Jacket 14 and Your One/Third Questions

Holy smokes, I love this jacket.  This is jacket 14 and I’m obsessed with the multicolored blue tweed.  It’s IN STOCK NOW and the pre-order was off the chain.  It’s ladylike, but edgy, fits well but is slightly oversized and is just COOL.  I have been wearing it since we received the sample in 2021.

I can’t believe One/Third is about to turn THREE.  We’ve made fifteen jackets in three years, and two of those years were during a global pandemic (would not recommend, by the way).  So, I thought I’d take an opportunity to answer some questions I get about One/Third; if you’re new here, hopefully you learn something new about me and my business!

Why jackets?

I’m a longtime fashion lover and also worked for a company that styled people for a living.  Jackets are the ultimate outfit completer–in the industry they call it ‘the third piece.’  I found myself collecting jackets over the years.  A blazer can take a t-shirt and jeans to the next level.  An anorak would adds an interesting component to an otherwise simple look.  Layers truly make your outfit and that top layer is my favorite. 

When my founder Coabi and I were launching Trunk Club’s women business, we noticed a huge white space in jackets around $200.  We loved Veronica Beard, Smythe, and rag & bone blazers but the $650 price point was tough for our clients to digest.  On the other end of the spectrum, there were brands like TopShop.  We love a little TopShop but found it could be lacking in quality.  There had to be something in the middle that women could love and wear.  Thus, the notion of One/Third was born!  We had talked about this starting back in 2014.

Tell us about the business side of the design and manufacturing process.

People ask about this in my DMs so wanted to give a little backstory. A lot of people in the influencer space curate products from third-party vendors and sell them on a site owned by them.  It’s basically like an online boutique. They have control over what they sell and have the ability to nix products and bring in new brands.  There are a lot of clothing and jewelry items that are produced overseas and available for any brand to put their label on it and sell it (this is way more common than you think). 

It’s super smart and a great way to allow your audience to purchase a highly curated selection from you; it works well for people with large platforms and they don’t have to worry about design, production, working with factories and all the stuff that’s very time consuming.   In a traditional retail sense, you’re buying wholesale and sell retail.  Also, there are some people/brands who buy and own the inventory and hold in their own space (or warehouse) and there are others who have drop-shop relationships with brands, where the brand will ship from their own inventory.  All so interesting, right?!

All that to say, we actually design our jackets, work with manufactures to product, and keep inventory at a warehouse for shipping and return. 

Also, all that has a cost (in fact, shipping from our manufacture is up 4x from pre-Covid) but we really believe we have a great product and a great business idea.  And we’re kind of the only ones in our space right now!

About 8 months pre-season, we come up with design boards and look back on past designs and how they resonated with customers.  We don’t recreate the wheel if we don’t have to (using new fabrics with old designs works for us!).  For example, Jacket 03 is 05 is Jacket is Jacket 11, all in different fabric compositions and weights.  But when we have a new design like Jacket 14, we work with a local designer/pattern maker Xochil Herrera to make our dreams come true.  She’s been an incredible partner.  

We have an agent in Greece that manages factories in China, Morocco and Turkey, where we produce.  Our factory is a vertical supplier, which means they also source fabrics for us as well as manufacture.  It’s a lot of back and forth but again, they’ve been amazing and wonderful partners.  We’re still learning about shipping timing (remember the supply chain fiasco? Yup, that affects us).

So, we own a LOT of this process which can be a lot to handle logistically but in return, we have control and final say and a truly unique product that our customers receive.  

What’s next for One/Third?  New categories?

I’d like to think that we’d be a much bigger company had Covid not happened. People would be wearing jackets instead of sweatpants and working from home.   We’ve still managed to grow year over year. It is no small feat when no one is leaving the house and the demand for jackets is low.  But last fall we saw a huge uptick in sales and we’ve been growing quickly ever since. 

For now, we’re sticking to jackets.  I’d love to add other categories eventually that complement our jackets but let’s perfect our product offering first (and get extended sizes!).  Although I want the brand to grow, I want it to remain small like other brands I love and admire (Lake Pajamas and Dudley Stephens, for example).

So that’s where we are, that’s what we’ve learned, and if you’re interested in supporting us–try a jacket!  Tell your friends!  And give us feedback!

woman wearing one of her jackets and leaning on a wall

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