A Q&A with WWD: Changing Fashion – For the Better

In this Q&A with WWD, Pierre-Nicolas Hurstel, the founder of ReMode, shares his perspective on the November event and how it will gather fashion industry leaders and stakeholders.


WWD Studios: What is the impetus behind launching ReMode? What’s occurring in the market that warrants this event?

In just a couple of years, the way we experience fashion has completely changed. We want to be recognized without being tracked, we want personalized experiences, products and designs, and we are demanding that brands operate more responsibly on all fronts – socially, ethically, and environmentally.

At the same time, retail is also being totally disrupted by emerging services and technologies that are actualizing new realities. Their impact on fashion brands is huge and it goes way beyond selling online. This disruption is forcing brands to review and own their entire supply chain, accelerate their time to market, rethink the way they market, sell and retail, and ultimately move to new forms of financing. For this, brands need a new network, new talent and new skills.

We believe these paradigms are offering a fantastic opportunity for fashion to be better and find its way towards growth and sustainability. We launched ReMode to catalyze this positive transformation and to provide fashion decision makers with the ideas, solutions and contacts that will enable them to thrive.

WWD Studios: From a content perspective, what are some of the themes and perspectives that will be discussed?

The industry’s challenges are systemic and transversal. Change can only come from collaboration – internally within companies and across the industry and supply chain. For supply chains to become more transparent they need to be visible, and this is a radical cultural shift. If companies want to accelerate, pivot, or work with a different model they need to collaborate beyond their silos.

For those reasons, we’ve created four ecosystems within ReMode. So essentially, four conferences under the same roof, running in parallel with keynotes, panels, and conversations alongside innovation and demonstration areas that showcase a curated selection of disruptors and leaders.

ReThink will allow participants to understand their changing customers, learn from other industries (for example, Dell, Nespresso or Samsonite will speak) and understand new, groundbreaking technology (think blockchain, a buzzy topic whose industry impact is largely unclear).

ReMake will allow participants to explore new and sustainable ways to design and produce, learn how to accelerate their time to market, understand what’s needed to digitize their design process and discover emerging wearable technologies.

ReMarket will discuss a variety of marketing, sales and retail strategies that can lead to omnichannel success, share how to develop and grow a direct-to-consumer business, and uncover what it means to have a winning wholesale strategy.

Finally, ReInvest will cover new ways to finance and will feature talks by VCs, banks, and private equity firms around raising money, important KPIs, valuations, and possible exit strategies.

We’ve also appointed Dr. Amanda Parkes as our Head Curator. Parkes currently serves as Chief Innovation Officer of Fashion Tech Lab and is a pioneering fashion technologist who incubates high-tech textiles and wearable technology businesses.

WWD Studios: What are some of the networking opportunities at ReMode?

ReMode is designed as an ephemeral coworking space, where participants can work, connect and enjoy. The space itself will facilitate networking opportunities and organic connections.

We will leverage technology throughout the space, and will also have our matchmaking service, which allows participants to connect, chat and plan meetings with recommended attendees via an app before and during the event. Our hosted brand program will also generate hundreds of preset meetings between brands and solution providers.

Alongside our content and the event itself, we will be announcing additional unique experiences closer to the event.

WWD Studios: What are some of the expected outcomes for attendees? Do you expect attendees to leave the event with “actionable insights”?

One-hundred percent. Our aim is to curate an event that is action-oriented. Our talks, technology demonstrations, networking events and more will feature content and experiences where attendees can interact and walk away with tangible next steps. And given that our event is in November, after the tentpole tradeshows and near the end of the year, we truly hope this event is a prime time for all participants to implement valuable changes to their business.

Think of ReMode as an offsite. We handle everything – you simply attend and leave with a refreshed action plan around growth and sustainability for your company and team.

Get your pass to REMODE here >

ReMake at ReMode

Through its four pillars (REMAKE, RETHINK, REINVEST, and REMARKET), REMODE will offer tangible concepts and collaborative experiences to address and inspire change across all aspects of the business of fashion.

The REMAKE pillar, in particular, will showcase novel ideas and solutions for design, production, wearables and sustainability. From understanding the impact customer needs and trends have on design and manufacturing, to leveraging technology to reduce time-to-market, and to discovering sustainable materials and practices, the REMAKE pavilion will delve into innovative and environmentally-friendly ways fashion can be made.

