Trade shows are one of the oldest forms of showing what’s new and next to members of the fashion industry. And Jag Gill thinks it’s high time that trade shows get an update. That’s why she launched Sundar, an online sourcing platform that connects fashion brands with manufacturers. Gill recently partnered with Milan-based trade fair Milano Unica to launch its first, online trade show platform, which makes Milano Unica one of the first global trade fairs to bring its offerings online. Coined MU365, the platform provides buyers with a customized, 365-day ecosystem for the entire trade show network, including its exhibitors and attendees. We spoke with Gill about how the Milano Unica partnership came about and her thoughts on the future of trade shows. Read on to see what she said.
FashInvest: How does Sundar work?
Jag Gill: Sundar is building the global ‘system of record’ for the fashion supply chain.
First to market is a B2B application enabling suppliers and manufacturers of wholesale raw materials and finished product to better surface and promote their products and capabilities to apparel brands and design houses, enabling in minutes what used to take weeks and months to accomplish.
FI: How did the partnership with Milano Unica come about?
JG: Milano Unica is revered amongst the fashion community for curating the finest fabrications, accessories and components from Europe’s most prestigious suppliers – from local artisans to global exporters.
Recognizing the hunger within the apparel industry for more product, and faster, MIT-incubated and NEA-backed Sundar had already developed core technology that met the demands of the “See-Now, Buy-Now” trend that is overtaking and breaking the traditional, old-school sourcing model.
Fusing product innovation with digital prowess, Sundar and Milano Unica joined forces to create MU365, the 24-7, 365 day-a-year discovery and sourcing experience exclusively for exhibitors and registered guests.
FI: Tell us more about how MU365 works.
JG: MU365 does not replace the trade fair, which is an important face-to-face component of business for buyers and sellers.
It is a flexible digital platform that is used before, during and after the show to parse products and suppliers and speed up the sourcing and production cycle exponentially.
Intuitive features powered by sophisticated data enable buyers and sellers to connect and match in real-time on product and sourcing enquiries and transactions.
Activities that used to be phone-based and excel-spreadsheet managed become seamless and in-the-cloud. MU365 launched this week at Milano Unica, with the fair’s customer base having a reach of over 400 exhibitors and 18,000 attendees.
FI: With technology changing how everything works in fashion today, how do you think tech will affect (and is affecting) trade shows? What’s their future?
JG: History has shaped the fashion supply chain. The structural challenges – mainly distance, time-zone and language – meant that a legacy industry was created around third-parties providers that behaved like intermediaries.
They are essentially offline players, like trade-fairs and agents.
A digital consumer is served by this analogue supply chain. Trade shows must innovate to enrich their customers experience and remain relevant.