Simon James Spurr
Simon James Spurr is a British fashion designer based in New York City. He has received critical acclaim for the clothing line he launched in 2006, which is credited with revitalising and modernising classical menswear. He has recently launched his new footwear brand MARCH NYC (www.marchnyc.com).
Simon is speaking at the Luxury Law Summit on 16th May in London about Eponymous Fashion Brands and M&A.
- What is the key challenge for menswear businesses?
Scalability. For emerging menswear businesses, the biggest challenge has to be breaking through the $10 million sales mark that would then attract the attention of the larger conglomerates like LVMH Fund, Labelux, Richemont etc. Whilst sales of $0-5 million can come quite readily as distribution grows internationally, these channels can quickly become saturated, and it becomes ever-challenging for small businesses with limited funds/resources to find a way to increase from $5-10 million in revenue.
But even for established brands, growing the business has become increasingly more difficult with the slump in retail, the ever-changing musical chairs of Creative Directors and the eternal shift and demand in connecting with the customer. One could question whether the ever-adjusting directions of brands to appease the ‘ADD’ within our market will ultimately result in brands losing their original DNA that set them apart in the first place.
- What is the biggest lesson you have learned since you started in the fashion world?
Understanding a brand’s DNA and customer base – past, present and future. The entire fashion market has shifted so drastically in the past few years alone, that the way consumers purchase, dress and communicate is continuously evolving at such a rapid rate that it can leave many brands feeling overwhelmed. But one of the most important things to consider in this period remains developing a strong understanding your brand’s DNA and customer base.
- What is the most exciting opportunity for luxury fashion businesses?
Customer interactivity in the sales experience. As the fashion world slowly embraces and integrates technology into its product offerings and retail/sales experiences, it opens the door for brands to think on a much larger scale. No longer are brands constrained to traditional wholesale or company-owned retail store channels. The customer now shops 24/7/365, and how a brand attracts them to shop is already as important as what they are buying.
Watch out for shopping directly off Instagram, and being able to search website inventory according to your size/wearing habits through body mapping technology. In all likelihood, in a few years’ time we will be able to walk/shop a store in virtual reality, or watch holographic fashion shows from our living room.
- Which luxury business do you most admire?
From a commerce perspective, I have to credit Net-a-Porter/Mr. Porter with revolutionising the industry as we know it. These websites have not only pioneered and forever changed the landscape of how we shop, but have also been a beacon for so many companies entering the world of e-commerce.
- What’s next in the life of Simon Spurr
After recently leaving my previous Creative Director position, I have been working on some projects that have slightly more permanency to them.
As brands become more lifestyle/collaborative-driven, I see my future expanding into new disciplines, showcasing my design abilities beyond my 20 years’ experience as a menswear designer.
I’m therefore currently writing the preface to my next chapter in design through sculpture, lighting, and the recent launch of my new men’s and women’s footwear brand MARCH NYC.