speak to our fashion-pioneering customer to brands that will speak to our purist customer, for example a successful brand could be a minimal T-shirt brand where the cut is fantastic and the fabrications are amazing.
What is the key value of The Innovators Programme? I think overall, each designer will receive robust support from MATCHESFASHION across the business including buying, PR, marketing and social. I think knowing that they have this support over the course of a year means that they can plan ahead and will allow them to have more financial stability. As part of the year long programme we will be giving each brand a lot more visibility so that their story, ethos and what they stand for can really be conveyed to our customer so that they understand the brand and want to invest in a brand of the future. We will also offer mentorship over the year in a very organic way depending on what they need; it will be very personalised to them.
What have been the biggest challenges for young brands during the global pandemic?
Financial stability is probably one of the biggest challenges these brands have had to face during this difficult time. Younger brands do have the opportunity (because they are small) to be more flexible and agile but like everyone during this pandemic planning for the long term when the short term is so unpredictable is challenging. This is one of the reasons that we set up this programme for next year, to help futureproof some of the amazing young talent out there.
What is the bravest decision you have made in your career?
I think it is brave to pick up new brands, you never know how the customer will react so it is important to really believe in the designer and in the product. It is great when it does really resonate with the customer and a highlight for me would have to be when we launched Vetements, we believed in so much, so it was fantastic to see it become such a success story.
Michael Halpern – Founder & Designer, Halpern
What is the greatest value of The Innovators Programme?
Being a part of The Innovators Programme is incredibly exciting! At Halpern, I have worked with MATCHESFASHION from our first season, and we even did a really incredible trip to Dubai with them to begin to introduce Halpern to the customers there. It was such a wonderful experience and being a part of this programme will strengthen our relationship even more. Our brand will benefit from the amazing amount of exposure on the site with all of the brilliantly added marketing that goes into a project like this.
Did this support give you the confidence to take Halpern to the next level?
I think any store that invests in you will help take it to the next level. Whether that investment comes in the form of a project like the innovators, deepening the buy or even building up face time with you from a business perspective.
How do you balance the creative and the business elements of growing a brand?
I think for any creative person running a business can be daunting in the beginning. At the end of the day, I am a classically trained fash