Letter from the Editor
I'm going to start my letter this morning somewhat differently than usual. Rather than reflecting upon our current collection and our latest news, I'm going to focus, instead, upon what's happening behind the scenes at Need during such a pivotal month.
If you'll indulge me, the thought process leading to this letter began when I woke up this morning. Flicking through my various feeds to catch-up, I was greeted with an obnoxious headline — on Facebook, of course — regarding a recent Taiwanese airline crash. Someone's dash camera had captured the horrific moment and, in turn, another so-called journalist had taken it upon himself to twist this harrowing scene into a heavily baited, shallow, and heartless headline.
This has become the depressing nature of online discourse. Rather than simply offering information with which the reader can make a judgment, we've coaxed ourselves into writing misleading, embarrassing, and utterly worthless headlines to bait people into clicking.
Facebook has become the modern equivalent of a nineties-era email forwarding chain. You have become your mother's AOL inbox. We are all the worst.
Well, those are my feelings, anyway.
Many, many words have been uttered on this topic. And, truly, who am I to comment? I'm not a journalist, nor do I run a business wherein I must trade in an economy of eyes and clicks.
I understand the why. I just don't agree with the reasoning therein.
I fear we're fast becoming a generation who'll be uttering phrases like, "Oh my god! You won't believe what happens next!" to our children when perusing Dr. Seuss. Family photo albums will be entitled "30 Pictures of The Breakfast Buffet at Orlando's Holiday Inn That You Simply Won't Believe." (And then, of course, there is the dreaded hashtag. Which, regardless of what the "Social Media Rockstar" in your life suggests, is almost entirely defunct.)
Why engage in such a rant before introducing our latest collection? Well, simply put, transparency and communication have been on my mind.
Last week, we announced our sibling concept, Foremost, and, today, we're introducing our first men's and women's collection. And, over the past few months, we've sent more email than we're typically accustomed to sending.
Beyond the obvious questions surrounding the harmony and relationships between these two properties, there's a question of intonation, communication, and transparency when presenting these two concepts. Whether we're acknowledging that we're all learning as we go or that we, frequently, have no idea what we're doing, I've been expending a huge amount of effort on the means through which we discuss, relate, and articulate these ideas. And, most importantly, to do so without tripping the increasingly prevalent trap of baited nonsense headlines and subject-lines.
I cite this morning's deplorable Facebook vomit as what I increasingly perceive to be the modern response. That, rather than engage in transparency, we work to con, connive, and bait people into visiting, clicking, and buying from each site. That, rather than sharing what is happening behind the scenes and allowing us to become closer with those who enjoy what we produce, we ought to be skeptical of their intelligence and ability to comprehend.
I tend to think this is nonsense.
So, it is now, after a few hundred words, that I introduce Vol. 2.3. Following through on some commitments we made on Imprint in October 2014, we are introducing our first men's and women's collection.
Ahead of Valentine's Day, we've got all manner of the finest gift ideas for the man or woman in your life.
At the moment, for the sake of transparency, this is an experiment. We simply do not know how people will respond to a collection of this size or diversity. And, to be honest, I'm not in the business of presenting it under any other light.
We've dubbed the collection, simply, "His/Hers." It features exclusive jewelry, sleepwear, denim, and more. And, honestly, it might be my favorite collection we've produced so far.
We were honored to have Dara Maclean and Donnie Petty as our models. They're both exceptionally talented people and we were thrilled they'd give up a morning to spend time with us.
The photography was handled deftly, once again, by our own Jordan Laessig with assistance from Hannah Morrison and Amber England.
The moral of all of these words? Why lead you down such a lengthy road that begins with, of all things, a tragic plane crash? Honestly, I don't have a good answer.
All I will say is that the introduction of Foremost is a resounding and emphatic statement that we are invested in the preservation of the integrity, dignity, and taste of Need. Introducing a second property means we remove any pressure upon us to pivot, alter, or adjust our plans. Rather, we are now given a remit of simply being the best we can possibly be as a curated publication and retailer.
We've got a huge amount in the pipeline for 2015. And, as we introduce an experiment men's and women's collection this month, I can assure you such experimentation will only continue.
You won't believe what happens next!
I'm kidding. Sorry. It's been a long few weeks.
As always, thank you for your kind support. We'll see you next Wednesday for Foremost's launch.
Matt Alexander / Founder & CEO