Modern Fashion: Hadar Nussbaum of GlassesUSA On The 5 Things You Need To Lead a Successful Fashion Brand Today
An Interview With Candice Georgiadice
Surround yourself with people who are much smarter than you so you are always learning. I feel so lucky to have the privilege of being surrounded by my incredible team everyday. My extremely hard-working and passionate team members teach me things everyday and make me better all the time.
Many in the fashion industry have been making huge pivots in their business models. Many have turned away from the fast fashion trend. Many have been focusing on fashion that also makes a social impact. Many have turned to sustainable and ethical sourcing. Many have turned to hi tech manufacturing. Many have turned to subscription models. What are the other trends that we will see in the fashion industry? What does it take to lead a successful fashion brand today?
In our series called, “5 Things You Need To Lead a Successful Fashion Brand Today” we are talking to successful leaders of fashion brands who can talk about the Future of Fashion and the 5 things it takes to lead a successful fashion brand in our “new normal.”
As a part of this series I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Hadar Nussbaum, VP Design & Merchandising, GlassesUSA.com
Hadar is a visionary in the eyewear space, working closely with GlassesUSA.com’s business intelligence department to gain a firm understanding of the data behind what the customers want and what they are looking for in their prescription eyewear, so Hadar can create collections that fit the customer’s needs.
Hadar is always thinking about what’s coming next, and how GlassesUSA.com can stay ahead of the trends and anticipate customer pain points. Hadar believes in a data-driven approach to reaching these goals, as well as the need to find inspiration and imagination in every collection she creates.
Hadar is focused on always understanding what fashion trends customers are looking for, how to design for inclusivity to offer the best options for every face shape, skin color, small heads, narrow browlines, etc, in an effort to fit anyone’s optical needs.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood “backstory”?
I have loved aesthetics in art, design, architecture, and fashion my whole life, even from a young age. I have always considered myself to be an artist and designer. I love to express myself through art and I grew up in a very artistic environment and I knew that I always wanted to go to fashion school and study design. My grandmother was a fashion designer and we also had an extremely close relationship-she’s been a huge inspiration to me throughout my life.
Speaking of my beautiful grandmother, I have wonderful memories of her making paper patterns out of old newspapers. I used to think it was absolutely magical how something could go from a simple paper pattern to a stunning wedding gown.
Can you tell us the story about what led you to this particular career path?
My name is Hadar Nussbaum and I’m the VP of Design and Merchandising at GlassesUSA.com. I oversee the design process for the company’s private label collections, and I’m responsible for planning and designing every single brand that GlassesUSA.com sells.I studied at The Department of Fashion Design at Shenkar, one of the most respected fashion schools in the world. I’ve been inspired by art and fashion my entire life and I always knew that becoming a designer was what I wanted to do with my life. Sketchy and expressing myself through art is when I am the happiest and most comfortable.
When I was 22 years old, I traveled to India and it was there that I really came to understand my true purpose in life. While in India, I suddenly realized that I wanted to create beautiful things. A big part of this realization came from being exposed to a lot of handmade and handcrafted products.
I worked in the fashion industry for five years in New York City. At one point, I decided that the pressure wasn’t working for me, so I returned home to Israel. Since Israel is a start-up nation, I began investigating new ways to develop collections and I decided to focus on E-commerce, which is one of the reasons that GlassesUSA.com is a perfect fit for me.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Working at GlassesUSA.com has by far been the most interesting part of my career. My design team and I design the company’s private label glasses collections (which included 6 brands) and I am also very involved in the process of actually making the product (including all research, development, as well as production) in the factories. I work closely with GlassesUSA.com’s factories to really understand the entire process of how all products are made and produced (from research, to sketching, to final product), and to ensure everything is done in an efficient and ethical way, and all working conditions in the factories are up to standards and pristine.
At GlassesUSA.com, I also have the opportunity to work closely with the company’s business intelligence department to gain a firm understanding of the data behind what our customers want and what they are looking for in their glasses, so I can create collections that fit the customer’s exact needs. This is something that I find absolutely fascinating! I love the opportunity to learn about who our customers are, that they’re doing, how they’re shopping, and what they’re missing when it comes to their eyewear needs.
A big part of my team and I’s work is to research the hottest trends (both in eyewear and in fashion trends in particular).. Our challenge is to find the best ways to innovate and create the best-selling eyewear styles that our customers will love, so GlassesUSA.com customers can easily find their perfect eyewear match. For each of the private label brands, it is important to stay true to the brand identity and come up with new ideas twice a year.
You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
- Surround yourself with people who are much smarter than you so you are always learning. I feel so lucky to have the privilege of being surrounded by my incredible team everyday. My extremely hard-working and passionate team members teach me things everyday and make me better all the time.
- Listening-Master the art of active listening is a trait that is imperative to success and having a successful career and every part of your life.
