Mundi Westport works with accessories for men and women. They design and produce accessories that are under the Mundi Label.
Some popular brands that they work with include: Steve Madden, Timberland, Marc New York, and Kenneth Cole Reaction.
Collaborating with these brands they produce wallets, card cases, iPad/iPod cases, handbags, totes, and hobos.
Presenter Joshua Hall: Josh attended The University of Michigan and graduated in 2002. One of his friends who was working at Target while he was still attending school invited him to dinner. Josh never had really contemplated a future career path with Target Corporation, but after meeting with his friend it seemed like a company he could not turn down. After graduation and applying to Target (which included extensive math tests) he got the job. Working both in corporate and the brick-and-mortar stores, he got to see both sides of production from the buying offices to the physical loading dock in the stores where the merchandise was received.
After a few years at Target, he set his sights out for NYC and has been there ever since. He started out working as a buyer for a few years, and then decided to move to the other side of merchandising sales. Through Mundi Westport he has now worked his way up to the title of VP of Sales for the Men's Division.
Experience and daily tasks needed: His responsibilities include representing the brands that Mundi Westport houses, and getting them into stores. This done from the start of the manufacturing process, all the way to distribution. The company has two locations. Corporate headquarters are in New Jersey, while the showroom is on Madison Ave in New York, New York. Mundi Westport is the licensee for Kenneth Cole, and has other licensed partners. They also have 50+ private label programs. As flash sales are not as popular now, e-commerce and direct distribution have become a significant factor in revenue. When products are not accepted between business to business selling, Josh informed us that negotiation may occur, or they will try and find mutual ground in order to move forward with the sale. Therefore, having normal sales associate experience to a corporate level of business in retail is crucial to success when working in sales and distribution.
Overall it was very inspiring to see a successful business man who was from the Midwest like myself, make an impact in New York. Although we have heard it from almost every business, he also emphasized keeping and making connections. His other piece of advice was to think creatively in ways that shopping can become more of an "experience" as some are quick to assume that one-day brick-and-mortar stores will no longer exist. But if the experience stays alive, physical retail stores will never cease to exist.
Why this is relevant to the world of fashion: It would be too much for Marc Jacobs for example to design himself every single product for every product category that he sells. This is why companies such as Mundi West help when it comes to the designing and production of products. They work on the opposite side of buying, and stick to the designer’s protocols, but still have some freedom when it comes to design.