She is now a Fashion Incubator helping Designer brands adapt to the digital era – and global pandemic – and the founder of the Audrey Zucker Agency.
As a child, Audrey Zucker wanted to become a stylist and drew outfits all day long. Helping people with their looks and coordinating the whole result came very naturally to her.
How did you first become acquainted with your passion for fashion?
Audrey Zucker: My first job was to handle the press & communication of a newly developed fashion accessories company. I had the opportunity to expand my functions and ended up handling the whole brand image. Then I understood that this is what I wanted to do.
In 2003, the digital era was such an opportunity that with my partner Karlos Anastasopoulos, we founded Mozaik, a new breed of agency, which gave me an in-depth opportunity to apply digital marketing strategies to fashion companies but also to other industries such as hospitality.
In 2015 I developed my own fashion Brand, Mitos swimwear, an innovative swimwear, and beachwear label, reinterpreting traditional embroidery techniques to current trends. The brand was a success and sold at Luisa Via Roma, Matches Fashion, and Bon Marché Paris.
In 2019, I decided to use my know-how to the service of fashion designers, emerging talents, and other fashion companies who would need my help in the fields of marketing, digital strategy, retail strategy, brand equity development & art directing.
Do you see the future of the fashion industry has to change because of the global pandemic?
The waves of radical changes in the fashion industry are certainly the heavy consequences of the pandemic, yet experts knew even before the COVID 19 that the fashion industry needed a change. Because the rhythm of fashion’s seasons was surreally disconnected from the actual seasons (created for the US & European market, while we know that today more than half of the revenues come from Asia, the Middle-East, and South America), but also because this process was barely viable especially for premium & independent brands, and sometimes meaningless also for luxury brands.
Luxury houses such as Gucci, Saint Laurent, or Dries van Noten have made specific proposals to rewrite the fashion calendar, shifting from fashion’s traditional system of developing, showing, delivering, and discounting collections. Words like seasonless, creativity before profitability, and sustainability are more than ever on the agenda.
Given your expertise in the fashion industry, do you believe we’re entering an era where e-commerce is vital for fashion brands to survive?
E-commerce is vital for fashion brands to survive.
I think brands should aim at becoming their own e-tailers and control more and more their distribution & revenue stream. They should consider e-platforms as a way of preserving their reach and fulfilment capability while identifying a suitable digital model.
Beyond e-commerce, it’s now about e-brand equity and how to reach each brand’s audience on its predilection platforms. Working on the improvement of the online journey and grind on the broader customer experience have to take place together with pioneering new ways of engaging with consumers online.
Livestreaming services, omnichannel inventory capabilities, social commerce platforms new channels, and innovative formats are a few of them. Digital strategies should be prioritized. Investments and marketing spend should be transferred to digital channels, with ROI precisely tracked.
How have you seen the digital era transform the fashion industry and how have you consulted your represented talent to use the digital promotion to reach potential new clients during Covid-19?
2020 may be a year without physical fashion weeks as we know it, yet it will offer a new panorama, much needed for labels, with digital challenges at the front row of the agenda.
The main objective of shows will be to engage customers, without rules of formats and without obligations to show each season.
What I am and will be proposing the brands I work with, is to lead their strategies with consistency and authenticity while connecting to their final audience in their own spaces and lives. The key of success will for brands be to become digital frontrunners, not just digital players. As such digital content creation should become the primary mode of brand interaction with the public.
Digital will be the new playground for brands who can reinvent their presentations through the media titles that best suit their positioning. Brands should not see it as a replacement of physical presentations, but as the occasion to try new formats and touch the broader audience in surprising ways, enhancing the experiential dimension of events, interactions, connections with influencers, and VIPs.
Since your Agency focuses on working with emerging talents (designers & fashion brands); how do you think emerging talent can combat the Economic slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic?
There is a concrete opportunity for emerging talents to propose meaningful products with genuine, local positioning. There might be a slow-down on volumes but emerging brands will be building for the future, finding how to produce within reach, responsibly, and with well-defined scalability.
Local & National markets will be as important as the international landscape.
Brands of tomorrow can have more opportunities to demonstrate their unicity through their communication strategy, on new media, in respect of their own pace, avoiding surrender to the fast pace of the traditional fashion industry as we knew it.
I also believe that the future of brands should be made of more collaboration, not competition. A slowdown will be the opportunity to re-center, all together.
And, who do you follow on Instagram to inspire your wardrobe?
I follow tons of accounts, yet my wardrobe’s inspiration does not come from specifics influencers. I have brands that I particularly fancy and follow such as Cult Gaia, Marysia, Zimmermann for the most famous or my beloved swim brands Mitos swimwear and Maansislandwear. What I also love is discovering is new brand worlds with profound messaging, when you feel the genuine inspiration behind the marketing gears.
“Our legacy is what makes us”