John Varvatos is the epitome of cool — and it’s Nate Poeschl’s job to keep it that way. The director of digital marketing at the hip men’s brand joined this week’s Glossy Podcast to talk men’s fashion and the need for a more logical fashion production cycle. Edited highlights below.
The male consumer has changed
The big shift for John Varvatos has been pivoting to appeal to a new type of dude, who cares a lot more about what he wears and the impact culture has on that. Poeschl said that the big shift has been a realization from men that they are “physical,” that is, that their physical presence matters. And of course, the Instagram effect: “They’re on Instagram and putting themselves out there and seeing other people do things that makes it acceptable to be thinking about their style.”
And the way he is getting inspired is changing too.
Poeschl said Varvatos has been almost more interested in the shift in inspiration than in behavior, so he has kept a closer eye on how customers find inspiration that then will decide what they buy. So if someone is inspired by music or media or sports is a key metric in finding out more about them. Inspiration is “fragmented” now, he said, and comes from many different places. One big change has been a change in how important popularity is: “Influencers with millions of followers have less influence than people with like 10,000 followers,” he said. “It speaks to people wanting something more real.”
The brand is still trying to figure out its relationship to influencers.
Influencers are becoming a very integral part of the modern marketing landscape, but Poeschl said finding the right people remains difficult. The brand is trying to do its best, trying to find people where “they’re influential but not in the sense that the will shill for anyone who will play the right price.”
Fashion’s democratization is a good thing.
While gatekeepers in the luxury space may want to maintain the allure of exclusivity — you won’t see Chanel doing e-commerce — Poeschl is all for making it more accessible. “Fashion is entertainment. Fashion is interesting,” he said.