LA-based HOFB to launch e-marketplace for emerging designers
Emerging designers in Los Angeles will soon be able to list their labels on House of Fashion Brands (HOFB), an e-marketplace connecting designers with supply chains and buying partners for fast fashion mass market appeal.
Current retail partners who will look to HOFB to source product include TJMaxx, Amazon Fashion, Zara, Target, Nordstrom, Zulily, H&M, Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Primark and Desigual. Gabriel Ankamafio, CEO and founder of HOFB, said “We are trying to bring designers who are not known to the forefront, especially with fast fashion."
Ankamafio said the site is being created to help emerging brands connect with mass market retail partners and manufacturers. He said new brands usually face a number of challenges when trying to sell at department stores or specialty retailers, as a result of not having the right connections.
HOFB will create a marketplace where buyers can browse products made by new brands. When a retailer selects a particular product, HOFB's manufacturing partners will be able to take on the project and make sure it is produced in appropriate quantities.
HOFB will operate similarly to a social media site, as designers will have a studio page to showcase their designs. A retailer browsing the site can order any quantity, from a sample to a full production run, and can select HOFB-approved manufacturers based on geographic region to further manage their supply chain logistics.
The factories are certified by global agencies such as SGS or Bureau Veritas in an effort to make sure they are ethical, legal and quality manufacturing partners.
Ankamafio ran footwear factories in China for three years. He is originally from Ghana and attended university at Roberts Wesleyan College in upstate NY. He chose LA to be the corporate headquarters of HOFB because of the large population of computer programmers as well as it's geographic location as an import hub from Asia.
Ankamafio said the initial appeal of the site will be to coordinate with mass market fashion retailers. He said HOFB will eventually create a model for smaller independent retailers as it grows.
HOFB opened its LA office in July near USC's campus. It expects to go live officially with its site in March of 2018.
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