A stylish sign of trust

#energetic  #creative  #Outfittery

Fashion should be fun – or at least this is how young entrepreneuse Anna Alex describes the brand promise of her Internet start-up OUTFITTERY. For five years now, the company’s fashion consultants and stylists have been providing smart duds to dowdy dudes – you know the type of guy: someone who simply can’t be bothered to go shopping on his own. And it’s HIS trust that’s at the heart of the entire interaction process.

Text: Editorial staff “ceo | Images: OUTFITTERY GmbH | Magazine: Trust in the Digital Age – December 2017

Anna Alex associates the term “trust” with things like family, friends … and business relationships. These are essential components of her company’s business concept. The firm turns an old-fashioned shopping trip into a new-fashioned private event. Guys who order one of the boxes (or, alas, delegate even that task) can don the duds at home and put on a fashion show for family and friends, or strut their stuff as they walk into the office on Monday morning. Anna Alex encourages her customers to enjoy this feelgood experience and celebrate it as a simple everyday pleasure.

The opinions of partners, friends and colleagues; the price, the brands and the strokes of the moment; all of this direct and indirect feedback creates lasting trust and is an integral part of the customer’s decision-making process. This chap comes to know that his next clothing purchase is not going to be a sweaty necessary evil, but rather a little bit of Christmas all for himself. For Anna Alex, the nicest proof of trust comes when a man moves a tad beyond his style status quo.

“Innovations are not by ­necessity ­always a ­brainchild of the company’s ­bigwigs.”

The customer takes centre stage – from head to toe. This is because his satisfaction is the key driver of loyalty and thus the repeat purchase rate. After a customer has completed a standardised questionnaire online, one of the fashion consultants contacts him (optionally) by phone. In these conversations, a personal relationship evolves and further ideas emerge. With all this information in hand, the fashion consultants put together the perfect outfit package.

“Simply Look Good” – so says the brand promise of Berlin-based OUTFITTERY Ltd. This innovative start-up serves the shopping-reticent male of the species with outfits a stylist pieces together to match his personal/physical profile. The e-commerce company employs around 300 people, including 150 stylists and some 25 fashion consultants at its Swiss subsidiary in Zurich-Kloten. Co-founders Anna Alex and Julia Bösch came up with the idea for their company on the way to New York, based on the shopping woes of a friend of theirs. The company’s first parcels were dispatched at the beginning of 2012. 33-year-old Anna Alex studied economics, business sociology and psychology in Freiburg im Breisgau. She worked at the Walter Eucken Institute and became a member of the liberal Friedrich Naumann Foundation. Today she is a successful businesswoman and mother of a toddling daughter.


Another payoff from the customer focus of this young entrepreneuse: buyer preferences flow back to shape the product range and shopping experience. Customer wishes are explored regularly in focus groups and new fashion items are presented to selected test persons. “It’s important that we listen closely to our customers,” says Anna Alex. Innovations are not by necessity always a brainchild of the company’s bigwigs. Good ideas are discussed internally, explored further, and then implemented wherever reasonable and possible – all of this is part and parcel of the company’s innovation-driven culture.

Anna Alex views digitisation as the technical and structural backbone of her business. This is why she has a team of machine-learning experts and a Chief Data Officer on board. With appropriate tools and data analytics, the tech team supports the stylists in their customised work. Alex also believes digitisation represents an enormous opportunity to do something good for people. “But you then actually have to do it.” Clothing and style are, indeed, personal matters.

For Anna Alex, ease and inspiration are also part of her holistic approach to building trust. The simplicity of shopping, combined with a sense for that certain something, should enthuse guys – so they come back, as well as pass the word around. In this respect, mover-and-shaker Anna Alex aims to remain, quite literally, made to measure: steadily growing revenues and high customer satisfaction have proved her right so far.

Anna Alex
Short questions – short answers

What is your favourite app?
Headspace, a meditation app.

What was your first mobile phone?
A Panasonic, with stickers all over it.

What’s to be seen on your laptop background?
My little daughter, Ida.