• Kate Chang



We write today with a quick update on what we have been working on. In the last ten days or so, we have held a series of development meetings in Milan with our first group of partner brands. There were a little over 100 small to mid-sized brands in attendance, hailing from all different parts of Europe, and we were very pleased to see each of our partners once more, and to experience this very exciting moment of updating on the next steps forward. During these meetings, we presented a preview of our concept and selling platforms, and in an even more detailed way, explained our principles, and our concrete way of operating, including how we will concretely attract customers to us, through increasing the stickiness between our brands and their consumers and fans. This is a key part of our approach to this project - a brand’s success depends on the ability to attract and keep the attention of consumers, the ability to entice the consumer to visit the brand’s shop, to make purchases, and in addition, to continuously come back again. At the same time, it is the ability to influence consumers to spread the word through their social networks and personal interactions, and build that strong organic reach of the brand. This is a vital necessary condition for the success of a brand. During these meetings, we explained our strategy and point of view on the fashion industry at present, and its future; through sharing with our partner brands our concrete approach, and explanations, we also reaffirmed that our point of view is actionable, and moving in the right direction. We very clearly expressed to our partner brands, the difference in the brand building strategies of the older brands, and modern brands of today. In this age of information exchange, the brand strategy of the past is already outdated and behind the times. When you point out the success stories of brands like Gucci, or Louis Vuitton, to show how a brand should be working toward success in today’s age, this is no longer a relevant market for how to win success as a brand, in our view. The reason being that consumers of today do not have the brand loyalty that they used to; with the emergence of the fast-paced information age, attention spans have become increasingly short. The shelf life for each brand has become shorter and shorter, and as a result of all of the different sensory inputs and choices these consumers face every day in this information age, they no longer have just one focal point, and instead, their focus is dissipated amongst many different things at once. In the past, the strategy for brands was to focus their efforts on making a huge investment, and through advertising, and movie stars, and influencers, and establishing highly luxurious and well-ornamented shops, their aim was to conquer the eyeballs and attention of the customer, and in doing so, solidify the consumers' trust and admiration toward that brand. This is a large investment, in a very broad and far-ranging effort, and society also cooperated and facilitated the growth of these brands and the legacy that they stood for. In the past, this was enough to stimulate the mind of the consumer, and as a result, they accepted that there was only this formula--that this was luxury--and this was the defining measure of success as a brand. That was the only strategy. And it's true, in the past, when information was not exchanged so quickly, this strategy would, in fact, achieve success, but today, the situation is no longer the same. Young people today, their thinking is really alive and vibrant, and their understanding of fashion has changed from brand worship, to embracing their own unique perspective. They are no longer willing to be like everyone else, even copying the fashion taste of actors or singers, as a young consumer, they no longer see this as the only way to pursue fashion. As a result, this has caused that strong loyalty toward brands, which we had seen in the past, to falter; and the shelf life of each brand to shrink significantly. Now, consumers today, they feel that only through expressing their own personality through what they wear, can they express their individual and unique understanding of beauty. They treat fashion as their way of announcing their commitment to their own uniqueness, and that unique point of view that they want to share with the world. We believe, that in this age where fashion principles are so quickly revolutionizing, we have to follow and respect this trend, this new thinking, and pro-actively match these changes. We have to provide even more choice, even more variety, and push our partner brands to chase after this new changed thinking, and to match the need for personalized and unique taste. We believe, that in the future, it will be very difficult for a fashion brand to maintain a top position for an extended period of time any longer; and as a result, any brand designer cannot just sit and wait for the consumer to come to them any longer. Instead, brands have to be pro-active in sharing, presenting, and grabbing their attention, driving them to understand the brand's point of view, and unique design perspective. This is a trend now, that in the near future, will grow to firmly become an immovable tenet of brand-building. We feel very lucky to have been able to share these perspectives with our partner brands during these meetings, and as a result, we really also felt their strong acceptance and agreement, and support, of these principles as well. After we have all come to an agreement on these terms - what then becomes most important, is concretely, how will we aim to go about doing this? How will we realize these principles? How are we going to match the changing trends of this fashion world? In this meeting, we very clearly, and in a detailed manner, presented our concrete modes of doing so. We carefully explained, to each of our partner brands, how we aim to attract customers to them, not just in theory, but with concrete tools, plans, and innovative platforms and features. The participants during this last week’s meetings, expressed to us that they felt really positively about our plan of action, that it was not only feasible, but innovative and refreshing. Additionally, we also took time to explain to our partner brands, how we can use not just their designs and fashion principles, but other means and angles, to reinforce this stickiness between brand and consumer as well. But due to confidentiality, we will not make all of these details openly available on our site. But we were very satisfied that our partner brands expressed agreement, and enthusiasm, at our plans of action. We feel really excited as well, and are even more determined to put forth the necessary effort to bring it to fruition. At these meetings, we also completed the selection of each partner brand’s shop location in our platform. During this process, many designers put forth their thoughts and point of view, some said that it was an innovative and personal new way, to connect the brand to the consumer, and that it energized them even more, and gave them even more confidence, to put forth their best efforts to design, and present their vision, with fervor and passion. We also showed our partner brands their own specialized window in our platform, where they will be able to communicate anything that they would like about them, their brands and inspiration, also their own plans for their brands and their schedule, to the consumers in our region, and also refreshed their understanding of tools they will be using to communicate with their production partners as well. Through these series of meetings, this face to face interaction, we felt that with the brands we have partnered with, we really are one big family now, in the same boat, have felt that our thinking, and trust, has become fused strongly together with our partner brands. We want to hereby thank each of the hundred or so designers who flew to meet us, despite their busy schedules, some from further places in Europe than others, in order to participate in these meetings. We want to express our heartfelt thanks for spending those 5 to 6 hours with us, listening to our plans and experiencing all of the tools and functions of our platform, about how we plan to operate, and also viewing together with us the tools and methods through which they will concretely be able to present themselves in our platform and market. I want to particularly thank those who, because our meetings went long, had to miss trains or flights home; we are very sorry about these inconveniences, and in the future, we will have a second and third series of meetings with our partner brands; and during these upcoming meetings, we will improve our methods, to be more efficient and take better care on managing the timing of these meetings. We believe that the moment to enter the market will be the moment when our partner brands have prepared themselves as well, with registration of their marks finalized in our region. At that time, there will be even more communication, and even further obstacles and challenges that arise; there will be new problems, but we believe that as long as we keep our current open communication style that we have maintained thus far, any problems will not be insurmountable, and even the toughest problems, can be overcome. We will communicate using compromise, acceptance, understanding, and within the bounds of our contract, to work towards the future, arm in arm, towards our mutual goal, and mutual profit. Best, Kate Chang


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