UK fashion discovery and shopping site LOOKK appears to be unravelling as CEO Tamas Locher informed business partners and friends in an email that he is to resign as CEO.
The news comes only a few days after co-founder Andreas Klinger posted a blog update stating that he too is leaving his own company. According to Klinger’s blog post, Veselin Todorov and Stefan Kanev are also leaving the payroll among others.
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LOOKK was originally known as the startup Garmz when it took part in a SeedCamp round in 2010. At the time the company was looking to revolutionise the fashion market by offering designers new ways of working without the barriers of traditional outlets.
With Klinger and Tamas leaving, the company now sits in the hands of the third original founder Gilbert Wedam. There does not appear to be evidence of bad blood between the company members, as Klinger notes in his blog post, “Naturally all of us stay as a support network for LOOKK and be available to support Gil and the team whenever and wherever we can.”
However, the problems with the company direction do appear to track back to a much earlier stage as Locher pointed out in his statement, “There is a multitude of reasons why I have come to this decision but the most important was the fact that I was not anymore able to drive the vision of the company and hence was not anymore the right person to lead it. This process in fact started since we shifted from Garmz to LOOKK and accelerated with time.”
The problems seem to be based around the possible rate of change when trying to disrupt an industry. Locher notes that they had hoped to see radical change in ways similar to those seen in the film and music industries.
“… the pace of transformation is far slower as we initially anticipated. I credit this 1) mainly to the physical reality of the end product, namely product development cycles, production and fulfilment realities. These make the product slow-moving and by that more resistant to fast transformation. 2) to how the fashion system is set up as a whole. Retrospectively it may be said that our approach was a bit too radical and ignorant to the given system.”
Needless to say, the experience of running any startup is a good one. As is often acknowledged, stepping down or closing a company is not a failure in startup culture but a huge learning process that will likely lead to more interesting things ahead.
Speaking of which, Locher and Klinger appear to be headed for ‘other endeavours’, not yet revealed. Both appear to have some travel ahead of them and Klinger has expressed an interest in living in Berlin.
This leaves some expectations for the future of LOOKK and no doubt some pressure on Wedam to see the changes for the company though to a new phase of business. The going may seem tough, but survival can also be oh so stylish.
Image Credit: Rayand