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Dec 20, 2018

Glossy 50: Fashion Change Makers

In May, TechStyle Fashion Group partnered with Rihanna on the launch of size-inclusive lingerie line Savage x Fenty. Taking place in 12 countries in one day, the brand kickoff was three years in the making and — according to TechStyle co-CEO and co-founder Don Ressler, who was a key driver of the Rihanna partnership — it marked a pinnacle moment for TechStyle, which also founded Fabletics, JustFab, Shoedazzle and Fabkids (all of which use a flexible membership model), and reports $750 million in annual revenue. “We’ve spent almost a decade building a platform capable of launching brands to immediate success,” he said.

How important is star power, when it comes to faces and partners of TechStyle brands?
People buy brands that believe what they believe, and alignment with the right partners can demonstrate those beliefs effectively. With Fabletics and Kate [Hudson], the brand immediately stood for living a healthy and balanced life, being active, following your passions, and not taking yourself too seriously. That said, a brand has to stand on its own to build valuable long-term relationships.

I’m taking it Rihanna was a no-brainer partner…
Rihanna is all about empowerment and diversity, and in the case of Savage X Fenty, inclusivity by democratizing sexy. She wanted to hire the best designers and launch a lingerie brand that was about making everyone feel great about their bodies and giving people access to high-quality fashion at a great value. It’s hard not to align yourself with those principles.

Will brands not offering diversity survive in the years ahead?
The future of brands is about reaching niche markets and satisfying those specific customers. So while diversity is part of our company’s core values and the only way we know how to build enduring global brands, it’s not essential to every brand. However, I can say with conviction that brands and companies that don’t aim to reflect the diversity of their customer base will have a very hard time surviving. — Jill Manoff