Since childhood, Ridvan Kilincci (36) had the dream starting his own brand one day. It becomes Label DOT. Started in the middle of the Corona period and less than a year later his collection is already hanging at 125 stores. A great achievement, which of course we would like to know more about. What is his formula for success? That’s were we talk about with Ridvan in his beautifully styled showroom in Eemnes, with a nice view on his summer 2023 collection with which he will be at Modefabriek on July 10 and 11.
From dreaming to keep going
Ridvan is no stranger in the womenswear world. After years of passionately working in sales for various brands, it is time to take the gamble in the summer of 2021. Because of all the government measures surrounding Corona, visiting customers is pretty much impossible. And exactly that gives Ridvan the extra time he needs to further develop his ideas for his own mid-range womenswear brand and pursue his dream.
Ridvan: “Ever since I was little, I had the dream of starting my own brand. For women, that has always caught my attention, because it’s much more diverse and creative.”
Ridvan’s collection is therefore thoroughly feminine; with beautiful fabrics, chic blouses and dashing dresses. For a birthday, party or wedding. Or if you just want to look a bit more special.
The circle is round
Searching for a name that is short and catchy but also has meaning, he came upon Label DOT.
Ridvan: “DOT is round, the earth and the sun, everything is round. When you talk about friends and family, you are talking about an inner circle. Dot, cutie, it puts a smile on your face. And bottom line, I sell emotion. The moment a lady walks out of a fitting room with her garment and a smile, then you’ve achieved your goal. Hence Label DOT.”
At breakneck speed to 125 stores
The first collection he’s taken across the country is the spring/summer ’22 collection now in stores. A compact collection of 35 items in a few prints.
“It had to remain manageable to be able to sell everything ourselves and get a minimum for production. But it worked out very well. I just worked 7 days a week. I spent Saturdays and weekday evenings at customers’ homes, because otherwise I couldn’t make it.”
After his first selling season, he already has 92 customers, throughout the Netherlands. In the process, he is even being approached by old acquaintances from years ago.
“I drove 11,000 km in 5 weeks. But with a lot of pleasure. I did everything from home for the first time. My workplace was three meters away from my bed. By chance the property in Eemnes came my way, just before all the goods started coming in.
Meanwhile, Label DOT has 125 stores. The secret behind its success?
“Always serving customers the right way. I visit all my customers and all branches every season. I know the ladies who work there and constantly see what is happening in the stores. It makes all the difference that you are always there and you pick it up immediately if there are problems and solve it. I do my job with passion. Then you create a favor factor and that’s what I hear from all my customers.”
Itsperfect as a complete back office
To keep track, Ridvan dives into vendor software very early on. He eventually chooses Itsperfect.
“I requested several quotes and also had a demo of all the systems. What appealed to me most about Itsperfect, because I’m really not tech-savvy, is that it’s super user-friendly. And it works with modules which allows me to grow. So that I don’t have to immediately pay a huge amount of money for something I don’t use 80% of. The other systems didn’t have that.”
After choosing Itsperfect, the implementation went smoothly.
“For me it was really abracadabra, but the team at Itsperfect explained to me so well in normal human language what I needed to do that after just one session I pretty much knew. It really speaks for itself what steps to take.”
That the right software takes a lot of work off your hands is something Ridvan can confirm like no other.
“Itsperfect is my entire back office. I have my customers, the orders, invoices, credit notes all in one overview. Actually, I have Itsperfect open by default. On my iPad, I use it for pre-orders and direct orders. But it can even be done on my mobile, which is really ideal. If I’m somewhere and I have a question from a customer, I quickly log in and can handle it right away.”
The connections with Exact Online and FashionCloud also save him a lot of time.
“I would really recommend Itsperfect to anyone. Because it is user-friendly and easy to connect with multiple programs, at reasonable prices compared to the other solutions.”
Growth, challenges and ambitions
As his biggest challenge to grow further, Ridvan sees designing a strong collection again and again, which is partly innovative and partly recognizable. While maintaining Label DOT’s own identity.
In addition, he wants to expand in terms of personnel.
“So that I’m not visiting customers during the day and processing returns in the evening and then making orders, then picking receipts, packing slips and credit notes, and then bringing away packages. And then still work on my collection.”
The support he has received from his inner circle over the past year has been unprecedented. “From girlfriends packing boxes at night to neighbors helping pick orders. Super sweet, I really appreciate that!”
Ridvan also already has his future plans clearly in mind: “I would like to expand abroad, to Belgium and Germany to start with. But for now I’m focusing on the Modefabriek first. And then onward again.”