Michael Dubin proved his business acumen is as sharp as his comedic timing during a fast-paced, idea-packed presentation.
The founder and chief executive officer of the e-commerce site Dollar Shave Club, Dubin shot to fame with a video called, “Our Blades Are F---ing Great.” Its success helped the company grab more than 5 percent of the U.S. men’s razor market on a volume basis in just two years, by fulfilling Dubin’s first mandate when creating a new brand: Cut through the clutter, then focus on solving a specific problem.
“When you solve someone’s problem,” said Dubin, “you earn their trust. And that’s what it’s all about.”
In Dollar Shave Club’s case, the problem being solved was the unpleasantness and expense associated with buying razor blades in traditional retail environments. To build trust, Dubin continued, brands must also keep their promises and deliver great customer service. As an example, he told of a customer who had stopped paying his DSC invoices after losing his job. When the company learned what had happened, they sent him some free blades so that he would “look great on interviews,” Dubin said.
The customer wrote to Dubin, saying, “What an awesome gesture. I start my new job on Monday and have been touting DSC to anyone who will listen.”
That level of service creates customers who happily — and freely — tout the benefits of the brand, Dubin said, showing positive comments posted on Facebook. “Notice how these guys talk to us,” he said. “They want to be part of the brand. They speak our language — it’s language we’ve given them. We have a deep emotional connection with our guys, our loyalists and champions.”
DSC plans to capitalize on that connection by launching more than a dozen new products in the next 18 months. “We want to own the men’s bathroom,” said Dubin. “It’s a multibillion-dollar industry that’s growing up to 10 percent a year. We want to make our mark.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast