We Speak to Vincero Collective for the Answers
There are lots of crowdfunding sources making their way into the men’s style front. And this is a good thing, considering that it brings back the old tradition of custom made products at a wholesale cost.
There are a few talented folks leading the way of this initiative, with one of our favorites being the Vincero Collective. Basically how it works is you join the Vincero community for free and then take part in the decisions of what upcoming men’s collections will be manufactured. Let’s say you’re tired of your soft leather briefcase’s falling apart. Perhaps you want a certain design with a particular pocket configuration. Then you offer up your ideas to the Vincero Lab and they will consider them along with the ideas of other members. Vincero then comes up with a custom-curated product to meet all these needs, and they present it to the community and put it up for a vote. If the briefcase is popular enough it will be manufactured at a very limited number.
Because of the limited number of products being made, there is no leftover waste and Vincero can pass along the savings in the form of custom men’s accessories at a great price. Yeah, but there is a bit more to it than that; so we asked the Vincero Collective to fill in the spaces.
Urbasm: How much money on average will community members save, compared to buying from a traditional company?
Vincero Collective: Consumers certainly understand that in today’s world online retailers are able to cut away some of the waste and markups seen in traditional retail. However, because of our unique business model we cut away even more by removing inventory waste through crowdfunding. Thus, our members save at least 50% off traditional brick and mortar retail and about 30% off other online only retailers. For instance: A Vincero Slim Swiss Collection watch costs $139. You would likely find a watch with similar specs selling elsewhere online for between $180 – $200 or in traditional retail for $250 – $300.
Urbasm: What would you tell any naysayers who doubt it’s possible to receive such high-quality products for such a low buy-in cost?
Vincero: I’d tell them to take a look around! There has never been a time like now where brands can connect directly with customers online and bring products directly from the manufacturers door to their own. It’s an amazing thing for customers because it’s giving them more choice as well as better quality products at better prices. As we strip away steps in the supply chain it becomes cheaper to offer such high quality at lower price points.
Urbasm: You rely on the suggestions of members to guide your product designs, but where do you get your inspiration when it comes to taking on a new product that nobody has ever seen before?
Vincero: As far as product design we prefer to start from scratch and develop new collections with the guidance of member feedback throughout the process. Before we started this company we actually ran a product development studio so creating new products is our passion and how the Collective originally came about. We also love taking member requests for new products and infusing our own ideas and design to make something truly special for them. It’s bringing custom menswear back! It’s this engagement with them that makes each collection more special once it’s finally funded.
Urbasm: What have been a few of your most successful campaigns so far, and why do you think they’ve succeeded?
Vincero: Our initial marble watch campaign last summer was a tremendous start and likely so successful because of the novelty and creativity seen in the timepieces. Now that our members have seen us deliver, each campaign has grown larger than the previous one. Our two most successful were our recent Chrono S Watch Collection and Baron Briefcase Collection.
Urbasm: What are a few of the most popular requests for product improvement that you receive from members? We’re curious if you have learned anything from these, such as some significant flaws in today’s watch designs and leather gear?
Vincero: We learn a ton from member feedback! By maintaining an open dialogue with our members, we are able to consistently learn what their biggest pains are when it comes to the products they use in their daily lives. The feedback we get from them is one-hundred times more beneficial than any amount of testing we could do with potential products because we are able to take problems in real time and immediately start creating solutions.
Specifically, some of the most popular requests regarding leather gear early on was about the quality of the leather at the lower price points, it was awful and just wouldn’t last. That’s why we wanted to still use full-grain leather, the strongest, but find a way to do so and still offer products in the lower tiers which we have been able to do.
Urbasm: Have you received any truly crazy design requests from members that you have not been able to fulfill?
Vincero: We receive tons of requests each month, but most members know what we are capable of developing so things haven’t been too crazy. We did have a customer ask for us to create a pocket watch with the casing completely made of marble! I wish that was possible! A few of the more abstract suggestions we have received include making a luxury pen collection and a coaster collection. Not really our specialty.
Urbasm: (laughs) No, that doesn’t sound like your specialty. Can you give us a hint about what’s to come at the Vincero Collective?
Vincero: We have some very exciting new collections coming soon! In the immediate future, we have a new belt and briefcase collection we will be launching through a Kickstarter collaboration. We are very excited to introduce the Collective and a full collection of leather goods in this way. We are also working on new shirt collections and new marble watches that will be released before the holidays.
Urbasm: Yeah, we will be on the lookout for those. Thanks for getting us up to speed on the future of men’s fashion.
Meet Tim, Aaron and Sean. These three guys have worked together for over 5 years in the design, development and manufacturing side of the menswear industry. They have personally overseen thousands of products get made and have a vast knowledge of how to design and make premium products,
They started Vincero a little over a year ago to use our industry experience to create a better business model – one that would give voice back to consumers. The team believes that you should have a say in what gets made and what doesn’t. That’s why all of their collections are inspired by crowdfunding.
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