MOVE THE NEEDLE WITH INDUSTRY LEADERS

Throughout the two-day event, the REMAKE pavilion will host a program of panels and talks that will provide participants with first-row access to industry leaders and actionable takeaways. Program topics will include:

+ 101: Sustainable best practices
+ The big picture on sustainability: environmental impacts outside the fashion industry
+ Printing 3D clothing: What can my shirt DO for me?
+ Pipeline of manufacturing innovations and their implications on production timelines
+ Reimagining the supply chain for designers
+ Green packaging and shipping strategies to minimize the carbon footprint
+ How 3D printing is changing the production process
+ Spotlight on radical transparency
+ The Circular Economy
+ Fabric Innovation: The intersection between textiles and technology
+ Best practices and business solutions to using sustainable raw materials

Speakers you’ll hear from on these topics, and more, include Ned Munroe (Chief Global Design Officer, HanesBrands), Dr. Ivan Poupyrev (Director of Engineering, Google Jacquart Project), Adriano Goldschmied (Founder, Genius Group), Orsola de Castro (Co-Founder & Creative Director, Fashion Revolution), Celine Semaan (CEO & Designer, Slow Factory), Billie Whitehouse (CEO, Wearables X), Francois Girbaud (Founder & Owner, Marithé & François Girbaud), Scot Tatelman (Co-Founder, STATE Bags) Simardev Gulati (Co-Founder & CEO, Dropel), Jackie Trebilcock (Managing Director, NY Fashion Tech Lab), Fabien Seredarian (Director, MAZARS), Benita Singh (Founder & CEO, Le Souk), Samantha Smith (VP & Showroom Director, Franklin St. Showroom), Frederic Trinel (Co-Founder & Co-CEO, EcoVadis), and Matt Scanlan (Co-Founder & CEO, Naadam Cashmere).

SEE REMAKE IN ACTION

In addition to educational talks and panels, the REMAKE pavilion will expose participants to a curated set of truly groundbreaking technologies and concepts that re-imagine how fashion is created. From robot mannequins to digital textile sourcing, here’s a glimpse of some of the exhibitors and innovations you’ll be able to see in action:

Le Souk is the first online trade show technology that directly connects the world’s finest textile suppliers to designers around the world. Within REMAKE, Le Souk will bring to life its online showroom in an onsite showcase of materials sourced from over 40 mills & tanneries around the world – all of which have a demonstrated commitment towards sustainability.

Mills and tanneries to be featured include Dias Ruivo (sustainable leather from Portugal), Naturtex (organic pima cotton from Peru), Herbal Fab (natural dyed fabrics from India), Avanti (organic cotton from Japan), and Oratex (circular knit fabrics from Canada). Learn more about Le Souk’s showcase of sustainability.

Centric Software provides a Digital Transformation Platform for the most prestigious names in fashion, retail, footwear, luxury, outdoor and consumer goods. The Centric Visual Innovation Platform (VIP) is a visual, fully digital collection of boards for touch-based devices like iPad, iPhone and large-scale, touch screen televisions. The platform transforms decision-making and automates execution to truly collapse time-to-market and distance-to-trend.

Centric’s flagship product lifecycle management (PLM) platform, Centric 8, delivers enterprise-class merchandise planning, product development, sourcing, business planning, quality, and collection management functionality tailored for fast-moving consumer industries.

Jacquard by Google is the first full scale digital platform created for smart clothing. It streamlines the way you access services and information by putting it right into the materials you already wear and use. Using touch gestures, you can access different abilities, such as getting directions or skipping to the next song. With Jacquard abilities you can easily interact with the digital world without disrupting what’s going on in your real one.

The first product incorporating the Jacquard platform – the Levi’s® Commuter™ Trucker jacket – was put on sale on September 27, 2017. This was one of many firsts for Levi’s, but a particularly exciting moment for the Jacquard team.

Euveka manufactures and develops evolutive and connected robot-mannequins controlled by a design software that is available to clothing industry professionals. Their solution allows accurate control in each step of making prototypes and customizing models to an exact size, without errors.

Euveka’s technology is a combination of mechatronics, computer technologies and materials that rely on a biomimetic process. Their connected mannequin, initially developed as a women, enables them to recreate 80% of current morphologies for Caucasian and Asian women, between 1m55 to 1m80 and body distortions and from ages 17 to 70.

