Nude Project to open stores in Valencia and Barcelona, eyes international markets
Entrepreneurial stories that begin modestly and, in just a few years, manage to build ambitious projects are the ideal, an aspiration of those who fantasize about setting up a company. There are cases in which this fantasy becomes reality almost unintentionally, such as that of the street wear fashion firm Nude Project, founded in 2019 by two then 18-year-olds, Bruno Casanovas and Alex Benlloch. The brand closed 2021 with sales of 2.6 million euros and is on track to easily exceed that figure this year.
Casanovas and Benlloch started selling Nude Project sweatshirts at their respective university campuses. Soon after that, what they consider to be a snowball effect took hold. "Everyone was wearing them in our schools and word of mouth made them popular in Madrid and Barcelona," they explained.
The brand retails its designs worldwide through its online store, but it is the offline channel that differentiates the brand and allows it to connect with its audience. "One of our key pillars is communication: we have more than one million followers in different social media platforms and we have always presented the brand as if it were an influencer," they said.
A product that has become an object of desire and the brand's marketing strategy tailor-made for Generation Z have resulted in long lines at the doors of the Nude Project store on Fuencarral Street in Madrid, which opened last spring. "Every Saturday afternoon there are queues of two-and-a-half hours," explained the co-owners of the store.
The company's retail journey began in 2021 with several pop-up stores in Madrid, Barcelona and Zaragoza. "We offer experiences that go beyond clothing and allow us to test in which cities we have more traction. Wherever we open a permanent store, we will have had a pop up before," they detailed.
Valencia and Barcelona will be the next cities where Nude Project will open a permanent store. In the former, it will be during 2022; in the latter, starting next year.
The company's goal for 2023 is to replicate its Spanish strategy in Europe. Some 30% of the brand's sales come from the international market, which is why it plans to open temporary stores in European cities such as Paris, Amsterdam and Milan to promote its products.
"We do not want to be hype-prone"
Along with its retail development, Nude Project's medium-term challenges include expanding its range of products.
"We started with unisex designs of sweatshirts and T-shirts, but we don't want to pigeonhole ourselves. The best way to avoid being hype-prone and to survive for many years in the industry is to develop the products," they said.
To this end, they have already launched their first women's collection and will be looking for a niche in categories such as knitwear and outerwear to offer their customers a well-rounded closet.
With production concentrated in Spain and Portugal, the company employs 32 people, has its offices in Barcelona and is 100% owned by its founders, who, for the time being, are not considering opening their company's capital to investors.
Financially, Nude Project boasts of "being profitable from day one" and, after closing 2021 with sales of 2.6 million euros, it has set itself the goal of doubling its turnover by 2022.
"We are more than on track for that," Casanovas and Benlloch concluded.
When asked about the recipe for their success, they clearly stated: "We make inspiration feasible. Buying a garment means being part of something."
And is that not the underlying drive behind fashion?
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