Simple black skirts should be the easiest thing in the world to find. It’s like the little black dress — one of the most ubiquitous fashion staples behind jeans and tee shirts. A few years ago I couldn’t find a simple, well-made, black A-line skirt that didn’t break the bank. I found plenty of cheap options that fit poorly and would last maybe two wears before they started falling apart. Higher quality, designer pieces were simply too expensive — I rode the subway. My black A-line skirt is the go-to item in my wardrobe. I wear them all the time and with everything — with tee shirts for weekend lunches and my favorite Chanel jacket when meeting clients. It needed to be good quality and fit well, but it also needed to be functional.
This was the dilemma that sparked my idea for Senza Tempo. I wanted to create a brand that consistently carried the three timeless silhouettes. Shopping shouldn’t be hard, especially when you know what you want and what style best suits you. Most people have better things to do than search stores or sort through hundreds of options online trying to figure out how something will fit.
My initial plan was to sell via the traditional wholesale route — to boutiques and department stores. I was completing my last quarter of my MBA and a market mapping analysis showing trends in price and quality of clothing at the middle market and designer brands. The gap was widening — middle market brands were increasing prices and decreasing quality, while high-end designers were aggressively increasing prices with no change in quality. As a consumer it was frustrating, but as a business person I saw an opportunity.
Selling directly to the consumer wasn’t anything new — every mall across America is filled with them. Direct to consumer in the luxury space is new, however. It’s also the only way we can provide luxury quality without the markup. Quality clothing shouldn’t be out of reach.