The Editor’s Market is a contemporary market for daily attire and way of living. Their mission statement states that they aim to provide excellent design and quality at fair pricing and in an increasingly sustainable manner. They design classic staples that are wearable year-round, unlike fast fashion. Their items have an effortless style and a clean, minimalist look. In this interview with Spencer Wong – Business Development Director, he shares about his insightful experience at The Editor’s Market.
Having joined The Editor’s Market team 5 years ago to build the brand’s presence in Southeast Asia and beyond, it has been a privilege to see how the brand has evolved from the grungy street wear period to its more minimalist sensibility over a period – just past a decade.
Collectively with its founders, we thought it was a time to set our sight outside Singapore. Not forgetting the less glamorous aspects of SOPs, processes, logistics flows and discussions, after building on some warm leads and gradually through some trial, error and tribulations the rest of the story arc was just serendipitous.
Founded in 2010, The Editor’s Market began its journey as a womenswear label, focusing on creating clothes that are well-designed, -made, and -priced. Throughout the decade, the brand has established its presence, both ofﬂine and online, as well as a strong following on social media with more than 200,000 followers across Instagram and Facebook.
The brand champions a reﬁned, minimalist aesthetic and an effortless style that has become uniquely synonymous with The Editor’s Market. Now further extending these design principles to categories beyond apparel, the new ﬂagship store brings to life the co-founders’ long-standing vision of building a full-ﬂedged apparel, lifestyle and design brand.
Taking a leaf out of Chatuchak (Bangkok) and Dongdaemun (Seoul) playbook, we loved the energy and vibrancy of these spaces. People were excited about the different vendors across product categories and these vendors changed from time to time, so no two visits were the same. Having a product mix of in-house apparels and external brands is akin to us bringing in the editor’s select merchandise.
There’s unfortunately no heritage symbolism with a fixed logo but rather we feel that typography is another extension of our design ethos.
Hence you may observe that our brand’s logo that is focused on typography and packaging design changes from time to time.
Instead of engaging in endless one-upmanship, we focus more on the experiential delivery: Selling a perspective of what appeals in our weekly/biweekly collections, meshed together with other lifestyle and homeware collections in a fluid design-led store environment. Besides, collective synergy makes the apparel and lifestyle marketplace more vibrant isn’t it?
Apart from brand, store, e-commerce, omni-channel management experience and without sounding too cliched: brand alignment is of utmost importance. Mix in some adventurous spirit and a mindset of going long, one might find a good fit!
There is no one size fit all. Cost of acquisition whether in rental terms, marketing outreach, labour and overheads have all gone up, in fact I would argue that the cost of doing business has went up quite substantially in an inflationary and slow growth environment.
However if I were to be cautiously optimistic, picking a good store location with the right target audience should payoff in 2-3 years. Beyond that, assuming a stagflationary environment one cannot be certain.
Finding external and internal alignment on goals and objectives, across geographies and culture continue to be a challenge. I don’t profess to have overcome it but treat life as a marathon, keep pressing on and do not lose heart in what you do!
An achievement carries a connotation that it has been done and dusted. For me it’s work in progress and always finding, running and cycling up that greater hill. Seeing happy customers and stakeholders is a personal validation and hope to keep finding that incremental growth.
It starts with giving thanks for a new day, speed-reading though the papers and reviewing my weekly calendar and the scheduled to-do lists.
Traveling to various geographies, understanding cultures and listening to stories through varied experiences and lenses. More often, I spend time to seek more to understand than be understood and it has served me well so far.
We stay in a sweet spot of our “Discovery” design ethos and continue to be agile and ride the waves however the tide rolls. The lines of retail can be a blur but its important to pivot and adjust to how our customer needs’ change.
From the creators’ point of view it can be excruciating and back-breaking to continually create and push boundaries, on the consumers’ side they want everything under the sun that ticks all check-boxes of satisfaction, let’s meet in between!
Stay hungry, stay curious! Some of these favourite quotes that keep me going.
“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”- 2 COR 4:18
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