Syama Meagher

Syama Meagher


Clubhouse, Ultra Hip Audio Social Media App, Gives Home to a Fashion Forum

Fashion business advice comes in all shapes and sizes, ranging from elevator pitches to MBA dissertations. Earlier this year, Syama Meagher, chief executive officer of the consultancy Scaling Retail put together a team of experts to field business questions and to dispense informed advice on Clubhouse. It's the ultra-hip, members-only audio, social-media app, which is headquartered in San Francisco.

Meagher started the forum, named Fashion Startup Strategy, to tap into Clubhouse's sense of informality and leisurely pace, she said. Fashion Startup Strategy starts at 5:30 p.m. PST every Monday and typically runs a few hours.

According to Meagher, it’s more like a talk among friends than a formal podcast or speakers’ panel. “It’s hard to schedule wonderful moderators and panelists together during the weekday. At night, it’s easier to relax and provide information. There’s less time pressure,” Meagher said.

Edwina Kulego, vice president of Liberty Fairs trade show, also serves as moderator. She said that the audio-only characteristic of the Clubhouse forum adds to the informality. “You can sit and have a glass of wine. There’s no video and no pressure to present yourself. You can really have an authentic conversation,” Kulego said.

Other panelists and speakers include entrepreneurs, marketing gurus, consultants, and merchandising mavens, such as Marissa Spano, Samia Grand-Pierre, Stafanie Tacata and Mayer Vafi. Those dropping in for a talk include Shilpa Shah, co-founder of the Oakland, Calif.-brand Cuyana and Omoyemi Akerele, founder of Lagos Fashion Week, based in Lagos, Nigeria. Those listening in typically number from 200 people to 1,500, Meagher said. Listeners can stick around for a few minutes to a few hours. Questions asked and advice submitted follows subjects ranging from financing to marketing to developing sustainable fashions.

Kulego said that those entrepreneurs who have received advice often return week after week. “They come back and share their success stores. We’re able to affect people’s business and their lives,” she said.