The Dr. Wang Mentorship program was established in September by Alvanon to mentor emerging brands and design talent. It awards the winner a two-year mentorship with Alvanon’s leading industry apparel experts to help provide a sustainable path to success. The program is named for Kenneth Wang, who founded Alvanon in 2001.
Ellie Kai, founded by Elizabeth “Liz” Hostetter in 2014, gives women the ability to create a personal wardrobe by offering various ways to customize each item.
Under the program, Alvanon will strengthen Ellie Kai’s existing business competence with statistical sizing data, technical design tools and training in key areas of the art and science of fashion, including production, supply chain issues, fit, marketing and sales.
Janice Wang, chief executive officer of Alvanon, said Hostetter “has driven Ellie Kai to embody a new model of direct selling, one that provides direct access to on-demand, personalized fashion by defining, and thus controlling, the entire supply chain.”
“Unlike other direct sales companies, Ellie Kai’s just-in-time manufacturing controls every part of the process — from design concept, fabric sourcing and production, all the way to the company’s own sales network and clients,” Wang added.
Style consultants across the U.S. work directly with clients to select and customize each style. The garment is then ordered and sewn on-demand to a client’s specifications at Ellie Kai’s ethically monitored facility in Shenzhen, China, and shipped to the client in three weeks. Customers can also order directly online through the Ellie Kai Web site at elliekai.com. Prices range from $115 to $300.
“Ellie Kai’s sales team is a community of women entrepreneurs who offer a personalized shopping experience to clients through our proprietary made-to-order platform,” Hostetter said.
Hostetter noted that her business will benefit from Alvanon’s apparel expert mentoring in several ways.
“We are determining ‘core styles’ in order to ensure consistency in fit and institute a platform for all designs,” she said. “Once this is established, the prospect of customizing the details from sleeve style, length, fabric or accessories becomes the greatest…selling point for Ellie Kai. Ensuring our sizing and fit of product is true, consistent and well communicated is absolutely crucial, and working with Alvanon gives us the ultimate industry insider advantage in achieving this goal.”
Ellie Kai is headquartered in Boston and designed, sourced and manufactured in Asia. It is sold through trunk shows, on its Web site and in retail showrooms across the U.S.
The first mentorship award was given to women’s fashion designer Rosie Assoulin.
Alvanon advises apparel companies on how to align their internal teams, processes and supply chains, more intimately engage their existing and target customers, and optimize profitability and achieve their growth objectives. It works with clients across multiple apparel sectors in 89 countries. The company operates from its head office in New York, European headquarters in London and Asia office in Hong Kong. Alvanon also has research, development and manufacturing facilities in Donguan and Shenzhen in China.