet the Fastest-Growing Company in AmericaThe 8 Best Industries for Starting a BusinessWhy Most Small Businesses Don't Think They Need a Website10 Times You're Better Off Saying Nothing at AllThe Unintentional Way You're Holding Yourself Back

(Yun Lu; she usually goes by her Spanish name, Yolanda) is an editorial intern at Originally from Beijing, she is pursuing her master's degree in business journalism at New York University. Lu is interested in the booming startup scene in NYC and enjoys meeting founders and investors over coffee. She's also into digital media and learns to code in her spare time.

Wear this. - Page 6
Wear this. - Page 7