What’s Euveka’s end goal? Their ambition is to become the leader in robotic technologies linked to morphology and biomimicry and a high-performance partner to clients as they progress towards producing personalized mass-market or custom-made clothing.

First Insight’s SaaS solution gives retailers and manufacturers insight into expected product performance and optimal entry price points for new items that have no sales history – all within 48-72 hours.

They do this through a scalable “big data” platform that enables thousands of consumers to evaluate hundreds of candidate new products through gamification and crowdsourcing. Online games are presented to consumers via social media, websites, emails, and on mobile devices. First Insight’s predictive analytic models filter and weight consumer input, ensuring that retailers and brands are listening to the right consumers. The result has been 3-9% gains in sales and margin dollars for all of First Insight’s customers.

Sourcemap helps companies map their supply chains, evaluate social, environmental and financial risks, and put systems in place for ongoing monitoring and optimization. Introduced in 2009, the industry’s first software-as-a-service for supply chain mapping is now being used by dozens of major brands including Mars, Ikea and Stonyfield.

Nineteenth Amendment is a platform for brands to increase their direct-to-consumer business without having to hold inventory and manufacture sales on-demand in the USA through a network of no minimum manufacturers in 4 to 6 weeks.

Get your pass to attend REMAKE at REMODE today!

In Conversation with Benita Singh of Le Souk

 

Founder and CEO Benita Singh launched Le Souk in 2012 with the mission of creating an online marketplace for sustainable materials. We spoke with Benita to learn more about why she started Le Souk and how the platform contributes to a more sustainable and omnichannel industry overall.  

How did Le Souk come to be?

I started Le Souk back in 2012, with Summer Rayne Oakes as a side business to promote mills and tanneries that had a real commitment to sustainability but couldn’t afford to attend trade shows.

Our initial concept was to bring to the surface these under the radar suppliers that have beautiful materials to offer but that were not discoverable via traditional sourcing channels. Today we’re the first digital platform to allow designers to source directly from mills and tanneries around the world – all commission and markup-free. We facilitate more direct and transparent sourcing relationships between buyers and suppliers which is where we feel the fashion industry is headed.

What do you look for when selecting suppliers?

There are four criteria we look for when adding suppliers to our platform:

1. Clear material specialization: All of our suppliers do one thing really well and have truly perfected their craft. For example, we have specialists in pima cotton, silk jacquard, pea silks and fish leather.

2. Commitment to sustainability: Our suppliers don’t necessarily have to be certified organic, but they must have a demonstrated commitment to sustainability in their sector. For example, for denim we don’t work with mills who engage in sandblasting. For dyeing, we only work with mills that use Azo-free dyes as a base level of compliance. All of our are on their own journey to sustainability. 

3. Low minimums: All of our minimums are under 600 meters. We really want to be serving the designer of the future – our low minimums enable our designers to work more quickly and nimbly. 

4. In-stock program: Our suppliers don’t have to have all of their materials in-stock, but they will have some set aside so that designers can work and experiment with our suppliers and their products.

We also promote wholesalers who abide by our standards simply because it’s not always possible to source from mill/tanneries for quicker sampling for experimentation or last minute production runs.

How has the industry responded to the idea of Le Souk?

It certainly was an upward climb for quite a bit, but I think that the industry is now at a moment to understand and embrace what we’re doing which is demonstrated by conferences like Remode.

Designers of the future know that Le Souk is a tool that is necessary. We’ve gotten over the hump of designers questioning our utility, and a lot of that is because of our product – we offer the offline component of swatching so that designers aren’t reliant on sourcing based off an online picture.

The climb has really been on the supplier side as age old heritage mills are slower to embrace technology than designers, but coming soon I believe more and more suppliers will realize our utility and adopt.

What types of designers and brands does Le Souk attract?

Given that we’re a technology company at our core, we reach thousands of designers. We’re currently at 27,000 active designers who sample and source via Le Souk. At first it was the smaller, up-and-coming designers, and now we’re seeing larger brands like Stella McCartney, Katharine Hamnett, and Mara Hoffman. It’s really inspiring to see brands of all types using technology to reach out to mills around the world.

Why REMODE?

