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CEO Kristin Savilia on Joor Passport Expansion and a Promising Year Ahead

Rivet’s 2021 winter issue has dropped! This in-depth issue examines the steps the global denim industry is taking to minimize its impact on the environment, from implementing zero waste production and design processes to establishing greenhouse gas emissions goals aligned with the Paris Agreement.

A digital hero for fashion brands and buyers alike, Joor has helped 17 global trade shows continue on despite the numerous obstacles presented in 2020. And now, the digital wholesale platform is nearly doubling that number with 13 new additions to its Passport Program.

The service now includes access to upcoming events including London Fashion Week, Premium and Seek, Brazil Footwear, Liberty and L.A. Men’s Market, Showroom Canada, Tokyo Fashion Award, Cabana, iHKiB Istanbul Fashion, Jetro Project Japan, Ontimeshow Shanghai and Rakuten Fashion Week Tokyo, as well as its own marketplace events, Joor Showcase and Destination Italy. Through the Passport Program, which was launched in May 2020, users can enjoy one centralized trade show experience across multiple fashion events and have better visibility into their business.

In less than one year’s time, the program has helped sell more than 500,000 items from 1,628 participating brands.

Overall, the platform has connected more than 8,600 brands and more than 200,000 curated fashion retailers in 144 countries—and those statistics are bound to spike this year with its newly added events. Joor CEO Kristin Savilia, who founded the company in 2010, referred to the post-pandemic shift to digital as its long-awaited “moment.”

“I think the industry knew on one level that it needed to change, but the sense of urgency was not apparent until the pandemic hit and business continuity was threatened,” Savilia told Rivet. “Up until last March, many brands and retailers were still doing everything offline in spreadsheets or other documents.”

The current environment demands more focus on B2B technology—an area that was often overlooked in favor of consumer-centric investments, she said.

“Taking a backwards look, brands and retailers focused exclusively on B2C technology at the expense of B2B,” she said. “Digitizing the moment that buyers are determining what to carry on their websites or in their stores presents a far more tangible growth and cost reduction opportunity than many of the splashy, in-store technology investments—especially in today’s environment.”

Though much of the fashion industry is ahead of its time regarding futuristic designs, genderless elements and innovative production methods, the sector is also notorious for remaining loyal to outdated practices. Case in point: a fashion schedule that promotes excess and exclusivity, which many feel is finally changing as a result of the pandemic.

Joor Showcase and Destination Italy may help in the shift away from a rigid calendar, as both offerings are available 365 days a year. Joor Showcase features virtual showrooms for more than 400 men’s and women’s elevated contemporary brands, highlighting collections by designers of color, female designers and more. Destination Italy is Joor’s second curated marketplace, and presents brands with Italian heritage and craftsmanship, including Sergio Rossi, MSGM, Red Valentino and more.

Last year, the company integrated ORB360 virtual 360-degree images to make it more like a B2C e-commerce interface that buyers appreciate. It also added the ability to personalize showrooms and share them directly with buyers. Next up, Joor will focus on enhancements that increase collaboration, such as interactive video and features that allow brands to further customize the experience for buyers.

And while physical events are bound to return, the Savilia foresees digital remaining a key element in the buying process.

“Brands and buyers have experienced a new level of convenience that they won’t be willing to give up,” she said. “The future will include a hybrid of physical and virtual events. The winning virtual showrooms, like Joor, will be able to stand alone, but also have an interactive component to enhance the show experience.”