I can’t help but raise my hand first for this type of stuff, it’s in my nature.
I’m in bed late in the afternoon, and an email about shopping with a brand that’s been catching my eye.
So I click a link, and then I’m on with Ariel, a manager at the store as she’s suggesting some items and I’m telling her about sizes and preferences and I’m asking her opinions as she holds up items in front of the iPad…
American Apparel closed all of its stores and was sold to Gildan.
You’ve probably seen their bare bones shops looking even emptier around your area.
What you don’t see, at least not right away, is that there is more that gets left behind with a brand as prolific as American Apparel: Quality people.
Iris Alonzo and Carolina Crespo both spent over 10 years with the company.
And now they’ve launched their own endeavor, Everybody World.
Which is who I had been shopping with at their Standard Hotel Location.
“We thought, we have all these resources at our fingertips, and these people are desperate for work. How can we do something that utilizes all these great manufacturers that are literally in our backyard?’” (Vogue)
They took it upon themselves to fill the vacuum that was created from American Apparel’s fall. And that’s a key point for when a brand dies, look to the ashes for the Phoenix. These people and companies come renewed with the lessons of the old model but adapted with ideas for the new world.
Happens all the time in tech.
But not always at the time of a crash, sometimes at the peak. I imagine there are quite a few Facebook/Google movers jumping ship to a new startup so they can ride the wave again.
What interested me in Everybody World was the clear signal being put out about a stance they are taking. That they won’t stop until it’s everybody’s world. A world for the everyday people, the makers, the buyers, the goods, it’s for all. Democratic fashion, sourced from everyday humans.
The past 2 years kicked off a sweeping change in our country about transparency and inclusiveness.
How could we not expect that to translate into fashion, music, sports, and TV?
This season it’s about making sure everyone’s got a voice. Everlane lead the market by doubling down on transparency. And then the same brand sees the wave and smartly catches it again with their brilliant 100% Human campaign.
100% Human, Everybody World, the countless protest images that captured our attention have now been monetized. Or, rather our demand has been realized.
But I’m not complaining, I’m applauding!
Fashion is about change. And note how simple yet effective the 100% human campaign is. They didn’t invent some new fashionable item, they stamped a message, the right message, on a t-shirt and everything else they sell with it.
The hard part wasn’t making the shirt, the hard part was making the decision to sell it in the first place. To stand for something! There’s fear of blowback, which comes with progress.
The best way to amplify your signal is to play off the culture.
Leading it, or pushing against it.
American Apparel never feared blowback, and it’s what led to their growth. I don’t think that at this time Everybody World has the desire or means to hit the scale of American Apparel. But their message is resonating and expect to see more brands like this.
And I thought Everybody World would solely live online, but crossing over into brick and mortar still has its perks: foot traffic. American Apparel was the anti-experience; with their blank white stores and minimal shelving.
This worked when Brick and Mortar was king but is antithetical to success in 2017.
2018 brick and mortar today all about the experience of shopping. Step into any new Nike store or boutique and be ready to see the shop has a dedicated barber in it or a coffee shop inside, a la Shinola.
We’re all busy today, and the online world is getting crowded. So Everybody World set up in the Standard Hotel in LA. And, they figure if you’re waiting in the lobby for your room, you peruse…
Except not me.
This time I was able to be a part of everybody’s world from the comfort of my room.