The underwear drawer has been monopolized by the male look.This imposition of what is sexy (and what does not) has made, for some people, an act as intuitive as putting some panties or buying a bra is an authentic torture.In 2018 Parade decided to turn to the tortilla: to turn that kind of torture into one of the most pleasant experiences of the day by coup of inclusiveness, fun and comfort.
This is the philosophy behind one of the underwear firms with more market projection. We do not say it, but the data: its co -founder, Cami Téllez, has achieved its 24 years to enter the last list of 30 under 30 that Forbes elaborates with projects devised by entrepreneurs who have not yet reached thirty. According to figures collected by Bloomberg, in 2021 the young firm has obtained 43 million dollars in financing, and is currently valued at 140 million dollars. Among its investors are Karlie Kloss, Shakira, Neil Blumenthal (Warby Parker) or Stripes, a group that also invests in other retail firms such as Reformation. With an approach that puts the consumer and the community of the firm on the first plane, Parade is defined by a wide variety of interior garments, made of sustainable materials, which are around eight and fifteen dollars and carry their size of the XS until The 3xl. Today they have diversified and it is possible to find more designs and garments ranging from the bralettes to house clothes.
The history of its co -founder adjusts as a glove to the American sleep: in 1994 their parents were forced to emigrate from their native Barranquilla (Colombia) to the United States, fleeing from civil disturbances."His incredible value of her instilled in me a true sense of mission and purpose that has been essential for me when leading Parade," he now recognizes her daughter, raised between California and New Jersey.The idea of creating the project arose hand with Jack Defuria, her business partner, in her last year of University in Columbia, where she was studying English and art history.Cami Téllez decided to leave her studies to be able to devote himself to Parade in body and soul, to date.With her we talk about the brand, her vision and how she has managed to make a place in such a massive market.
How and when did the idea of creating a underwear firm arise?
I started with Parade because I was very disappointed with the unidimensional cultural script of the underwear section.I was not reflected in those products or in the vision of the brands.I thought we were ready for a new firm that instinctively understood that lingerie could be sustainable, inclusive, fun and expressive.And, most importantly, for everyone.In my last year at Columbia University, in 2018, I decided to do a survey on Facebook by asking women about their experience when buying underwear.10,000 people answered me: they all felt the same.In 2019 I left the university to dedicate myself full time to Parade.
In many cases, brands arise from a need for its creator.How was your experience with underwear and how did it influence your vision?
The underwear industry was a crisis market.For too long, the leaders of this category had taken a very intimate stratum of our closet and made the consumer less safely.As a teenager, growing in New Jersey [United States] and going to shopping centers, I felt very disappointed with this experience of such one -dimensional purchase.I did not see myself reflected in the overview of the retailers, products or campaigns.I knew that others also had to feel like that, so I set out to change the cultural script and create a brand directed by and for a new generation.With Parade we are revolutionizing the underwear section.To achieve this we had to do completely different things.
"Parade" sounds very happy.And the name of the web, "Your Parade", points directly to the client.What was the purpose behind this branding choice?
Parade is designed to be a celebration anyway.It is a collective movement, one of joy and action.Everything we do part of the consumer and our community.We talk to her every day and listen to them when they share which are the next styles they want to see, what colors they love and how they want to feel in their underwear.
How would you describe Parade's underwear?
Our underwear is designed to be super soft, super delicate, feel like you don't wear anything at all.Our products fit your body and move with you throughout the day.All our collections are made of recovered waste that is recycled in the softest and most breathable fabrics in history.
On your website you say that your materials are sustainable.Is it possible to know more about them (especially about Re: Play) and other ways in which you contribute to sustainability?
For too long sustainable fashion was a luxury.We make ‘Creative Basics’ that empower everyone to make choices that align with their values.We are on the path of being neutral carbon by 2022 and ‘Climate-Position’ by 2025 emphasizing the sustainability of our tissues and minimizing our coal footprint throughout the supply chain.All tissues are made with recycled materials.In particular, Re: Play is made of recovered nylon remains that are recycled in a super soft and ultra-refresher.
The Victoria’s Secret approach in the lingerie market was overexualized, but the panorama has currently changed.Today, more and more brands arise with a much more respectful and inclusive vision.How does Parade stand out among other similar companies?
From the beginning, Parade built the brand based on celebrating freedom and self -expression around the world.This was not something we recently arrived because we had to do it.Unlike many other brands in space, we have returned the category to the client.We actively co-create the product with our community, which guarantees that Parade is not only relevant for 1 or 2 years, but also during the next decades.
Is ‘sex’ an obsolete word for the underwear of the Z generation?I am thinking of the fasteners and thongs in sight being a trend on the catwalk, even in brands such as Savage X Fenty.
Parade has dismantled the archaic monopoly of lingerie that was once dominated by an openly sexual aesthetic, adapted to the male look.However, sex and sexy are not obsolete in Parade.It is part of who we are, as people and as a brand of underwear.We never dictate what is sexy, we create products and a space that allows everyone to express what the idea of ‘sexy’ means for them.
Don 1% of your sales to organizations in which you believe.Is it possible to know any of them?
Yes, we have always donated 1% of each purchase to non -profit organizations.Today, we allow the client to choose between a group of organizations examined that are working for reproductive rights, racial equality, LGBTQ+ communities or climate resilience.Only in recent months we have offered 37 weeks of free therapy with organizations such as the Loveland Foundation, 9 months of free contraceptives with local reproductive rights organizations (including UPSTREAM Washington), and we planted more than 4700 trees with Arbor Day Foundation and Tree Canada.
What is the Parade consumer profile?
We start addressing the Z generation, but Parade has soon become the basic brand for a diverse range of ages and generations.No one had created marks for the Z generation and everything that this entails: inclusion, community, sustainability.Parade led the change in being a brand of this generation and now has also won many other consumers.
In an article by Business of Fashion, it was explained that 80 % of your sales in the underwear category came from physical stores.You are going to open a place next month in Manhattan.In full digital era, does the physical presence for the business (and customers) of generation z still make sense?
Yes!Stores are the physical manifestation of cultural scripts.Our retail experience aims to rewrite the book of retail tactics and forward the ways in which buyers interact with underwear.The whole store is a sophisticated playground inspired by the design of the 60s and 70s. Break the current retail mold in this category, and will become a place where our community can be known and expressed more.
Pandemia has influenced the sales of most fashion brands.What has been the impact for Parade?
Before the COVID, the fashion industry was already heading towards the mass informalization of clothing, with the focus on value and comfort.During the pandemic, this accentuated even more.Parade was already perfectly positioned as an online value brand.Our powerful community of thousands of ambassadors and customers said not only that we champion the storm, but we became stronger.We are on the way to tripling income towards the end of the year.
You have expanded towards new categories such as the Bralettes.What is the next big step for Parade?
We are building new sections based on what our community has told us that they would like to see in Parade.Recently we have launched bodies and clothing to be at home, two categories highly demanded by our community.We will continue to build new ones, from even more sustainable fabrics to expand our clothing line and thus meet your interest and demand.
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