Francesco Cuffaro of Dex Clothing sees that the client comes first for the Montreal-based contemporary brand. As the brand’s sales director, Cuffaro has encountered tectonic shifts in the market. This has been felt among most retailers and brands — varying consumer expectations and dizzying digital updates are needed to meet these fluctuating demands. With a strategic added-value proposition implemented to allow buy-backs from clients to the see-now-buy-now craze that’s sweeping retail, Cuffaro guides Dex Clothing to stay on top of industry’s latest trends.
Here, Cuffaro discusses the brand and some recent trends in the market.
WWD: Has Dex Clothing always been a young contemporary brand?
Francesco Cuffaro: We started off primarily as a knit house — a sweater house — and that was kind of like the anchor of our business. Now it’s evolved into many different categories.
WWD: What is one noticeable trend you’ve seen among retailers that’s come to FAME?
F.C.: We’ve shown at FAME for about three years now. We’ve found that the customers here are really hungry [for] brand-driven, quality-driven [and] value-driven ready-to-wear.
WWD: What were some key influences for this collection?
F.C.: Some of the main items were layering pieces: pullovers, cardigans and blouses. That’s been the driving force of the product for this season and also for fall.
WWD: How is Dex Clothing navigating its way through various shifts in the market?
F.C.: We want to be that see-now-buy-now vendor for retailers here. I really think it’s the DNA of our brand. We focus on wholesale — we cater to our customer. Any social media that we do is more to support our retail. We do a lot of call-outs, we do a lot of credits for our retailers. We’ve had to curate our brand and focus on styles that show well on e-commerce sites — that’s been our biggest growth factor, especially over the last 12 months.
WWD: How is Dex Clothing distinguishing itself from the competition?
F.C.: We have a really unique value added proposition. The way we work with our retailers is that we offer a guarantee. Whatever the retailer buys and whatever they don’t sell, we actually buy back from them. I think we’re the only ones in the market place offering it right now. It helps to know — especially from a retail perspective — that they have a safety net.