Le New Black met Andrea Villa, founder of AiM agency, the agency supporting the commercial development of emerging brands, and in particular Benjamin Benmoyal, to find out more about the team’s organisation with the brand’s digital showroom.
Le New Black: Hello Andrea, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Can you tell us more about AiM agency, the agency you founded with Maarten Castelein?
Andrea Villa: With fifteen years of experience in the luxury ready-to-wear sector, Maarten, as a designer, and I, as a business development manager, founded AiM Agency two years ago to support emerging brands in their growth and accompany them on CSR and sustainable development issues.
We work with French designers such as Benjamin Benmoyal, Cool T.M, Véronique Leroy, Maxime Simoens, Peter Wu on different issues, both strategic, or in terms of design, merchandising, or of omnichannel business development, and also teach courses in fashion schools such as IFM and ESMOD.
LNB: You manage the sales of Benjamin Benmoyal, one of the brands supported by the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode Sphère with the Sphère showroom. The brand has been using Le New Black for a year. How do you organise yourself around this tool?
AV: Benjamin launched his brand at the beginning of the pandemic, and having a digital showroom was essential to be visible and to increase brand awareness among an international clientele that could no longer come to Paris physically.
Today, we use Le New Black as a digital showcase, a real marketing tool to present the brand. We show lookbooks and linesheets with all the collection products, as well as videos presenting the brand, in particular storytelling on how Benjamin developed his exclusive fabrics woven out of discarded VHS cassette tapes.
Le New Black is also a great sales tool: we send invitations to our customers and potential buyers from our digital showroom so that they can edit the linesheets directly, and discover the products by look or by category. We present them as clearly as possible with looks and numerous photos per product.
LNB: Benjamin Benmoyal’s eponym brand is distributed by international retailers such as La Samaritaine in Paris or Rent-the-Runway. What are your customers’ feedback when they order on the brand’s digital showroom?
AV: Our buyers appreciate the smooth navigation on Benjamin Benmoyal’s digital showroom, and the fact that the products are clearly presented. It is also very easy to make a selection or to finalise quantities if the selection is made beforehand, in a physical showroom for example.
For a product like Benjamin’s, where exclusive materials are part of the brand’s DNA, touching the fabric is essential for an optimal buying experience. We therefore send material samples to interested customers or buyers who cannot come to the showroom so that they can appreciate the quality of the material, in addition to their visit to the digital showroom.
LNB: What is your favourite feature on Le New Black?
AV: I find the “Shop By Look” feature for each collection very useful. From a business point of view, the audience reports are always very interesting.
Thank you Andrea for your time!