Well Made

Emmett Shine, Pattern Brands: Following opportunity – Well Made E150

July 1, 2021 · RSS · Apple Podcasts

For Emmett Shine, being in the right place at the right time was never a matter of luck — it was a matter of hustle. It was a practice in leveling up a bit before you're ready, but not overstretching. 

After designing, building, and strategizing some of the most iconic modern brands — from Sweetgreen and Whole Foods to Warby Parker and Everlane — his design agency Gin Lane closed to pursue Pattern Brands. They're scaling down and venturing out to build a thoughtful collaborative of home brands that are, of course, stunningly functional and instantly essential. 

In this episode, Emmett cuts right to the chase of what it took to get in the room with legacy fashion brands, the design and marketing strategy that built iconic ecommerce brands, and what he's looking for in new brands for Pattern. 

 Emmett Shine, Pattern Brands: Following opportunity – Well Made E150
 Emmett Shine, Pattern Brands: Following opportunity – Well Made E150

“I think Gin Lane's impact got a lot larger once we quit Gin Lane.”

1:07 Emmett spent years piecing together his skills — graphic design, photography, website building — before Gin Lane added big names like Stella McCartney, Helmut Lang, and Opening Ceremony to their roster. 

While tracing back his decade-plus career in direct-to-consumer ecommerce, Emmett shares his firsthand experience, designing for its first chapter — Warby Parker, Everlane, and Bonobos. 

It was all about paring down loud, on-shelf branding to make consumer goods more elevated, yet accessible. 

11:53 In the second chapter of direct-to-consumer ecommerce, we started to see brands branch out of DTC, selling at more retailers. 

Emmett says that what really solidified the legacy of Gin Lane is that it ended. 

21:58 Closing Gin Lane was strategic. It was an 18-month process of ending projects with clients while simultaneously building Pattern Brands. They started with Equal Parts, then Open Spaces, and most recently, they've acquired Gir.

43:28 Another way to execute a collective of like minded brands would be through a marketplace model, but Emmett says that approach lacks control. 

He talks about how he pitched Pattern Brands while fundraising, and his slow-and-steady plans for the next 5 years. 

57:37 Fragmentation, consolidation, fragmentation, consolidation, repeat. Emmett says that this is the cycle we're in and how he expects to see brands continue to curate and consolidate. He ends with his criteria for new Pattern Brands.

Also mentioned on this episode:

You can find this and all future episodes on iTunes, Google Play, and here on the Lumi blog. This episode was edited by Evan Goodchild.

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