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October 20, 2017
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Tamara and Jordin Mimran at the media preview for their new e-commerce site. Source: hipurbangirl.com.

The elevator slides open to let in a flow of subtle, rhythmic lounge music playing from the clothing display backed by a giant yellow circle - a fitting symbol for MOON, the fashion line created by siblings Tamara and Jordin Mimran. 

moon apparel

The bow dress from MOON Apparel's 
Fall 2012 collection. 
Photograph by Valerie Lam.

The shop is clean and bright-white, as pure as the smell of garments that have just come onto the racks after a good steam. Navy, marigold, ox-blood, beige, framboise and, of course, tangerine tango, accent each carefully-curated section of the retail space displaying MOON's Fall 2012 collection.

The sensible selection of separates reflect the modern and sophisticated style in Tamara and Jordin's blood. The duo are second-generation designers, following in the footsteps of their uncle, Joe Mimran of Joe Fresh and their aunt, Kimberley Newport-Mimran of Pink Tartan. Their father, Saul Mimran, is president of the Mimran Group Inc. With such a lineage, what can this next generation of Mimrans offer to the fashion scene? 

Established in 2010, MOON Apparel was stocked in Canada's The Bay stores before expanding into America and Bloomingdale's. In September, the brand hosted a pop-up shop in Toronto - signalling a new direction for the brand: Canadian e-commerce. To launch its online store on September 15, Moon Apparel promoted the pop-up on Facebook with 20 per cent discounts offered to customers who "Liked" the brand's page.

Combining social media with retail isn't a bad way to spread the word and stir excitement, as the siblings have increasingly discovered. "Facebook is a big influence in terms of how people get information," says Tamara. "When I'm on Facebook, I see what companies my friends like, and sometimes that's way more credible to me than an ad campaign. So in that way alone, it can be powerful." Jordin adds, "[Social media] is quite a powerful new tool that a lot of companies don't really know how to utilise yet. Social media is going to change the retail landscape a lot going forward, especially when it comes to online retailing." 

We've learned to hone in on that one special thing and really focus in on what's relevant.

MOON Apparel's online store aims to enrich customer experience through an engaging blog and Facebook presence. "We believe a lot in the Canadian customer and how much time they spend online," says Tamara. "If you compare how much Canadians are surfing the web to any other country, we spend the most time online, per capita. So we wanted to capture that customer while she was spending all that time online, and also show our merchandise the way we want to, online." (According to the Canadian internet marketing research company, comScore, Canadians spend more time online than their counterparts in the UK, South Korea and the United States - a weekly average of 45 hours.)

Going "directly to the public" may not sound like an online strategy, but the pop-up shop was just a taste of the interactive culture that the siblings encourage with their online store. "It goes back to the pop-up shop being a really great way to have dialogue with the customer and get to know them a little bit and get to service them directly," says Jordin. The Yellow Dot blog is way that the siblings offer talking points to their readers. The blog allows them to share ideas, interviews and profiles of notable Canadians, style icons and ambassadors of MOON. Jordin says, "Social media is extremely important with communicating with your customers, not only sell but improve the product because you can really talk to the customers and gain insight...We always encourage questions and comments on our page. That's part of the culture here." 

Tamara and Jordin hope that by using Facebook and Twitter as customer interfaces, the brand will cultivate loyalty and trust, "I remember when the web first started, artists and brands created fan pages. I think that Facebook and Twitter are sort of an evolution of that for business. [Facebook and Twitter followers] are almost like an insider's club because they get special offers. It really pays to follow the brands that you love on social media," says Jordin. "When it comes to a fashion brand, people really need to have trust...that's what makes them come back to shop again."

Moon Apparel's first pop-up shop in Toronto's
Liberty Village. Photograph by Valerie Lam.

Growing up immersed in the fashion world and apprenticing with Alfred Sung before launching MOON Apparel helped the siblings refine their sartorial approach to create a classic aesthetic. "We've learned to hone in on that one special thing and really focus in on what's relevant and what's cool...rather than trying to cover a huge range of things," says Jordin. "Part of the process is being really harsh editors when we design. We try not to fall in love with our designs and look objectively at what we're presenting in order to put together a compelling line that, at the end of the day, will also sell and be profitable for us."

Tamara and Jordin regard Sung as an invaluable influence, who helped to shape all aspects of the their brand. It's no coincidence that MOON Apparel takes after Sung's first boutique in Toronto, simply named, Moon. "[Alfred's] Chinese name is Sung Wang Moon and we chose the name specifically because of him. The people who remember [his first store], or can make the connection, really feel like they're in the know with the history of where [Moon Apparel] really comes from," says Tamara. "We have an inherent understanding of the Alfred style. We're inspired by him, we wanted to create a sort of new Alfred Sung collection for the modern woman. And we thought that Moon sounded really cool. It almost pays homage to our chief designer, Alfred," explains Jordin. Today, Sung works with Tamara and Jordin on the brand's macro-vision, providing guidance for the big picture and design direction.

Looking to the future, the benefits of going digital seem set to continue. Fans and Facebook second-degree fans can expect designer collaborations exclusively for the online store with Toronto-based leather maker Sorichetti and a "well-curated collection" of accessories to complete the total aesthetic of the MOON Woman.

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