Episode 4 / Permission to Think Smaller
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Imprint is a retail clothing brand / lifestyle publication which is a high-end companion to Foremost, which is a clothing brand, that is also a friend of Unbranded, which is a pop-up retail experiment. If it's hard to keep track of all that, imagine how Matt Alexander must feel. It seems like a lot, but as the CEO of this fleet of alternative retail businesses, he's building a system of small ideas that are super focused on delivering specific experiences.

On this episode of Well Made, Matt talked to Stephan about his growing brand reach and how he aspires to meet customers' needs by thinking small and staying flexible.


 Permission to Think Smaller  Permission to Think Smaller

“The idea was to have something a bit more quiet and a bit more focused.”

Rather than setting out to build the new Gilt or J. Crew, Matt tapped into many gaps in the retail industry. People want higher quality clothes for more reasonable prices, without the overwhelming experience of a mall or even a massive online catalog. With Foremost, he’s created a unique clothing brand that releases limited runs of new, reasonably priced designs each season. Every “volume,” as their called, is accompanied with video and stories to give a complete vision of each piece. 

Imprint has a similar model with pieces cycling out through the seasons, but it’s a high-end collection of curated pieces from various designers — right now for men, but a women's category is coming in the future. He’s found that by building several smaller, focused ideas under the same ethos, each brand can meet the needs of modern consumers much better than an all-encompassing over reaching, mega brand. 

 Permission to Think Smaller  Permission to Think Smaller

“We’re not going to be precious about our design ... to the extent that it prevents us from moving forward and doing something better.”

From their seasonal collections to their evolving branding, Matt holds tight to his ethos but isn't too precious with logos or branding elements. It's truly a new way to think about how we brand retail and it's a concept that people really seem to be loving.

To keep tabs on all of Matt's projects, follow him on Twitter and check out his occasional podcast, Bonanza! — an important show about nothing in particular.

Feature image via D Magazine.


You can find this and all future episodes on iTunesGoogle Play, and here on the Lumi blog.

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