FASHION - INTERVIEW
Thursday, February 7, 2019
FASHION - INTERVIEW
by Melisa Kaya
When we need any jacket or bag we go to the store and choose the product, then we try it. And if it meets our demands and we like it, we make the payment and leave the store. Lisa Lori thought retail stores should not be a place where customers come and only buy items. She wanted to create an environment where customers could find different products, interact with other customers in an environment that is intertwined with art, and could even sit down and have coffee and eat. When she believed the time had come, she established The Perfect Provenance. I talked with Lisa Lori, Co-Founder of The Perfect Provenance, about the concept of The Perfect Provenance and the retail industry.
Lisa, before talking about The Perfect Provenance, could you tell us about yourself?
I worked in luxury goods and retail marketing and PR for 25 years before opening the Perfect Provenance. I live in Greenwich, CT with my three teenage sons, husband Mat and our dog Corduroy. I grew in Northern California - I like to say I'm a West Coast girl living an East Coast life.
The Perfect Provenance
When did you first interested in the fashion industry and the retail sector? How did you decide to establish The Perfect Provenance?
I began my career working in PR in NYC and when I was 25 I joined the British company The Body Show as manager of the retail marketing for all of their US stores. I also worked with founder Dame Anita Roddick on her US speaking and engagement schedule. Work with her and for The Body Shop changed my life and opened my mind to socially responsible business. It gave the confidence to later open my own PR firm and then my shop at age 50. I have worked with many retailers, designers, beauty companies and more over the years and I have loved every minute.
In The Perfect Provenance, you have combined fashion, decoration and Café 47. Could you tell us about The Perfect Provenance and the overall concept?
I wanted to open a gallery for the senses - we celebrate every sense - and bring a museum-like experience to a retail environment. We launch exhibitions every 10-12 weeks that are reflected in every aspect of our store and cafe from the menu to the merchandise. It's fun, creative and invites discussion with our clients.
The Perfect Provenance
What are the brands and designers that you are working with?
We have a mix of designers around the world - European, American, Australian and South American. For women's fashion Vanessa Bruno, Max & Moi and Perrin Paris are best sellers, for men Hartford from Paris is a favorite and in-home - LSA International, Christofle and Gien. We also have our own collection of home fragrance, olive oil & vinegars, fine jewelry and our Smile Collection benefiting Operation Smile.
What kind of fashion and decoration products can your customers find in The Perfect Provenance?
At our store, we have a highly curated experience so everything we select is special. We don't want to carry designers featured in every other store in town. Some are well known and others so unique they are debuting in the US for the first time.
When a brand that would like to work with The Perfect Provenance has contacted you, what are the most important features that you are looking for before deciding to work with this fashion or accessory brand? What features should this brand have for a successful collaboration?
We have limited space so we need to look at a number of factors - does it fit in with an upcoming theme or exhibition planned - sometimes it is just luck and it fits in. Otherwise, we look at price, style, where it is designed and created (we do our best to not include items produced in China although we are not perfect).
The Perfect Provenance - Café 47
Nowadays, there is a great conflict between online and brick & mortar stores. What effects are currently being felt in the retail industry? What do you think about the future of this conflict?
The biggest issue facing retailers is inventory management and how to keep their product assortment fresh and interesting. Online retailers are moving into brick and mortar because clients are asking to see and feel the products and brick and mortar are expanding their e-commerce. The answer is - people really need both in order to keep a new exciting in store and help with sell-through. The internet offers convenience but nothing can replace the immediacy and intimacy of the in-person experience.
What do you think about social media? Do you experience the effect of social media on customer's behavior and preferences?
We love it and yes, we benefit from it all the time. People follow our Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and buy or call us after seeing a product featured. If they live in another market it allows us to share our experience and concept even if they never travel to Greenwich. We love it because we can see right away if something is exciting our clients.
How can our readers follow The Perfect Provenance?
@theperfectprovenance on Instagram and Pinterest; @tpp1640 on Twitter and www.facebook.com/theperfectprovenance/
Thank you Lisa for your time.