In the race to become the male Goop – Glossy

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“The Warby Parker from”Had his day in the sun. Today, the founders of startups aspire to create their business like Goop, despite its problems. At the same time, they are focusing on the men’s market, where there is less competition – for now anyway.

“Our goal is to be a Goop for men,” said Parisse Majd, founder and CEO of men’s sportswear e-commerce retailer Le Mec, which launched in August. “This is what is missing – real talk about real [men’s] stuff, with a focus on content and community.

Meanwhile, fashion stylist Ilaria Urbinati celebrated the first anniversary of her men’s content site, Leo, this month. He is currently making money through affiliates, sponsored content, newsletters, and video ads. But, once the Leo brand is established, she plans to explore other opportunities.

“We’ve been described as the goop of men, and I love their business model – the way they’ve been able to branch out into a lot of different things,” said Urbinati. “I wish I had a whole empire: a YouTube channel, a show on Netflix, partnerships with different companies, stores and pop-ups, and events. I want to do a lot of different things and keep expanding ”,

The past 18 months have shown loud and clear that diversifying sources of income is a safer bet for founders than putting all the eggs in one basket, whether it’s clothing or advertising sales. Additionally, the pandemic has propelled the fitness and wellness markets to new heights. In terms of sportswear, according to data from NPD Group, sales for men in the first half of 2021 increased by 29% compared to the same period in 2019. While the growth of men’s clothing has recently outdated women’s clothing, sales of women’s sportswear were comparable to men’s, up 28% over the same period.

Goop is, indeed, multi-faceted. Since launching as a wellness-focused newsletter in 2008, Paltrow’s business has grown to include a multi-brand content-slash-store site; owned beauty, wellness, perfume and fashion products; physical pop-ups and permanent stores; various podcasts; In Goop Health community events; a Goop cruise and two Netflix shows. The second, “Sex, Love and Goop”, aired on Netflix last week.

According to Business intern, since 2019, the company has raised nearly $ 135 million and is valued at $ 430 million. Investors include Greycroft, Lightspeed Ventures, and Felix Capital.

But the company has not been without its share of controversies. In addition to being criticized for being inaccessible and high prices, it has been accused of making unsubstantiated claims about the capabilities of the products and offering risky and harmful recommendations. Earlier this month he was criticized for allegedly overworking and underpaid employees.

Despite this, companies continued to take inspiration from the business, with many doing so while also tackling the apparent white space in the men’s category.

“If you are a woman, you have a lot of different options, when it comes to magazines and websites,” said Urbinati. “The men are more numerous, so put yourself in boxes: you have the sports magazine, you have the health magazine, you talk to the guy about the hiking-adventure-outdoor or if need be-a-costume- to-go-to-the-office man. But the same guy who loves UFC fights and Tom Brady listens to intellectual podcasts, cares about his appearance, and loves his kids. And there is no this one stop shop [centering on] both style and lifestyle.

Stories featured on Leo’s homepage include a mood board by designer Billy Reid, instructions from groomer Ryan Reynolds on ‘what to pack in your dopp kit’, a breakdown of the best electric cars, and a guide to the City of Boston by actor Casey Affleck. Reynolds and Affleck are both Urbino’s stylist clients.

Of course, it could be argued that Goop caters to a niche audience as well as compared to all women. Plus, as a Goop spokesperson put it in an email, “Goop is the Goop of men.” The company launched a men’s content vertical, podcast, and newsletter in 2019. At the time, Goop responsible for content Elise Loehnen said Glossy that 23% of Goop.com’s 2.5 million unique visitors were already men.

But maybe its reputation as a women’s brand has proven prohibitive, in terms of men’s willingness to hang on. For example, when asked to name the closest thing to a Men’s Goop, Cale Weissman, editor of Glossy’s sister site Modern Retail, first pointed out to Hims. Personal care startup faced comparisons with Goop since its launch in 2017. It has since expanded to target women as well, and has focused on products and telemedicine rather than content. Emerging umbrella company Hims & Hers became public via a SPAC last year. Goop did not provide a current number of male readers in time for this story.

Those who have just entered space rely on their reputation to wear them. For its part, Urbinati said she is has built a following over the course of his career, which included Eric Lively styling on “The L Word” and owning a Los Angeles-based menswear store, Confederacy, for five years until in 2013. She now receives “thousands” of DMs daily from men with questions about what to buy and wear.

