Fashion Index Aims to Be a One-Stop Industry Resource
Fashion Index is a one-stop service that wants to serve every aspect of the apparel industry by connecting apparel professionals and companies to a variety of industry resources on one streamlined platform.
Through fashionindex.com users can look for specific people and companies, from pattern makers, sample sewers and merchandisers to fabric and yarn suppliers. Also available are various facilities such as sample rooms, dye houses and warehouses. The platform directly connects users and allows them to collaborate with one another to fit the needs of a project.
The platform was launched in July 2021 by Marge Pietrera and Tirsa Parrish. When the pandemic hit, they found that a lot of people were reaching out to them to find resources for fabrics and different production processes. Fashion Index wants to be a key resource for anyone, whether it’s a large-scale operation or a small company in addition to people looking to start a business or those who are searching for work in the apparel industry.
The pair have been in the apparel industry for some 30 years each and originally met in college at design school, becoming best friends since the second day of classes.
“Because she could sew and I couldn’t, I stuck to her,” Pietrera joked.
Pietrera has worked for Jennifer Lopez, Tommy Hilfiger and FUBU. Parrish has worked with Gap Inc. and Fox Racing, managing their production departments and overseeing their supply chains. Both Pietrera and Parrish have spent a significant amount of their time in the industry overseas and say they have visited more countries abroad than destinations they have traveled to within the United States.
Fashion Index allows users to easily message one or multiple companies directly on the platform. With the bulk-messaging feature, users can write one message and send it out to multiple companies, streamlining the process of looking for the exact product and price point for which they are searching. Users can also compare multiple messages at once so they do not have to keep switching between tabs and screens to analyze and compare information.
Companies can list themselves as a resource on the platform following a straightforward process. Pietrera and Parrish believe there are no downsides to being listed as it is a free process and it puts a company in a position to receive new clients or have collaboration opportunities.
The service has already proven itself as a valuable resource and has already welcomed visitors from 16 countries around the world.
“We have one company that started using us when we first launched in July that is about to explode because she made the right connections on the platform,” Pietrera said. “We’re helping her because her business is increasing nearly tenfold due to using our resources.” The platform includes a job board where companies can list apparel industry–related jobs available for users. Positions are listed across various parts of the industry such as design, production, marketing, sales and creative. The job board also allows users to create teams and communicate with team members directly to work together in a virtual space. Future plans for the job board include adding the option for job seekers to post and promote themselves as available candidates.
There are already plans to continue to grow Fashion Index. The platform plans to offer an entrepreneur kit that will help users get their businesses started as well as resources to give financial advice. The founders are most excited to offer continuing-education and fashion-dictionary services so users can continue to learn about and keep up with the ever-changing apparel industry. The owners also hope to eventually add a system that allows for users to leave feedback regarding a company’s services and the ease of process.
In addition to adding services to the website, a long-term goal is to host a trade show where all users and companies can meet in person to see and discuss their work.
“Long term, we want people to go into their offices, open their email and then open Fashion Index,” Parrish said. “We want people to feel like they should be there all the time because of the great resources and content available on the platform.”