How Everlane Is Building The Next-Gen Clothing Brand
Five years after Everlane founder and CEO Michael Preysman declared that he would rather shut down his company than open a store, some 75 people are lining up outside of a minimalist glass storefront in Manhattan’s fashionable Nolita neighborhood. Inside, stacked on blond wood shelves against austere white walls, sit the unassuming objects of their desire: affordable, high-quality basics—$100 cashmere sweaters, $15 pima cotton T-shirts, $65 Japanese denim jeans. Most Everlane product launches these days are met by waiting customers, and the company’s inaugural store opening, on a brisk Saturday morning in December, is no exception. “We’ve realized that there is much more to do to spread the [Everlane] story,” says Preysman, who plans to roll out additional brick-and-mortar outposts around the country in 2018, beginning this spring in San Francisco. “[It] requires more than an online click.” Since launching the company in 2011 as a direct-to-consumer clothing brand committed to “radical transparency,” Preysman and his team have been strategically expanding its scope. Defying the reign of fast-fashion heavyweights like Zara and H&M, Everlane has used its website and social media handles to offer customers a glimpse into its factories around the world, give voice to the workers making its garments, and share a price breakdown of each product it sells. Shoppers can see that Everlane’s original $15 American-made tee costs $6.50 to produce—and that the company’s markup is significantly less than the $45 that traditional designer brands tack on. Read more at Fast Company.