Her reputation as a taste maker, especially with her clients, inspired her to launch Leo during the pandemic’s downtime.

“They come to me for anything related to taste,” she said of her clients, including Rami Malek, Chris Evans and Bradley Cooper. “[They ask me] where to go on a date, where to eat, where to travel, what gifts to buy… I’ve even had clients send me their scripts to read before they accept a role.

Urbinati hypothesized that she got the role of counselor because of her assertiveness. Judging from the way she described it, her approach to styling men reflects the marketing voice that has long been exploited by men’s brands such as Details magazine and J.Crew. Think: “This is the only [fill in the blank] you need. ”She uses the same strategy when writing style tips for Leo. Among the most read stories on the site is its very straightforward guide to dress for your age. “The voice I used sounded a lot like the voice I use during a fitting, it’s kind of like I was screaming at someone, ‘If you don’t wear this, you’re an idiot’ “she said. “At first, Leo’s slogan was, ‘Trust us.'”

Urbino’s clients are often presented as story subjects, as are other celebrities and celebrity-related people, such as their coaches, who she can access through her circle of peers. Although she declined to share figures around Leo’s audience, she said they were mostly men between the ages of 25 and 55 who reside in major cities like LA, New York and London. . And, she said, there’s a lot of overlap with the people she profiles, which strives to attract brand partnerships.

“We have a real industry following,” she said. “You won’t have many opportunities to put yourself in front of these kinds of readers. Even if you look at our Instagram followers, I don’t know how [describe it] without sounding like an asshole, they are the influencers of the influencers.

Urbinati said it doesn’t feature banner ads or clickable baits, and exclusively enters into partnerships that feel biological. For example, Zegna sponsored a countdown to her recent parade. And Dolce & Gabbana paid for a buying guide to Sicily, written by its designers.

Leo has a menu item called Shop that links to a landing page selling all of the items featured in his stories. Going forward, Urbinati plans to integrate Leo into its product collaborations; it has five under its own name which should be launched by the end of the year.

Le Mec’s Majd, meanwhile, has a 15-year career in sportswear that bolsters her authority on health and wellness. She spent four years as a women’s merchandiser at Lululemon before moving to Under Armor to start her yoga business between 2011-2015. She has also worked at Athleta, Eddie Bauer and Victoria’s Secret.

” Men [activewear] The market mirrors where the women’s market was seven years ago, when Carbon38 and Bandier stepped in to be the curators of all brands, ”she said. Caroline Gogolak, co-founder of Carbon 38, is a member of the Mec advisory board. “Currently there are over 100 brands of men’s sportswear emerging, all of them wanting to compete with Lululemon. »Lululemon launched its first male campaign in 2017. This year, it should double your male activity based on its second quarter 2021 results.

NPD data shows that the top four brands of men’s sportswear now account for 34% of the market. They include Nike, Under Armor, Hanes, and Adidas. “[Still,] there is room for small brands to thrive, if they have a different point of view, ”said Matt Powell, senior sports industry advisor at NPD. “It could be a single target customer or a specific business goal. ”

He noted that the The main social changes that have come out of the pandemic include greater consumer commitment to a healthy lifestyle, which bodes well for the sportswear market.

According to Majd, space giants will always win on fit and fabric. But The Dude can differentiate himself by providing styles with special workmanship elements, as well as providing a cool factor for men that Lululemon doesn’t. For the latter, she hired a freelance creative director to give the brand’s website and Instagram a distinct look. The Dude currently sells 12 brands and his average order value is $ 240. It operates on a wholesale model to ensure a luxury customer experience.

To take off, Le Mec, which means “the guy” in French, has raised $ 500,000 in funding for friends and family that is expected to last for the first year. Most of that investment will go into paid ads on Facebook and Instagram – The Dude’s customer acquisition cost is hefty, at $ 90. The goal is to reach $ 1.2 million in revenue in the first year, $ 4.5 million in the second year, and $ 15 million in the third year, based on Carbon38’s trajectory. By the third year, Majd said, 30% of The Dude’s inventory will be private labels. “This is how we will make money,” she said.

And, in true Goop form, content should become the heart of the business. In September, the company launched on its site Le Blog, dedicated to content. The first story was a 30 day guide to training for a triathlon.

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