This feature is dedicated to our #NoChangeNoFuture initiative. From the Women’s March, to Australia voting yes to same sex marriage, and the #MeToo movement, 2017 taught us to look beyond ourselves and come together as a collective of powerful women who are writing our own history.
If you follow fashion closely, chances are you’ve heard by now that the L.A. based brand Stone Cold Fox has undergone some major changes recently. As we recently reported, the brand shared a post on Instagram announcing the overhaul which cut out the wholesale process.
By selling the clothes exclusively on its site, the brand now has greater insight and control over their products, allowing for better customer service and reduced prices. In an industry where so many independent designers dream of a world where their clothes could be mass-produced, we were intrigued to see Stone Cold Fox take a step back and reclaim this hands-on approach. To get a little more insight into what inspired the changes and what this means for the future of the brand, we reached out to founders Cydney Morris and Dallas Wand for their perspectives. And what they had to say was nothing short of inspiring. With values ranging from accessibility to sustainability, there’s no denying that Stone Cold Fox is a brand with a conscience.
Not only do Morris and Wand care about their customers, but they care about the impact they’re making on the planet as well. It can be easy to get caught up in the fast-paced, mass-produced ideology that permeates fashion today, but despite all that, Stone Cold Fox has maintained its integrity—even when that means major change.
To see a brand stick true to its core ideologies is quite impressive; and we can only hope that other brands will take note. We applaud Stone Cold Fox for having stood up for what they believe in, and one thing is certain: If we weren’t dying to shop the site already, we definitely are now.
To read the founders’ outlook on the recent changes, sustainability, and advice for female entrepreneurs, keep scrolling for the full interview below.
Our theme at Who What Wear this month is unapologetic women— which is something you guys seem to embody. When you were making the recent changes to Stone Cold Fox, were you afraid you’d be criticised for your decision? If so, how did you overcome it?
Surprisingly we got an overwhelming amount of positive responses. The biggest complaint and concern within the business was our prices being too high, especially in such a competitive market. We just ignore all the negative comments, keep our heads down and keep doing what we think is best for the brand! We’ve learnt over the years that as much as we may try to please everyone, disappointment at times can be unavoidable. We take customer feedback seriously and we constantly received complaints that our prices were too high, which is why we decided to make the change!
Costs aside, what else inspired you to make the changes to the brand?
We wanted to stay true to who we were, made in L.A. and not wanting to compromise the use of our silks, so the only way we could do so is by cutting out wholesale. It allowed us to stay true to ourselves whilst still delivering the same great product at a price our customers can afford. We want every girl in SCF, and this way we can better reach a broader audience.
We were finding ourselves stuck in this rut, and we wanted to go back to our roots of how we started. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the support of our customers so we wanted to put their needs first.
You really emphasise having a personal experience with your customers. How do you think this affects the brand?
Most people don’t know that we’re a company of only five women. We read all of our customers comments and emails, and we take into account their feedback whenever we produce our collections. Having a close one-on-one relationship with our customers lets us deliver products that we know they want whilst also creating more loyal relationships.
It’s important that our customers feel the need to come back and keep shopping with us. Having a more emotional experience with something you are buying makes you feel better, take more care, and feel better about your purchase.
What advice do you have for aspiring female entrepreneurs?
Be original, be kind, and work your ass off. It takes patience, but if you love what you do, you will be successful.
How do you think social media has affected the fashion industry in recent years? Do you think that the changes we’ve seen regarding influencer marketing are sustainable, or do you think it’s just a trend?
In the start, Instagram was a place where we could share real content to our customers, but in the last few years it’s really made a shift. Now feeds are filled with sponsored ads and posts, and the algorithm doesn’t allow for all of our followers to see every post.
Our posts are authentic—we post all of our own photos and caption them ourselves. Social media can be great for brands looking to market their clothing, but now success is based off how big an advertising budget is instead of how great the content is.
I think at the end of the day, quality and authenticity will always win so there’s no longevity to the influencer and paid marketing trend.
Mass production is a big enemy to the health of our planet. Was there any environmental impetus to make these changes to your brand?
Yes! Overproducing clothing and fabrics is so damaging to the environment. We pride ourselves on creating one of a kind pieces that our customers can keep for life. Producing less clothing ensures we sell out of every piece and they go to a good home.
We ethically produce all of our clothing in L.A.. A lot of consumers don’t realise that really cheap clothing is usually not ethically produced, or it’s not high quality, meaning you’ll end up having to buy it more often and more frequently as it doesn’t have a long life before it's ruined.
Do you design with a particular vision of a Stone Cold Fox woman in mind?
Well, she kind of starts with us. She is a young adult who is hard working, loves to travel and discover beautiful things. She loves to get dressed up and feel good in what she wears. She’s strong willed and feminine. She doesn’t follow trends, but loves to look stylish!
You’ve mentioned that with the changes the brand is undergoing, everything will now be under $300. Was it important for you to make your brand more widely accessible when making changes, or is it a just a welcome side-effect?
From our newest collection onward, everything will be under $300, except for Bridal Gowns which we hope to keep under $500. The price was one of the main driving forces in making the changes.
We had to make clothes that our customer could afford. Keeping our prices under $300 still allows for us to continue to produce our clothing in Los Angeles using the same high quality materials whilst also being attainable for the average SCF girl.
One line in your open letter states: “Seeing you feel beautiful gets us up in the morning.” How do you design clothes that empower women and make them feel beautiful?
From the comments we get, and the amazing followers we have, I think us being young 30-year-old girls who made this business on our own, without any investors inspires our customers.
We are (or we think we are) relatable, and our passion for what we do shows in our clothing. There is no greater feeling than hearing from a customer how amazing they feel in our designs.