Everlane CEO Michael Preysman On Keeping An Edge Amidst The Copycats [TCTV]

Everlane has built a really unique business that uses technology to provide luxury quality apparel at much lower prices than traditional high-end designer brands. But with that success has also come copycats — particularly abroad, where Everlane has not yet expanded its business (at the moment the company is operating only in the United States and Canada.)

So when we had the chance to talk to Everlane founder and CEO Michael Preysman backstage at Disrupt NYC this past week, we asked him how he plans to keep an edge as other companies look to find success with the same business model. Our exchange on this topic begins at 4:30 in the video embedded below this post, and Preysman has some strong opinions on the subject, saying:

“The problem with copycats is that honestly, they have no soul. It sounds silly to say that, but when you don’t have soul and you don’t have a reason for why you’re doing the things you’re doing, you’re always one step behind, and you never really connect with the consumer. And one thing we talked about on the panel [onstage] is people are looking for a connection with the brand, and they’re looking for trust.

There’s a brand out there in Turkey that launched called Mavelane which is actually, I think ‘mave’ must mean ‘ever’ in Turkish, and it’s literally a complete replica of our site. I mean, the code, everything — they stripped out all the front end code. But the problem is they’re always going to be one step behind, and they don’t actually have the reason for being that we have.

So, I don’t know that we worry so much about competitors. Because at the end of the day, I think our biggest competitor is ourselves.”

We also talked about why Everlane is so focused on bringing transparency to the clothing production process, how stripping out the third-party retail part of the supply chain has saved the company so much money, what’s next on the horizon for Everlane, and more.

Check it all out in the video embedded below.