Why Instagram’s Trending Accessories Brands Are Investing in Ready-to-Wear
Miista now features a seasonal theme rolled out across its footwear and apparel. “We are able to offer a more rounded creative concept. This allows us to experiment more and we try to find new ways to combine materials and shapes,” explains Villasenín Sánchez.
Miista customers have responded positively, he says. “Some said they understood better what we were trying to communicate.” Its 40 retailers include Ssense, La Samaritaine, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Wow Madrid. “They told us that having the clothes helps sell the shoes because it’s about connecting the dots together. From a merchandising perspective, it feels stronger and helps represent the brand as a whole,” he adds.
The Challenges of Adding Clothing
Expanding categories is not easy. Fashion consultant Natalie Kingham says: “From a business perspective, it takes time. You need to know your customer and determine your price and output. Most brands do one thing very well, but it’s hard to do all of them well.
Edited, the retail intelligence firm, tracked a 156% year-over-year increase in Yuzefi newcomers at third-party retailers in the US and UK. However, accessories remain Yuzefi’s hero category, seeing high sales and low discount levels compared to apparel, says Kayla Marci, market analyst at Edited. That’s not the case at Cult Gaia, says Larian. RTW contributes 57% of 2022 revenue, having grown 180% year-over-year, outpacing the brand’s accessories growth of 130% year-over-year.
Ready-to-wear requires more resources and people with specific skills in areas such as patternmaking and cutting, Larian says. “Ready-to-wear is an expensive process. You need technical designers because you are dealing with sizes, fabrics, braids, scraps. There are more moving parts. The fabric comes from one place, the factories are from another place, and then there’s the time it takes to cut, sew and other details. People don’t realize what it takes to make a garment. Cult Gaia currently employs approximately 70 people in total.
Miista, which manufactures its shoes primarily in the city of Alicante in southeastern Spain, made a significant initial investment to establish its own clothing factory in the country’s northwestern region of Galicia. The goal was to ensure a strong supply chain and control the manufacturing process from start to finish, explains Villasenín Sánchez. “We don’t need to go outsource far, so we can offer a seamless approach to our clients and our community.”