AWAYTOMARS By Alfredo Orobio

«We need to re-think the role of multi brand shops in a society that can access shops freely online. What we want to do with AWAYTOMARS is improve the roles of both the designer and the customer in the chain, offering them opportunities to purchase clothes at the same time as wholesalers with the same favourable conditions.»

 

awaytomars5 AWAYTOMARS was the result of my studies at university where I spent almost a year mapping how people share creative information on social media. I discovered that a lot of people with great ideas for fashion products already shared them on specific forums. The most surprising result of my research was seeing that not only were people sharing their ideas, but other people were volunteering suggestions to improve the designs. I realised that all this information was being lost because of the lack of opportunities to break into the industry. So we had the idea of building a place where people could share ideas, provide feedback to improve them, create prototypes and finally sell the products, all in a single place. We founded AWAYTOMARS last summer and since then we have grown to a community of 2000 active users. 

awaytomars4Our main objective as a brand is to make the design process accessible to all, allowing any person from any background to create. We strongly believe that this is the future for all the creative industries. We are moving from a model in which a brand’s creative director takes all the credit to one in which the credit belongs to the collective. There are plenty of examples from other industries of using ideas generated by the public to find solutions. We are pioneering this approach in fashion, mixing people from different cultures in a place where the focus is the power of ideas we achieve when we open the creation and development to all. There is no one better placed than users to say what works or doesn’t work in terms of clothing design.
awaytomarsThe beautiful thing about AWAYTOMARS is that we are able to mix people from diverse cultural backgrounds. We are building a very exciting network including people already working in the industry behind big names such as Acne Studios, COS and Burberry. At the other end of the spectrum, we have people who are experiencing the industry for the first time, including an A level student from Norwich whose design featured in our March show. We want to give opportunities to everyone, from the designer working for a big name who doesn’t get any of the credit to the user that has never designed before but has a great idea for a product.
Fashion hasn’t yet been impacted by technology to the extent that other industries have. Yes we’ve seen an explosion of online multi brands in the last five years, but the whole concept is a replica of the offline model which doesn’t make sense anymore. There are a lot of costs involved in running a bricks and mortar shop; but when you move that business online you slash the outlay, so it doesn’t make sense that these online companies are working with traditional wholesale margins. The traditional model is impractical for any new designers that can’t meet high minimum orders or haven’t developed reliable cash-flow. It’s a model that is only beneficial for the wholesaler and for big brands that can work with small margins. We need to re-think the role of multi brand shops in a society that can access shops freely online. What we want to do with AWAYTOMARS is improve the roles of both the designer and the customer in the chain, offering them opportunities to purchase clothes at the same time as wholesalers with the same favourable conditions. That’s our goal as a company. When we present the model to people in the industry we always get the question of why we are not patenting this idea. My answer is always the same: I want other companies to copy this model. I cannot see our industry surviving in a sustainable way without opening up the chain. 

Interview with AWAYTOMARS

Images © Gleeson Paulino / Model – Cris Herrmann

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