Thanks to the accessibility of social media, everyone is eyeing the luxury fashion market with glee and aspirations. Appealing to demographics of varied interests, luxury styling is also on the radar with more and more individuals wanting to choose this career path. As the first step, DREST is the world’s first interactive luxury styling game, started by the award-winning Lucy Yeomans. In an exclusive interview with the visionary woman, we asked her more about her work, her brainchild, and the ever-growing industry. The following is the gist of the interview.
A Unique Entrepreneurial Idea
DREST is the world’s first interactive luxury fashion and lifestyle APP, a mobile game that gives everyone access to the exclusive world of high fashion – a space for discovering and shopping the latest products and a creative outlet where users can play their way to becoming a top fashion stylist.
DREST is a constantly evolving platform that continues to inspire, delight and educate its users with real-time fashion news, related styling challenges, and exciting brand collaborations. Their most collaboration was with PRADA, which is one of the 200+ brands on the platform. The brand also continuously introduces new and engaging features that further enhance the user’s experience, like supermodel avatars, hair and make-up inspired by the latest runway shows, and the soon to be launched jewellery and beauty modes, as well as a slew of exciting community features.
Lucy’s Astounding Journey As A Women Leader
“As a newspaper and then magazine editor, my focus has always been prioritising the needs and desires of the reader. Listening to and finding out about her lifestyle, her aspirations, what brings value to her life, what entertains her, what she’s passionate about… and then leveraging that insight to serve her what she wants via authoritative content, storytelling, events, partnerships and collaborations that inspire and connect with her. It was this approach that inspired me to create DREST”, explained Lucy. She witnessed the rise of gaming amongst women and was excited to create a platform and experiences that are fun and entertaining and that also connect with her to bring value.
“My career history is vast. I was Editor in Chief of the luxury fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar for 12 years before joining the luxury fashion e-tailer Net-A-Porter in 2013. There I launched their first weekly digital magazine The Edit, followed by their global fashion bi-monthly print magazine, Porter in 2014. I left the company in February 2019 to set up DREST – here my title is Creator, Founder & Co-CEO. “
The Real Challenges
“Where do I start? Every day at DREST is an education! My concern at the outset was persuading luxury fashion brands and the industry itself to buy into gaming. I thought it would be our biggest and toughest challenge. However, because of the strong relationships, talent and reputation of our team and the excitement from brands who were keen to connect with audiences in a highly immersive, entertaining and new engaging way, this was actually a relatively straightforward process”, said Lucy.
The real challenge, that quickly became apparent for her was getting the team dynamics and processes, right. Because DREST is a play platform, combining gaming, fashion, e-commerce and publishing, the team is made up of such a wide and varied range of disciplines and experts in their field and many of their worlds that had never collided together before, so there was a huge amount of learning across the company. She added that this was a short-lived challenge as they all quickly adapted, realised the importance of establishing a highly collaborative and open mindset and culture, and each understood the value the different teams brought to DREST.
“I personally learn so much every single day from my colleagues, particularly in the tech and gaming space, and it’s interesting to see how those members of the team who truly embrace this mindset, really stand out and thrive in the business. “
What Makes A Leader Successful?
When asked what attributes a leader should possess, she said that to change the game, the leader has to think big and act big and shoot for the stars. “Maybe you reach them, maybe you hit the moon, maybe you don’t get far at all – either way you’re moving up, moving on and you’re evolving, learning and challenging yourself. You also have to be prepared to move onto the next thing, to take risks and challenge the status quo to really drive change or to be a pioneer. I’ve always been someone who looks around corners to see what’s coming next – I find evolution and change exciting and incredibly motivating”, told Lucy.
How Does DREST Innovate?
Their mantra is simple, by being in constant dialogue with the users, via a number of channels and also A/B test new features, designs and formats continuously. DREST runs surveys about the product in-game and works with daily data, feedback and insights to improve the user experience at every single turn, removing any friction and maximising the delight factor.
The Duo Of Tech And Fashion
Every business sector has been (if not already) affected by the digital revolution in one way or another. According to Lucy, technology is evolving businesses like a magic wand that enables deeper connectivity and augmented experiences. “Whatever your company’s sector or size, tech now forms a core part of how we all do business. As such, all company leaders should be looking at what’s coming next – there’s always something coming next in tech from VR to NFTs – and be brainstorming how their business can benefit (or not) from integrating this tech into their company. The consumer will move on even if the industry doesn’t, so there’s a risk of losing customers or becoming irrelevant to them if you don’t evolve as tech evolves”, concluded Lucy.
What Does The Future Of DREST Looks Like?
Lucy assures that the possibilities for DREST are endless and that they are still in start-up mode and only scratching the surface in terms of what they want to do and the experiences they want to create for the users. The brand’s roadmap is fully loaded with exciting developments from collaborations, enhanced user experiences, to new features, product categories and some very exciting new avatars.
Business Advice, From One Woman Leader To Another
“Over the years, I have seen so many incredible and hugely competent women suffer from Imposter Syndrome – that feeling of not believing you are good enough to either inhabit a role, deliver a task, reach for the next rung on the ladder or set out on their own. My advice is to trust your instincts, trust your intellect and know that there are lots of successful people out there who know less than you, but whose confidence and self-belief have enabled them to thrive and lead”, said Lucy positively.