Rencontre avec Viviane Lipskier, experte des DNVB

Meeting with Viviane Lipskier, DNVB expert

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In her genre, Viviane Lipskier is a popess. A graduate of the famous Louvre school in Paris, this observer of weak signals is the first in France to have grasped and theorized the importance of clothing labels for which the Internet is a launching pad and also the belt of a worn spirit by values. The famous DNVBs, as they must be called in America - Hast is one of them, for example. The one who is now in charge of advising brands, on behalf of her “DNVB factory”, even produced a book published in 2018 “DNVB: The gifted of digital commerce”. In this “covid” era, where buying clothes online and the appetite for a form of ethics are things that increasingly matter, we had to take stock with the author.

What does Digital Native Vertical Brand mean?

We tend to confuse brands which launch with a website and an Instagram account, which are nothing other than modern brands, a sort of Insta-brands, and the real DNVBs which, behind their activity, have A model. A DNVB is a technological start-up which, instead of offering a dematerialized product, develops a physical consumer good, such as clothing for example. DNVBs were born online. They don't have a store to begin with, no showroom. They make most of their sales online, on their site, but also everywhere else on the Internet, and it is there also, above all, that they will express their brand mission and build their community. The idea is to deploy a mind.

In what context did these brands appear?

It's a model that was born in Silicon Valley, obviously, after the wave of the first Internet companies, at the beginning of the 2000s. It was a time when it was easy to be referenced on search engines because there were few sites, but where the Internet was slow. It was rowing! And you had to build your sales platform yourself. There was no turnkey software available yet. For these brands, it was a question of investing in parts of the economy which were then neglected by the large consumer goods groups or in which a single player reigned, as was the case in the consumer goods market. glasses or a main player had established a global monopoly, producing the majority of lifestyle lenses and frames.

The DNVBs collect a certain amount of information online from their customers in order to produce in small quantities, at the right price, without promotion, so as not to waste anything.

The DNVB arrived by also arguing that the customer experience in store was no longer of much interest. As long as you have a figure outside of the usual sizes, finding pants that fit perfectly could be complicated. And the salespeople were there more to fold the clothes they tried on than to advise the customer (especially in the world of fast fashion). It was in 2007 that the founder of one of the first DNVBs, the one who invented the acronym, imagined creating a startup that would sell pants online that fit perfectly to everyone's silhouette, thanks to use of an algorithm and data, to multiply the possible combinations and thus satisfy everyone. It was like a giant virtual store, which was impossible to reproduce in real life.

You say that the DNVBs are attached to ethics…

It is a model that makes it possible to control the value chain, to make the system as transparent as possible and to be able to prove it. All this to, ultimately, ensure that the right quantity is sold at a fairer price. This last element is central to the way DNVBs evolve. In the classic system, brands produce too much, overconsume clothes that people neither need nor want, and end up with excess stock, which will then have to be emptied through sales, or destroyed. . The DNVBs collect a certain amount of information online from their customers in order to produce in small quantities, at the right price, without promotion, so as not to waste anything.

What is the relationship with the environment of these brands in ready-to-wear?

DNVBs have the luxury of being able to choose their supplier of raw materials, ensuring all possible environmental and social criteria, from the quality of the fabric to where the cotton was first grown place, the quantity of water used to grow this cotton, the pay of those who picked it. It was an American brand that launched this movement in 2010, explaining that fashion should no longer be an opaque environment. The people there decided to produce on demand by relying on algorithms. Analysts began to predict which pieces would work best in order to produce clothing as accurately as possible, without waste. At the same time, it was a question of playing the card of the most total transparency by breaking down the price of each item for the customer, so that they perfectly understood what they were buying and spending. It has become a real model today, in the world of ready-to-wear. This now allows people to have confidence in the brands they buy from.

Is the idea of ​​a physical store obsolete?

Bad physical business is obsolete. Standard brand stores where absolutely nothing happens, where you try, you buy, and you leave, almost apologizing for stopping by, don't work anymore. There is no life in these places, no adventure. We are drowning in clothes, the salespeople are only there to sell a product in order to fill the customer's shopping cart.

This now allows people to have confidence in the brands they buy from.

Today, a store must be unique in its kind, that's the new rule of the game. This could be what we call a "destination store", that is to say a kind of place in which traffic is limited to preserve a certain privacy; each piece that we want to try is specially taken out of stock. For some of these stores, you sometimes have to make an appointment. We are received by someone who is more of a guide than a salesman, who takes great care of the customer, who advises him and even offers, at the end, to deliver the clothes to his home so that he does not is not cluttered during the rest of his day. The store remains important because a large part of the population still likes to buy their clothes this way. People need to see, to touch, before spending. What matters is the social bond that this translates.