We do really believe that REMODE represents the designers of the future, and our mission at Le Souk is to support those next generation designers who are building omnichannel and sustainable brands that will breakthrough and do well. So we’re really excited to bridge our universe of suppliers with REMODE’s universe of designers that want to do business that way.

I love any chance to be with our customers and see what they’re looking for. Because we’re so in the materials world, it’s also a huge opportunity to get out of see how our materials will actually be applied and used. I was just having a conversation about how for so long trends came from the top down rather than the bottom up. We really think that trends come from our users, so having that dialogue with our users at a conference like REMODE is always extremely helpful.

Meet Benita and explore Le Souk’s sustainable materials at REMODE – get your pass today!

ReMake Pavilion Presented by Le Souk

The ReMake pavilion will showcase a range of sustainable materials, uncovered by Le Souk, an online platform that allows designers to instantly search, sample and source from fine mills & tanneries around the world.

As an attendee, you will be able to view and explore materials from over 40 mills and tanneries – all of which have a demonstrated commitment towards sustainability. Read on for a sample of showcased suppliers and their unique stories, provided by LeSouk.

Meet these suppliers (and many more!) at the ReMake Pavilion. Register to attend here.


Dias Ruivo has been perfecting the art of leather making for over eight decades. The first records of the tannery date back to 1936, when the oldest production formulas were written by the hand of the current owner’s father – Antonio Periera Dias da Silva.

Today the company is run by Manuel Dias and his two sisters – who were born and raised next door to the tannery. Their intricate knowledge of the production process is just one of the assets that set Dias Ruivo apart from other European tanneries.

Dias Ruivo’s collections are the result of intense collaboration between designers, leather production experts, and sustainability specialists. With a permanent presence at the premier shows in Paris, Milan and Hong Kong, Dias Ruivo is always on the pulse of what’s taking place in the world of leather.

“Our most bizarre articles of the season tend to become classic bestsellers in 20 years time,” says Dias, showing the company’s history of being well ahead of the curve.

This family-owned tannery’s in-house testing laboratory, range of colors and patterns, and short lead times augment Dias Ruivo’s unique positioning in the market.

 

Avanti began working with organic cotton in the 1990’s when the term “organic” was not yet familiar to most people, and very few knew about anything about organic cotton. From the beginning we dedicated ourselves to importing organically grown raw cotton and to producing and selling yarn, fabric and finished goods of consistent quality.

People want the things that touch their skin everyday to be safe and reliable. This is such a key factor that we tend to forget, or find difficult to follow in modern life with all these new technologies that are able to produce lots of material very fast.

In our generation as well as our children’s we hope that a sustainable organic lifestyle will be the norm. It is vital that we use our common sense so that we can return to a way of life that is grateful for nature’s blessings. We at Avanti will keep this foremost in our minds and keep a promise that we will only produce the best quality materials.

 

Shimada Seishoku started 80 years ago mainly producing shirting fabrics for North America. With its success in the shirting market, by the 1980’s Shimada Seishoku expanded its business to many categories including pants, jackets and shirts for domestic elite brands.

In 1972, a carpenter headed the technique of “Nishijin Ori” from Kyoto City, and this is the origin of “Banshu Ori”. Nowadays, in the Banshu area, there are many kinds of factory for weaving, dying and processing. Located in Nishiwaki City, Japan an area known for its 200 yard history in dyed fabrics, Shimada Seishoku stands out amongst the saturation of mills in the region.

Sticking to their roots of shirting, Shimada Seishoku’s team members are capable of producing thin 100/1 yarns and many aspects of technical materials. When developing textile, first the yarn is selected, and then the process, color and the weave type. Each step may seem very mundane, but the care and precision each step required is revealed in the final fabrication of the textiles.

 

Toban Textile is located in the Nishiwaki District, and is the only mill in Japan which can integrate dyeing, weaving and finishing into a continuous production. The origin of ”Banshu Ori” dates back to 1792, when the technique was introduced from Nishijin, Kyoto.

Nishiwaki District is given a plenty of water from several valleys, and the rivers flow together into a wide one, Kakogawa River. One of the rivers, Sugihara River, has soft water and is suitable for dyeing. This resulted in the development of dyeing industry in the area. What is more, the area was cultivating cottons for house clothing in the past, by taking advantage of mild climate. Thus, “Banshu Ori” has kept evolving and been loved by the people around the world over more than 200 years.

