SmartGlamour is an affordable, inclusive, and customizable ethical clothing line for people of all shapes, sizes, heights, ages, identities, and styles. We talk with founder Mallorie Dunn about her journey, branding choices, and what’s next for SmartGlamour.
Why SmartGlamour? What do you do and how does your brand name fit into it?
SmartGlamour is a customizable clothing line for folks of all shapes and sizes, ethically made to order in NYC. The name SmartGlamour came from addressing the seeming paradox of being interested in fashion and “superfluous” topics while also being interested in more “serious” or academic topics. I personally do not believe those interests are at odds with one another, but society has pushed that narrative all my life.
What was the process of selecting a brand name like? When did you know this was the one?
I came up with the name back in 2007, during my last year at the Fashion Institute of Technology. We had to create a name for a brand for a project. I held onto it after that all the way until the company was officially launched in 2014. Seven years later, it still fits with my ethos for the company.
What was the reason to get the domain name SmartGlamour.com for your brand?
My father actually originally purchased the domain name for me back when I was in college. He’s worked in computers, IT, and web design for decades now and gifted me the domain before I knew what I’d do with it.
How has owning SmartGlamour.com affected your business? Do you own any other domain names?
There was no need to look into other domains – since it’s exactly the name of my company. It works perfectly.
If you could have any domain name in the world would you still pick SmartGlamour.com?
How has SmartGlamour evolved as a brand since you launched?
In many ways – and also many things have stayed the same. It has been and will always be an ethical clothing brand for all people that focuses on education through its online content. Over just about 8 years, I’ve shifted various things: how we market, how we curate collections, how we host pop-up shops, etc.
How do you value your brand?
I’m not sure if you mean how I value the business personally or monetarily – but personally, SmartGlamour is invaluable. The company was created to cause a shift in the harmful ways the Fashion industry operates and it has certainly done that. It has truly impacted many folks’ lives – from how they feel about themselves to how they feel about consumerism to how they feel about fashion and all of that is invaluable.
Has the pandemic affected your company in any way? What has changed since?
The beginning of the pandemic really changed a lot for us. At the start of April 2020, we pivoted to mask making. Something we can do since we have complete control over our supply chain. We offered them in 3 child sizes and 4 adult sizes. And they were paid what you can/want. After making 5000 (while donating 1000 of them,) demand slowed and we pivoted back to clothing. This was pre vaccines so our photo shoots were done virtually. We also began making smaller collections and directly crowd-sourcing design needs and wants from our customers. It’s been a positive change.
What do you do to make sure your marketing is effective?
Our marketing is effective because it’s transparent and authentic. I’m speaking as a human – not a company.
Mallorie Dunn, SmartGlamour
I offer educational content and I am reachable. The company is very person forward so this is all very intentional on my end.
What would your advice be to entrepreneurs who are just starting out, in general, and when it comes to branding and naming?
My advice would be to lead with passion and purpose – not greed. And to stay authentic and transparent.
What is next for SmartGlamour?
What’s next for us is a bit up in the air due to the ever-changing pandemic. Hopefully, we can get back to in-person runway shows and pop-up shops this year, but I’ll never put profit before folks’ health. We will continue to release capsule collections and involve our customers in the process.