New York based Siobhan Glynn is Brand Manager for fashion wholesale Polly King & Co. and has a multi-functional role that focuses on wholesale partnerships and managing the link between designers and the stores that buy the designer brands. Siobhan also revealed that she is also a participant with LEAP™ (Leadership & Executive Acceleration Program).
We asked Siobhan to tell us in her own words what does Polly King & Co. do.
Polly King & Co is a multi-brand fashion wholesale showroom, our domestic and international showrooms based in Paris, New York, London and Los Angeles. Polly King & Co combines global reach with local knowledge and has at its core a philosophy of sustainable brand building and positioning. Polly King & Co represents 50+ brands across womenswear, menswear and accessories. Working with the best stores around the world, Polly King & Co is a key player in the global fashion industry.
What are your main priorities and goals in your role?
The principle function of my role as Brand Manager is the business development of the brands under my management. This is a multi-functional role that focuses on the wholesale partnerships between our brands and luxury department and specialty stores across the North American market. As a Brand Manager I am the link between the designers I manage and the stores who buy these brands. My objective is to build a strong business, facilitate the communication and provide direction that will benefit both parties.
What are your biggest challenges? & How has Covid-19 affected your business?
The effect of Covid-19 on the fashion industry had an immediate impact once locked came into play. The closure of brick and mortar stores essentially put a pause on a lot of consumer spending and post lockdown we are expecting to see changing trends in consumer behavior.
Reestablishing the ‘new normal’ will be the biggest challenge for designers and retailers in the post lockdown landscape. This Pandemic has highlighted the importance of e-commerce. For our luxury retail partners the challenge will be translating the luxury experience to an online platform.
What are the challenges facing your industry going forward?
Two of the many challenges facing the fashion industry at the moment is the disruption to the fashion calendar and a reduction in travel.
Gucci along with other key designer brands announced they will only by showing twice a year instead of four. This disruption to the fashion calendar will impact flow of product into stores, brands will have to establish a new schedule that will suit their business model.
Another challenge facing the industry is the reduction in travel. Most brands show their collections during fashion weeks in London, NYC, Paris and Milan plus over the years LA and Copenhagen have become increasingly important cities to show in. With buyers travelling less due to the impact of Covid 19 the industry will need to establish a new format to present their collections if buyer cannot be there in person.
What new trends are emerging in your industry?
Pre-Covid Sustainability was emerging as a key focus for retailers and brands in the North American market. The impact of Covid has heightened the need for more brands to incorporate sustainability as an integral function of their business practice.
Another trend the industry is witnessing is the shift away from the traditional wholesale model toward online. E-commerce is reshaping the retail landscape, rental or subscription models like Rent the Runway has transformed clothing into a service.
Are there any major changes you would like to see in your sector?
Sustainable business practices established as an integral function across the industry.
How do you define success and what drives you to succeed?
Success to me is developing a healthy business for the designers I represent, where both the buyers and designers I work with are pleased with how the partnership is developing.
What drives me? It is very exciting to launch a new brand into a market and being part of that team which drives the growth in establishing a strong healthy business.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given, or would give, in business?
I have been very lucky of the course of my career to work with some really exceptional people within the industry. Its also been super exciting to see how my contemporaries have grown and developed within their respective sectors with the fashion industry where we all have kept close ties with each over the years.
The fashion industry is a relatively small industry so its important developing your network through building authentic relationships.
What opportunities or plans for growth do you see in 2020/21?
There are 3 key areas I see opportunities for growth; sustainability, technology and trust.
In a post Covid landscape customers will be choosing brands who have sustainable practices incorporate across their business.
The retail environment has shifted from supply lead to demand lead market. New technologies are enabling consumers to discover new shopping solutions. Coupled with the rapid shift to online due to the impact of Covid Ecommerce will become more of a focus for the immediate future. Currently it is of the upmost importance for businesses in fashion industry translate their services online.
Digitalization has heightened the importance of transparency, building trusting relationship between the brand and the consumer will encourage loyalty.