Personal interview with Kathy Moca, Beija-Flor’s Co-founder and Creative Director
Nowadays it seems that true creativity is harder and harder to find in the fashion industry. While authentic styles and fresh new ideas are still found on the runway and in stores across the world, it seems that several entrepreneurial fashion brands like our own Beija-Flor Jeans, are beginning to notice their innovative ideas being copied into lower priced products.
1. How did you first hear about the copycat “pull on jean?”
K: My Director of Sales actually sent out an e-mail blast titled, “I think we have been copied.” Imagine waking up to that Saturday morning.
2. What was your first reaction of seeing the copycat “pull on jean?”
K: At first (to be honest), it was disheartening. I didn’t want consumers to think that there was a substitution for the P.OD (Pull-On-Denim). However, then I remembered what my mother always told me, “those who can’t…well copy.” It was kind of flattering seeing a larger scale brand using my idea of the pull-on-denim, it meant we were doing something right!
3. What makes your Sonia P.O.D different than any other pull on jean?
K: For starters, it is made in Brazil (not China). The comfort of the jean comes from the use of Brazilian fibers that are super-soft. The combination of the power-stretch denim and the engineered denim elastic waistband, make the Sonia P.O.D fit to perfection like no other “pull on jean” out there.
4. What did you learn from this encounter?
K: To never underestimate a competitor, and always push for innovation. I can’t stop copycats, but I can compete with them by offering a superior product. I also learned the importance of communicating authenticity of our brand, and the positive affect it has on educating consumers.
5. What advice do you have for other designers who sense a copycat?
- Stay authentic. Be real with your brand’s message.
- Stay true to your production. Don’t cut quality to compete with lower price competitors.
- Stay a head of the trend. Think creatively and be innovative
6. It seems that innovation is big part of your business strategy, what drives your company’s innovation?
K: My passion for sustainability and creativity -which a lot comes from our presence of doing business with Brazil. Knowing that staying innovative means improving both our product’s design and production-allows our jeans to offer the value of feeling good in jeans you can feel good about (something my competitors can’t copy!).
7. Which of your jeans (this fall) do you feel will be ahead of the denim trends?
K: The Nicole butt-lifter jean, and the Lauren hip-minimizer jean. Here in the office we have all tried them on, and absolutely love them! They are like no other jean seen this fall.