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DTC brands’ Growth-at-all-costs Strategy Is Stunting Product Development

Colin Hunter, co-founder of bespoke menswear brand Alton Lane, has spent over a year planning the brand’s launch into denim, a new category for the brand that could surface sometime this year — if the product is satisfactory.

Alton Lane could have cut that planning time in half. Instead, Hunter chose to spend the extra time traveling to Italy and Japan, meeting with denim experts, narrowing down options and developing a high-quality style. This approach, Hunter said, is contrary to what many digitally native, venture-capital-backed fashion startups have done over the last 10 years. Customer acquisition and marketing often take priority over the product itself.

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