In today’s competitive market, it is all about differentiation. Kathy Moca, co-founder and creative director, of Beija-Flor Jeans, discusses her strategy of staying ahead of the denim trend by not only offering an exceptional fitting jean, but providing consumers with a jean they can “feel good about.” Their eco-chic campaign illustrates how Beija-Flor Jeans are made with the best interest of not only their customers, but of the environment too!
What does eco-chic mean?
K: Eco-chic translates into “fashion your can feel good about.” This message is what our entire eco-friendly campaign is all about. We want to promote the fact that our jeans can make any women look & feel good. We are not only offering a great fitting jean, but a jean that is true to sustaining the environment.
How is Beija-Flor practicing sustainability?
K: We practice sustainability in how are jeans are produced. Its quite simple, the factory that we use (located in Brazil) realizes the most harm to the environment occurs in the “laundry” or washing stage of jean production. Therefore, they ensure each step of washing focuses on implanting sustainability. The types of machinery they use helps reduce water consumption by 55%. All the heated water returns to the laundry to be reused, or the water that is not reused is then treated and returned to the environment. Brazilians don’t like wasting water.
Is it hard doing business with a Brazilian manufacturer? Can you see yourself anywhere else?
K: If you asked me this 10 years ago, then I might have a different answer. However, now with Skype & the internet- it seems like the factory is just down the road.
I can’t see our jeans being produced anywhere else. GG is definitely not your typical textile factory- they don’t just pay wages, they offer their employees lunch, medical care, and even monthly birthday celebrations. We view them as an extension to our already “family run business.”
Why is it important for Beija-Flor to be eco-chic?
K: Being a denim brand means we deal with a lot of choices when it comes to manufacturing. You can’t imagine the detailed process a single jean goes through; from product development to its final washing. It is easy to get caught up in the manufacturing, and simply pick the cheapest or fastest option. Here at Beija-Flor, we are proud to be apart of this eco-chic movement that illustrates our decision to pick the most sustainable option.
What does “eco-chic” say to your customers?
K: It says we care about the environment, and produce a jean that is chic. When it comes to purchasing any item, consumers take a second and think- what is in it for me? We want to attract those customers who are socially responsible- looking for a jean that fits well, and is well made. We know if a jean doesn’t fit, it won’t sell. It is that plain and simple. However, a jean that does fit, and is made with care of the environmental stands out! We hope our new eco-chic tags will communicate the reality of what goes into making our jeans.
We like to think that our jeans gain more style, personality, and value when it leaves the GG Laundry.
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.
Greenville, SC- Locals, Kathy Moca and Emilie Whitaker, know the heat of the Upstate, but that doesn’t stop them from creating ways for women to keep wearing their favorite (Beija-Flor) jeans!
The key to wearing denim this summer is finding the right balance of color and fabric. “It’s hard convincing women to wear anything other than white, or linen [during the summer],” says Moca.
By pairing a lightweight tunic or linen blouse with a skinny jean makes any summer time outfit look effortless, yet fashionable!
Although many denim designers have adapted to the summer styles of rompers, tunics, skirts, and shorts, Beija-Flor knows that most women still yearn for sophistication during these hot summer days. That is why Beija-Flor has created the perfect summer jean- the POD (Pull On Denim).
What makes the POD, or Sonia Jean, perfect for the summer? Well its lightweight, and it doesn’t have a zipper to start with. The discreet comfort stretch denim waistband eliminates any button bump, while slimming the stomach. It is versatile, and looks great paired with a heel, or a great sandal! And not to mention it still has the famous Beija-Flor mid-rise fit: not too low and not too high waistline, strategic pocket placements, and no-gap contour waist. It makes any women forget about the summer heat while looking great!
You can find all of Beija-Flor Jeans’ Summer 2011 collection right downtown at Plaza Suite Boutique or search online for a boutique nearest you at www.ilovethesejeans.com.
Personal interview with Kathy Moca (Beija-Flor’s Creative Director and Co-Founder)
After a ten-day journey, birthday celebration, and several visits to Guermar Group Factory (Beija-Flor’s manufacturer), Kathy Moca arrived safely from her bi-annual design trip to Espirito Santo, Brazil. Directly from the plane (after grabbing a quick bite to eat with daughter Emilie and grand daughter Virginia) Kathy shares with the rest of the Beija-Flor team her insights and new spring samples!!
5 Questions with Kathy:
1. What inspirations/trends did you find during your recent trip to Espirito Santo, Brazil?
K: Every time I go to Brazil (whether it’s for business or pleasure) I cannot leave without finding some design inspirations. I believe Brazilian women are one of the most fashionable women in the world. Just from walking in the streets to shopping in their malls, to no surprise, I saw a lot of skinny jeans! Mostly dark wash denim, worn in a minimalist manner, that gave off a sophisticated style. (I think the reason why the skinny jean is still trending is because of its ability to pair with any type of shoe, especially a great Brazilian heel) Other than denim, I saw a lot of animal print, which is interesting. Seeing that Brazil is one season ahead of us (it’s Fall there now), makes my visits there an added bonus for our designs.
2. What ranks as a favorite part of your trip?
K: That is hard to say, but if I had to choose, I would say my “personal” birthday celebration held by the factory where we produce our jeans. It just touched my heart to see such a large factory- with 400 plus employees- take time out of their day to celebrate my birthday. It was really sweet; they kept referring to me as “Senhora Beija-Flor” (Mrs. Beija-Flor).
3. Out of the whole Fall 2011 Curvas Collection, which jean is your favorite?
K: I love all of our jeans in this collection, but I am most excited to introduce to all of our Beija-Flor Believers the Nicole, our new skinny butt lifting jean.
4. Why did you decide to go with the name/focus for this upcoming fall collection on “curvas?”
K: While designing the new collection, I knew right away that I wanted to focus this season’s collection on loving one’s curves (curvas in Portuguese). With these new additions, especially the Nicole butt lifting jean and the Lauren hip slimming jean, I find this focus on curves to be fit perfect. Finding the right pair of jeans is all about balance. Women shouldn’t be forced to wear just one type of jean for their body type, but instead should learn to work with what they have in every style of jean. Creating a balance is how to love one’s curves. Our Fall 2011 Curvas Collection has every style from skinny to wide leg, and each style of jean gives any women the chance to love her curvas (as they should already!).
5. Name 3 staple items every women should have this fall in her closet:
· Skinny Jean (that fits well!)
· Awesome pair of shoes
· White blouse
(I love the way a chic white blouse accents any dark wash denim)
…There you have it ladies, direct insights from Kathy!