Don Ressler: Leading the Women’s Activewear Revolution

Don Ressler is a fashion industry veteran with a knack for identifying emerging trends and markets. Ressler and his partner Adam Goldenberg identified a growing market with unmet needs: women’s athletic wear. At the time, women shopping for activewear were forced to choose between functional but unappealing clothes and more fashionable items that were not well suited for fitness. Thus in 2010 Ressler and his partner founded Fabletics, with a mission to provide women activewear that that performs well in a workout while looking great in the process.

Don Ressler bucked current fads in women’s activewear, and instead asked consumers what they wanted in their clothing. By utilizing focus groups and direct consumer testing, they were able to pinpoint the primary shortcomings of the current market: poor quality clothing that was both expensive and ugly.

Most branding in the industry was relatively homogeneous. Don Ressler set Fabletics apart by working with actress Kate Hudson as a spokeswoman. Hudson’s friendly approachable demeanor and name recognition gave the company an appealing vibe with female activewear consumers. Don Ressler was able to overcome early funding issues, and used his experience in the fashion industry to manage the extremely complex demands of designing sports and activewear. Fabletics set itself apart in the market with a strong grassroots reputation and a prominent online presence. By engaging customers with spokeswoman Kate Hudson and selling online, they bypassed the normal retail system and its associated costs.

Fabletics also created an innovative discount system, called Fabletics VIP. This program allows customers to pay $50 a month and receive reward points, discounts and free shipping on their purchases. This discount model allowed Fabletics to maintain consistent revenue while applying a discount. Combined with their user-friendly quiz that helps guide customers to the clothing they need, the Fabletics website provides a fun, easy shopping experience and cultivates customer loyalty.

In 2017 Fabletics announced plans to grow their existing market by creating products for plus sized women. There is a need for good looking athletic clothing for this market in order to raise self-esteem and ultimately help them on their fitness journey.

Don Ressler has combined affordable, fashionable workout clothing with the speed and efficiency online shopping to best serve the needs of the modern, busy woman who is concerned about both her health and appearance. With his market expertise, women the world over can fashionably meet their fitness goals.

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