The perils of being a blogger, vlogger or other influencer boils down to a single truth: grow too much and risk losing clout with that carefully built following, or do nothing and lose out on the potential business opportunity that comes with those followers.Venice, Calif.-based accessories platform Motif wants to help.The start-up, which sells hundreds of different styles of jewelry online and through an app, works with influencers from across channels to help them create their own accessories line while retaining authenticity.“Regardless of size, influencers are going through a life-stage development where they’ve created huge opportunities for themselves as influencers, but at some point, you have to choose to move from an influencer into becoming a brand or supporting a brand,” said Motif's head of strategic partnerships Stuart La Brooy. “Big influencers are starting to tap out that market. They’ve, to a certain extent, exhausted themselves.”La Brooy, who started SK-II’s Beauty Bound Asia program to find influencers, founded the company with Elaine Shuainan Zhu, formerly of Facebook Asia, and Gordon Wang, who previously worked at Google. Motif works with companies such as Montblanc or Tiffany to help influencers create their own shops on the Motif platform to sell their lines.The company launched in October and counts 40 people across its offices. It’s in the midst of raising an angel round.Motif, on Tuesday, rolled out The Edit geared toward influencers who want to dip a toe into creating their own line with a small offering. The influencers get to release between four and eight pieces typically, gauge customer reaction and get a sense of what the market appetite is for their product. The thinking, said La Brooy, is if it’s successful these influencers then graduate to larger collections with Motif.While the company has an application process, most of the time the influencers are handpicked based on what La Brooy described as a deep engagement with their following and original style that doesn’t piggyback off of someone else’s creative ideas.Jewelry was a good way into the Motif business, but the company sees expansion into watches, bags and tech accessories this year.Motif designs are all created in the company’s Venice office where product is taken from concept all the way to a 3-D printed sample before its produced in Asia. Materials are sourced from throughout the world. Anywhere from 600 to 800 of the items available for sale are from emerging designers, while the rest of the inventory comprises original designs.The company has so far picked up a mostly Millennial audience in the 25- to 36-year-old range, with about 70 percent of overall revenues generated in the U.S. It’s also seen strong sales in Japan, Korea, Australia and the U.K.“I think one of the things that’s very true for us, if I look at a lot of our competitive set that are playing around with a capsule or affiliate model, is the focus is still very much on the retail brand versus the influencer,” La Brooy said. “They’ll leave out the influencer and the creative control of their brand is pretty minimal.”Motif, La Brooy said, aims to help its influencers create their own stores and channel to build their brands.“It’s much more about the influencer and her relationship with the community than it is about the retailer,” he said. “E-commerce retail brands are starting to be dinosaurs. They’re not the reason you shop. I think influencers are the gateway [for retailers]. We’re a B-to-B business first in terms of serving that influencer.”
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.