The Harbus had the opportunity to sit down with HBS Alum Morgan Hermand-Waiche (MBA ‘10), Founder & CEO of apparel company Adore Me, and asked him to share his thoughts on the fashion industry, how he differentiates himself from competitors, and what he looks for in a successful applicant during his own recruitment process.
Megan Fairbank: Tell us one thing about your experience at HBS.
Morgan Hermand-Waiche: My experience at HBS was truly transformational. During your time there, you rub shoulders with students that have amazing backgrounds and incredible ambitions. Speakers and contributors that you mix with have phenomenal input to give as well as impressive career paths. They share their journey with you and make you think “why not me?” Inspirational people surround you, whether they are students, professors or contributors and they make you aspire to great things. The idea that the diploma is difficult to get and that it will open doors for you runs around the HBS campus and contributes to the overall culture and experience of the school.
MF: What advice do you have for current students about pursuing a career in apparel and fashion?
MHW: My advice goes to students that are thinking about pursuing a career in apparel and fashion, but to all students in general as well. I think that everything is possible as long as you give it 100% of yourself. Your diploma and experience will only get you so far; it is your drive and personality that will get you the extra mile and help you achieve great things. You need to believe in yourself and in your ideas. With a good school and a strong drive, the sky is the limit for anyone with ambition.
MF: What makes your company unique in the industry?
MHW: Adore Me is exclusively online and on mobile which has made it possible to bypass the high costs of prime retail stores. We have a team of designers led by a former Victoria’s Secret Director of Design at Victoria’s Secret so unlike other online fashion businesses we design our lingerie in-house. Adore Me is creating the Zara of lingerie with fast-fashion collections of 30 to 40 new products every months. Because we’ve completely cutting out the middleman, our prices are almost 50% lower than our competitors’, and our shipping and returns are always free.
Unlike other leading lingerie brands, where anyone outside the 32A-38DD size range is not invited to the party, Adore Me believes every woman, at every wallet and dress size deserves fashionable lingerie that makes her feel sexy, confident and beautiful. That’s why our styles range from petite to plus, from sizes 30A-44G.
These messages really resonate with millennials in the USA and Canada – 71% of our client base is between the age of 18-34. With $11.5M raised, 75 employees across the US and Europe, over 3M users and almost 1M Facebook followers on Facebook, Adore Me was ranked #49 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies in America, topping the charts as the #2 fastest-growing company in retail and the #2 fastest-growing company in NYC.
MF: What defines an attractive applicant/candidate to your company?
MHW: Something that is very important to me is to keep the company culture alive, despite the increasing number of employees we have seen through the years. We look for candidates that are motivated, fun to work with and that do not take anything for granted. We are looking for minds that are ready to challenge the state of things and that will not rely on what they think they know. A brain with an affinity for numbers is always welcome, as we are a data-driven company. We’re disrupting an industry so we’re looking for people who like to shake things up.
MF: Where should students go for further info about your company and available positions?
MHW: Students can visit the Career section of the Adore Me website to see all available positions – http://www.adoreme.com/jobs. Available positions are also posted on Linkedin and other professional networks. You can read about the most recent Adore Me news in the press or by visiting the press page on the Adore Me website – http://www.adoreme.com/press/news/.
MF: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
MHW: I love meeting ambitious students but I want to stress the fact that success is not only professional but also personal. Both sides nurture each other and create a wholesome notion of success that each one of us should work towards.
If you are an HBS alum with advice to share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to feature you!