In mid June premium denim brand 7 for All Mankind announced the appointment of Suzanne Silverstein to the role of president. We have talked with Francesca Toninato, CEO 7 For All Mankind, EMEA and Suzanne Silverstein about the brands newest developments and and what plans there are for the near future.
From 2012 to 2014 you were VP of 7 For All Mankind's US wholesale business. What brought you back to the company?
Suzanne Silverstein: My relationship with 7 For All Mankind began in 2003; I worked with the brand during my time as a merchant at Saks Fifth Avenue. I have always felt a strong connection to the brand, so the opportunity to rejoin this talented team as president was something I could not pass up. 7FAM was the first premium denim brand and paved the way for the category and brands that have followed. There is a great brand heritage and a strong product foundation, and while we celebrate our first 20 years in 2020, I really look forward to ushering in the next 20 years!
In which areas would you like to expand the company? Where do you still see potential?
Francesca Toninato: Within EMEA we have just launched two new stores in the last week, in Westfield, Shepherds Bush, London with a new concept, and a fantastic new site in Geneva.
The potential in our product is key; we continue to develop our areas of strength. Both denim and non-denim pants across both genders are increasingly important and we have seen positive growth as our customers really value our strong expertise in fit and fabrications. Added to this our silhouettes and fabric platforms are areas we continue to expand, with Luxe Vintage performing well alongside our established platforms for men and women. We are also developing strong traction in our ready to wear categories.”
What are the plans/renewals for 7 For All Mankind?
Francesca Toninato: More news on this later in the year as we prepare for spring 2020 which is also our 20th anniversary. This will see the launch of Simon Spurr’s first collection, having joined the business as global creative director in January this year. We will be able to share his vision for product which bridges 7 For All Mankind’s heritage as a premium denim brand with a new, modern approach across classifications.
Last year 7 For All Mankind expanded its size range and received a lot of positive feedback with the #WEAREMANKIND campaign. How is the business developing especially for this area? Are there plans for more campaigns in the future? Is there any news in the plus size area?
Francesca Toninato: Our sizes in EMEA range from waist 23-34 for women and waist 28-42 for men. We monitor our customers’ comments and requests and respond to ensure we provide the product they want from us. The US has an expanded size range which performs well. Our campaign for spring '20 will be launched early next year and we will be happy to share the strategy around this nearer that time.
7 For All Mankind collaborates again and again with designers and artists. Which artist and designer cooperations can we expect in the future?
Francesca Toninato: Our focus is on Simon’s new direction for our brand which will encompass new categories and strengthen the classifications we are already successful in. Also on our 20-year anniversary. We will expand further on our strategy on collaborations early next year.
The issue of sustainability is playing an increasingly important role for retailers and consumers. What does 7 For All Mankind think about sustainability? To what extent is sustainability anchored in the company?
Francesca Toninato: This is an area we are developing and have no comment at this time.
Online or offline? Which sales platform is more important for 7 For All Mankind? Where do you want to invest more? And why?
Francesca Toninato: All our channels, which includes wholesale, retail, designer outlets and e-commerce are important pillars to our business. We are happy that we have a very broad customer mix and as such they shop in a variety of environments for different reasons. Our customers are also international and travel so we serve them effectively online, and in key cities–London, Milan, Paris–in addition to their favorite department stores and independents at home.
Which markets are you planning to expand into?
Francesca Toninato: Our South American and Asian businesses are performing well; we will continue to invest in their growth. And we see plenty more opportunity in fashion cities across Europe.
What jeans trends do you see for 2020? What remains? What will disappear?
Francesca Toninato: Denim dressing, including jeans and also ready to wear will be strong for us in 2020. High waists and more dramatic silhouettes are seen in women’s with wide legs and super flares. Treatments become minimal with flat wear patterns although we also see a trend for strong highlights and a soft marble texture. Cargo pants and chinos are an important part of our mix for both genders. Our most successful fits such as the Ronnie and Slimmy in men’s will be developed with different fabrics and detailing.
Mrs. Silverstein, most recently, you served as president of the Parker womenswear label and were instrumental in driving growth. What are your plans for 7 for all Mankind?
Suzanne Silverstein: I look forward continuing a track record of growth and brand strengthening at 7 For All Mankind.