Beauty Store Business

AUG 2016

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88 August 2016 | beautystorebusiness.com Here, we explore more behind the com- pany's growth and accomplishments and give you McDermott's insider secrets to success, summed up in just six easy steps. STEP 1: Create products that you're a fan of and are passionate about. McDermott's love for fashion and hand- crafting clothes started at a very early age. "I have always been interested in fashion," she says. "Even from a young age, I loved putting together dif- ferent outfits and, as a teenager, mak- ing my own clothes. In my 20s, I had a children's-wear brand down in Melbourne for years, sold through boutiques and department stores. I had a medical acu- puncture clinic, but stopped practicing 12 years ago when I started Blackpants." McDermott made clothes that she— first and foremost—would wear, without concerning herself with the latest trends or what she thought would have the most widespread appeal. "[My design philosophy is] less is more! [My style is] very understated and simple—attention to detail with quality textiles and hardware," McDer- mott says. "I tend to favor straight lines and bold necklines. My designs definitely mirror my own personal style. I tend to wear a lot of black, and have never been one to follow fads or trends. I have classic tastes." STEP 2: Have a claim to fame that sets you apart from the competition. Blackpants Workwear is most notable for its unique, one-of-a-kind STAYBLACK high-performance fabric—and with good reason. In addition to being easy to care for, durable and comfortable, when made into a work uniform, the amazing material has a slew of note- worthy capabilities unlike most fabrics on the market. It's bleach-proof, breath- able, quick drying and piling-resistant. (It keeps those little balls from forming due to friction) Furthermore, it doesn't fade, holds its shape, assists with circulation in the legs, draws out moisture for tem- perature control, molds to the body like a flattering glove and even stretches in all directions for maximum comfort. Because it performs so many functions, the road to creating the ideal workwear fabric was an arduous one. "The process was very involved, but also incredibly interesting!" McDermott says. "Our STAY- BLACK fabric has so many functions. It's bleach-resistant, hair-repellent and doesn't fade—but the most difficult part was marrying these functions with a textile that was wearable. As we manufactured workwear, it was important that the fabric be comfortable and look great. It took around six months to perfect." STEP 3: Know—and listen—to your audience. It takes a village to keep up with the growing demand for Blackpants Workwear products. And for McDermott, her trust- worthy staff is involved in every step of the design process. "There is definitely a team of us. Almost everyone in the office, regardless of their position or qualification, has some input in what we develop," she says. "It's important to always remain open to fresh ideas—while still staying true to the Blackpants brand." Because the company morphed to fit the needs of its customers, who once bought McDermott's leisurewear and used them as uniforms, she knows the impor- tance of listening to the brand's audience. "We engage with our market a lot for inspiration—to understand what they want and need from their uniform. I wouldn't say that we're a brand that follows fashions per se; but rather, a brand with a distinct style of its own," McDermott says. STEP 4: Adapt your company to fit your customers' needs, even as the market changes. Though Blackpants Workwear now sells a wide range of products, including everything from pants, T-shirts, vests, tunics and dresses to scarves and acces- sories, it is quickly gaining recognition in the United States for what's now become a staple: The Intelligent Legging. "The leggings are in fact the new- est product!" McDermott says. "They were launched in Sydney in June 2015, the United Kingdom in October and the WORKING WONDERS Grab these best-selling essentials from Blackpants Work ear so that you and your customers can stay stylish and comfortable all day. Milan Tunic: With asymmetrical panels and side zippers for the perfect fit, this tunic hugs the body and reaches right below the hip, making it flattering for all body types. It can be worn with shorts during the summer or long sleeves during the winter, making it extremely versatile year-round when weather conditions change. The tunic won't hinder movement. It is made from the company's famous stretchy STAYBLACK fabric and is low-maintenance, as it does not require ironing after washing. Suggested retail price: $81.20 The Intelligent Legging: Offering a slimmer, sculpted, shapely look, these leggings are not only comfortable and breathable when worn all day, but they improve circulation in the legs by reducing swelling and preventing varicose veins. The sleek and ergonomic design not only stabilizes the core, but supports the lower back too. It's worth every penny. SRP: $71.07 Copenhagen Dress: Made from breathable, lightweight Italian STAYBLACK fabric and premium faux leather, the black bleach-resistant Copenhagen Dress features an angled bodice, side pockets and a zippered neck. After washing, no ironing is required. SRP: $104.50 Manhattan Tunic: Described as the "biker chic" and "rock 'n roll" asymmetrical tunic, the Manhattan model suits all shapes and sizes. With a wide collar, adjustable tabs on the side and form-flattering side slits, you and your customers can look sophisticated and professional—and feel comfortable—all day at work. SRP: $89.47 Oxford Vest: An edgier take on the classic tunic, the Oxford model showcases triple-stitch detailing and a high neckline that can be worn up or down for a variety of looks. Your customers can have total range of motion while still looking tailored with this everyday work essential. SRP: $112.02 "It's important to always remain open to fresh ideas—while staying true to the Blackpants brand." h ' f All Images courtesy of Blackpants Workwear

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