Joor, the New York-based tech company is working with the Council of Fashion Designers of America to provide emerging designers with a better connection to retailers, WWD has learned.
Just this week, WWD reported that the CFDA has a new “interim membership” tier for designers who have been in business for one to five years and with a noteworthy level of recognition and success. In this membership tier, dues are waived for the first year and reduced for years two and three. But after year three, it’s hoped and expected that the designers will advance to full CFDA membership.
Joor has an agreement with the CFDA hooking up the organization’s 22 interim members with the Joor Passport technology to conduct commerce with retailers around the world and for access to industry experts and market information.
Joor powers various virtual trade shows and fashion events in the fashion, luxury and home sectors, and operates a year-round virtual business-to-business marketplace for brands and retailers. The company characterizes itself as “a digital ecosystem” for wholesale management with virtual showrooms and with Joor Passport, a central online location for trade shows and fashion events.
“Digital adoption has become critical for success in the fashion industry today,” said Lisa Smilor, executive vice president at the CFDA. “We look forward to working with Joor to provide the CFDA’s new interim members with knowledge of wholesale market trends, digital selling best practices, and access to Joor’s powerful global network of retail buyers.”
For the third year in a row, Joor Passport is powering several fashion events around the world including London Fashion Week, Tokyo Fashion Awards, Showcase Japan (which is in partnership with the Japan External Trade Organization) U.K. in Fashion and Passport to Spain.
The technology enables retailers to view and shop the collections shown at the events “creating a virtual component to each event that extends its time frame and geographic reach,” Joor said, adding that the pandemic has reduced traveling and increased the need for conducting business online. In addition, Joor continues to virtually host its own year-round marketplace events, including The Accessory Collective, Destination Italy and Joor Showcase for contemporary brands.
To date, Joor Passport has virtually hosted more than 50 events, which the company says have attracted more than 315,000 retail visitors from 152 countries. Joor also said that more than 4,200 designers have participated in a Joor Passport event, with almost 900,000 products sold, and that it processes more than $1.5 billion in wholesale transactions every month.
“Digital commerce is now a widely accepted way of doing business, and will allow the shows to go on, whether they are entirely digital or hybrid in nature,” said Kristin Savilia, chief executive officer of Joor.
Joor executives also point out that the firm continues to support in-person appointments via its iPad app and custom QR codes, as well as virtual selling via its desktop platform.
Last year, from Nov. 18 to Dec. 2, Joor conducted a survey of brands and retailers by email and collected nearly 750 responses regarding attitudes toward buying and selling in the upcoming spring market cycle.
According to Joor’s findings:
• 97 percent of brands are planning to leverage virtual showrooms.
• 87 percent of retailers plan to conduct virtual buying in some capacity.
• 61 percent of brands have achieved a sales volume that is equal or better than before the pandemic.
• Half of buyers said they are back to having budgets that are equal to or greater than the ones they had in 2019.
• 40 percent of brands have extended their selling window to buyers to accommodate late season orders.
• 50 percent of retailers plan to extend their buying season.
“As the last two years of the pandemic have proved, flexibility is critical for success,” Savilia said. “Brands and retailers are now incorporating digital wholesale as an ongoing part of their plans, and we see no indication from the survey data that this will change.”