 

 

Herbal Fab is a family run company whose vision as a company is to be sustainable – giving back to nature what they take from it in the same form, or if not the same then one, that is still useful and not harmful. This is the vision that they apply to all of their sourcing and manufacturing for their fabrics. They believe that they are reviving the chemical-free textile practice followed by ancestors 100 years ago.

Two brothers, originally electronic engineers, started Herbal Fab; they started Herbal Fab in order to join the family business involved with conventional cotton textiles. However, from seeing the repairable damage done by the hazardous chemicals used at each stage of conventional textiles processing they decided to make a change. This was where the idea of Herbal Fab was born. The main issues they are concerned with is the amount of air, soil, and water pollution created as a result of production and processing, and how much employment that their work generate. Herbal Fab works with organic cotton-based fabrics in both woven and knits and other sustainable materials like organic denims, organic corduroy, KHADI, peace silk, wood-based fibers, and linen. 

 

Sojitz Fashion responds to the rapidly changing environment in the domestic apparel business through OEM supply of products to SPA, a leading domestic retailer, as well as the sale of brand products through subsidiaries and sale of fabric stocks. It conducts wholesale catalogue sales of fabric and strives to establish trends through its involvement in all aspects of fashion from textile color, pattern, and material planning to sales.

Benshidai in Shanghai, China supports customers from Japan and all over the world by providing small-lot, high-quality fabrics with simple settlement through its original inventory operations system. Sojitz Fashion seeks to be a global textile converter that grows with its customers and contributes to the development of an enriching society.

 

Naturtex, located in Lima, Peru, is among the most renowned suppliers of organic cotton in South America. A pioneer of the production of organic and fair-trade cotton, the company is a vertically integrated manufacturer of some of the finest cotton and alpaca fabrics available on the market today.

The American anthropologist James M. Vreeland Jr. founded the company in 1977 as a commercial representative for the Native Cotton Project of Peru. Naturtex offers an incredible array of organic cottons. The fabrics are made from start to finish in-house, where specially trained employees knit, weave, and dye raw cotton and wool in a full spectrum of eco-friendly hues. Naturtex combines history, quality, and a commitment to sustainability and ethical business practices to provide their customers with the very best organic cotton and wool fabrics.

 

Premium Bishu Japan – The Ichinomiya Fashion Design Center Foundation (FDC) was established to promote textile and other industries in the BISHU regions in 1984 in Ichinomiya City.

While producing textiles, the BISHU textile industry with its highly developed technology, consists of various production lines from spinning, thread-playing, dyeing, weaving, finishing and processing to home wholesale and needlework.

The strong point of BISHU, compared to other textile regions, exists in the fact that BISHU has a consistent system which allows it to create textiles from thread to the final product. This is especially vital to the production of woolen textiles which attaches great importance to material, color, pattern, texture and quality. As a result of its consistency, BISHU has developed a superior technology in the production of woolen textiles. This technology is best when used to produce new, high-value-added products. BISHU textiles continue to meet the challenging demands of its customers with new diverse and quality products.

 

Oratex is a premium manufacture of circular knit stretch fabrics. They are a performance-based manufacturer who supplies fabrics that are designed for activewear and a selection of apparel items. They supply fabrics that are specific to certain activities or genders, for example their Dolce collection. They also have an eco-friendly element to their company, acting to protect the environment.

Oratex Inc. was founded in 1989 as a commission knitter serving the garment industry in Canada. Over the past two decade it has proven to be both flexible to changing tines and consistent in quality. Oratex has grown from strictly a commission knitter to a high-end fabric supplier. Their fabrics are sold worldwide and are at the forefront of quality standards.

They supply fabrics that are comprised of a combinations between bamboo, organic cotton, nylon, spandex and micromodal. These come in a jersey weave and are available in black and white as well as other custom colours. The fabrics are soft and comfortable. They are best suited to producing items such as active wear and apparel like blouses and tops.

Oratex is a leading brand in textile production. They are an environmentally aware company bearing the effects of manufacturing in the future in mind. Creating innovative, high quality materials they have grown over the last decades to establish a reputed reputation and become a well known global textile supplier.

 

Meet these suppliers (and many more!) at the ReMake Pavilion. Register to attend here.