Fashion investors are looking with telescopes to scrutinise and decide which brands to invest in. In pitching your brand to potential investors, it is important to keep in mind the interest of the investor.
Investors are always investing, but, like Gail Zauder, managing partner of strategic firm Elixir Advisors puts it; “There are too many of the same beauty brands and they can’t all be successful, I think this will be an Ice Age where only the people that deserve to survive will get funding.” Sad but true! The ice age analogy is a result of the changes brought about by the pandemic.
Let us begin by examining what changed for fashion businesses and why?
Chorus it with me in Elsa Majimbo’s voice “pan-de-miiic”. The lockdowns put restrictions on large gatherings. This meant no Saturday parties (Owambe), Sunday outings, physical commute to the office or vacations! The need for Asoebi plummeted and with it every high-end outdoor clothing. We were left at home with our stay-at-home casual wears and lounge wears with matching uggs to go. Uggs by the way are those divinely unattractive slip-ons that are as the name implies; uggs.
The use sneakers for quick shopping runs replaced office pumps and tops became another necessity. Face masks have become a ticket for entry into physical stores and offices. Stores that went digital and offered doorstep delivery gained popularity. As homestay increased, people began to see the need to get physically active, the need for active wears increased.
Even as businesses experienced a decline, both buyer and investor look for affordability and profitability. Whilst buyers look for quality goods to meet their needs at affordable prices; Investors seek fashion brands that would attend to problems with little financial investments whilst making a considerable profit.
In an article published by the business of fashion, fashion investors are willing to financially back businesses that cater for the shopper’s health, finances and reusability. Marfa Stance a new fashion brand started by Burberry and Rag & Bone alumnus Georgia Dant created a reversible wear. This means double styling in one piece, their creativity and sustainability stance got investors betting their money on it.
Finally, hear this from Richard Klin a London real estate entrepreneur who recently invested in Marfa stance said this; “If someone in fashion with 30 stores come to me, I wouldn’t be interested”, he said, “but if a brand has a clear story, solves a problem and is going digital, I see a market for it”.
Permit me to add, he would readily consider investing in it because there is a promise of profitability. Also the brand meets a need, and solves a problem. This is what a fashion brand should aspire to do; meet a need, solve a problem, serve a ready market digitally.
In this series, we would explore the types of innovations that investors with even the narrowest telescopes would invest in. We would draw this information from actual fashion brand investors and other venture capitalists. By so doing, we would be poised to pitch rightly to our potential investors.