FASHION - INTERVIEW
Thursday, June 7, 2018
Virginija Gildute and Vigita Garbuzaite, Co-Founders of Ducktail Raincoats
FASHION - INTERVIEW
by Mehmet Kaplan
Every day before leaving our home in the morning, we carefully choose all kinds of clothes and accessories from our shoes to eyewear. However, if the weather is rainy we get a raincoat over and we do not allow anyone to see our style until we go to workplace. Because it is a cover that we wear to prevent our clothes from getting wet. Now the next generation of designers color the raincoat and present it to us as design products. Now shop windows are not only filled with raincoats of 40 tons of brown, there are now many colorful and design raincoats.
They were inspired by the natural conditions of Lithuania and designed their own collection. Virginija and Vigita, who designed raincoats for feeling well on rainy days, also offer colorful and different designs to us with the Ducktail Raincoats brand. To learn more about their brand and design raincoats, I interviewed Virginija Gildute and Vigita Garbuzaite, Co-Founders of Ducktail Raincoats. You can find all the details here.
Virginija, before talking about Ducktail Raincoats, could you tell us about your background and design experience?
First of all, my friend Vigita and I created this brand together – so I will answer all questions as if they were posed to us.
We were both studying at the same high school where we became best friends. During this period we were also studying at an Art school. Vigita studied Fine arts and I studied music. After graduation, we entered Vilnius University and studied in different fields. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Information and Communication and Vigita with a degree in Economics. The two different backgrounds together were a perfect foundation for starting Ducktail Raincoats as we had knowledge of arts, communication, marketing, business, and finance.
How was Ducktail Raincoats idea was born and what is the story behind it? What inspired you?
Since high school, we had dreamed about having our own business. We just needed a good idea and something that we believed in. After University graduation, Vigita went to Las Vegas for a couple of years. When she came back to rainy Lithuania, she was often complaining to me how cold and rainy it is here compared to the dry and hot climate of Las Vegas. It was through these conversations, and mostly her complaining that the idea to start a raincoat company came about. The idea was cemented, when through our research, we discovered that there were no Lithuanian raincoat brands in existence. This is how Ducktail Raincoats was born.
Then we just needed a good brand name to start. We were inspired to name it Ducktail Raincoats while walking by the lake and watching ducks. The ducks were able to avoid the water and stay dry even while diving into the lake. Then we also got an idea about adding a tail on every piece of our products.
What is Ducktail Raincoats brand philosophy?
Our philosophy is that rain protection doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice fashion. Simply put, quality fashionable rainwear.
How can you describe Ducktail Raincoats collections and target audience?
The signature of Ducktail Raincoats‘s collections is that every raincoat has a “ducktail”, which defines them from other raincoats. The tail makes our raincoats unique and recognizable on the street.
Our target audience is city people of all ages who want an exclusive and functional rainwear garment that is fashion forward. Since the raincoat is breathable, customers can wear it every day, even when it is not raining. The raincoat is stylish and minimalistic, so it's great for casual, corporate style or even a cocktail party.
Could you tell us about your products common features?
When designing Ducktail Raincoats we thought of everything that makes someone feel comfortable and safe while in the rain. That’s why the outer shell is made from tough waterproof but the breathable material and the inside is made of a smooth silky lining. This combination works perfectly - protecting people from heavy rain while allowing them to feel comfortable.
Unisex raincoats have a unique two-sided tail, which is removable. One side of the tail is reflective and the other is the same color as the rest of the raincoat. The raincoats come with large front pockets and snap closures for convenience and comfort.
The Women’s Tail Raincoats, unlike the Unisex collection, are slim fit. The raincoat also contains a few unique features, like a large zipped hoodie and zipped tail, two-sided front zipper. It can also be folded into a handbag, which you can easily use like a regular purse! This feature makes our raincoat unique and multi-functional, and simple to use every day.
Our most recent model is a classical Women’s Long Raincoat. This raincoat has a unique reflective vent in the back, reflective belt and cuff straps, snap closures, spacious pockets, and elegant hood.
How many raincoat models do you have? How often do you change up your collections?
We have two women‘s models – The Women’s Tail raincoat, which is a short slim fit model, long raincoat, which is a long and elegant model. We also have a Unisex model for men and women, which is a straight fit and is easy to combine with many types of clothing from casual to business wear. We have one Children‘s raincoat model, which is a customized version that we adapted from the Women’s Tail raincoat.
Our brand is pretty new, it is only our third season. In that time we have created 4 models in a multitude of colors.
Which countries are your main target markets? How did the climate of countries affect your target market selection? Do you have retailers in these countries?
This year our main target countries are USA, Germany, and Japan. We are also working to reach customers in other countries, especially in Europe.
The climate of an area greatly determines if we will consider it a target market as we mostly target cities and regions where rains often. Sometimes people buy our raincoats from warm climate countries as well because they wear it as a regular coat on cool days. As mentioned before the raincoat is breathable, so it is not too hot to wear it even in warmer climates.
Yes, we have some retailers in these countries but we are always looking to expand.
Please tell us about your team. What are their roles?
At the present time, our the Ducktail Raincoats team consists of Vigita and I. Now, that is not to say we do not have help from our families who often assist with fairs, trade shows, photo shoots etc. For the most part, however, it is a two-woman operation. Between the two of us, we handle all operations of the company from product design to product distribution.
Do you carry out all the processes at the same location, from design to production? Are there any collaborations that you have done on different processes?
Everything is made in Vilnius, Lithuania. We believe this is one of the reasons why our customers desire our product and something that defines us from other companies. Every piece of our raincoat is hand crafted in the capital of a small country Lithuania.
Which social media network do you use the most? How does it feel to see your raincoats on your customers' social media shares?
We use Facebook and Instagram. We feel fulfilled when we see customers wearing our raincoats and sharing pictures. We usually ask clients to share those pictures on our social media as well. This way we create a friendly connection between our customers and us. The positive feedback through media posts is rewarding and motivates us to continue to produce quality rainwear.
How can our readers buy Ducktail raincoats? Do you have international delivery service?
We sell online and we ship worldwide. Simply visit www.ducktail.eu and choose your favorite one!
What is next for Ducktail Raincoats?
Stay tuned :)
Anything you would like to add that I haven’t asked?
We would like to mention that our main goal of 2018 is to expand our raincoat business in the US and we are working hard on it. We have already got lots of interest in our product from San Francisco area and it is a good sign for future as we look to target other rainy cities in the Northwestern region of the US. If you are interested in any collaboration with us, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you Virginija and Vigita.