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2020 Earnie Awards Winner – Boys’ Apparel: Andy & Evan

Excellence in design and retail across the children’s fashion and juvenile product industries.

Boys’ Apparel

Andy & Evan

Est. 2007

Evan Hakalir, CEO

First paying job: Counter boy at a Kosher deli

Dream hire: Sir Jonathan Paul Ive

Most coveted dinner guest: Larry David

Greatest fear: Inventory

Last book read: Creativity, Inc. by Amy Wallace and Edwin Catmull

Hobbies: Basketball, tennis and Zoom calls

Favorite quarantine snack: (Too much) ice cream

Best advice you’ve ever received: Difficult decisions are not difficult because we don’t know the answer. They are usually difficult
because we do [know the answer].

New Strategies Our sales grew by almost 40 percent this year. We did the work, and we were rewarded for it. We recently partnered with Joor to move our entire wholesale catalog online. This has made ordering from us a breeze, particularly during these difficult times without tradeshows or in-person meetings. We also launched a proprietary communication software that allows us to connect with our overseas suppliers and yields more efficiency. This has been a game changer, allowing us to separate ourselves from the rest of the pack on the production front.

Growing Green We want to continue growing mindfully. That means more closely examining some of our environmental practices and seeing how we can cut down on waste. Polybags and plastic hangers will go eventually, and we’d like to implement some environmentally friendly solutions on that front. We also had a highly successful give-back component to our face mask business and were able to donate thousands of masks as part of that initiative. I would also like to find more ways to give to our underprivileged communities.

Creative Support We often talk about the creative process, including best practices for giving constructive feedback. When our design team meets with our sales team for collection reviews, there are ‘rules’ for how to give feedback to facilitate the most positive and meaningful discussion possible. This has served to not only strengthen our teams, but it often leads to better product.

Digital Divide The writing is on the wall—an outsize portion of the business is going to move online. Many view that as a grim outlook toward brick-and-mortar, but I really don’t see online growth as a zero sum game. It doesn’t have to be one or the other winning all the chips! The most successful boutiques, specialty and department stores will find ways to combine the best of both. I see so many clever and creative boutiques using social media creatively to service their clientele. I also see print on demand and personalization becoming more prevalent as those technologies improve. You’ll definitely see Andy & Evan tinkering with some of these ideas!

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