Fashion Entrepreneur Podcast

Fashion Originators



Welcome to Fashion Originators, a podcast hosted by me, Stephanie Irwin. Every other week, I interview game-changing fashion entrepreneurs. Each episode, THEY share their wins, losses and wisdom – all to inspire your career and personal goals.

#FashionOgnews: Hermes skincare, J. Crew in crisis and Tim Walker at the V&A?

#FashionOgnews: Hermes skincare, J. Crew in crisis and Tim Walker at the V&A?

Photo: credit

This week on #fashionOGnews , I have some really epic stories (these days, we’re drowning in news after all). In addition to the People’s Vote March having epic fashion (loved all the EU berets), we have some epic developments ranging from Hermes skincare to J.Crew’s ten millionth rebrand being an epic fail.

Hope you enjoy! The corresponding audio to this blog post can be found at the bottom of this entry.

Hermes to launch skincare and cosmetics!

In 2020, Hermes plans to launch makeup and skincare to accompany their fragrance (and many other iconic) offerings. Made by third-party suppliers, it sounds similar to the Gucci Beauty roll-out. While the packaging will likely be beautiful (as Gucci beauty’s), I’m curious as to how they will innovate / stand out from the crowd.

For me, I think skincare innovation and really really obscene packaging will be key to the success of this arm of their business. However, Gucci Beauty hasn’t exactly been doing well, and to me it’s obvious why. That being said, Hermes is a different business. While Gucci has sneakers / smaller bags that are a bit more attainable, the ‘attainable luxury’ aspect of Hermes is far more limited. Amongst the Hermes range of product, their ‘affordable’ items are less popular (such as silk scarves).

J.Crew is flailing -- hard (no one is surprised)

It was revealed last week that J.Crew’s rebrand under their new CEO has epically failed. In the last financial quarter of 2018, they reported a net loss of $74.4 million. According to their COO, the brand ‘delivered dissapointing results in 2018 as many new strategies were deployed.’

Interestingly, the sister label to J.Crew, madewell, have actually been doing quite well. While J.Crew are strategizing to increase customization and their overall digital experience, I personally don’t think that’s what’s wrong with the brand. Rather, I think it goes down to why the brand exists in the first place. They have no idea who they are catering to, and they’re suffering as a result. In contrast, madewell is at an attractive pricepoint (high enough to be desirable, low enough to be do-able), and has a clear image of their customer (Brooklyn hipster, works at a startup, etc).

Tim Walker Exhibit is coming to the V&A - Tim Walker ‘Wonderful things’

For the third time, Tim Walker will be doing a solo show at the V&A. Debuting in September of this year, the show will be called the rather ambiguous ‘Wonderful Things.’ While I love everything Tim does, I’m getting the vibe that this is ambiguously titled for a reason -- because no one actually knows what’s going to happen. That’s fashion people for ya.

Levi’s valued at $6.6 billion

After being family-owned for 34 years, Levi’s went public again and are valued much higher than the fashion community expected.

While I do agree with the overarching surprise of the fashion community, I do think the brand has been going from strength to strength for quite a while. I heard one of their top executives speak at Drapers Digital conference a couple years ago, and I was struck by his cumulative understanding of innovation and heritage. Collaborating with the likes of Google and TruFit, and really focusing on customization and associating with the right influencers, their strategy is on-point. As millennials obsess over the 90s, they’ve also skillyfully capitalized on this through a quality product at a great price.

But… I hate their tee shirts / non-denim clothes. Maybe it’s just me.


‘Wellness swallowing fashion whole?’

Fashion editor Jess Cartner-Morley wrote a really entertaining piece in The Guardian about wellness ‘killing fashion’ that gave me a laugh. While none of her revelations were that shocking, I feel like she explained the whole wellness wave so well -- ‘no one wants stuff anymore. We want glowing skin and a 110-minute half-marathon and inner peace and Michelin-starred kombucha instead.’ Well done.

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#42: Fashion nostalgia and finding your voice with @capsule98

#42: Fashion nostalgia and finding your voice with @capsule98

#FashionOGnews: LV men's backlash, heat-up jackets, American Eagle streetwear?

#FashionOGnews: LV men's backlash, heat-up jackets, American Eagle streetwear?