Launched in 2016, MNDATORY had operated via concurrent Ready-to-Wear/Made-to-Order business models; releasing two seasonal fashion collections per year, alongside a perennial Made-to-Measure tailoring service for Melbourne customers.
After observing the purchasing behaviour of the MNDATORY consumer (2016 to 2018), key patterns emerged prompting the trial of a new hybrid model (Co-Creation), commencing with the collection ‘CHAMELEON’ in 2019.
Built on MNDATORY’s distinct brand and business DNA, ‘CHAMELEON’ is a seasonal fashion collection featuring designer garments, which facilitate customisation and personalisation on a mass-scale.
Released at the beginning of 2019, both collection and concept have been well received; leading to MNDATORY’s second consecutive nomination for the National Designer Award (Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival) and it becoming a recipient of the St.George NextGen Prize (Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia).
Throughout the year, ‘CHAMELEON’ was shown to a wide range of audiences at both trade and consumer shows (VAMFF, MBFWA, Melbourne Fashion Week); providing evidence that the purpose of Co-Creation, is to have consumers better engage with their products from concept and creation, through to purchase.
The concept of ‘CHAMELEON’ ultimately aims to decrease the environmental, operational and financial risks commonly associated with fashion collections in traditional retail/wholesale arrangements.
Constituting a Just-In-Time (JIT) inventory strategy, this hybrid-model of operation means orders are only placed at need, resulting in zero stock surplus whilst minimising any fabric wastage. Upfront costs associated with collections are also reduced, with only a minimal number of garments required for in-store retail display. Over time, consumer insights derived from purchase transactions can also serve to inform future collections/designs, reducing the reliance on forecasting (creative trends, logistical allocations) and to increase operational efficiencies.
Given the success of ‘CHAMELEON’, MNDATORY is now looking to operate exclusively under this new hybrid model; with an aim to offer the same co-creative services in the Womenswear and Denim categories in 2020.
As with ‘CHAMELEON’, MNDATORY will continue to release seasonal designer collections, where every garment will offer consumers the option to select from a curated/preselected range of fabrics, as well as the opportunity to incorporate personalised embroidery.
Garments are available in set sizing with all production and personalisation requirements completed within 8 days from purchase. Customers then have a choice of delivery, or to collect garments in-store.
Clothing as a means of communication has long been acknowledged, particularly in the expression of self.
Marketing theory readily recognises consumers as having a sense of ‘self’; made up of the ‘ideal self’ (who they wish to be) and the ‘actual self’ (who they actually are). Furthermore, psychology suggests that people who increasingly align their actual self to their ideal self are over time, more likely to achieve self-actualisation.
Fundamentally, ‘CHAMELEON’ is an example of how consumers who wish to embody the brand (ideal self), can become a co-creator of their garment in an Australian designer fashion context (self-actualisation).