Up Close is Sourcing Journal’s regular check-in with industry executives to get their take on topics ranging from personal style to their company’s latest moves. In this Q&A, Felix del Toro, senior vice president and chief merchandise and design officer at TechStyle Fashion Group’s activewear startup Fabletics, discusses the brand’s move into men’s wear and what distillers are doing right during COVID-19.
Name: Felix del Toro
Title: senior vice president and chief merchandise and design officer
Which other industry has the best handle on the supply chain? What can apparel learn?
I’ve personally been incredibly impressed with the liquor and distillery producers who quickly pivoted to hand sanitizer. They were agile in adapting their equipment, packaging and getting it where it is needed most: hospitals and first responders.
Do you consider yourself a typical consumer?
What is typical? Working in this industry, I have a level of insight that the “typical” consumer does not. That being said, I get as excited as anyone when I’m presented with thoughtful design with inherent quality and value.
As a consumer, what does it take to win your loyalty?
Balancing consistency with quality, value and innovation. I know what to expect, and I’m also surprised when I see the interpretation of current trends.
What’s your typical work uniform?
During the week I like the contrast of fabrications between woven and knit—it’s either our Courtside crew with a trouser or a woven shirt with our Only pant—comfortable and camera ready.
Which fashion era is your favorite?
I’m agnostic. I believe fashion is a reflection of what is happening, and I can appreciate the intent and distillation of people’s creative endeavors.
Who’s your style icon?
They range from Idris Elba to Pharrell to Tom Ford. It’s less about what they wear and more about how they carry themselves. Confidence is the ultimate in style.
What’s the best decision your company has made in the last year?
To focus on harnessing insight with data science.
How would you describe your corporate culture?
Engaging, energizing and driven—and absolutely with a dash of fun.
What should be the apparel industry’s top priority now?
Exceeding guests’ expectations while balancing sustainable growth.
What keeps you up at night?
The future of the planet.
What makes you most optimistic?
The creativity-, innovation- and solution-minded team I’m honored to work alongside every day.
Tell us about your company’s latest product introduction:
We just launched the Fabletics men’s line. We created the line with the same attention to detail, innovation, quality and value that is in our brand DNA. I joined the company because of our commitment to create quality activewear at very accessible price points. Everyone should have the opportunity to feel as good as they look on their health and wellness journey.