MEET THE GUEST SPEAKER – DAPHNE GERRITSE

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Daphne Gerritse, Rain Couture

Where were you before this and how did you get here?
After I quit working for Mexx at the marketing department, I started part-time with the development of Rain Couture. Besides working for Rain Couture, I worked as a freelance marketing consultant. Since mid-2015, I’m working full-time for Rain Couture. The collection has become quite extensive ever since.


What about your work would surprise people?
People are often surprised about how much work and thinking is needed to realize one coat. Every seam, the color combination or feature has been carefully thought through. The consumer usually has no idea that there is literally blood, sweat and tears incorporated in the design of a coat. My products are not easy to design, and not just any producer can make it.

What about your work would inspire people?
You can work everything around with ‘learning by doing’. I didn’t know anything about design and production, but I’m curious, positive and not afraid. In the beginning it was a super unknown area for me, but a given moment I just started the design and production process. And on top of that, I started working on one of the most complicated products. It was not easy, but I’m proud to know how each element of my coats is made.

What about your work/the future excites you the most?
What I’m looking forward to is where we will be in 1 year from now on. My products are still improving every season, and we’ve been working with a number of new manufacturers who are delivering excellent work. We are currently working on adding extra ‘gadgets and features’ to each new collection. I’m excited about how advanced my next products will look. In addition, I’m working on opening more Rain Couture stores, owned as well as franchise.

What are new possibilities, technologies and trends in retail?
Many brands are opening flagship stores, which is a trend at the moment. Nowhere can you present your product better than in your own store. Almost every day you can find me in my shop to spread the word on all the ins and outs of my products, to style the coats on my customers, and to give them the ultimate Rain Couture brand experience. In addition, I can provide my clients with a good after-care service. Soon we will be offering a steaming service. In my opinion, a brick-and-mortar shop is a very good addition to an online shop, so people can  feel and fit the product.

Which innovations in retail will not exist anymore in 10 years?
Ordering in-store and getting the product delivered at home. I don’t believe in this trend. It entails higher costs for the brand and store itself, and there is no value added for the consumers. A store is the place to find a product in the right color and size, and to take it home with you right away. Now you have to wait for the product afterwards… And you are probably not even at home when it will be delivered. I get that it’s the solution to keep the stock in-store as low as possible, but I do not think the benefits of having this small stock outweigh the disadvantages for the consumer. Maybe this service will exist as an additional service when a particular product in the store is out of stock, but available in the warehouse.

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