Happy Monday loves! I’m so excited to share my newest ‘catching up’ session with you. It was such a pleasure to speak with the incredibly sweet, business-savvy, and beautiful Emma Grede.
Emma and I talked all things Good American, how she and Khloé got together to create such an incredible brand, and what the future of GA has ahead. Thank you to Emma for being so sweet and for her amazing assistant, Chavo, for being so helpful. I adore you both!
DL: Emma, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me! How’s the beginning of 2019 been for you so far?
EG: Thank you for chatting with me! The start of 2019 has been great as we’re gearing up for an exciting and busy year for Good American.
DL: You and I have talked about fashion each time we’ve seen each other, so can you give a little detail to my readers about how you got started off in the fashion industry and why you decided to make a career out of it?
EG: I started my career at Quintessentially, after finishing business studies at The London College of Fashion. I quickly connected with Inca Productions, one of the leading fashion show and event producers in Europe, and started as a producer.
During my time at Inca, I headed up the company’s endorsement and sponsorship practice, and was part of pioneering the business of “designer collaborations”, engagements between consumer brands and high fashion, working with the leading design talent of today, such as Christopher Kane, Giles, Vivienne Westwood and Zac Posen, as well as lifestyle brands including Chivas, Mercedes Benz and Sky.
In 2008, I then joined ITB as Managing Director representing brands interests in the world of entertainment. Following the company’s acquisition of the licensing company Brand 360 in 2010, I was named CEO of ITB Group.
DL: What does a normal day for Emma Grede look like?
EG: I wouldn’t say any day is ever ‘typical’ day for me as a mother and CEO! I couldn’t get through my days without my wonderful assistant Chavo, who very importantly keeps me on schedule so that I am able to meet all of my priorities each week! While I am very much involved in every aspect of my business, there are times when I am laser focused on product like during line reviews and other times where I am traveling the country with my marketing team.
That said, I make it a priority to keep my weekly meetings and touch bases on the books as much as I possibly can. Regularly scheduled check-ins with each department are critical for me to make the best possible decisions for my business.
DL: You’re in incredible shape and always look gorgeous, so what are some of your secrets to staying in shape and eating right?
EG: I try to exercise most mornings before work, if I can’t get some cardio in, my whole day feels off! I never, ever skip a meal. For breakfast, I normally have something simple but nutritious like eggs, fruit and toast, and for lunch I love a new to-go cafe called West Jeff to go where I’ll have grilled veggies and salmon. I have healthy snacks to keep me going in the office too.
DL: You are the co-founder and CEO of Good American, my favorite clothing company ever! Can you give me a back story on how you and our girl Khoé Kardashian met?
EG: I was connected with Khloe through Kris, I used to meet her every fashion week in Paris and we’d talk about whatever we were working on I worked with Kendall’s Calvin Klein deal, and we’ve worked on a few different projects together. I kind of pitched her in a way that was like “Hey, I’m doing this thing, and I’d really love Khloe to be my partner,” and she loved it. She was like, “This is a great idea, but you have to talk to Khloe. ”
I came to LA and I had a meeting with Khloe, and the rest is history as they say. As soon as I started speaking, she started joining in on things. She had all these stories, and she’d been bigger. She’d been at different sizes. And I think, immediately, this idea that we were going to do this super-empowering, inclusive brand, she was like, “That’s it, I’m in,” and she started work immediately. No contract, no anything. She was just like, “Yeah, count me in,” so it was great.
DL: Where did the name Good American come from and what does it mean to you?
EG: Good American was a play on words. I think any woman who is fearless in showing her sexuality can be quickly judged, but that doesn’t mean that you’re not good, or out in the world doing good. We also wanted our company to behave as a “Good American,” or rather, be a good corporate citizen. That’s why we manufacture in LA, pay fair living wages and it’s the way we run our business through and through.
DL: I remember the day GA launched and it was honestly such a remarkable day because you guys really did change the fashion industry with the sizes, styles, models, and true authenticity. What was your reaction when you saw how quickly people fell in love with the brand?
EG: We were so excited by the immediate reaction! Since day one, we love interacting with our customers and listening to what they have to say especially that our message of inclusivity and empowerment resonates with so many women. We hit a million dollars in sales on day one which just knocked our socks off. We’re all about providing solutions for women and that showed us that there was clearly a need for a brand like ours.
DL: From the beginning you guys have had an importance in showcasing natural beauty of all shapes and sizes, why was this something that was really important to you and the rest of the team as a whole?
EG: Good American was born after a conversation between Khloe and I around what it means to be a confident woman today, and realizing that a large percentage of women are ignored when it comes to fashion. The brand exists to provide all women with trend-forward designs that are beautifully made and impeccably fitting.
Good American eliminates the stress that many women face trying on piece after piece and settling for options that are just okay. I really feel like we’re achieving our goals when we solve problems for customers that shouldn’t be problems in the first place.
DL: The message “for every body and everybody” is something that I love so much. Though the line is mainly for women, you and Khoé both know how much I love the line so much. Do you ever see yourself expanding even more so and making men’s clothing? Good Man has such a nice ring to it! 😉
EG: Ah I love that! Right now we’re focused on providing women with wardrobe staples, piece we know they are wearing in their busy daily lives and ones that make them look and feel their best. But we never say never, so stay tuned!
DL: GA started solely by itself with no other company or retail stores backing it. You now have your collections at Nordstrom and Six: 02. What made you want to branch out and start working with other retailers?
EG: We’re all about making the shopping experience for our customer. We know our woman is shopping at Nordstrom and SIX:02, so now we are meeting her there.
DL: You’ve done numerous pop-up’s the past two years now, but do you see yourself ever opening up an entire Good American store by itself? NYC and LA would be such a better place with them, lol!
EG: Our pop-ups have been a great way to test out different retail concepts. Again, we never say never so watch the space!
DL: One of the other things I love so much about the brand is that it’s really like nothing else that’s on the market, you know? The beyond comfort in the jeans, one of a kind styles, and really just the overall uniqueness of everything all together. How do you guys manage to stay so creative and really be so consistent with what you’re creating?
EG: We have an amazing in-house design team who are experts in fit! At Good American, we always lead with fit first. We want women to know that when you come to Good American for anything, you know you’ll have the best fit, period.
DL: Are there any pieces or denim sections coming out this year that you’re most excited for?
EG: To celebrate Good American’s anniversary, we designed an affordable alternative to our #1 best-selling Good Legs style that our customers know and love, but with a slightly different fabrication and simpler wash process. The process allowed us to bring the price down while keeping the sewing, construction and silhouette the same. We have a lot of exciting launches coming up this year, and we can’t wait to see what our customers think!
DL: Do you have a favorite fit/style of the denim? Mine is definitely the Good Legs.
EG: Right now, Good Straight Twisted Seam is my favorite vintage-inspired fit!
DL: Besides the denim aspect of the brand, what has been your favorite idea that’s come to life?
EG: In September, we launched a completely new size- Size 15. The development of this size came from customer feedback and the high return rate we saw in sizes 14 and 16. Through customer data, we observed that the return rates for these sizes were 50% higher than the return rates for other sizes. We found that a lot of customers were too big for a 14 but too small for a 16. We’re proud that women can now shop Size 15 today via Good American.
DL: What do you see for the future of Good American?
EG: We’ll continue to listen to our customers to hear their wants and needs in regards to their wardrobe, but we’re most excited to lead the way in the industry in hopes that it becomes more inclusive of all women, regardless of size. Our brand isn’t just about fashion, it’s about doing something empowering.
DL: Again, thank you so much for speaking with me love, I adore you and can’t wait to see you again soon.
EG: Thank you so much!