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Depop is the fashion marketplace for the next generation, offering a platform that is inclusive, diverse and less wasteful – with transformation at it’s heartKnown as an innovator and disruptor in the marketplace themselves Depop are in a prime position to forecast the retail horizon. As a partner in the Fashion District Innovation Challenge Prize, they also have the insight to spot the next generation of retail solutions. What do customers want? How far will our fash-tech propositions satisfy this? And how can we support and develop new interventions that could propel the market?  

Helen Lax, Director of Fashion District, spoke to Remo Gettini, CTO, and Dominic Rose, COO, to glean their insights on the competititon from their market perspective, bearing in mind the current  challenges facing retail.  

Remo is curious and hungry for new advancements – focussed on the big issues that affect the retail environment but also atuned to the motivations and passions that drive SME founders. The central question to answer for Remo, as a Retail Futures 2020 Judge, is how far the fash tech solutions proposed by the applicants could influence and lead the future of retail. His line of enquiry when he is judging the applications is how they imagine they contribute to a new role for retail; 

“What is retail’s new role when brand loyalty shifts to
experiences and communities set fashion trends?”
Remo Gettini, CTO at Depop

For Dominic, being a successful SME is about being able to adapt quickly to changes. And no better time than now to test an start-ups ability on that one, with the landslide of changes coming their way. As a Retail Futures 2020 Critical Friend he will be imparting his industry experience and constructive feedback to the shortlisted applicants as part of the Retail Development panel. What an opportunity! 

Helen Lax: What will you be looking for when you meet the shortlisted SME businesses? 

Dominic Rose: I am looking for teams that have a passion for transforming retail and have developed innovative, practical and commercial solutions to tackle the biggest needs of the changing industry and consumers. 

HL: What do you think will be their key factors for success? 

DR: A clear focus on the problem they are solving rooted in deep user insight and understanding, combined with a tenacious team, a scalable distribution strategy and a differentiated & defendable product. 

HL: Are there any specific challenges the retail environment is currently facing that fashion tech SMEs are well placed to address? 

DR: Almost any challenge faced by the changing industry will be best solved by SMEs who can be agile and adaptive. Consumer behaviour is changing faster than ever and retailers need to keep up. Particularly top of mind right now is sustainability, community, machine learning and digitally integrated supply chains. 

This has got to be both useful and provocative advice to any start-up, willing to listen, who think they have retail’s next evolution. Thank you Depop.