- Do not compromise- Always challenge and demand the best (quality and design wise) in everything you do. This is something that always come up in the design process for new collections, especially
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
GlassesUSA.com uses a data-driven approach for everything the company embarks on. We measure and track everything in a larger effort to always be able to optimize and improve. All company decisions are based on analysis and interpretation of hard data rather than on observation. All solutions and plans are supported by sets of factual information, and not just hunches, feelings and anecdotal evidence. I even use this system as part of my approach to designing eyewear.
A good designer always knows who their customer is and how to translate the most unique and avant-garde styles seen on catwalks into a key item. This is something that my team and I at GlassesUSA.com have mastered.
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
“I have never tried that before, so I think I should definitely be able to do that.”
― Astrid Lindgren, Pippi Longstocking
Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. Do you see any fascinating developments emerging over the next few years in the fashion industry that you are excited about? Can you tell us about that?
The Sustainable fashion movement and process of fostering change to fashion products and the fashion system towards greater ecological integrity and social justice is fascinating to me. Sustainable fashion concerns more than just addressing fashion textiles or products. It comprises addressing the whole system of fashion and I see this as an essential.
GlassesUSA.com is in the process of reducing our packaging materials and becoming more eco-friendly, as well producing more frames using eco-friendly acetate materials. We are very committed to ethical fashion.
Can you share how your brand is helping to bring goodness to the world?
GlassesUSA.com is enhancing the lives of our customers by matching them with the perfect eyewear that will make them feel amazing and like they can do anything!
Our company was also the first to create the eco-friendly category as a one-stop-shop.
Can you share with our readers about the ethical standards you use when you choose where to source materials?
At GlassesUSA.com we only source ethical materials for all the products we create. One of the eyewear collections that we are the most proud of is a collection called SeaClean, an eco-conscious eyewear collection (sunglasses and prescription frames) that celebrates upcycling.
SeaClean is made from upcycled materials including coffee, flax, hemp, ocean recycled plastics and wood. Those ingredients and more ethically sourced materials are turned into on-trend eyewear that’s made to last.
Here at GlassesUSA.com we are always trying to utilize recycled metal wires and eco-friendly, sustainable acetate so that by 2023, 60% of our product development will be made from recycled materials.
Fast fashion has an advantage, that it is affordable for most people, but it also has the drawback that it does not last very long and is therefore not very sustainable. What are your thoughts about this? How does your company address this question?
Eyewear fashion is ‘slow fashion’. As a designer, I am always trying to find the perfect balance between newness and styles our customers will like and engage with. Although I always try to invent and innovate, I do enjoy seeing the sales rise when a new style appears on the website. As a merchandiser, I love to buy discount luxury brands for myself, and I believe our website provides the best luxury brands at the best price, and I am always looking for up-and-coming brands.
Thank you for all that. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things You Need To Lead a Successful Fashion Brand”. Please share a story or example for each.
- Make sure you have a clear brand mission statement and promise that solves a problem- We at GlassesUSA.com promise to match every customer with the perfect pair of glasses, tailored to their unique style, budget, and vision correction needs.
- Make sure you are always putting the customer first- successful businesses recognize the importance of putting the needs and requirements of the customer first and ahead of anything and everything else. A company should identify the exact needs of its customers and deliver the best possible experience. Always strive to offer an exceptional customer experience-All businesses should prioritize offering the best possible experience so they have life-long customers. Building long lasting customer relationships helps businesses anticipate customer needs, constantly improve, and exceed expectations. This also cuts down on marketing costs and increases efficiency.
- At GlasseUSA.com, we strive to get as close as possible to customers’ needs — meaning, we follow through when learning about all returns and we also want to know why a customer is not happy with their purchase.. As we review each style, we always look for any mistakes in the design or defects, perhaps the size is off or the color could be off. All ad campaigns are reviewed, comments are read, and we attempt to understand who is our customer and what he or she will love.Following the search box key words, and reviewing all of our best sellers and rising stars, in a larger effort to produce the highest quality product.
- Learn from data-Here at GlassesUSA.com, in order to constantly improve, we rely on data and measurements to track success and learn.
- Always be innovating and trying new things- Innovation should always be a top priority to make sure a business is doing unique things to stay ahead of in a competitive market.
Every industry constantly evolves and seeks improvement. How do you think the fashion industry can improve itself? Can you give an example?
The fashion industry in general needs to make a larger effort as a whole to be more sustainable and to make pristine working conditions a priority for all.
In the fashion industry in general, companies should make a larger effort to produce less, but always be thinking about how to improve the quality of a product so it can last as long as possible.
Fashion companies should act more responsibly toward the manufacturers. Keeping your brand responsible and going green is fine, but where do you manufacture? Who makes your clothes? The fashion industry should make sure that everything is produced by the right factories, with the right people, even if it costs more.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
I would start a movement that spreads kindness to as many people as possible.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Follow us at GlassesUSA.com and whenever you need new glasses that will make you feel amazing, we are the destination for you.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!